What I’m Thinking About

Over my 20 years in business and information technology, I’ve amassed a list of hundreds of people that I email regularly with book suggestions, thoughts on business, and news about what’s happening at KDG.

From the latest industry headlines to some books you may want to give a try, here’s a look at everything you should know and everything you may want to.

What’s Going On (And Why You Should Care)

The Real Reason Apple and Google Want You to Use Your Phone Less (Nir Eyal) – It may surprise you to learn that Apple and Google do not want you addicted to their devices and applications. Nir Eyal, author of a KDG mainstay Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, explains why addiction is bad for business.

Why should you care? Creating addictive products is not a long-term business strategy.

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The enduring mythology of the whiz kid (Hana Schank) – The ubiquitous fairy tale of the whiz-kid-turned-tech-billionaire is reinforced at every turn. They are the “bad boys and girls” of tech that we spend so much time idolizing for their brilliance. But sometimes we miss the point. This is the second installment in Co.Design‘s The Government Fix.

Why should you care? Innovation is relative. Chances are your organization is seeking quantum leaps with both high cost and high risk. Setting your sights lower and pacing your approach may not have the same sort of heroic appeal, but it sure does work well.

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NBA stars on losing teams follow fewer teammates on social media (Michael Miller, University of Cincinnati) – With the NBA playoff winners still on everyone’s minds, Dr. Miller takes us to school by looking at the NBA’s losers, and the surprising trend when it comes to their online and offline status.

Why should you care? Social media data, analyzed properly, can reveal so much more about a person than just what they’re explicitly posting.

Books I Read Last Month (that you might enjoy)

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved (Kate Bowler) – This was one of Bill Gates’s top reads for the Summer. While it has little to do with business, it has a lot to do with character and faith. The subject matter is heavy, but worth the read.

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Good to Great to Gone: The 60 Year Rise and Fall of Circuit City (Alan Wurtzel) – A surprisingly introspective postmortem of Circuit City by its former CEO. I once idolized Circuit City’s business model after being part of Jim Collins’s seminal Good to Great. Great insight on shifting markets: “Business strategies have a limited shelf life. When external conditions change, the business needs to change. It is better to take the initiative and fold your cards rather than be the victim of circumstance.”