The (Mis)Behaviour of Markets

A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin, and Reward

Benoit Mandelbrot had a rough childhood. He first tells the story of his father, and how he, as a prisoner in France during the WWII, managed to escape his demise. Mandelbrot also presents how these past situations link to not so distant events, connected to his profession. To be more precise, his past has made him so intuitive, that he could see relations between things that everyone else saw as unrelated. For example, he could easily compare the floods of the Nile River with the stock-prices on Wall Street.

As a young fellow, Mandelbrot decided to drop out of the elite Ecole Normale Superiore and enlisted into the Ecole Polytechnique. He then continued his education at the California Institute of Technology, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. At last, he ended up working at IBM Research. That job was quite atypical for an academic of Mandelbrot’s family. However, that was not the only “atypical” thing he did. Additionally, he took an interest in researching business sectors, the appropriation of wealth, stock markets, bubbles, cotton prices and other monetary phenomena.

An interesting fact about Mandelbrot is that he was anything but conventional. The widely acknowledged doctrine about finance exhibits a pretty much discerning, precise, stable assortment of thought and practice. Mandelbrot’s work debilitated this establishment of the train and proposed what he calls “Ten Heresies of Finance.”

First: Markets are untamed seas, and just like deep waters, they are turbulent: some days, prices do not change, and at different times, they bounce like crazy. Second: Financial theories are not able to capture the full scope of market risk. Third: Market timing makes sense – Mandelbrot’s study shows that market moves tend to group and that a couple of large up and down movements are at fault for most profits and losses. Fourth: Prices do not move gradually and consistently, on the contrary, they frequently jump. Hence, markets are much riskier than one can assume. Fifth: Market time expands, and contracts and prices mount with time. Sixth: All markets are the same. Seventh: Bubbles will continue to happen. Eighth: Markets delude. People like seeing patterns. However, patterns do not exist. Ninth: Volatility is simpler to anticipate than prices. Efforts are underway to forecast volatility the way meteorologists predict the weather. Tenth: Value is not the most important in financial markets.

Who is this book for

Finance is not an easy subject, and not many readers get excited by reading about it. However, co-authors Mandelbrot and Hudson, have written a book that talks about math, packed in compelling characters and dramatic situations. Some aspects of the book will not be unknown to most financial experts, but even common information is stated interestingly. Mandelbrot’s most crucial financial work was in the 60s. However, his theories about leptokurtosis and fractals have gotten a considerable amount of attention in trading rooms and insignificant colleges. Along these lines, maybe, it is merely a matter of telling a compelling story, which this book presents Mandelbrot as a lone, clear-thinking prophet battling against a visually impaired and antagonistic economic doctrine. The authors have spun a fantastic adventure about familiar things, explained in a new way. We recommend this book to finance professionals and business writers and journalists.

Authors’ expertise and short biography

Benoit Mandelbrot is a Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Yale University and a Fellow Emeritus at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Laboratory. He has invented fractal geometry. Richard L. Hudson is a former editor of The Wall Street Journal’s European edition.

Key Lessons from “The Misbehaviour of Markets”

1.      The Legs of the Contemporary Financial Doctrine
2.      Weaknesses of the Three-Legged-Model
3.      The Multifractal Model  

The Legs of the Contemporary Financial Doctrine

Risk analysis as a need for financial market analysis in the 1960s, based on the work of a French mathematician Louis Bachelier. He studied costs on the Paris Bourse amid the twentieth century and realized that prices changed randomly, and therefore could not be predicted. However, he concluded that he could analyze them by calculating a mathematical probability. Expanding Bachelier’s work, the economist Fama presented the Efficient Markets Hypothesis (the first leg), which, in simple words, states that it is practically impossible to “beat” the market. The second leg originated from Markowitz, who connected statistics to creating efficient portfolios, that would have the best return to risk ratio. The third leg originated from Sharpe, whose Capital Asset Pricing Model simplified Markowitz’s computations by expressing a stock’s risk level by a single variable (beta).

Weaknesses of the Three-Legged-Model

These economists did not propose a model without value, but it has some notable shortcomings. In any case, when pundits pointed at these weaknesses, defendants of the model only invented different patches. Rather than giving the actualities a chance to guide them toward multifractal showcase investigation, scholars and practitioners fixed their old, deficient doctrine with statistical techniques by the name of Generalized Auto-Regressive Conditional Heteroskedasticity (GARCH). Because of financial specialists’ dependence upon out of date and weak hypotheses and patches, the world has approached financial fiasco at various events in recent years.

The Multifractal Model

You cannot be sure you understand something until you can explain it in simple words. Similarly, the best science finds the least complicated clarification for the vastest scope of phenomena. The financial world does not need new “fixes.” Instead, it needs a new model: multifractal model. A fractal is a pattern that rehashes itself in bigger or smaller scale. Fractal math offers conceiving better tools for developing superior portfolios, conducting investment analysis, and better alternative valuation models.

If you feel like this is the book for you, feel free to contact us for further information. You can download our mobile app and share your experiences with us. Between you and your book, there is a one-click delay – check it on Amazon;

In Search of Excellence

This business classic provides its readers with eight unique methods leading to excellence. Walk the road and in a straightforward manner

The authors of this book – Peters and Waterman started investing about what made American companies so great. During their college days, they realized that the American global influence was under constant pressure from the Japanese – Management. Not just them, but all of the U.S citizens, who were in some way connected to the people living in Japan, obtained knowledge from a high-level managerial “Nation”. The global market didn’t have mercy for errors, neither was the situation back then any different.

The research continued markedly since Thomas and Robert, marked the mistakes existing in the global economy and methods of doing business. The key was to understand the predominance by some and consequently to inflict balance. Nonetheless, the process of turning theory into practice was a lot harder than they foresaw. As the study reached a certain point, there was no turning back.

The project began with seven crucial and unique variables, which turned out to be the foundation for a new model. None of them had ever assumed that a group of students could challenge the American economy, by designing a system that allows the companies to analyze all fields using well-defined metrics. High expectations and trust, laid down the foundation for this seven-variable model. Generally speaking, this project produced a matrix consisting of multiple principles.  

