This is a list of books I’ve recently recommended to friends more than once recently.   I’ve listed them below by topic.

Product Management

  • Inspired: How to create products customers love, by Marty Cagan.  A nice and review of how the Product Manager creates value through his/her relationship with customers and the rest of the team.  Detailed enough that it won’t bore you, but so well-written that it’s accessible to people who’ve never heard of product management.

Marketing

  • Convert!: Designing Web Sites to Increase Traffic and Conversion, by Ben Hunt.  A must-read if you want to maximise the value you get from your web site.  It’s especially strong on SEO and optimising AdWords PPC.

Startup

  • The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries.  The definitive book from the leader of the Lean Startup movement.  If you’re working on a startup and haven’t heard of Lean Startup, you need to read this book.  There are some instances in which lean principles are less applicable, but if you’re currently in ‘build it and they will come’ mode, this is a serious wake-up call.
  • Business Model Generation, by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur (with a beautiful design by Alan Smith).  Just beautiful.  A  forerunner of the lean canvas.

Evolutionary psychology

  • The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature, by Geoffrey F. Miller.  Darwin’s theory of evolution isn’t just about fitness of individuals, but also about fitness of collections of genes to propagate.

Private Equity

  • Private Equity Secrets Revealed, by Peter Cartier.  Essential reading if you’re thinking of joining the PE industry or have dealings with PE firms.  Regardless of which side of the table you inhabit, it will enlighten and could save you money.
  • Private Equity as an Asset Class, by Guy Fraser-Sampson.  A more macro look at the industry situation, key drivers and the future.

Financial Markets and Complex Systems

Computing

  • JavaScript Web Applications, by Alex MacCaw.  Really good book about MVC (model-view-controller) and how to implement in JavaScript object-oriented web apps.  Framework-agnostic, although one chapter talks about the author’s own framework, Spine.js.

 

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