6 Must-Read Business Books from 2015

December 30, 2015

1:17 pm

There are a lot of so-called experts out there spouting a lot of tips on entrepreneurship, starting up, running a business, and everything related. Every year, thousands of books are published, all claiming they have the best advice out there.

Now I’m not saying all books written about business are garbage, because of course there are some very solid ones out there. Not to toot our own horn, but Tech.Co’s Startup Mixology, for example, is a great prose on the topic (okay, totally tooting our own horn). But being the busy person you are, you probably don’t have time to read all of the good ones, let alone sift through all of the reviews to find out which ones are deserving of your attention. So I’ve done the work for you.

Here is a list of 6 of the best business books to hit the shelves/Kindle store in 2015. A few of these were even semifinalists for this year’s Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. A well-rounded entrepreneur is a successful entrepreneur, so these selections cover topics ranging from content marketing, to leadership, to behavioral economics.

Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

Content.Inc. offers a new approach to what marketers and strategists have been doing for decades–creating valuable content to engage their audience. Consumers can smell bad marketing a mile away and know steer clear. They will be more attracted to brands that gain their trust by providing content that will in some way, aside from the product they’re trying to sell, make their lives better. Pulizzi lays out an outside-the-box six step process for building a business. He’s seen this strategy succeed in practice when building his own company, Content Marketing Institute.

Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith is a world renowned executive coach who knows a thing or two about how personal behaviors can make or break a business. This book explains how we can overcome the trigger points that pop up in our day-to-day lives that lead to negative reactions or behaviors. Goldsmith details six questions (what he calls “engaging questions”)  that we should ask ourselves every day to make sure we remember our intentions and are consistently and successfully working towards our goals.

Misbehaving by Richard Thaler

Misbehaving is all about behavioral economics, a topic made most popular by the book Freakanomics, which came out a decade ago. This book turns most theories of traditional economics on their heads. Thaler argues that most of these theories are based on rational actors, when in fact economics is completely comprised of humans who are sometimes not rational and often error-prone. By taking a deeper look at human psychology combined with an understanding of incentives and market behavior, business owners and marketers can make more effective decisions on where to focus their efforts.

Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff

Case stories exist for a reason. Sometimes the best way to learn is from other’s successes and failures. We know that Blackberry wasn’t a failure from the beginning, in fact, there was a period of time when they were on top of the world. Losing the Signal tells the story of Blackberry’s incredibly fast rise to the top, and their equally fast crash back down to Earth. It wasn’t just the fact that they couldn’t keep up with the competition, there were interpersonal feuds within the company also at play, that ultimately led to the demise.

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner

Some people seem to have spot-on judgement capabilities. They almost  always make the right decision and rarely have to play the “hindsight is 20/20” game because their ability to predict the outcome is so keen. In Superforecasting, Tetlock and Gardner comb through decades of research to try to cull out what makes someone a so-called “superforecaster.” They also provide stories of forecasting successes and failures throughout history. Learning how the brains of these amazing forecasters operate can be beneficial to any business leader, investor, entrepreneur, or marketer.

Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time by Jeffrey Pfeffer

Jeffrey Pfeffer, a longtime Stanford professor in the Graduate School of Business and leadership expert calls out a lot of the myths making the rounds in the leadership world. Pfeffer uses evidence and data from social science and leadership success stories to help readers improve their management practices in the hopes of ultimately making their businesses, and, in turn, the world a better place.

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Kristin is an aspiring entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. During the day she is an ops, biz dev, and marketing maven for Fission Strategy

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