Three Books I Loved Reading in 2018

Woman reading a book holding a cup of coffee

By Tricia McKinnon

I read many books in 2018 and here are three of my favourites.  I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is about how we can live happier lives and in this book Gretchen takes us along her quest to be even happier.  Over the course of a year she outlines the specific projects she undertakes each month in order to cultivate happiness.  In one month she focuses on reducing clutter. In another month she focuses on making three new friends.  Since Gretchen’s research showed that challenge and novelty are key elements of happiness as a way to challenge herself she decided to start a blog.  Her book offers many examples of things you can do to be happier. One of my favourite quotes from this book is “act the way [you] want to feel”. 

The Everything Store by Brad Stone is an in-depth look at Amazon's growth.  The book starts off with how Bezos came up with the idea to initially build the world’s largest bookstore.   It covers the framework that Bezos used to decide if he should leave a comfortable and well-paying job on Wall Street to start an entrepreneurial venture.  Bezos thought that when he was eighty he would not look back and regret leaving a stable job but would regret not participating in the internet revolution. 

One of my favourite quotes from the book is a reference to a popular strategy book called the Innovator’s Dilemma by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen.  “Christensen wrote that great companies fail not because they want to avoid disruptive change but because they are reluctant to embrace promising new markets that might undermine their traditional businesses and that do not appear to satisfy their short-term growth requirements.”  

Joey Coleman's book Never Lose a Customer Again outlines what companies should do within the first 100 days of a new customer relationship to create long lasting loyalty.  The author advocates that most companies lose customers because the customer feels neglected after the sale is made.   One of the best practices he provides comes from Apple which has skillfully focused on the importance of immediate gratification after a product is sold.   Back in 2001 the introduction of the iPod was a revolutionary moment in the world of tech and music.  Steve Jobs noticed that almost every new product at that time needed to be charged before you could use it.  This was a customer pain point and after realizing this Jobs demanded that Apple ship the iPod pre-charged so the customer could immediately experience it.   Today many products that are battery operated come pre-charged but at the time Apple’s focus on creating a great experience even after the sale was complete shows that it is important to remove any barriers to your customer's experience of a product immediately upon receipt no matter how small they seem.
One of my favourite quotes in the book is when the author says that “the typical business does a great job of getting the attention of the customer and persuading them to buy but then does very little to create meaningful or remarkable experiences after the sale”.


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