Time flies: August has already hit its midpoint, and summer will soon be over. How did that happen? Now’s the time to squeeze in that vacation you’ve been putting off. And what better way to get some guilt-free relaxation than by reading up on our industry?
Here are our recommendations for a half-dozen new books on tech that are not only informative, but also fun. Any of them should make a great addition to your summer-vacation packing list.
Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business and the World, by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott (Penguin Random House)
Blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, is a distributed, public and encrypted digital ledger. That may sound dry, but the authors believe blockchain will transform the internet by adding new levels of trust to peer-to-peer exchanges of money. Before dismissing that as high-flying hype, consider that co-author Don Tapscott is the author of a dozen books on business, technology and society, including Wikinomics and The Digital Economy. Co-author Alex Tapscott (Don’s adult son) is CEO/founder of Northwest Passage Ventures, a blockchain advisory firm.
Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing our Digital Future, by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson (W.W. Norton)
How did Airbnb challenge the entire hotel industry? How did Facebook overtake the print advertising business? Why does GE, despite its multibillion-dollar R&D budget, work with groups of strangers over the internet to create products? McAfee, a principal research scientist at the MIT Center for Digital Business, and Brynjolfsson, the Center’s director, know and explain.
Elon Musk: Tesla, Spacex and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance (Harper Collins)
Who needs science fiction when we have Elon Musk? His crazy and/or brilliant ideas include implanting AI devices in the human brain, high-speed public transport on a cushion of air, and a human colony on Mars. This biography of Musk, written by a seasoned business journalist, recounts the life and times (so far) of this inveterate inventor.
Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups, by Jason Calacanis (Harper Business)
Many solution providers dream of refocusing their years of IT-industry insights and investing in others. Calacanis, the force behind several dot.com startups, claims to have made investments that have turned $100K into $100 million. In his new book, he explains how he did it, and offers what he calls “timeless advice” on how you might, too.
The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, by Brian Merchant (Little, Brown)
It's hard to resist a “secret history,” especially when it’s about this iconic mobile device. Author Merchant, a business journalist, tells the story of the iPhone’s development, design and marketing, based on his interviews with engineers, inventors and developers.
IoT Inc.: How Your Company can use the Internet of Things to Win in the Outcome Economy, by Bruce Sinclair (McGraw-Hill Education)
IoT is more than just a trend, this book argues. In fact, it’s the new way of doing business. Author Sinclair offers a playbook for transforming your company — or maybe your customers — into major players in what he calls the IoT outcome economy. That includes creating a business, monetizing, changing customer relationships and more.