Summer is well and truly upon us, providing an opportunity to relax outside (weather permitting) with a good book. One year on from our original reading list, we bring you our latest and greatest book suggestions. Ranging from an exploration of romance in the digital age, to scaling teams and organisations, to primers on motivation - there is definitely something for everyone.
If you have any suggestions for our next reading list, please tweet us @theappbusiness.
Rob Evans, Co-Founder, recommends:
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE
by Phil Knight
Everyone knows Nike. Today, at least. However, Shoe Dog tells the remarkable story of how a total unknown became a global brand - all straight from the horse's mouth: Nike Founder, Phil Knight. The book focuses on the early years of Nike’s existence, from 1962, and tells a tale of how perseverance prevails in the ultimate underdog legend.
Hamish Vallabh, Strategist, recommends:
by Aziz Ansari
A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of dating and relationships in the digital age. Ansari combines his irreverent humour with cutting-edge social science to illuminate the ways in which technology is totally changing modern romance - for better and for worse.
Marco Sousa, Senior Product Designer, recommends:
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
by Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky & Braden Kowitz
A perfect starter guide to running design sprints. Using a framework created at Google, it teaches teams to tackle problems in a short amount of time, with the objective of having something to test at the end of just five days. Here at TAB, we have adapted this framework to our client realities, and using our tweaked version, we have seen successful results and fast deliveries.
Adam Grant-Jones, Client Partner, recommends:
by Jez Humble, Joanne Molesky & Barry O’Reilly
A very interesting and helpful read, this book argues for the need for to move fast and innovate at scale in enterprises, while providing practical advice on how to support these theories in corporate and highly regulated environments. A favourite feature of the book is the fact that it frames many of the recommendations in real life examples, drawing upon the authors’ experiences.
Jon Hocking, Senior Engineer, recommends:
Core Image for Swift: Advanced Image Processing for iOS
by Simon J Gladman
Core Image is one of those things that you hardly ever have to use in iOS, and it's a bit of a mysterious black box when you do. Gladman's book gives a really in-depth overview of Core Image, along with tons of great examples of various filters and effects. It's a must have if you want to get to grips with this super-useful API.
Anna Fletcher Morris, Scrum Master, recommends:
Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences
by Cordelia Fine
You’ve read Lean In. Now read the theory behind gender, sex and identity. Delusions of Gender debunks the myths that affect our day-to-day lives at home and at work. Citing a wide range of scientific studies, we learn how treating one gender differently to another adversely impacts our personal and professional environments. Check out page 45 onwards for a look at how gender stereotyping has changed the face of computer programming over the past 50 years.
Luciano Marisi, Engineer, recommends:
Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things
by Donald A. Norman
Written before the smartphone was even invented, this book is as relevant to mobile today as it was when it was written for industrial design in 2004. Norman talks about how the design of an object can appeal to the emotions of the user, and how an aesthetically pleasing object instils feelings of trust and efficiency. Providing clear explanations and good, real-world examples, he explains the concepts in an easy to understand format.
Brett Thornton, Senior Strategist, recommends:
by James Kerr
Full of great, applicable lessons on building a high-performance culture in a team, Legacy uses stories from inside the remarkable turnaround of the New Zealand All Blacks. Taking the learnings from one of the world's premier sports teams and successfully transferring them to the world of business, Kerr focuses on starting with purpose and team responsibility.
David Tuck, Commercial Director, recommends:
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
by Daniel Pink
Drive was published nearly seven years ago, but it remains the go-to reference for anyone trying to understand what motivates people. Pink rips apart the established thinking of 'carrot and stick', and summarises the motivational forces as Autonomy: the desire to direct our own lives, Mastery: the urge to get better at something that matters, and Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
Jason Turner, Senior Product Designer, recommends:
Exposing the Magic of Design:
A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis
by John Kolko
An excellent read that combines theory with practical examples from people working in design. Kolko's writing style is succinct, easy to read, and filled with case studies for you to refer back to. If you want an understanding of how to create a design-centric organisation, then this book is a great place to start.
