The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century

Author: Thomas L. Friedman

The World is Flat examines the flattening, or connecting, of the world over the last few years since 9-11 and the dot com bust. Thomas L. Friedman, author of the New York Times “Foreign Affairs” column, explains how the world is now flat, or connected, through the disappearance of trade and political barriers and the increase in technological breakthroughs.

According to Friedman, Globalizations 3.0 (his term) is led by freelancers and entrepreneurs who effectively compete in the new climate created by these changes. A good resource for anyone wanting to learn about new economy globalization and how to take advantage of a flat world.

Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity

Author: Lawrence Lessig

Ok, this is two “non-business” books in a row. I apologize to those in need of the newest airport best-seller, we’ll be getting right on it next week. This one is good though. Free Culture is all about how the American tradition of mixing and remixing culture and ideas, building on those around us and that came before us, is being quashed by dramatic changes in the scope and intent of content protection, especially copyright.

Understanding the ideas regarding the nature of creativity in this book is sure to help any entrepreneur, especially any Internet entrepreneur. There is even a section on how the ideas in the book affect entrepreneurial innovation (called Constraining Innovators). The author is a Stanford Law professor that specializes in cyber-law and has amazing insight into how law affects the way society is shaped. You can get the book from Amazon or you can get a free E-book from Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture Web site.

The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations

Author:James Surowiecki

Surowiecki goes over types of crowd wisdom, types of crowd wisdom, and failures of crowd intelligence and how when certain factors combine, the wisdom of the crowd is much more accurate than the wisdom of individuals, even experts. One of the stories he uses to illustrate this is a study done in the 19th century by a British Anthropologist named Francis Galton. In the study he took an ox to a county fair and had people guess its weight. He also had cattle ranchers and farmer (experts) guess the weight. The general public as a whole did much better at guessing the weight than the so-called experts.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t

What author Jim Collins’ says:

Based on a five-year research project, Good to Great answers the question: “Can a good company become a great company, and, if so, how?” True to the rigorous research methodology and invigorating teaching style of Jim Collins, Good to Great teaches how even the dowdiest of companies can make the leap to outperform market leaders the likes of Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

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