You probably wonder what these students strived for? Well, that was the beginning of the McKinsey’s 7-S Framework – in practice, but in the meanwhile other processes continued to unfold. Eventually, the matrix was built from the “S” letter, that translated a series of terms into a single unit. All carrying a different meaning, all conveying a unique message. The usefulness of the model is beyond doubt, and yet without accurate information, the use of this matrix is counterproductive.

A dose of skepticism appears about whether Peters and Waterman, used some metrics to select their corporate models of excellence or not? Probably, nobody can give an answer to that question, but you can look from their perspective and ask yourself – What would I do? For instance, if you go shopping 99% of the times, you have a list of things that you may be interested in. Let that serves as a point, for future discussions, that it’s not normal to decide at the moment and all of a sudden to change direction. The process starts with identifying a list of businesses that all of the stakeholders interpret as inventive, innovative and probably prosperous in years to come.

Although they conducted the study two decades ago, the freshness is intact. As soon as, you realize that not every book shares the same amount of useful elements like this one, you’ll apply all or some of the eight core principles of excellence. Companies these days, still rely on them due to trust, and transparency. In the middle of the process, a manager should place all of these eight laws systematically for everyone’s sake. This “excellent” book is one-of-a-kind classic that intrigues readers in various ways. GetNugget believes that this book is a perfect fit for anyone involved in some business.

Who is this book for

This book serves as a benchmark for future investment because the results produced from this research will give you an insight into the whole operation. The authors Tom Peters and Robert Waterman over and over again repeat that mistakes are an integral part of excellence. The study conducted from 1979 to 1980 works in the digital era as well due to various reasons. The first and most important one is linked to the qualities embedded in the global brands by top-notch managers. Soon you’ll be able to instantly judge whether some firm’s practices are worthy or not. The sample consisting of 43 companies from the six major industries examines all the aspects needed for reaching the top.

This book is excellent for people striving for excellence, but what is perfection? Sooner or later, each one of us, recalls some situations and wonder if something could have gone the other way. Even though now it’s too late, the search mustn’t disappear.

Authors’ expertise and short biography

Thomas J. Peters is an American-born author, consultant, management expert, speaker, and professional agitator. He was born on November 7th, 1942, in Baltimore, Maryland. Thomas obtained his college and master’s degree from the Cornell University in 1964 and 1966. From 1966 to 1970 he was in the U.S Navy. Thomas wrote several books including The Little BIG Things; Talent; Re-Imagine!; Design; Thriving on Chaos, Liberation Management; Leadership and The Circle of Innovation.

Robert H. Waterman is a non-fiction writer born in 1936. He received education from Colorado School of Mines, and Stanford University. Currently, he heads a major consulting firm, and he is the author of a few books The Renewal Factor and  What America Does Right.

Key Lessons from “In Search of Excellence”

1.      Preparation and knowledge are key elements of successful implementation
2.      Japanese advanced managerial abilities
3.      Create the perfect balance between rationality and intuition

Preparation and knowledge are key elements of successful implementation

Targeting “management excellence or practices” that can create business value, in the long run, is not an easy task. However, this model had no guarantees; the real strength emerges from preparation and knowledge.

Japanese advanced managerial abilities

The standing point for American dominance was probably the advanced technology, but the Japanese mentality overpowered these elements. Companies looked for a way, to learn and ultimately utilize some of these techniques and apply in them at the end.

Create the perfect balance between rationality and intuition

According to some management experts, managers mustn’t rely too much on logic or intuition. The primary activity often occurs in the background, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Even though rationality drives the business forward, imagination is what creates real value.  

If you feel like this is the book for you, feel free to contact us for further information. You can download our mobile app and share your experiences with us. Between you and your book, there is a one-click delay – check it on Amazon;

Wooden on Leadership

John Wooden is one of the best UCLA basketball coaches of all time because he leads with principles – and never neglects any detail.

The famous basketball “celebrity” and coach John Wooden, realized that his coaching days are numbered when his name was associated with fame and glory. The celebrity status bothered him in all ways, and he didn’t want to disgrace the sport of basketball. Generally speaking, his impact on and off the court meant a lot to basketball fans all over the world. On one occasion, at a gathering of coaches, the emcee politely asked John to go to the next room or to distance himself from the other coaches. He was surprised and probably shocked to know that his presence can be the cause of a disturbance. His fame overshadowed anyone especially his colleagues, as a result of John’s basketball perfection and personal charisma. Sooner or later, John had to put an end to this; the decision fall on the “sooner”.

The Hall of Fame, membership sat on his shoulders, even though Wooden was only the son of a poor farmer. Probably that motivated him throughout his career. The point he proved remains engraved deep into all basketball fanatics’ hearts all over the world. The “popular” stature, was not a part of his character, so being a celebrity distraction didn’t suit him. According to John, balance is everything, basketball or no basketball. A person without principles is a dead man, individual without ethics is nothing, and probably man/woman without ambition is mediocre.

Reaching success is a tricky business because you must be willing to undergo a drastic inner reform. In fact, only small portion of the population is capable of doing that. He never emphasized the value of basketball, as much as John believed in all-around goodness, and integrity. Spirit, body, mind, heart, and career – they all come as one unit, one cannot do without the other. This sort of balance still represents the foundation for prosperity and happiness.

This refreshing, and unique book confronts any superficial ideas even if they are related to legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. On numerous occasions, Wooden declared that practice makes perfect, but basketball is not the essence of life. Your game should speak about your behavior outside the court as well. According to many, John Wooden is the greatest basketball college coach of all time. His reputation speaks for itself. Ten-time national champion aside, he brought principles to the game of basketball, John brought passion and devotion.

All of these things matter more than simple trophies and awards. Even the legendary Mike Krzyzewski claims that John Wooden left a mark on this game, and he definitely deserves the status of – the greatest ever. This book enables you to be the judge; it gives you the urge to understand basketball and adopt some of the core principles used by the basketball-legend.