Clara Monnet, Junior Strategist, recommends:
How Will You Measure Your Life?
by Clayton M. Christensen with James Allworth & Karen Dillon
It sounds like a self-help book, but you should think of it as a kind of guidebook for your future. Christensen et al use lessons from some of the world's greatest businesses, alongside personal experiences to provide insights into challenging questions that we face throughout our lives, such as 'How can I find satisfaction in my career?', or 'How can I make sure that my personal relationships become enduring sources of happiness?' The book forces you to think about the important questions, providing a framework to think about these issues.
Tom Moore, UX Designer, recommends:
The Elements of User Experience:
User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond (Voices That Matter)
by Jesse James Garrett
This relatively short book is an excellent reference point for understanding the field of user experience design. Based on his highly influential ‘5 elements’ model, Garrett, co-founder of design agency Adaptive Path, maps out the key fields that constitute a product’s user experience, with brief summaries of each topic. The result is an excellent clarification of an often jumbled subject.
Rob Delplanque, Scrum Master, recommends:
Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results
by Mike Rother
Rother looks at how Toyota have implemented their philosophy of continuous improvement and suggests that, rather than attempt to copy their methods, people should instead learn from how Toyota think, as well as their approach to tackling process improvement.
Daniel Joseph, Co-Founder, recommends:
by Verne Harnish
A hugely practical and helpful book that anyone looking to grow a business, or start a new one, should read. The writing style is a little "textbook", but as a result, it is easy to immediately put it to use, and is packed with inspirational case studies and templates. Give it a go - whether you're scaling your own business, scaling a business unit in a PLC, or anything else for that matter.
Rob Isaacs, Product Owner, recommends:
Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy
by Amy Edmondson
Edmondson perfectly describes why groups of individuals do not learn naturally, and how leaders can nurture the right environment for teams to learn and succeed. A must-read for anyone looking to transform their organisation and enable teams to thrive.
Sam Cave-Penney, New Business Manager, recommends:
The Obstacle is the Way:
The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage
by Ryan Holiday
A great book for providing the context and perspective for how to zoom out beyond the immediate task and think about the bigger picture. “We don’t get to choose what happens to us, but we can always choose how we feel about it."
Christina Ohanian, Agile Coach, recommends:
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A F**k
by Sarah Knight
Stressed? Overwhelmed? Knight's book serves as a reminder that these feelings are often choices we make, not things that happen to us. This succinct and witty read details how we end up swimming in self-inflicted guilt, over things that we really shouldn't care about at all. The real takeaway here is to know when it's worth investing emotion in outcomes; when to "give a f**k", and when not to - without being an a**hole. #sorrynotsorry.
Swav Kulinski, Senior Engineer, recommends:
Globalization: The Human Consequences
by Zygmunt Bauman
"Globalization” is a buzz word that is often casually bandied about, particularly in the tech industry as physical locations are becoming less of a barrier. Bauman takes a look at what globalization really means, breaking down the sociological, cultural, and geographical implications that come along with the phenomenon.
Emily Maginess, Marketing and Communications Manager, recommends:
by Marcus Aurelius
It might be a dusty old classic - in more ways than one - but Meditations still stands as one of the finest personal explorations you can find into the mind of a leader, and ultimately of a human being on their journey toward greater self-knowledge. In a book he never intended anyone to read, Emperor and philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, conducts a retrospective on his soul with robust, unblinking honesty. Filled with practical wisdom and compassion, it’s a pithy and humane reminder that despite the pace and pressure of modern life, what really matters is timeless and universal.
George Proudfoot, Strategist, recommends:
GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History
by Diane Coyle
We do a lot of thinking about how to measure the success of our products at TAB, so it’s interesting to delve into Diane Coyle’s biography of that most ever-present of metrics: GDP. Clearly, GDP’s influence over politics and economics has been massive, particularly in the industrial age. But its status is on the wane as it increasingly fails to capture the value that is created by modern service and technology-led economies, or tell us much about the happiness or welfare of people within them. Coyle adeptly squeezes plenty of interesting detail, anecdote, and thinking from the stalest of measurements.