I went to the library the other day and picked up a copy of Stephen Baker’s The Numerati, which I first wrote about here.
The book is organized into seven chapters which describe ways that data is being analyzed in mass quantities: Worker, Shopper, Voter, Blogger, Terrorist, Patient, and Lover.
You’d think that Lover would be the most interesting but it had the least substance; Voter (about Josh Gotbaum of Spotlight Analysis) was by far the most interesting chapter.
The Numerati was such a quick read that I finished it in just a few short disappointing hours.
I felt Baker was stretching to fill out his book with examples of how mathematicians are dangerously invading our privacy by quantifying and analyzing our lives.
Still, it was entertaining; just keep your expectations low.
Finally read David H. Maister’s Strategy and the Fat Smoker; Doing What’s Obvious But Not Easy.
Here’s the table of contents:
Strategy and the Fat Smoker 3
Strategy Means Saying “No” 19
It’s Not How Good You Are; It’s How Much You Want It 33
Are We In This Together? The Preconditions for Strategy 47
What’s Our Deal? 59
Client Relationships 75
Do You Really Want Relationships? 77
The Friendship Strategy 93
Doing It for the Money 107
Tyrants, Energizers, and Cynics 121
Why (Most) Training Is Useless 131
A Great Coach In Action 143
A Natural Manager 159
Accountability: Effective Managers Go First 171
Selecting a Leader: Do We Know What We Want? 187
Putting it Together 197
The One-Firm Firm Revisited 199
Managing the Multidimensional Organization 219
The Trouble With Lawyers 229
The Chief Executive’s Speech 243
Passion, People, and Principles 251
About David Maister 261
Additional Material David Maister 263
I wish I could highly recommend this book, as I do his other books (The Trusted Advisor and Managing The Professional Service Firm).
But I just wasn’t impressed. Maybe it’s because my expectations were so high; maybe it’s because his other books were so superb.
In any case, this book is worth skimming through but I don’t love it.
Last weekend I also read a friend’s copy of The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferris.
Kind of cheesy at times — like most business books — but worth reading if you are interested in making a lifestyle change.
Click here to view the table of contents and to find excerpts.