His exact words were “Only show commitment, play with eagerness and desire, the result will come at the end”. These words were indeed a remedy for the players because he didn’t put any pressure on their performance. According to Wooden, preparation is vital because details are all that matters. The obsessiveness he had, was only a part of his daily job, John didn’t bother anyone with it. On the court, the players followed his instructions to achieve balance, consistency and team cohesion. Wooden’s long-time assistant Steve Jamison contributes in this all-encompassing book by portraying, his friend in an unbiased manner.

Who is this book for

When sports experts and other personalities write books on sport-leadership, they usually take the easy road, disregarding all the major “war-situations” and difficult surroundings that really shaped the new era of athleticism. The straightforward way consists of – winning shots, athletic metaphors, game time pep talks, personal experiences, and other casual situations. The real fire happens behind the scenes, the mind games, the inner battle, etc.

This book covers many topics that extend far beyond the game of basketball. The authors don’t strictly impose a theory related to sports; their views are broad because any sport carries set of principles and strategies with it. As such this book is highly recommended to all sport-oriented people, strategists, managers, coaches and ordinary people who want to leave a mark on this planet.

Authors’ expertise and short biography

John Wooden was born on October 14th, 1910 in Hall, Indiana – U.S. During the WW2 he served in the Navy and retired as a lieutenant. In his early 20s, he played basketball for Purdue as a guard. From 1946, John began focusing on his coaching career, winning 10 NCAA national championships and becoming the first ever coach to come to double figures. ESPN has even named him as “The Coach of The Century”. Steve Jamison is John’s friend, a longtime associate and the co-author of this one-of-a-kind book.

Key Lessons from “Wooden on Leadership”

1.      The beginning of the end
2.      Winning is not important as it seems
3.      More and more details

The beginning of the end

In other words, as much as he enjoyed watching and being a part of basketball, the celebrity status was a distant thing for him. After winning ten national championships, John realized that the time has come to put an end to one glorious era.

Winning is not important as it seems

The funny thing is that Wooden didn’t ask anything from his players other than dedication and passion. Victory is secondary; a win is a consequence of sacrifice on the court. It may come as a surprise, but that was his attitude.

More and more details

If you disregard any details, probably basketball is not the game for you. Wooden, on the other hand, thought that everything on and off the court could create value – referring to the team performance. His fanaticism reached a new dimension if we take into consideration some his instructions related to – How to fold socks or clip fingernails.

If you feel like this is the book for you, feel free to contact us for further information. You can download our mobile app and share your experiences with us. Between you and your book, there is a one-click delay – check it on Amazon;

Naked Conversations

How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers

The development of the Internet and the Internet community has changed the way the companies do business and preserve the relationships with their customers. Customers doubt big enterprises, characteristics that have affected many companies, among which you can find big names as well. Such an example is Microsoft. Numerous people consider Microsoft to be imposing a monopoly in the software business, as opposed to an organization where an immense number of employees earn for living. However, it all changed when Microsoft began practicing blogging and therefore more actively communicating with its customers. People felt glad they could talk to an insider of the company.

With blogging, companies are “exposed,” as they allow the public to talk directly to them about their concerns and requirements. It also helps them by giving them access to online discussions of their products or services, where they can also participate. Furthermore, businesses use it to release information. On blogs, posts show up in reverse chronological order, or in other words, when bloggers post a new entry, it shows up first on the page. That means that users don’t have to scroll down through old postings to find the most recent entry. When users move through links from blog to blog, they move through what is called “the blogosphere.”

Blogs and other communication channels are different in six ways, called the “Blogging’s Six Pillars.” All blogs are: publishable, findable, social, viral, syndicatable and linkable. Search engines, notably Google, value frequently refreshed Web sites. Embedding quick updates is anything but complicated, and it raises your blog’s exposure. However, not every blog is public. Internal blogs also exist, where employees share inside company information.

When it comes to blogging, there are some rules for how you should start a blog, but none of them are strict since the blogging practice is still new and develops rapidly. Many blogs made it without following any rules, but the following ideas may help you start the right way, especially if you are new at this. First, check out what is already out there and decide what you want to write about. Next, choose a memorable name for your blog. Make sure it connects to the subject you picked. Furthermore, be careful to cover just one topic in one entry. Don’t include everything at once, since most people will want to read your entries since they are drawn to a specific issue. Also, be honest, entertaining, and show your knowledge in your writing. Keep in touch with your audience by encouraging them to comment and start a conversation. The next steps you should take will show themselves to you on their own – be self-aware, assess your blog, and notice all areas that you can improve.

A negative aspect of blogging is that managers cannot completely control the messages on their blogs. However, it is possible to filter comments and replies and delete irrelevant entries. The other concern that exists among companies is that corporate bloggers could leak classified information. But, most of the experts agree that the chances for such a thing are meager.

Who is this book for

Co-authors Scoble and Israel have written this book with a clear intention to push and encourage companies to try out corporate blogs as a means of communicating with their customers. They first present blogging’s history and how companies in the past started using it in their everyday practice. By starting there, they show the readers favorable real-life scenarios in which blogging benefited the companies. This book is uncomplicated and easily understandable and ensures that even complete novices to the topic can get the hang of it. It is a practical manual that covers blogging from start to finish: from how you can start a blog to how you should partake in conversations. We recommend it to existing bloggers or to businesspeople who contemplate blogging, as well as to executives who want to understand how blogging can benefit their companies.

Authors’ expertise and short biography

Shel Israel is a writer, speaker, and a consultant, who specializes in technological innovation and how it changes business and life overall. Israel has spent a part of his career as an advisor and the rest of it as an author/speaker. Throughout the years he has contributed to Forbes, BusinessWeek, Business Insider and has talked all around the world, mostly with Robert Scoble. Scoble focuses on the future, and especially on mixed reality, AKA “next generation augmented reality.” This advancement will, in his opinion, incorporate UIs for EVERYTHING in your life; he bases this theory mostly on his experience as a futurist at Rackspace.

