Seeing what someone is reading is like seeing the 1st derivative of their thinking. Over the last few years I have learned a lot from other people sharing the books they read. I have decided to do the same. At the end of each month I will share with you the books I would have read and highlight what I learned from them. My hope is that you can identify the books that interest you and you can learn from them too. So here is my January 2015 reading list.
Life doesn’t always go as planned. We all face some difficult times or obstacles in life. Everyone has times in their life when they feel demotivated or unhappy. In this book, Ryan Holiday argues that how we perceive and respond to these difficult times or obstacles determines a lot about where we end up in life. In fact you can actually thrive because of the obstacles you face in life. As I read the book, I looked at my life and realised some of the things I have achieved were a result of the obstacles and constraints that were in place.
The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. — Marcus Aurelius
A well written book, and a great read to kickstart the year. If you are going through hard times, read this book now. If you are not going through hard times, read this book now too, you will need it, prepare your mindset early.
This is the biography of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Zimbabwe’s largest opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change. Quite a long read but very informative. The 1st half of the book has great insight on what happened in Zimbabwe before independence. The book contains some good details on how the locals lived and how the various races interacted. It also has details on the formation of the revolutionary movements and parties that fought for Zimbabwean independence. The 2nd half of the book, describes life in Zimbabwe after independence as well as the political and economic policies that have been in place since. The 2nd half of the book also highlights how the opposition party was formed and its inner workings.
Politics is more complex than business, just by nature of the number of differing characters that you have to try satisfy with the same policies in place. Couple that with the family and friends sacrifices you have to make, and potential life threatening situations. Being from Zimbabwe myself, I could relate to the context in the book easily, however I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in Africa’s political landscape.
Growth Hacker Marketing describes how marketing has shifted from the traditional Hollywood style marketing of big budgets and big launches, to a more economical, accurate and tactical approach that makes use of technology. Technology has disrupted a lot of fields and that includes marketing. Hotmail was the pioneer of growth hacking in the late nineties. Companies such as Dropbox, AirBnB, Spotify, and LivingSocial all applied innovative growth hacking tactics that differ from traditional marketing.
Marketing, too many people forget, is not an end unto itself. Its simply getting customers. And by the transitive property, anything that gets customers is marketing.
A quick read that I would recommend to anyone working in marketing or if you are about to launch any product.
That was it for January, I am hoping to read more and continue learning in February. A full list of the books I have read, I am currently reading and hoping to read in the future can be found here: Tanaka Mutakwa’s Book Queue.