'How to avoid a Climate Disaster' by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is an urgent call for action on climate change. According to Bill Gates, in order to prevent the climate crisis, there is no other way but to achieve zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. Although it will be a huge challenge, he is optimistic because of the upcoming technological developments in clean energy. Overall, this book is a guideline for the basics of climate change.
The futurist Gerd Leonhard's 'Technology and Humanity' is a critical treatise that sheds light on the other side of technology that it is less clear. We are witnessing how technology shapes our lives every day, and we read about how it can automate daily tasks. This book discusses the challenges posed by the exponential development of technology. It mainly focuses on ethical issues. A must-read book for anyone interested in technology.
In this book, the author Eric Weiner visits ten different countries and talks with residents to learn about their concept of happiness, the factors that make them happy, and what they do to find happiness. This book is a sociological culture book and 'a travel journal', as well.
Fashion Brands is a marketing book by Mark Tungate. I like to read this book because it focuses on fast fashion brands such as Zara, H&M and TopShop. There are also stories related to successful and well-known advertising campaigns. Even though this book is not a very recent one, it is a good read for the stories of the famous brands.
Alain de Botton, Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, Malcolm Gladwell
This short book transcribes the debate between four famous thinkers of our age. Steven Pinker and Matt Ridley are arguing for proposition while Alain de Botton and Malcolm Gladwell are on the opposite side. Pinker sums his point of view in 10 points with a holistic perspective and indicates global warming as the biggest threat. Following that, Ridley discusses that life is getting better for the majority in the world. On the other hand, Alain de Botton gives a few local examples only while Gladwell has the most realistic perspective. He says that wherever you are in this world is directly related to if your best days lie ahead or not.
It is not enough that you have an idea. That idea can be an original one, but still, you need to show some effort to turn it into a reality. This means that you are taking a risk. Adam Grant tells the story of successful entrepreneurs who are also calculating risk-takers in his book 'Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World'. Originals take risks just like the rest of us but what makes them different is how they plan their steps through the way. They take risks because they carefully calculate and select these risks. Creativity and originality are the other topics Grant mentions. Choosing the most proper or original idea, among different approaches that have been generated is not that easy. One idea might seem unique to you, but it doesn't mean it is going to be successful if you work on it. There are many variables for an idea to become an original one which makes a difference. An excellent read with several effective outcomes and lessons.
The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life makes it Hard to be Happy A fascinating read on philosophy and science of happiness in the modern age. We are living in abundance and continuously searching for pleasure, but all we have is dissatisfaction in many fields of life. Michael Foley analyzes the concept of happiness in regards to philosophy, literature, psychology and neurology.
I liked the book 'Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There' by the Dutch historian, author and journalist Rutger Bregma. Many of the ideas he presented in this book might seem unrealistic at first sight, however, the primary intention is developing a better future by using these ideas as a base. In this book, he is explaining concepts such as universal basic income; fifteen-hour working week; and open borders. As the book's subtitle indicates, these are all utopia for today, but in an 'ideal' world, they are all very realistic and applicable.
Chris Anderson explains the business model of ‘free’ in this book. This model is based on making money by giving away products/services for free by the consumption of free trial versions will make a certain amount of customers buy the product after the trial. This book has become a classic within time, and it also reminds the reader of the dilemma that says ‘nothing is actually free'.
An informative read from Alter explaining behavioural addictions mainly on technology. This book points out an interesting fact; people who have created the devices do not let their children play with them or strictly limit the usage time. Addictions such as substance addiction, binge-watching, exercise addiction, social media addiction, gamification, virtual reality are all outlined step by step.
Derek Thompson explains how some things become popular in the age of distraction, while others don’t.
In a world that is full of advertisement, this book explains how a child is being exposed to hidden impacts of brands; and when he or she becomes an adult how his or her buying behaviour is affected.
Martin Lindstrom explains why we buy the things we buy by giving examples and sharing results from neuropsychology researches.
W. Brian Arthur
The Nature of Technology addresses the nature and evolution of technology with straightforward and to-the-point language style.
Ernie J. Zelinski
The Joy of Not Working explores our relationship with our jobs while reminding us we are more than our jobs.
In his book Attention Merchants, Tim Wu starts with the history of advertising accompanied by pop culture and how these two concepts get our attention out of our hands to commercialize. To understand 'how' and 'why' for advertising and media, this book is a good option.
PSY-Q summarises scientifically accepted and interesting psychology studies of modern times in an easy to read way.
Tell Everyone is a fascinating read on the evolution of social media and how the culture is affected by it.
This book is from Kevin Kelly, the founding executive editor of Wired magazine. In The Inevitable, the author forecasts the twelve technological forces that will shape the next thirty years. A worth reading book to understand the future.
Alain de Botton
In his book The News - A User’s Manual. An exciting read from Alain de Botton on the news. As the modern-day philosopher, he is questioning news and journalism this time. But he is wondering why the concept of ‘news’ is trying to be accurate rather than just telling the entire story. With that perspective, rest should be left to the audience who is watching. He is focusing on news topics such as politics, world news, economics, celebrity, disaster, consumption. He explains each of them with different examples. If you like Alain De Botton books (I should add here I really like them), you are going to love this one as well.
Hackers & Painters - Big Ideas From The Computer Age is one of my favourite books. The author has a PhD in Computer Science and studied painting afterwards. This book is composed of essays on many different topics, mostly from the perspective of a programmer. He is a terrific writer and tells his own experience in art, hacking and life in general.
Steve Jobs has the most significant impact and contribution to Apple, for sure. Still, Jony Ive was the head designer of the company for a long time, and he was in the designer team of the Apple products. 'Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products' tells the story of Jony Ive and what happened behind the scenes. There are many interesting details about industrial design in this book; such as how they used some of the materials for the first time and how they made the 'impossible' possible. This book is an excellent read by a long-time Apple reporter, Leander Kahney.
Walmart is one of the most influential companies in the world, especially in terms of bargaining capability and supply chain. This book tells the story of Walmart with both positive and negative sides. This company creates new jobs; at the same time, it destroys small size businesses within years. Even if you don't have a Walmart in your town, it is nearly impossible to avoid the effects of Walmart.
Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School. His book 'Contagious: Why Things Catch On' is about why some themes or ideas go viral, while others don't. He is explaining the concept of contagious in six principles (STEPPS). Social Currency Triggers Emotion Public Practical Value Stories With the STEPPS framework, he goes deep on what all contagious ideas have in common. With the examples he has provided, the book becomes catchy and sound in terms of the related theory.
Jeff Howe coined the term crowdsourcing back in 2008 in an article he wrote for Wired magazine. In the age of the internet, the wisdom of the crowds find solutions to many problems. Crowdsourcing is the power of the wisdom of crowds accomplishing tasks without being a specialist in a specific area. Although it is a dated book, it explains the term well with many examples.
Why some of the ideas or brands become suddenly popular, while others don’t? How do trends spread, how do they stick? A classic book of Malcolm Gladwell answers all these questions and many more on trends.