Thursday, August 3, 2017

Book Review: Hacking Growth



The definitive playbook by the pioneers of Growth Hacking, one of the hottest business methodologies in Silicon Valley and beyond.

It seems hard to believe today, but there was a time when Airbnb was the best-kept secret of travel hackers and couch surfers, Pinterest was a niche web site frequented only by bakers and crafters, LinkedIn was an exclusive network for C-suite executives and top-level recruiters, Facebook was MySpace’s sorry step-brother, and Uber was a scrappy upstart that didn’t stand a chance against the Goliath that was  New York City Yellow Cabs. 

So how did these companies grow from these humble beginnings into the powerhouses they are today? Contrary to popular belief, they didn’t explode to massive worldwide popularity simply by building  a great product then crossing their fingers and hoping it would catch on. There was a studied, carefully implemented methodology behind these companies’ extraordinary rise. That methodology is called Growth Hacking, and it’s practitioners include not just today’s hottest start-ups, but also companies like IBM, Walmart, and Microsoft as well as the millions of entrepreneurs, marketers, managers and executives who make up the community of GrowthHackers.com.

Think of the Growth Hacking methodology as doing for market-share growth what Lean Start-Up did for product development, and Scrum did for productivity. It involves cross-functional teams and rapid-tempo testing and iteration that focuses customers: attaining them, retaining them, engaging them, and motivating them to come back and buy more.   

An accessible and practical toolkit that teams and companies in all industries can use to increase their customer base and market share, this book walks readers through the process of creating and executing their own custom-made growth hacking strategy. It is a must read for any marketer, entrepreneur, innovator or manger looking to replace wasteful big bets and "spaghetti-on-the-wall" approaches with more consistent, replicable, cost-effective, and data-driven results.


My Review: 
This book is a great read for business owners and people in sales.  The ideas are that businesses need to grow and develop in order to keep up with their customer's demands and desires.  Data backs up the information given but it is given in a way that is still easy to understand and interpret.  The book gives great ideas for the present and also shares how successful businesses have also "hacked growth".  I highly recommend this book if you are in sales or a business owner who wants to grow an even more successful business.


I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Book Review: Before I Forget

















 
 
Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer's
 
“I know where I’m going. I’m still myself. I just can’t remember things as well as I once did. So on short trips, I work hard not to be confused. I’ll say to myself, What are we going to do? How long are we staying? It’s like I’m talking to my other self—the self I used to be. She tells me, This is what we need to buy—not that. I’m conscious of that other self guiding me now.”

Restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, and nationally known lifestyle maven, B. Smith is struggling at 66 with a tag she never expected to add to that string: Alzheimer's patient.  She’s not alone. Every 67 seconds someone newly develops it, and millions of lives are affected by its aftershocks.

B. and her husband, Dan, working with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson, unstintingly share their unfolding story. Crafted in short chapters that interweave their narrative with practical and helpful advice, readers learn about dealing with Alzheimer's day-to-day challenges: the family realities and tensions, ways of coping, coming research that may tip the scale, as well as lessons learned along the way.

At its heart, Before I Forget is a love story: illuminating a love of family, life, and hope.
 
 
My Review: 
This book was heartbreaking for me especially because my grandmother just died and she had Alzheimer's.  The disease is real and scary.  It confuses everyone.  I loved reading this because much of it was written from the woman who is struggling with Alzheimer's.  Her viewpoints were different from what we often hear about and see.  We imagine what it is like to deal with someone who has the disease but we often don't think about how the person with the disease feels. 
This is a great book and unfortunately it is one that we all could use on our shelves.
 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.
Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer's by [Smith, B., Gasby, Dan, Shnayerson, Michael]

Friday, January 27, 2017


Based on Maja Säfström's delightful book The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts, this collection of 50 collectible postcards is the perfect way for animal lovers and art lovers to share and collect Maja's charming illustrations.

Housed in a keepsake box and arranged, much like a recipe box or card catalog, in tabbed sections (air, forest, sea, etc) this posctard box lets the user share all the curious knowledge and amazing artwork that makes Maja's book so special. From the Otters (they hold hands when they sleep in the water so they don't float away from each other!) to the elephant (mother elephant pregnanices last two years!) each postcard presents a unique look at the animal kingdom that will delight and astound. 50 postcards; 25 designs repeating, printed on toothy uncoated stock, with the animal's biological classifcation on the back.

My Review:
These were so cute.  The facts were a bit simple, but great for a short and sweet postcard.  The pictures are wonderful.  You can definitely color them in, but they are great alone also.  I love that there are two of each because I might not want to send them if there was only one.  I can't wait for my kids to pick out which ones to send to family members.  Definitely love and definitely recommend!

I received these postcards for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Book Review: Accidental Saints


New York Times Bestseller | One of NPR's Best Books of 2015


What if that person you've been trying to avoid is your best shot at grace today?

And what if that's the point?

In Accidental Saints, New York Times best-selling au­thor Nadia Bolz-Weber invites readers into a surprising encounter with what she calls “a religious but not-so-spiritual life.” Tattooed, angry and profane, this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly, sometimes hilariously, resists the God she feels called to serve. But God keeps showing up in the least likely of people—a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, a felonious Bishop and a gun-toting member of the NRA. 

As she lives and worships alongside these “ac­cidental saints,” Nadia is swept into first-hand en­counters with grace—a gift that feels to her less like being wrapped in a warm blanket and more like being hit with a blunt instrument. But by this grace, people are trans­formed in ways they couldn’t have been on their own. 

In a time when many have rightly become dis­illusioned with Christianity, Accidental Saints dem­onstrates what happens when ordinary people share bread and wine, struggle with scripture together, and tell each other the truth about their real lives. This unforgettable account of their faltering steps toward wholeness will ring true for believer and skeptic alike. 

Told in Nadia’s trademark confessional style, Accidental Saints is the stunning next work from one of today’s most important religious voices.


My Review:
I was really intrigued  by this book and the author but I was not as impressed with this book as I thought I would be.  It is a very easy, enjoyable read and the author sounds like a lot of fun.  I enjoyed everything in the book except that the stories were... just not doing it for me-I'm not sure why.  The stories are about ordinary, imperfect people who influence us and "show" us a bit of God.  The stories were touching but so much of the story was spent on the author continuing to tell about her imperfections.  I appreciate reading that so much, but only so much, I guess.  I am excited to gift this book to someone who I think will easily relate to the author.  

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.