A Field Guide on How to Create an Innovator

A Field Guide on How to Create an Innovator

Are people born innovators, or can they learn to become that way? An interesting new book, “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World,” by Tony Wagner, a member of Harvard’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center, explores this question in detail. It is a must-read for anyone who is thinking of taking the lonely road…

Tales From the European Startup Scene

Tales From the European Startup Scene

I am sure you have seen numerous books about how one Silicon Valley mogul or another has started his or her venture, but there are few books reporting from the scene across the pond. A new book, edited by Pedro Santos, attempts to remedy that situation with European Founders At Work. It has interviews with 20 different entrepreneurs, and as…

[Review] God’s Jury: The Inquisition, IT & Privacy

[Review] God’s Jury: The Inquisition, IT & Privacy

If you were hunting for a book most ReadWriteWeb readers would, based on the title, find irrelevant to their pursuits, you could do worse than “God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World” by Cullen Murphy. But, as Murphy adeptly shows, both information technology and the institutional corruption of privacy would not have assumed…

Hedy Lamarr, The First Geek Movie Star

Hedy Lamarr, The First Geek Movie Star

The story sounds almost like a Hollywood plot, except it is true: A young starlet doing nude scenes as a teenager who goes on to invent a critical wartime technology that is ignored by the US Navy but ultimately forms the basis of Wi-Fi and cell phones that we use today. Of course, I am talking about the life and times of Hedy Lamarr, the subject…

REAMDE: A Review

REAMDE: A Review

Neal Stephenson’s latest novel, “REAMDE,” brings black hat hackers, MMORPG gamers, virtual gold miners, Russian organized crime figures, dope smugglers and the flotsam of post-Cold War intelligence organizations into a super freaky all-night disco dance party, evocative, in terms of its well-orchestrated spectacle and cast-of-thousands, of…

Tribal Leadership: A Review

Tribal Leadership: A Review

Organizational leadership theories too often manifest into tedious memoirs peppered with Sun Tzu and Machiavelli quotes. The frequent outcome is subjecting teams to rewriting job priorities as MBOs, IDEO founder David Kelley is featured, I was willing to give it a read. After all, these two leaders have clearly made strides in defining positive…

The Internet of Elsewhere: Reorienting the Map of the Web

The Internet of Elsewhere: Reorienting the Map of the Web

The tendency to map our world with our own country or region front and center is well documented and reasonably well-understood, at least intellectually. When someone from America sees a map with, say, Peru in the middle, with south in the up position, it still creates some dissonance. But that dissonance can be useful, beyond simply disabusing…

You Are Not a Gadget: The Continuing Case Against Web 2.0

You Are Not a Gadget: The Continuing Case Against Web 2.0

Jaron Lanier was a pioneer of “virtual reality” in the early 1980s and in his book, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, he makes the case for a more humanistic approach to Internet technology. Lanier rails against web 2.0, which he calls at the start of the book “a torrent of petty designs” and “freedom […] more for…

David Siegel: From Killer Web Sites to Semantic Web

David Siegel: From Killer Web Sites to Semantic Web

One of the first web design books I bought was Creating Killer Web Sites, a 90s classic by David Siegel. That book was known for pushing visual style over HTML standards. It also encouraged the use of HTML hacks, for example using tables to create layouts. Siegel’s techniques were basically workarounds, but they just worked in an era when…

The Obama Time Capsule and the Future of Publishing

The Obama Time Capsule and the Future of Publishing

Just when you thought the Obama lovefest was dwindling, Photographer Rick Smolan released his latest book, The Obama Time Capsule. The book includes photography, maps and election results from President Obama’s road to the White House. What makes this project unique is that Smolan offers readers a chance to upload their own photographs and…

5 Great Books to Build Your Character

5 Great Books to Build Your Character

Tough economic times and
startups have at least one
thing in common – you need character and determination to survive.
Character is what it takes to win,
to believe and to persuade others. It’s a mix of passion, determination,
sleepless hours,
hard work.
Character is about crossing the finish line, about achieving dreams and
goals.
While…

5 Great Science Books to Expand Your Mind

5 Great Science Books to Expand Your Mind

From the dynamics of social networks to market bubbles, science has a lot to say about
the world of technology.
One of the great discoveries of modern science was the realization of
how interconnected the world is. The deterministic, Newtonian view of
a clockwork Universe was replaced by the much more dynamic, uncertain and entangled
world of…

What Startups Can Learn From Haruki Murakami

What Startups Can Learn From Haruki Murakami

I’m a big fan of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami.
The genius of Murakami is in his discipline,
focus and determination. I see him as a virtual Zen master – an embodiment of wisdom,
passion, skills and exceptional will. The elements of his work and life story are inspirational and (here’s where ReadWriteWeb comes in) particularly
applicable when…

Book Review: Inside Steve’s Brain

Book Review: Inside Steve’s Brain

Inside Steve’s Brain, a book about Steve Jobs written by Leander Kahney, is a fascinating look at the thought processes and inspiration behind Apple’s products and branding. It has a particular and much welcome focus on the current era – iPod/iTunes, the latest iMacs, the Apple Store and more. The central theme of the book is that much of Apple’s…

Bob Dylan Chronicles and Blogging for the thing’s sake

Bob Dylan Chronicles and Blogging for the thing’s sake

It’s probably pushing
it to equate Bob Dylan’s career as an incredibly successful musician, with my nascent
career as a Blogger. But there were a couple of extracts in the first volume of
Bob Dylan’s autobiography that I, as a Blogger, identify strongly with.

The first quote comes from page 18, where Bob was outlining his early days as a…

Douglas Coupland – Hey Nostradamus!

Douglas Coupland – Hey Nostradamus!

Douglas Coupland returns to form big-time with
this sensitive and soulful book, Hey
Nostradamus!. Before I get to the review, I’ll go over my
background as a long-time Coupland fan – because it’s especially relevant to my
thoughts on Hey Nostradamus!. I discovered him during the 90’s and he was one of
the quintessential writers of that milieu…