Key Lessons from “Naked Conversations”

1.      Good Blogging
2.      The Blog Job
3.      Blogging’s Dark Side

Good Blogging

You shouldn’t expect to gain views, click and traffic immediately. To do that, you need to be active on other blogs as well. There are five general tips for blogging success.

  • “Talk, don’t sell”: don’t forget that you are writing informative entries, and not press releases.
  • “Post often and be interesting.”
  • “Write on issues you care about.”
  • “Blogging saves money, but costs time”: it can indeed decrease your marketing and ad expenses, but it takes up more time.
  • “Listen to what people tell you”: listen to negative comments and critiques; often they pinpoint the areas your customers are dissatisfied with.

The Blog Job

If you decide to be a blogger, you have to make sure you keep the job. So, what can you do to ensure it? Well, don’t do reckless things. Reread your contract and your firm’s blogging policy and follow what you find there thoroughly. Avoid legal problems, and keep in contact with your employer. Having in mind that blogging takes up a lot of time, many companies decide to hire outsiders to run their blogs.

Blogging’s Dark Side

All the worries related to blogs and their security, content, profitability, and most of all openness, exist for valid reasons. Many business owners are afraid that customers will be encouraged to post all kinds of comments, including negative ones. They need to be aware that opposing opinions can show up anywhere on the internet. Conversely to what you may believe, even if negative comments show up on your blog, you have the advantage since you can address them and show them support.

If you feel like this is the book for you, feel free to contact us for further information. You can download our mobile app and share your experiences with us. Between you and your book, there is a one-click delay – check it on Amazon;

Working With Emotional Intelligence

Emotions are not just a mere reflection of someone’s inner state. A wise person takes them as lessons valuable for the organization. Self-awareness comes first!!

Let’s start with an average worry of an ordinary man. Many people these days suffer from exploitation by their superiors. The worst part is not losing the job, but living under someone’s whip – metaphorically speaking. In spite of operating in a modern society, managers especially are placed on the verge of extermination. The everyday situation keeps getting worse and worse due to unforeseen problems related to finances. On the other side, some experts declare that these economic fluctuations are not spontaneous. Businesses always look for a way to improve because nobody wants to trail behind – that’s the essence of survival.

If you are hoping that you’re one of those who’ll spend his entire adult life working for one company, then you are living in the past. Nowadays, that kind of scenario is almost impossible as a consequence of the various factors that can prove you wrong. This book is more about making you aware that your advanced degree and technical know-how are not guaranteeing a steady daily work. According to the statistics, employers are more prone to hire good listeners, and friendly-oriented person rather than competitive individuals.

The reason is more than evident, as technology advances people who accept criticism will quickly adapt to the newer situation than the self-directed ones. Don’t forget that you are entitled to your opinion but remain flexible. Nowadays, interpersonal skills, also known as “people skills” are more important than technical and analytical abilities. Managers of Top Companies now hire strictly professional who have distinct human characteristics and attributes. In the modern days, “emotional intelligence” or “EQ,” is a tool of far greater importance than IQ referring to the process of building and maintaining relationships. These valuable connections are a god given gift for any entrepreneur or manager.

The author of Working with Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman advises every company to at least consider applying some of these rules of “emotional intelligence” on any organization level. If you are eager to create a workplace, that supports the whole process, then you must be flexible and open.

Goleman agrees that these two aspects of inner power, meet on controversial ground. The man who wrote the seminal book Emotional Intelligence underlines the conclusion of numerous studies and anecdotes. His theories are backed by general facts, nothing less than a miracle. As you can see, companies which don’t lack individuals with “people skills” are likelier to prosper. Collaboration between departments is not just significant for getting things done, but crucial!  

Goleman shares his idea throughout an “EQ” training program which consists of all the necessary steps. To put it differently, people can train to become wiser and intelligent. Some guidelines like this one can produce a competitive edge for any company – if appropriately applied. Increased profits, reduced costs, higher ROI, are only a few benefits that this methodology can deliver. GetNugget prescribes this fantastic book to all the people out there because we all are worried about our future.

Who is this book for

For centuries the society emphasized the value of IQ, totally disregarding the benefits emerging from emotional intelligence. A lot of time was needed for the corporation and enterprises to realize that without team cohesion individual qualities cannot sprout. The bottom line is IQ absent EQ would lead to a disaster. The size of happiness measures success, if your organization lacks internal connectivity among the co-workers sooner or later, that institution will collapse. Make your knowledge and emotional capacity count, don’t produce robots at your workplace, create synergy among them. The emotional competencies play a massive role in the company’s success in a long run. The policies designed to help thousands of companies in various industries are only an indicator of how successful this shift can be. With attention to interpersonal relations, corporations prize these skills more than anything; even know-how.

Working with Emotional Intelligence is a masterpiece that answers many mysteries linked to organizational inefficiency, lack of ambition, etc. As an illustration of this point, GetNugget strongly recommends this book to all people in business willing to prosper.

Authors’ expertise and short biography

Daniel Goleman is an American motivator, writer, and psychologist who spent his entire adult life in the service of others. He was born in Stockton on March 7, 1946, to a well-educated family. Daniel worked at New York Times for several years, writing about a variety of topics and sharing his perspective. He obtained his college degree from Harvard University. Healing Emotions; Simple Truths; The Meditative Mind are only part of the book he wrote during his career.

Key Lessons from “Working With Emotional Intelligence”

1.      Commitment is needed from both parties
2.      Education doesn’t have the same impact
3.      No detail is irrelevant

Commitment is needed from both parties

Organizations prompt the employees and require commitment on their part, but they invest very little in their well-being. Productivity comes natural, often as a consequence of satisfaction.  If you fear that someday you’ll lose your job, welcome to the club of uncertainty.

Education doesn’t have the same impact

Companies are more prone to ups and downs; no one is safe, so you cannot rely only on your “education”. No one advises you to adopt a defensive attitude and try to keep your job under any circumstances. See the big picture and face reality, that the digital era is all about change.

