Book Reviews

Browse books referenced in World Class R&D articles. Click the image of a bookcover to view the full entry for each book. Many books include short reviews written by the Editors of the World Class R&D website.

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Title: The Dip
Author(s): Seth Godin
Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
Pages: 80
Date: May 10, 2007

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Godin gives several examples on why successful people view obstacles as something put in place to 'keep out the other guy'. If the obstacle were not there, then everyone would be able to provide the product or service. Obstacles allow monopoly pricing: a paycheck that is higher than the minimum wage. This concept is illustrated with medical specialists (when you're hurtin' you only want the best) and with restaurants (when you're visiting a new town for the first, and perhaps only, time, you want to visit its best restaurants). Individuals who view obstacles in this way go much further than the competition, and can demand much higher prices.

Title: Judgment Under Uncertainty
Author(s): Daniel Kahneman (Editor), Paul Slovic (Editor), Amos Tversky (Editor)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Pages: 544
Date: April 30, 1982

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Title: Goal
Author(s): Goldratt, Eliyahu M.
Publisher: North River Press
Pages: 274
Date: 1986

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Title: Evolution Of Cooperation
Author(s): Robert M. Axelrod
Publisher: Basic Books
Pages: 241
Date: 1984

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The bible on tit-for-tat.  Key insight is how to avoid escalation in tit-for-tat relationships.  Key skill for sharing knowledge (and evidence).

Title: Expert Political Judgment
Author(s): Philip E. Tetlock
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Pages: 352
Date: July 31, 2006

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Scholarly look at the failure of prediction by “experts”.  Turns out there is a strong relationship between TV exposure and erroneousness of predictions. The book, of course, suffers in its failure to go beyond numerical associations. One suspects there is a very strong selection bias in the individuals chosen as part of the comparisons. However, it does help us to avoid the easy trap of believing that an 'expert' knows more about many subjects, when in fact they probably know just as little as anyone else but are practiced in sounding authoritative from their one area of expertise.