Beyond Reading: pePartners shares its favorites

Our pePartners team shares its short list of books, articles, and posts that we thought you might enjoy reading this summer—part of a Beyond Capital regular feature in which we share our favorite “content”—books, stories, information, and perspectives that we find interesting.

With the world focused on November, our lineup starts off with Hardball, a tough, amusing, and straightforward “tell it like it is” look of how politics really works. NBC’s Chris Matthews reveals the backstage truth about master politicians such as JFK, LBJ, and Richard Nixon, while explaining the real meaning of rules such as “Only talk when it improves the silence,” “Positioning is everything,” “Hang a lantern on your problem,” and “All politics are local.”

John Kay—one of Britain’s leading economists—has in his inimitable style given us a highly original critique of the finance industry and of the more recent process of “financialization” in his book “Other Peoples Money.” Kay argues that the financial industry has become disconnected from the real economy, provides a poor quality of intermediation, and does not create real economic wealth in the economy, but conversely it mostly trades within itself and makes profits by appropriating “other peoples wealth” from the real economy.

Kay’s “Obliquity” also makes our list. This highly original book looks at how businesses are most successful when they are run by enthusiasts who pursue excellence, and are least successful when financial goals are imposed. Kay defines the principle of obliquity by which complex goals are best achieved indirectly, and financial success then follows from this. The book is praised by many, including one of our favorites, Nassim N. Taleb, author of “The Black Swan.”

Acquisition integration and business consultant Larry Rowland spells out in no nonsense language six Keys to winning the M&A game after the deal is signed,” in an OpenView Labs blog post. This, paired with “Keys to winning the M&A game before the deal is signed,” will provide savvy advice to even the most seasoned professional.

pePartners joins a long list of potentially disruptive platform models. The author of “Platform Revolution” and the founder and CEO of Platform Strategy Labs, Sangeet Choudary is best known for his work on platform business models and multi-sided network effects. Choudary pens an insightful opinion piece at, “Will Microsoft help LinkedIn go enterprise?

Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation are the domain of the “creative types.”  But two of the leading experts in innovation, design, and creativity—brothers David Kelley, IDEO founder and Stanford creator, and Tom Kelley, IDEO partner, dismiss this myth in an incredibly entertaining and inspiring narrative that draws on countless stories from their work at IDEO, the Stanford, and with many of the world’s top companies. “Creative Confidence is simply a must read for anyone at any level involved in business.

Serial entrepreneur Mark Suster loves to watch networks evolve, and crowds gather and communicate and curate and share. His post at Both Sides of the Table, “Half Lives. SocialMedia. And Snapchat Stories.” is an observational narrative about innovation and the evolution of social media.

And, finally, given the news of Brexit and Op/Eds suggesting it may be the end of globalization, we strongly suggest, “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century,” the international bestselling book by New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman that analyzes globalization. “The World is Flat” won the inaugural Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2005. And, given our collective perspective of globalization in 2016, we think it’s an even better read in 2016.

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