The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to
W.W. Norton & Co.
The way the Internet has changed us and the world around us can be
the stuff of deep conversations and academic inquiry. Author
Nicholas Carr, a former editor with the Harvard Business Review,
chooses to compare the growth of the Internet with the arrival and
spread of electricity. "Carr's analysis of the recent past is clear
and insightful as he examines common computing tools that are
embedded in the Internet instead of stored on a hard drive,
including Google and YouTube," writes Publishers Weekly. "The
social and economic consequences of this transition into the
utility age fall somewhere between uncertain and grim, Carr
argues." Carr leaves a lot of questions unasked, but that is often
the case with thought-provoking concepts.
Everything I Know About Business I Learned at McDonald's:
The 7 Leadership Principles that Drive Break Out Success
Paul Facella and Adina Genn
The authors seem to have interviewed everyone who ever wore a paper
McDonald's hat since hamburgers were 14 cents. While that may seem
like overkill, it reinforces the notion that for McDonald's, and
its leadership, some things really are simple: Pay attention to
your people and the people will take care of everything else. An
online reviewer wrote, "In my high-tech career I must say most
managers don't follow the principles that are taught in this book
and as a result, end up being mediocre at best. I'd rather work for
McDonalds than any high-tech company because of the way people are
treated and fairly rewarded based on what they do."
Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who
In her review for Business Week, Susan Berfield wrote that author
Rob Walker, "(S)hows how just about everyone from
Timberland-boot-wearing hiphoppers to Method-dish-soap-using
homemakers is embracing and transforming brands. Moreover, he
demonstrates how closely intertwined brands have become with our
identities." This seems contrary to the belief that Gen Y, having
been bombarded by brands their whole lives, are now immune to them.
Robert Blinn in Core77 observes that the book "delves into the
attitudes of the global consumer in the age of plenty, and, well,
we aren't too pretty."
High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American
As a review in The Washington Post noted, "you might not expect a
book on economic policy to be a page-turner, but Peter Gosselin's
High Wire is just that." Gosselin, who is a national economics
reporter for the Los Angeles Times, takes readers on a frightening
tour of the many ways the financial risk that used to be shared by
employers, insurance companies, and the government has been shifted
to individuals and families. The most frightening aspect of this
book is that it is almost a year old and the financial stress on
many American families has gotten much worse.