Define your company’s priorities

Strive for intelligence, make sure that your company follows your vision emotionally and supports it practically. The world of business strongly depends on ingenuity and inventiveness; it’s much easier to achieve that with “emotional competencies.”

If you feel like this is the book for you, feel free to contact us for further information. You can download our mobile app and share your experiences with us. Between you and your book, there is a one-click delay – check it on Amazon.

Winning in Turbulence

Think of your company as an airplane flying through turbulence. Just like air pilots, executives and company leaders flying through the turbulent economy, have to try hard to keep the company “in the air.” The most important thing if your company is experiencing a crisis is to survive – at any cost. Then again, while trying to survive, your company may bump into some new, unexpected opportunities. Your firm’s potential and capability to find new possibilities to develop, among the hazards, depends on “three critical dimensions”.

First, the industry impact, or how the crises affect your company’s industry. Second, the strategic position in the industry, or the status of the company as a market leader or a follower. And third, its financial strength, since more finances give you more options to maneuver. The mentioned three dimensions are determinants of what actions you’ll need to take in a time of recession. Even if your company is part of a recession-sensitive industry, you may have some choices to pick from. For example, if your business is in a sound position financially and strategically, you can find ways to grow in a harsh environment. To make the most of the situation, you have to assess your status carefully and understand where you stand. That is how you will know if you should focus on internal growth, on forming strategic partnerships, or on something else.

Equally important as evaluating your financial and strategical stance, is the need to realize that you have to choose your focus point. In turbulent times you have to narrow your attention to the most critical business activities. Doing so may be the thing that keeps your company “alive” in the end. Manage the complexity of your products and processes. The more straightforward they are, the faster you’ll be able to respond to demand slumps. First, sketch out what your company would be like if it handled just one service or product. Next, go more in-depth by adding more details and variety. All the while, pay attention to the cost and complications each step adds and at what time complexity becomes a problem.

In the same fashion that you assess your products and processes, you should also make a judgment about your employees. Try to decide which functions are invaluable to the profit-generating staff. Thereupon, turn to outsourcing and automation, and drop redundant functions. Additionally, manage your company’s cash flows. Study all parts of the cash flow cycle and create your tactics by first learning all you can about your competitors. Adjust your processes and cash flows according to the environment you are operating in. And last, but not least, aim at maintaining and growing your base of loyal customers. Practices have shown that businesses that have the support of devoted and unwavering clients, successfully preserve their business even in times of recession.

Who is this book for

Businesses that are in the midst of turbulent economy, more than everything need advice that they can put into practice. This book is just that: a practical guide to survival in times of recession and weak markets. The narrative focuses on actual steps that companies of any size and industry can use to tackle the problems they face. Although the book is small and the language is at times vague, the structure of the book is very understandable. Each part presents clear and usable recommendations, examples, anecdotes, questions, and tools. For all those reasons, we recommend this book to executives and company leaders that deal with uncertainty and turbulence in their business environment.

Author’s expertise and short biography

Darrell Rigby leads Bain & Company’s Global Retail practice. He is also a Partner in the company’s Boston office. As a writer, Rigby mainly focuses on topics about managing businesses in a downturn. He is a frequent speaker on the same subject and has authored many Harvard Business Review articles.

Key Lessons from “Manage Your Mind”

1.      The Recession Response “Toolkit”
2.      Turbocharge sales
3.      Putting it to Work

The Recession Response “Toolkit”

The recession response toolkit consists of four steps.

  • “Clarify strategy and shift resources to core business activities.”

Protect and strengthen your primary business. Focus on loyal and vital customers and processes. Sell assets that are not essential to let reserves lose.

  • “Aggressively manage costs and cash flow.”

Reduce your company’s complexity by streamlining administrative functions and reforming the supply chain. Pay particular attention to cash flow.

  • “Increase revenue and margins.”

Use pricing to your advantage. Try to sell more by motivating employees and making improvements to your sales model.

  • “Prepare for bold moves.”

Weak markets often carry not only risks but opportunities for acquisitions and partnerships. Use them to gain better strategical position and survive the rough economy.

Turbocharge sales

In times of uncertainty, getting income is more critical than ever. So, motivating the company’s sales force and focusing on your leading customers is a logical step to take. You can do this by targeted offerings, performance management, refined procedures, etc. Your most important customers in a weak economy are those who in all likelihood will continue buying from you. All in all, try to be flexible and explore new methods to expand your selling network.

Putting it to Work

Companies fail when faced with turbulence because of their inability to change and adapt to the unstable environment. Firms should monitor the situation and respond accordingly, either by focusing on core business, by spotlighting loyal customers or by restructuring. What differentiates successful companies from unsuccessful ones is how they respond to challenges. Only if the company can go through the crisis and pick up again after it has passed, it can make it in this unstable, competitive world.

If you feel like this is the book for you, feel free to contact us for further information. You can download our mobile app and share your experiences with us. Between you and your book, there is a one-click delay – check it on Amazon;

The Consolation of Philosophy

How a condemned Roman back in the 6th century found the strength to confront himself using only the “mysterious” Christian philosophy.

The book starts with a story that really represents the beginning of one incredible journey. Boethius find himself before a Roman prosecutor after being charged for high-treason. The time spent in a chamber in almost unbearable conditions inspired something in him. As an illustration of this call of inner nature, the author explains the pull of poetry and art. Even though it wasn’t a dungeon, it evidently felt that way. The miserable condition was supported by unclear thoughts and ideas of salvation.

Boethius was moved and struck by the inspiration that these creatures conveyed everywhere they went. He took refuge in the sea of poetry, allowing no one to disturb the peaceful harmony – floating in the air. The culmination of the story happens with the appearance of the female version of Boethius. In pursuance of respect, this character gradually enters the story with a new judgemental attitude towards the muses. Her long gown reflects the individuality that arises out of her. The right hand is busy with a scepter, while the left hand is for books. This ancient “ghost” condemns the muses for their inability to perform well and leave them little choice but to flee. The plot continues with Boethius’s punishment as a consequence of not recognizing the female version and for self-pity.

