Monthly Archives: June 2013

Q2 Reading List

Robert K. Wittman: Priceless. FBI Art Crime agent recovers stolen art. Exciting read.
Joseph Roth: Hiob. Großartig.
Robert M. Edsel: Monuments Men. Interesting.
John Jeremiah Sullivan: Blood Horses. Fantastic.
Ian Fleming: The Spy Who Loved Me. Forgettable. 
Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits: The Lean Entrepreneur. Not what I expected.
Geoff Dyer: Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It. Amazing.
Tracy Kidder & Richard Todd: Good Prose. A bit dry.
Joseph Zoderer: Die Farben der Grausamkeit. Stark.
Jay Hunter Morris: Diary of a Redneck Opera Zinger. Extremely disappointing.
Antonio J. Mendez: The Master of Disguise. Disappointing.
Geoff Dyer: Paris Trance. Very strong.
Aleksandar Hemon: The Book of My Lives. Excellent.
Lars Gustafsson: Gegen Null. Für mich zu kompliziert.
John Le Carré: A Delicate Truth. The usual. Which is good.
Sepp Mall: Wundränder. Solide, aber hat man alles schon irgendwo gelesen.
Ulrich Tukur: Venedig. Ganz interessant.
Stella Rimington: Open Secret. Not what I expected. 
J.M. Coetzee: The Childhood of Jesus. Extraordinary.
Khaled Hosseini: And the Mountains Echoed. Unputdownable. 
Mohsin Hamid: The Reluctant Fundamentalist.  Excellent. 
Mohsin Hamid: How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. Excellent.
David Mitchell: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Awesomer than awesome. 
John Lanchester: Capital. So much fun. 
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Americanah. Eye-opening. 

Ten Commandments: Thou shalt find a parade and jump in front of it

New commandment: Thou shalt blog more often. Just kidding.

This is a good one, comes to you from the folks at Netscape: Find a parade and jump in front of it.

Meaning that whatever you do should be connected to a bigger thing that’s currently going on. People are gathering in the street and are beginning to march. More precisely, a topic is being recognized and buzz starts to build.

Examples, not necessarily the best ones, would include topics such as Big Data, Enterprise Social Networks, Next Generation Firewall, Zero-Knowledge Encryption, etc.  

You want to be at the stage where the people who are always too early have begun to lay the groundwork. And where normal people, especially potential customers, are beginning to want to figure out what this all about. And then you assume a thought-leadership position and try to shape and brand the discussion.

Note that this requires more than inventing a three-letter acronym and declaring yourself the leading provider thereof.

Why is this important? If there is no parade, meaning no early evangelists, no start-ups entering the market, no end-users with the nagging perception that they need to learn more about the topic, then there may just be no market or you may just be too early.