A must read – Ctrl Alt Delete: Rebooting your life & business By Mitch Joel
Friday, March 29, 2013
I’ve decided to devote today’s edition to a book review because sometimes you just come across a book that has such a significant impact on your thinking.. that you just have to share it. One of the benefits of being active on social media is connecting with some of the true thought leaders on the Web and one of those people… who readers of this blog will quickly recognize is Mitch Joel. Mitch (who along with Guy Kawasaki) are two of the core reasons that I got into blogging in the first place and just as importantly continue to drive me daily to think critically and creatively about both my world and my business. I’ve also been fortunate to be chosen by both of these guys to get preview copies of their books and today’s edition is about Mitch’s new book – Ctrl, Alt, Delete – which will be available for purchase on May 21st (I’ve enclosed a non-affiliate Amazon link to the preorder page below for your convenience).
So before I get started let’s begin with full disclosure. I’m a raving fan of Mitch Joel. Not only do I read his blog every day (and listen to his podcast as often as I can), Mitch has been gracious enough to interact with me directly on Twitter and other social platforms when I share his content. That being said, Mitch’s book is sheer brilliance. As many of you know I travel extensively and one of the things that I enjoy about long plane trips (yesterday I flew to SF from FL) is having time to read, think and write without the constant interruptions that are part and parcel of our connected lives. Reading Mitch’s book yesterday was a special treat in that it not made me truly think…. The time just flew by… thanks for that Mitch.
So why the glowing review? Mitch breaks the book into a pair of sections that uniquely suits the call to arms that the book constitutes. Built around the concept of “rebooting” both your life and your business, Mitch also clearly articulates something that many of us feel in our businesses each and every day… we are in a ‘purgatory’ of sorts. Business continues to evolve and what ‘worked’ in the past is now not only working less effectively… in some ways we can damage our marketing efforts if we don’t pay close attention to the platform that we are utilizing. Mitch makes a strong and compelling case for differing approaches to what he accurately calls active vs. passive media, but for my money the section on the rise of “utilitarianism marketing” is worth the price of the book alone.
One of the case studies that he includes hits close to home for me as he goes to some length in talking about the Nike FuelBand and its growing ability to extend Nike’s brand into our everyday life (I’m a raving fan of the FuelBand and am using it to support my training for the 2014 Miami Marathon – you can find more of my thoughts on this HERE ), but this content points up another question that I think all companies should ask themselves as they explore their marketing… “great utilitarian marketing doesn’t have to cost more…it just has to be useful”.
Beyond the great case studies (Nike is only one of a myriad of great examples Mitch uses), he goes on to cover a number of additional topics that even my ‘non-marketing’ readers will love – data jockeys make sure you check out the aptly titled chapter “Sex with Data” (yes it lives up to the title) – and does what many of the recent books I’ve read don’t do… that is provide compelling and actionable advice for you, your clients and your business regardless of size.
The second section of the book is devoted to the “reboot” of us as individuals and while I consider myself to be a pretty serious ‘digital first’ worker… Mitch’s thoughts even got me thinking about how I can take it to the next level. One other interesting concept that I’d encourage you to take a close look at is the chapter entitled ‘The Long & Squiggly Road’ which spoke directly to me as my career has truly been a ‘squiggle’ to put it mildly (my first job out of college was a five year stint teaching history on the Navajo Indian Reservation… how I ended up in marketing… well you get the picture). As something of an ‘intrapreneur’ in my own organization much of what Mitch talks about in this chapter is not a jarring as it may be for some readers, but I strongly believe that I behooves us all to continually reassess how best we can contribute to our organizations and in the ultimate practice of this reboot… work to make ourselves indispensable.
To put it mildly… this is a fantastic book. Regardless of your position, point in your career and whether you are involved directly in the technology or marketing businesses… this is one book that you MUST read. It will challenge the way you think about your business, your world and your place in it. I hope you’ll use the link below to preorder the book and I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments once you’ve had a chance to read what I believe will go down as one of the best business books of 2013.