As a successful scholar and politician, Boethius magically interpreted the future. Early in his career, he merged the Christian Philosophy with the Ancient Greek theories. He believed that these so-called influential treatises were the beginning of new times. Aristotle’s logic interpreted with a dose of Christianity meant everything for him.

Even the Roman rulers greeted his name because they saw great potential in him. Today’s historians claim that Rome was the beginning of western civilization and rule of democracy. However, before another step towards equality is made, the readers should understand that Rome brought knowledge to all aspects known to humans. This range of values marked the birth of modern society.

The crafty vision enabled him to take advantage of many opportunities that appeared before him. He believed in change, although people were aversive back then as they are now. His world actually collapsed, when King – Theoderic accused him of being unfaithful to him and Rome.

Such a devastating turn of events questioned the justice of Rome. Locked and desperate, Boethius had a lot of time to think things over. The community had granted him the final opportunity to change his perspective by showing regret for his actions. Instead, he devoted his time and energy studying Aristotle’s views. Waiting for execution or worst – torture is perhaps that worst-case scenario that a person can experience. A limited amount of time and a lot to think about, Boethius transformed into a philosopher. Translated in mostly in verse and partly in prose, P.G. Walsh outlines the idea that worldly things don’t have the power to make us happy. Boethius’s monologue is taken as a starting point to indicate how happiness comes to light. GetNugget gladly presents this five-star books, to all people who are striving for success and contentment.

Who is this book for

Back in the days, Rome was the center not only of military strength and influence but also intelligence, progress, and prosperity. Around 480 C.E., our main character Boethius was born in order to become the next renowned scholar of Rome. His successful educational-campaign shapes the thinking patterns and life-philosophies that he’d cherish for many years.

This is only one part of the story, the rest of it remains a secret until you read the book. Remember some of the examples here are just a indications of similar situations. According to the author, if you ever encounter a similar case, that drives you to self-pity think about Boethius. Apparently, this old and yet highly effective approach to problems has led many readers to believe that the ancient civilization (especially Rome) forged the modern world.

Christian society remained strict and inflexible, bypassing any links to past. To gain the favor of the crowd, he became a respected senator. This book is more than a classic philosophical endeavor, whose interests lies in shifting people’s shallow views. It’s a mighty guide that is highly recommended for historians, students, all people eager to learn new every-day moves.

Authors’ expertise and short biography

Boethius was a Christian philosopher born in Rome to a wealthy family in 480 AD. The love for philosophy and literature emerged from many scholars and senators that were present in his life. In fact, from a young age, Boethius was fluent in Greek. The translator P.G. Walsh was born on August 16, 1923, in Accrington. He proudly served Britain during WW2 in the Intelligence Corps. Patrick died on January 16, 2013, in Glasgow.

Key Lessons from “The Consolation of Philosophy”

1.      A new life for a philosopher
2.      The mirror of philosophy
3.      God and the concept of goodness

A new life for a philosopher

The danger of not having a life that he dreamed of made him paranoiac. A threat was lurking behind every corner, so he uncovered a new “poetry-craftsman” that dwelled in him to deal with this phenomenon. All of a sudden, an urge for change emerge due to various poetic muses that came into the room.

The mirror of philosophy

Philosophical attitude is a mirror for people feeling stress and anxiety – a theory well learned by Boethius. Human life needs to be filled with joy and pleasure, but the relevant aspect doesn’t always find common ground with reality. Find truth in philosophy and theology.

God and the concept of goodness

Undoubtedly there is a source from which all the good deeds emerge. However, finding it – has been a mystery ongoing for centuries. According to “The Consolation of Philosophy” God is the only real representative of moral virtues.

If you feel like this is the book for you, feel free to contact us for further information. You can download our mobile app and share your experiences with us. Between you and your book, there is a one-click delay – check it on Amazon.

Competitive Advantage

Differentiation is a crucial segment that every company wishes to attain. However, this concept doesn’t only include maintaining a different set of products; it also reflects marketing positioning, focus, and long-term strategy.  

Generally speaking, globalization has produced a variety of new industries. The market didn’t recognize the impact that these industries will have in years to come and as a consequence didn’t pay much attention to them. Incurred costs manifest company’s cost/benefit ratio, but that’s not always the case. Generating value surely means a lot more to businessmen than investments in operational activities. Nowadays, companies fear the fierce competition emerging from the previously mentioned term- globalization. Large enterprises invest a large portion of their retained profits on new systems, which focus on Integrating all activities linked to the company – to fight over this rivalry.

The value chain confuses the management of these organizations even in modern times. Still, you cannot merely rely on one methodology and use it in every industry; this effort will be meaningless. Concentration on the value chain will enable the managers to get a more detailed overlook on the processes conducted in the organization. All of these strategies are only beneficial if the executives follow a vision and have clear long-term objectives. With this in mind, managers can now start to identify product or service improvements and implement a solution that will create a real business value. Customers are aversive and excited about a change at the same time. The company needs to find the perfect ratio between those two, and help the consumers to overcome the distrust towards the new commodity.

Then, there are “premium products” that people wish to purchase. However, if there is not a precisely defined Target Group, the products will struggle to reach their end users. For example, if you produce expensive lingerie and your target customers are older women than probably the marketing campaign your department creates will experience a total collapse. The reason for such devastating results is that the majority of your customers will likely be younger people – especially women. Surprisingly, many companies have a wrongly identified IBP.

This fantastic and magnificent work covers many aspects of conducting a proper competitive strategy. Michael Porter is no stranger to the management literature due to his numerous publications. The book seems as fresh and fact-filled as any other book published in recent time. The unparalleled quality of “Competitive Advantage” remains the same, even though 25 years have passed from the first edition. The author’s ideas give its readers an all-encompassing guide-tool that acts as a remedy in the hope of reaching success – living the real American Dream.

