We’ve Hacked Your Summer Reading List | Blog | Insight Venture Partners
Strategy and M&A

We’ve Hacked Your Summer Reading List

by Insight Onsite

With summer a few days away, you may plan to use vacation downtime to brush up on old skills or learn new ones.  But let’s be honest, while the office may be a little quieter during summer, most of us still won’t have enough time to power through all the books that we've been wanting to read.

This is why Onsite has partnered with our portfolio company, Blinkist — the company that gives you access to key insights from 2,500+ bestselling nonfiction books, transformed into powerful packs you can read or listen to in just 15 minutes —  to craft a reading list that you'll actually be able to complete. As an Insight Insider, Blinkist has provided you with a 30% lifetime discount on Blinkist with the discount code “Insight”.

To further brush up on your skills this summer, Insight Onsite is hosting two virtual book clubs.  The authors will discuss key topics from their books and answer your questions.

Below is our hacked list.  Send us yours or tweet it using the hashtag #InsightSummerReads.

Our “Hacked” Reading list by Category

Marketing

Dave Peterson, Play Bigger

Play Bigger addresses what every disrupter hopes to achieve—the creation of the category for their product.  Research has show that the “category king” is able to capture 75% of the economic value from a category.  While this goal may be worthy, actually delivering on this strategy is hard work.  As recognized leaders in the category creation space, the Play Bigger team provides a structured framework and real world examples of how you can “Play Bigger” by dominating a category.

Join Insight’s virtual book on June 20th at 1pm (EST) to discuss Play Bigger with the co-author.

IGNITE / Digital Transformation

Geoffrey A. Moore, Zone To Win

How to keep your product ahead of the curve, and more importantly, ahead of its rivals is what keeps business leaders awake at night. However, although it’s fun to ‘disrupt’ a marketplace, knowing when it’s time to simply focus on what you do best can be the difference between market leaders and losers. Best known for his book Crossing the Chasm, Moore offers new insights on how to catch those precious ‘innovation waves’ that can see a company’s revenue grow by as much as 20 percent for the first five to seven years in. Get it right and you’ll soon find yourself in that sought-after winning zone.  

Talent

Patrick M. Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

As many managers will tell you, building and managing a successful team is no small task. Yet as we all know, good teamwork is the foundation of many a great company, irrespective of the individual talents and personalities on that team. In fact, individual talents – when not harnessed for the good of the team – can often lead to clashes of big egos, competition between co-workers and general low morale. Colleagues who trust one another and are open about their weaknesses will bring about an atmosphere of healthy communication essential to any good team.

Strategy

Charles Duhigg, Smarter, Faster, Better

Wouldn’t we all like to be a little bit more productive? Smarter, Faster, Better is a must-read classic that provides a hands-on guide to increasing your productivity levels by sticking to the goals you set yourself. Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of procrastination or distraction when we have to perform the mundane tasks to meet a larger, more exciting goal. To combat these time-wasting temptations Duhigg tells us to make the most of our psychological qwerks to trick ourselves back into being excited about our overarching goals again.  

Customer Success

Josh Linkner, The Road to Reinvention

Rather than the road to success being a one-way climb to the top, in reality it’s a constant struggle to maintain customers and stay relevant. The Road to Reinvention by Josh Linkner explains why reinvention is an absolute must for all businesses who wish to hold on to their success. What’s more, contrary to popular belief, reinvention isn’t just about what you’re offering, but also how you’re offering it: a fact many businesses often fail to recognize. With examples from Nike through to Borders, Linkner has a strong case for why regular and relevant reinvention is what will keep your business strong now and competitive in the future.  

Sales

Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended On It

Whether you fail to convince your partner that you really need that bigger apartment, or you just can’t persuade your colleagues to try a new place for lunch, your negotiating skills might need some honing! Persuading others to see our point of view crops up in pretty much every aspect of our lives so it’s a skill worth investing some thought in. In Never Split The Difference Chris Voss, former FBI Kidnapping Coordinator, offers his negotiating tips learnt from years in the negotiator’s chair. Through tone of voice, emotional characteristics and understanding our advantages, Voss teaches us how to negotiate the big and small situations to get things going our own way.

Product & Technology 

Robert C. Martin, Clean Architecture A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design

Building upon the success of best-sellers The Clean Coder and Clean Code, legendary software craftsman Robert C. "Uncle Bob" Martin shows how to bring greater professionalism and discipline to application architecture and design. This is essential reading for every software architect, systems analyst, system designer and software manager. 

Register for Insight’s Talk Tech Book Club featuring guest speaker “Uncle Bob” Martin on June 7th at 12pm (EST).  Enjoy a 35% discount on the book using the code "VENTURECTO18". * Note:  this books is not provided by Blinkist


Whether you’re keen to improve your sales count or simply want to be a more effective leader, we hope these business and strategy must-reads can give you the actionable tips and tricks you need to get there. With Insight’s 30% lifetime discount on Blinkist, and Onsite’s Hacked Summer Reading list, you’re running out of excuses. 

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