In”Reading List,” we request ecommerce professionals to name a few of their favorite recent books and blogs and tell us why they read them. For this setup, we grapple with Trevor Ginn. Ginn runs the infant and nursery shop Hello Baby, and the ecommerce Vendlab. He also writes a blog covering many different topics, including ecommerce.
Trevor Ginn’s Top Five Books
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli.
“The Prince has always been a contentious work, and several have compared Machiavelli with the devil himself. Written in 1513, The Prince is a guide to becoming a successful prince from the cutthroat world of medieval Italy. As a priest you have a position that everybody coverts and this book is an unsentimental, practical guide to doing whatever it takes to remain on top.
“Even if you don’t enjoy its sentiments, The Prince is insightful and has many parallels with contemporary politics and business.”
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Getting Things Done, by David Allen.
“This book totally transformed how I worked. Getting Things Done is a practical guide to handling the workload of an information worker. Allen’s central principle is that people work better when they get things from the mind and write them down. By organizing tasks into contextual lists — e.g. in the home, at work — we could see at a glance what we need to do and this eliminates the stress of needing to recall, and inevitably forget, things. He’s got other sensible advice on dull but fundamental areas like calendar and filing management. A excellent book for people who want to work smarter.”
The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
The 4-Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss.
“Ferris’ ideas about the best way best to live your life are intriguing and thought provoking. He starts with the assumption that all of us dislike working and would rather do something else, like skies driving, playing golf or lazing around. Instead of just dreaming about our perfect way of life, he suggests a strategy for making it happen. His ideas aren’t necessarily that realistic, by inspiring nonetheless and he has some amazing ideas on time management.”
The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson.
“The Long Tail gives a deep insight into how the Internet operates and where it’s headed. Whilst offline business can stock only a few top selling products, the Web makes it possible for customers to purchase from an almost infinite choice. The’long tail’ refers to the way the low volume sales of tens of thousands of less popular products include up to be larger and hence more important than the earnings of the best sellers. The Internet’s ability to connect people with similar interests together, is causing a shift towards markets and opening up markets no one even knew existed.”
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The Way to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.
“The first and best, Carnegie’s book is an absolute classic and an important read for anybody who needs to handle people. The book is positive and not in any way cynical, providing folksy, yet invaluable advice — like do not criticize or condemn, be a great listener and smile! Like all great information, this book reads like common sense. However, as George Bernard Shaw said ‘Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius.'”