Despite the managerial and marketing aspect, this book encompasses a range of values which vary from basic marketing strategies to mind-games. Influence has always been a source of power, the companies in pursuance of that authority often make mistakes. This easy-readable and accessible guide gives access to tons of information related to the development and implementation of a competitive strategy. GetNugget assumes that the knowledge people receive from the education system is not powerful enough to remain competitive in the world. To sum it up, this book is a perfect fit for all people seeking a way to “swim” in the “business waters” – without “drowning”.

Who is this book for

To establish a competitive advantage, corporations rely on activities which engage all organizational layers and create a synergy on all levels. Every entrepreneur is aware of how difficult is to manage a change-implementation process due to numerous reasons. To motivate your employees or associates, make them engage more in the managerial part, compel them to learn and let them handle the responsibility of being a manager (even if they have a lower status in the company).

You cannot put two types of companies into the same basket if the first one focuses on cost differentiation and the other one on product uniqueness and value. The most compelling evidence of this theory can be found in big corporations, where the management can precisely identify what the firm’s differentiation strategy is. It also makes sense to either focus on reducing costs or improving profits, using the tools available on the market.

The two-way street alludes to all aspects of marketing and gaining a competitive advantage. The author disregards all the unproven theories and facts, and focuses on mentioning specific brands which entirely reflect the true meaning of the word – all-inclusiveness. This approach of interpreting at a company’s competitive options bridges what might otherwise be a crack between tactics and execution. This book comes highly recommended for all people working (or wanting to be a part of) in certain companies – especially managers.

Author’s expertise and short biography

Michael E. Porter is a professor at the Harvard Business School – Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, and an internationally recognized author of several books and a theoretician. He was born in Ann, Arbor, Michigan, United States in 1947, May 23.  

Key Lessons from “Competitive Advantage”

1.      Competitors help you grow
2.      Secrets of a good strategy
3.      Industry divisions and segments

Competitors help you grow

Being in an industry is a real nightmare for new entrepreneurs and a true blessing for adrenaline seekers. Don’t be afraid of having a tough time on the market. Whether they are as good as your or better, this situation will help you grow on a personal and professional level.

Secrets of a good strategy

Conducting a “killer” strategy is a tricky business, firms need to look over the shallow and conventional perspective and turn to a more broader approach. Funding such “journeys” takes time, effort, preparation and most importantly – source.

Industry divisions and segments

You have to realize that different industries have different priorities and unique needs. During a recession, companies struggle to remain profitable, but if the management is skilled enough in designing the best possible strategy for that particular industry, the task will get a lot easier in a minute.

If you feel like this is the book for you, feel free to contact us for further information. You can download our mobile app and share your experiences with us. Between you and your book, there is a one-click delay – check it on Amazon.

Money and Power by Howard Means – Book Summary

Money and power have always been a deadly combination. The very beginning of businesses brought a new meaning to the term – power. The companies have evolved: The small companies adopted a unique perspective and grew.

The moneychangers started the whole process. Even the Bible indicates that these personalities were the ancestors of modern entrepreneurs or representatives of today’s bankers. Nevertheless, to really get the old picture of moneymakers, it’s necessary to put yourself in that position. The public didn’t like these type of people, mostly because they saw them as “stealers” or smart “thieves” who used their cleverness to influence other’s minds. History aside, people associated with economy know the cruel nature of money-flow.

Economists speak about the bad reputation that these institutions and persons have, and clearly outline the valuable services they provide. In spite of having a poor understanding of the public, bankers continue to work as present-day “moneychangers” and problem-solvers. Societal constraints somehow connect money with banks, but in truth, capital is more than a piece of paper. The reality of investing also has been built on the back of poorness, which somehow forced the people to try and look for alternative solutions. Significant fluctuations among regions and countries is a global problem that prevails even in the 21st century, without any signs of backing off. Destabilization among other things is also essential for growth, perhaps not on a global as it is on a personal level.

Customer’s needs went from super broad to ultra-exclusive, every person has its own unique set of requirements that one or many firms need to meet. Historical shifts, wars, and state regulations have pushed the global economy up and down. These changes, often perceived as unwanted, endured during communist, socialist, capitalist, and democratic societies. For example, when the Americans launched a new Revolution, democratic capitalism emerged from nowhere. At the same time, the Industrial approach advocated for mass production and satisfying a significant portion of the market.  

These two movements cross-fertilized and give a whole new meaning to the word – Power. Companies had a little choice than to pursue a full-political freedom and economic liberty that will create a prosperous society. However, many cultures didn’t allow this process of integration to take place. Liberty and freedom are concepts that come with a price tag, and many entrepreneurs are aware of this societal issue. Corruption is the biggest culprit that opposes the idea of free society, and fair competition on the market.

This volume, based on a fact-filled and comprehensive documentary, covers different characters who reshaped the course of history and influenced many historical trends. The author of “Money and Power” Howard Means merges the cinematic color perspective with a content consisted of traditional events and movements. All the details act as a helpful guide that promotes the idea of a new all-encompassing company.

Generally speaking, not much is left than to reorganize the modern life in a way that businesses will easily exploit opportunities and increase the living-standard – on a global scale. From biblical stories and professions to the creation of global brands like Microsoft, Means targets all elements that are in one way or another associated with commerce. From a neutral perspective, money buys power, but it doesn’t show you how to use it. GetNugget prescribes this complete book, to all people who feel the connection existing between wealth and power.

Who is this book for

Many organizations in the new era spoke about, the various factors that cause financial collapses. Businesses try to maintain that stability on the market, but that’s even harder will all the competition existing these days. Some professions or companies go way back, but their candle still burns. As you can see, the value is affected neither by time nor by capital. Enterprises that fought throughout decades to position themselves better, know the burden of not having enough economic support. Enforcing restrictions by the government has always been an activity that is followed up with a dose of skepticism and distrust. The older organizations are one step ahead, due to different times they’ve been through and finally to survive in the digital age.

