$38.67 that will change your year

If it’s true that the first hour is the ‘rudder of the day’ than the next few weeks are the ‘rudder of the year’. If you lead an organization like I do, here are 4.5 books that will give you all the insight you need to chart a course for the year…

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Here they are in their recommended order of reading:

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There’s a reason why this book is one of the most popular of all time. Read or reread it!
  2. Getting Things Done. Another book that has become so popular that people have forgotten why.
  3. Awesomely Simple. This one is new, but powerful enough to be a ‘must read’ recommendation for me. John Spence defines what a ‘book’ should be in the new millennium by hosting a website with bonus materials for readers. He’s also active in social media and eagerly engages readers…
  4. Your Best Year Yet! Enough said.
  5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. What? Yes, read it. Franklin’s systematic approach to building new habits is outlined here.

Now for the how. Yes, I’m even going to tell you how to read them. Read them via Kindle. “What”, you say? “I’m not going to buy a Kindle just to read these books!” “Well”, I say, “you don’t have to”. Kindle software runs on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and via web browser. It synchronizes wirelessly between devices creating a virtual library of all the books you download allowing you to access them anywhere at any time. So, if I’m reading a book on my Sprint Evo and highlight a section that I want to go back to later, when I get to my computer and synchronize my books, the same selection will be highlighted, along with any notes I’ve made, on my PC. Did I mention that most Kindle books are around $10 as well? The total in the title is the sum of all the Kindle books I recommended and you can click on any title in the slider to order it immediately…

This video will help you get the picture…
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9aeH99g-vM

Now as much as I love all things Google, Kindle content is cheaper than the new Google Books by about 50% in my informal testing and although the Android reader for Google Books is more full featured, imho, Kindle software is a more compelling offering at the moment. btw, if you’d prefer to listen, there’s always Audible — another service from Amazon.com! Again, no special device is required because there’s Audible software available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and web browser. Instead of listening to talk radio, now you can get smart while you’re driving around!

According to Einstein, doing the same things and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. These books, combined with new ways of consuming their wisdom, will help you get from where you’re at to where you want to be as a business leader in 2011. Really!

All the best to you in 2011!

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Au revoir iPhone!

Yesterday I said goodbye to the iPhone and along with it, Apple as well. While I was working on the AGCO social media project, my good friend and partner on the project David Sauter of Envano had been kind enough to let me use an iPhone [I think he was secretly trying to bring me back into the Apple fold] until he hired a new account manager and yesterday my love/hate relationship with the iPhone — and Apple — came to an end when I returned the phone to Envano. It takes a lot of Apple to lose the love of a fanboi like me, but at the end of the day, to paraphrase the great Ronald Reagan “I didn’t leave Apple, Apple left me…

It wasn’t so much dissatisfaction with the iPhone that brought me to this point — it actually had much more to do with the iPad announcement. As Alex Payne lamented…

“”The iPad leaves me with the feeling that Apple’s interests and values going forward are deeply divergent from my own. The future of personal computing that the iPad shows us is both seductive and dystopian. It’s not a future I want to bring into my home.”” Source: Alex Payne on the iPad | Smarterware

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"There's a map for that"

Holy shit!!! I just updated my iPhone to 3.1 a...
Image by jimrenaud via Flickr

While the Vikings were sticking it to the Packers on Monday Night Football, Verizon was sticking it to Apple and AT&T in the only way they really could; on the issue of reliability and connectivity…

Recently, I had the chance to use both my BlackBerry Curve and an iPhone 3Gs on a trip from Green Bay to Nebraska and back. My assessment? The iPhone excelled in every area except one: phone calls and connectivity leading me to ponder ‘what does it profit a man if he gains all the apps in the world but suffers the loss of his phone call’ [sorry, Lord!]. The BlackBerry on Sprint outperformed the iPhone on AT&T in phone calling, streaming inbound audio from Pandora, and uploading to the internet. Unfortunately, the quality of photos and videos on the Curve is less satisfactory than the iPhone making IT a less than useful tool for the social media applications I was using. So what’s the answer? There is no answer! The iPhone fails in the one thing a phone is supposed to do; make and hold calls and Verizon stuck it to them good in this new campaign…

Don’t get me wrong — the iPhone is truly amazing — but by partnering with AT&T Apple has left the door open for someone else to dominate in the smartphone space like maybe Google/Verizon. The moral of the story? Think before you buy an iPhone and ask the users where you live what their experience has been. The best advice is still to go with the best network in your area and then get the best phone they have. If you want that slick iPhone capability without the phone, get an iPod Touch — you’ll be happier!

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