Archives For Books

Some of my Favorite Books

November 14, 2016 — 1 Comment

Was a great book when it launched, some really simple concepts (like checking you have an audience before you make the product) that many people do tend to miss.

I’ve done a lot of pitching and this book explains why you can’t download a template pitch off the internet and just fill in your data. I think of pitching as telling a story and this book makes it really clear why the “Why” matters.

This is a short and very simple book that just reminds you that an offer can be improved, and offers ideas on how to think about improving it. It wasn’t a GREAT book, I just keep finding myself thinking about the ideas when I see someone pitching a product.

This is really a psychology book, with really interesting examples of how changing a few words can impact a business. A good example was “Will you call our restaurant if you can’t make your reservation” vs “Please call”. Saying “Will you” gets a commitment and can improve the business.

Seth Godin writes a lot of books, but this one remains one of my favorites thinking about teams and social groups.

Modern thinking on how to improve engagement.

This book does an incredible job of capturing a great deal of the British video game history.  They found a lot of the people working at that time to interview, and I just got my copy in the mail!

http://readonlymemory.vg/shop/book/britsoft-an-oral-history/

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Britsoft: An Oral History is a collective story of the early British games industry. Composed of interviews with thirty-five people who shaped the modern videogame, including David Braben (Elite), Peter Molyneux (Populous), Rob Hubbard (Commando) and Jeff Minter (Attack of the Mutant Camels), it documents a vibrant period of invention in Britain’s cultural history – the start of a new form of entertainment, created on ZX Spectrums, Commodore 64s, Amigas and Atari STs, in bedrooms and living rooms.

The book is a companion piece to the 2014 documentary, From Bedrooms to Billions, and draws from the hundreds of hours of interview footage to find new, untold stories, and craft an original narrative. Through the voices of programmers, musicians, journalists and business people, it traces the making of games such as Dizzy, Elite, Paradroid and Kick Off; and the birth of publishers, magazines and software houses, from Codemasters to Zzap!64.

Britsoft: An Oral History is edited by Alex Wiltshire, former editor of ‘videogame Bible’ Edge, and designed by London-based studio Julia. It includes rarely-seen archive images, such as candid period photographs and magazine ads, which perfectly set the Britsoft scene.

Interviewees: Peter Molyneux, David Braben, Archer Maclean, David Darling, Jeff Minter, Charles Cecil, David Perry, Geoff Crammond, Julian Gollop, Julian Rignall, Dino Dini, Mo Warden, Rob Hubbard, Martin Kenwright, Fred Gray, Martin Galway, Mel Croucher, Mike Montgomery, Rod Cousens, Sean Cooper, Malcolm Evans, Steve Turner, Tim Tyler, Nigel Alderton, Jon Hare, Gary Penn, Eugene Evans, Oliver Frey, the Oliver twins, Peter Stone and Richard Leinfellner, Chris Anderson, Shahid Ahmad, Andrew Braybrook, Geoff Brown.

I don’t have a copy yet, but just getting a glimpse it looks like Sam has hit it out of the park.

This kind of work is important as it’s recording some of the video game industry history in an incredibly high quality format.

More info here:

http://www.bitmapbooks.co.uk/products/sinclair-zx-spectrum-a-visual-compendium

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