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In the Zone

7 new tech books for your summer reading

Peter Krass's picture

by Peter Krass on 06/28/2022
Blog Category: advanced-technologies

Summer’s here, and for tech providers, the readin’ is easy.

Here are 7 technology books, all recently released, that you can enjoy while basking on the beach, hiking in the mountains, or just relaxing on your sofa with the AC cranked up.

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Navigating the Metaverse: A Guide to the Limitless Possibilities in a Web 3.0 World

By Cathy Hackl, Dirk Lueth and Tommaso Di Bartolo (Wiley, May 2022)

Navigating the Metaverse

If the metaverse is truly going to transform life online as dramatically as the web did, then it’s a development you can’t afford to miss. And you’ll probably need a guide. That’s what the authors, a team of entrepreneurs, intend this book to be.

Their book covers both basics and more advanced topics. Among the former: What is the metaverse anyway? And among the latter: How does currency work in the metaverse? How do you build a metaverse business case? And how do NFTs fit in the metaverse economy?

Excerpt: “In 2018 the metaverse wasn’t nearly as trendy as it is today. Back then launching a blockchain game sounded a bit crazy. Think about it: Three Silicon Valley entrepreneurs believed they could upend multi-billion-dollar industries like video games and social media with a mobile game concept based on a century-old property-management board game. As it turned out, they were not only spot on, but years ahead of most of the world.”

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Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making

By Tony Fadell (Harper Business, May 2022)

Build

A bestseller on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today lists, this book was written for anyone who wants to grow at work. Chapters deal with such topics as getting funding for a startup, building a business, deciding whether to quit a job, even whether you should sell your company.

Author Fadell knows of what he speaks; he formerly led groups that created the Apple iPod and iPhone. He also founded Nest and led the team that created that company’s Learning Thermostat. He holds more than 300 patents and today leads Future Shape, an advisory firm that provides mentorship to startups.

Excerpt: “This advice is unorthodox because it’s old-school. The religion of Silicon Valley is reinvention, disruption—blowing up old ways of thinking and proposing new ones. But certain things you can’t blow up.”

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The Truth About Crypto

By Ric Edelman (Simon & Schuster, May 2022)

The Truth About Crypto

Right now, the truth about cryptocurrency is that it’s a good way to lose actual money. This past Sunday, for example, the value of the total crypto market declined by $24 billion, and that was followed by a further $9.17 billion drop on Monday, according to Yahoo Finance. For the month to date, the total crypto market is down $381 billion.

If that hasn’t scared you away, The Truth About Crypto is here to show you how investors can engage with the blockchain, bitcoin and NFTs to thrive. Author Edelman is pretty confident he’s got it right; after all, he’s written 10 books on personal finance, produced specials for Public TV, and is a lecturer at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., which has even created a Ric Edelman College of Communications & Creative Arts.

Excerpt: “Internet 3.0 is the Internet of Money, aka blockchain. Connecting money via the internet is as transformative to commerce and society as the Internet of People and the Internet of Things have been, and because ‘money makes the world go ’round,’ Internet 3.0 will prove to be even more impactful than its predecessors. The wealth-creation opportunities on a global scale are truly unprecedented.”

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After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul

By Tripp Mickle (William Morrow, May 2022)

After Steve

Apple fans, avert your eyes. Everyone else, tune in for a tale of two executives: Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, and Tim Cook, the former COO who succeeded the late Steve Jobs as Apple’s chief executive.

Ive, the man Jobs had called his “spiritual partner,” left Apple in 2019, eight years after Jobs died. And Cook, the master of squeezing the supply side, is still there. That transition, according to After Steve, led Apple to lose not only its spirit of innovation—the company hasn’t created a new device category in years—but also its soul.

Author Mickle is well-connected. He’s a tech reporter for the New York Times who formerly covered Apple for the Wall Street Journal. For this book, he interviewed more than 200 current and former Apple executives, as well as many others, including Trump administration officials and fashion editor Anna Wintour.

Excerpt: “The lights were low when Tim Cook slipped into the front of the room from behind a dark screen with a white Apple logo. His thin lips formed a flat grin as a few people applauded politely. In a Brooks Brothers spin on Jobs’ casual and fashionable Issey Miyake turtleneck, Cook wore a black broadcloth button-down shirt and spun a presentation remote in his hands as he paced in front of the crowd.”

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The Digital Mindset: What It Really Takes to Thrive in the Age of Data, Algorithms, and AI

By Paul Leonardi and Tsedal Neely (Harvard Business Review Press, May 2022)

The Digital Mindset

To thrive in our digital era, the authors of this book contend, you need a digital mindset. And that means 3 things: collaboration, computation and change. Work on these, and you’ll ask the right questions, make smarter decisions, and appreciate new possibilities.

The authors, a pair of researchers and professors, say most people can achieve a digital mindset by following what they call the 30 percent rule. Gain just enough digital literacy, and you can future-proof your career, your organization, even yourself.

Excerpt: “To understand the 30 percent rule, think about learning a foreign language. To demonstrate mastery of the English language, a nonnative speaker must acquire roughly 12,000 vocabulary words. But to be able to communicate and interact effectively with other people in the workplace, all they need is about 3,500 to 4,000 words—about 30 percent of what it takes to achieve mastery.”

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Project Management in the Hybrid Workplace

By Phil Simon (Racket, June 2022)

Project Management in the Hybrid Workplace

Author Simon says the Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 work world is gone forever. And with so many people working from wherever, the complicated discipline of project management has gotten even more complicated.

Simon, the author of books including Reimagining Collaboration, offers prescriptions for successful project management in today's hybrid workplace. That includes selecting technology, embracing analytics and reconsidering employee evaluations.

Excerpt: “A world predicated on hybrid and remote work isn’t all sunshine and lollipops. With respect to completing projects and launching new products, our new work environs introduce all sorts of thorny problems and exacerbate existing ones.”

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How to Zoom Your Room: Room Rater’s Ultimate Style Guide

By Claude Taylor and Jessie Bahrey (Voracious/Little, Brown & Co., June 2022)

How to Zoom Your Room

Still working from home? Probably. Videoconferencing a lot? Sure. And your background? It probably looks pretty bad.

Authors Taylor and Bahrey, along with illustrator Chris Morris, are here to help. They offer advice on how to create a video-chat background that won’t embarrass you or anyone else. Several real-world figures—including TV host Jonathan Capeman and former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett—provide emulation-worthy examples.

Excerpt: “The Room Rater Twitter account began one Sunday in April 2020 as a way to have some fun doing exactly what many of us were already doing. Discussing our favorite political figures’ and journalists’ rooms was a welcome reprieve and a way to connect with people in a socially distanced way. We took it to another level and created an account that just rated the rooms using a 1-10 scale.”

 

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