What We’re Reading: Business Biographies and Case Studies

Mar 20, 2015 in Retail

At GoSpotCheck, we seek inspiration and insight into mobile data collection and the world of optimal retail execution from a great range of sources—from trade shows to the daily headlines to the bookshelf. And we’re always exchanging book recommendations with one another.

Our current list of favorite business books has grown into a genuine wellspring of motivation here at GoSpotCheck headquarters. And then we got to thinking—why keep the list internal? We should share our favorite business reads with you! So, over a series of three installments, we’re excited to share what we’ve been reading. Culled from business-minded bookworms across our team, we begin with our top five business biographies and case studies.

Let My People Go Surfing, by Yvon Chouinard

This is the razor-sharp and bracingly upfront memoir by the founder and CEO of outdoor apparel company, Patagonia. Chouinard offers both a cautionary tale of over-ambitious business expansion as well as an illuminating guide to compassionate workplace leadership. Chouinard’s pioneering views on environmental and employee friendly company policies demonstrate how leading a balanced, adventurous life really is good for business. And this book opens up many valuable new avenues of management thinking.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz

Undoubtedly one of the best and brightest business books published in recent years, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ben Horowitz’s memoir is full of thrilling wisdom. In these pages, Horowitz showcases the amazing, invigorating journey of his company Opsware/Loudcloud from its existence only six weeks away from insolvency to a $1b+ exit. The book is positively brimming with crucial management lessons, and learning from the hard times that Horowitz faced as a leader is hands-down uplifting. Simply put, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a tremendous source of practical advice for how to stay level headed on the startup roller coaster.

Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh

The tale of success from Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh is a real seminar on thinking outside the box and generating a company culture that revolves around the concept of happiness. Hsieh makes the elusive accessible and candidly delves into his ups and downs—his rousing successes and disenchanting failures—and, using Zappos as the reference point, lucidly unpacks the value of truly believing in what you do, no matter the odds.

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, by Jeff Sutherland

Here’s a book about the highly compelling Scrum business productivity method from the horse’s mouth—Scrum Inc. founder and CEO Jeff Sutherland himself. He cogently describes the factors that went into development of the Scrum methodology and eloquently explains how and why the system works. Particularly enlightening is Sutherland’s focus on how Scrum can be used to improve efficiency far beyond the tech startup world where it is so widely embraced, with examples in government agencies, non-profits, and even family life. This book is definitely a useful blueprint for how to implement this efficiency-boosting management tool.

Predictable Revenue, by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler

From the founder of cloud computing and customer relationship management product company, Salesforce.com, this is an outstanding book that brilliantly breaks down the company’s trailblazing outbound sales system. Fundamentally, Predictable Revenue is a tactical handbook for enterprises about how to revolutionize the sales process. The book provides valuable alternate perspectives from the ones we find in the typical sales strategy reads, making this text a real eye-opener.

In the next segment of what we’re reading, we’ll share our top five business psychology books. So stay tuned, and happy reading!