Category: Blog


Posted: 18 sierpnia 2020

Billon Summer Reading List (Part 2)

If you read, you grow - and your business grows with you. Spend some time of your summer holiday on those inspiring reads hand-picked for you by some of the great people at Billon. Enjoy!

For the first part of our reading recommendations go here

Miguel Neumann, UK Director:

Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: 42nd Anniversary Edition 

The quintessential guide to the British sense of humour. An international phenomenon and pop culture classic, it’s about as brilliant as the British satire gets. Don’t panic and bring a towel!

George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller  Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception 

Interesting challenge of the traditional economic theory, quite in line with Kahneman and Gladwell. Akerlof and Shiller explain why the free-market system encourages so much trickery even as it creates so much good. As long as there is profit to be made, sellers will systematically exploit our psychological weaknesses and our ignorance through manipulation and deception. At the same time, the book tells stories of individuals who have stood against economic trickery — and how it can be reduced through greater knowledge, reform, and regulation.

Robert Cialdini Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

A great follow up from Cialdini’s initial work ‘Influence.' A masterpiece in behavioural psychology, the book presents much knowledge invaluable to any marketer and advertiser. The lessons on persuasion and decision making you could learn from reading this are seemingly endless, and yet the book remains perfectly readable to the lay person and grounded in jargon-free language.

Richard H Thaler, Cass R Sunstein Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness

A classic and one of the most influential works in behavioural economics, ‘Nudge’ is about choices -- how we make them and how we can make better ones.  Unfortunately, we often choose poorly, as we are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions. Fortunately, by knowing how people think, we can make it easier for them to choose what is best for them, their families and society. 

Mateusz Niemojewski, Engine Programmer:

John Lakos Large-Scale C++ Volume I: Process and Architecture

Writing reliable and maintainable C++ software is hard. Designing such software at scale adds a new set of challenges. ‘Large-Scale C++’ offers comprehensive guidance for all aspects of the C++ software development. If you are an architect or project leader, this book will empower you to solve critically important problems right now — and serve as your go-to reference for years to come.

Robert C. Martin Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

This book is a must for any developer, software engineer, project manager, team lead, or systems analyst with an interest in producing better code. Even bad code can function. But if code isn’t clean, it can bring a development organization to its knees, wasting countless hours and significant resources. Martin will save you from this peril with a book that will instill within you the values of a software craftsman and make you a better programmer.

Robert C. Martin Clean Architecture: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design

A follow-up to “Clean Code,” this book teaches you the universal rules of software architecture which can dramatically improve developer productivity throughout the life of any software system. Drawing on over a half-century of experience in software environments of every imaginable type, Martin tells you what architectural choices to make and why they are critical to your success

Piotr Obidowski, Team Leader of IT Administration and Web Development:

Richard Branson Screw Business As Usual: Turning Capitalism Into a Force of Good

You will not learn how to repeat the success of Virgin here. This book is instead a recollection of Branson’s conversations with politicians, humanitarians and fellow business leaders on how to make a free market economy care for people, communities and the planet. In this time of climate emergency, this testimony is even more relevant as an insight on how big businesses can think about the climate crisis and discover ways out of it.

Thomas Erikson Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life)

‘Surrounded by Idiots’ is an international phenomenon, selling over 1.5 million copies worldwide. It offers a simple, yet groundbreaking method for assessing the personalities of people we communicate with – in and out of the office – based on four personality types (Red, Blue, Green and Yellow). It provides insights into how we can adjust the way we speak and share information. This task maynot be easy with the COVID-19 pandemic and remote work all around us, but you may find this book helpful when we return to the office!

Tony Hsieh Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Zappos was an e-commerce phenomenon until Amazon bought it for over $1B. Now the CEO Tony Hsieh shares the lessons which brought him professional and personal success. Fast paced and down-to-earth, ‘Delivering Happiness’ shows how a very different kind of corporate culture can be a powerful model for achieving success.  By concentrating on the well-being of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own.

Edward Słówko, Head of Design & UX:

Phil Knight Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Bill Gates put this Nike founder’s autobiography on his favourite books list a few years ago, and for good reason. This business memoir is an honest recollection on what the road to success really looks like. It’s not a shining path but a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey with ongoing struggles to fund growth and constant shortages of money.  If you are an aspiring entrepreneur who is not discouraged easily, ‘Shoe Dog’ will be a volume full of priceless tips on how to survive on this uneasy road.

Eric Ries The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

One of the core business books that revolutionised the business startup environment, ‘The Lean Startup’ gives an overview on Lean methods and why you should use them. It is slightly biased towards tech companies, particularly in its emphasis on product refinement and testing, but there are some nice non-tech case studies that demonstrate how Lean principles can be applied to any type of startup.

Jocko Willink, Leif Babin Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win Kindle Edition

In this book  two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life. These principles can be applied to any relationships or walks of life. They are simple enough for anyone to understand and broad enough to use in any situation. If you feel you're stuck in a rut, lacking self-discipline, or perhaps know someone who simply needs to improve their lot, this book is an excellent starting point.

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