The revolutionary approach in business encouraged the modern companies to form or improve existing processes in an organization in order to improve profits. As technology progressed, firms and countries advanced parallelly, but our modern society requires a lot more from companies than seizing a technological momentum. This book is especially applicable and useful for economists, bankers, and people in businesses.

Author’s expertise and short biography

Howard Means is an American born author who has written or co-written a dozen books, and he also worked at Washingtonian magazine as a senior editor. He was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States. As an award-winning writer, Howard won two William Allen White medals as a reflection of his writing potential.

Key Lessons from “Money and Power”

1.      Equal treatment in society
2.      Competition is necessary for prosperity
3.      Oil monopoly in the early days

Equal treatment in society

Whether we like it or not, not long ago the businesses were managed mostly by males. It was not easy to reshape the whole economic system and remove this discrimination out of the world. As society progressed, people realized that mutual growth relies on shared contribution.

Competition is necessary for prosperity

Back in the days, the building of a railroad for the American people was an opportunity to connect the east and west. However, many difficulties occurred along the way, because most of the capital was place down the eastern coast. A furious competition was the recipe for overcoming this problem which led to a prosperous America.  

Oil monopoly in the early days

John D. Rockefeller in the 1880s held almost 90% of the entire world’s entire refining capacity, which totally opposes the theory of intense competition. According to the Rockefellers, the competition was not a well-received phenomenon because the market will get decentralized.

If you feel like this is the book for you, feel free to contact us for further information. You can download our mobile app and share your experiences with us. Between you and your book, there is a one-click delay – check it on Amazon.

Full Frontal PR – Book Summary

It’s never easy to achieve full public relations “climax”— to make the audience engage in a conversation about your products or services.

When you first had a meal in some local restaurant, what was your first reaction? As a matter of fact, the feedback is not what’s important, but your interactions with others about your “tasty” afternoon. The “buzz culture” nowadays controls the market and everything associated with it. To demonstrate this point further, many marketing experts expose the power of chatting. Never underestimate the impact of a positive conversation, even if it arises only from a single person. Generally speaking, the best method for promoting or exposing products or services is by encouraging people to talk about the features of these commodities. Spending millions of dollars on marketing campaigns is not just expensive, but also ineffective. The real buzz is – word-of-mouth marketing.

Don’t get disappointed if your product doesn’t travel from mouth to mouth with the speed of light. You make sure that people around you are interested in speaking about the benefits your company has to offer. People often complain that they do not possess any product-promoting tactics nor they have the money to pay for someone’s services. On the positive side, people don’t actually care about that; your job is to plug your product by creating value. In other words, stimulate purchase on the streets rather than on billboards. Take this situation for example – A good ad is not a long-term selling machine, especially if the product fails to impress on other levels.

No firm would ever conduct an advertising campaign knowing that the funding process will not produce the wanted results. World’s most prominent brands have several things in common, the most potent one of all is having a “killer phrase”. By all means, put your imagination to the test by inventing a brand-new slogan – differentiation is as significant as quality.

Nowadays, the advent of a developed publicly owned media regime has left the journalist community on the verge of being 100% dependable of everyday stories by ordinary people. That sounds like an opportunity begging to be exploited. Full Frontal PR is no stranger to stories; it provides the readers with an inside perspective in the mass media circles. Leave those post-industrialism marketing tactics aside and enter into to the “spin the world – marketing guerilla buzz”. Come to a rational understanding of the media intake biz.

The book covers some essential PR lessons, which can take your business to the next level. Globalization is merely ruthless to all new companies, so people have to make their mark as soon as possible. CEOs, Managers, and other decision-makers must ask themselves: How to get the people around talking about the commodities that my company offers? Indeed, this is an essential factor in conducting a successful PR campaign.

Entice the people with your charisma to share some info about your business. Sooner or later, reporters will ask for your opinion if you give yourself enough room to grow as an industry expert. Fortunately, media veterans these days, have no other choice than to dig for new ideas, which means growth on a personal and professional level. GetNugget strongly suggests this magnificent PR guide-book not just to people in business but to all individuals who are looking to manipulate the media and its buzz.

Who is this book for

In the digital era, companies that are not financially strong to influence a big mass of people, tend to get a little “guerilla” orientated. With attention to details, these marketing strategies are proven to be quite useful, because they rely on creative. In the hope of getting successful (with a tight budget), companies utilize these tactics, sometimes only to make the audience laugh. Public relations refer to publicity, and according to experts, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Make sure that your methods consist of a visible link to your products and services.

Never even try to deceive a reporter by making up a story. The audience wants reliable news, gambling with your credibility is not such a good idea. All aside, this book reflects a beautiful journey, from a white sheet of paper to a fully grown organization or personality. Given these points, it’s highly recommended for the decision-making body in any company – referring to all people associated with management processes.

Author’s expertise and short biography

Richard Laermer was born on September 16th, 1961 in Queens, New York. Despite being a PR expert, he is also a renowned writer who has written many columns and articles for the New York Daily News, USA Today and other journals. Richard expresses his passion for creative marketing by appearing on a public radio chatting about “Guerilla Marketing” topics.

Key Lessons from “Full Frontal PR”

1.      Marketing has its ROI
2.      The perfect method of giving an interview
3.       The power of signs

Marketing has its ROI

A simple thing as a sticker campaign or creating a brochure can have an enormous impact on potential customers. Even though it may seem like – not enough, that is entirely not true. ROI is essential to big corporations as it is to smaller ones.

The perfect method of giving an interview

Generally speaking, people feel flattered when giving an interview, sometimes even too self-centered. The reporter needs you as much as you need him, so give the interaction a natural flow. The first thing you should do is becoming more enthusiastic about your products, find the perfect balance between energetic and relaxed approach.

The power of signs

A simple flag can boost your company because people interpret those actions as a sign of something important. In addition, such acts can increase brand awareness and improve market positioning.

If you feel like this is the book for you, feel free to contact us for further information. You can download our mobile app and share your experiences with us. Between you and your book, there is a one-click delay – check it on Amazon;