I'm flattered when I get mail asking me for a list of helpful books. I keep losing my list, so I decided to post it here for all time. Rather than giving you a bunch of pithy commentary, I'll include Amazon links for everything and you can read what others think of each title.
Amazon.com: Books: Crossing the Chasm This is a key component in my Purple Cow thinking, but with a twist. I'm not as worried about the chasm as I am about the desire of marketers to go for the big middle.
Amazon.com: Books: Selling the Dream Guy has written several irrestible books, but this is a great place to start. It's all about starting the virus.
Amazon.com: Books: The Influentials: One American in Ten Tells the Other Nine How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy This book exhaustively looks at one very influential group of early adopters. This may not be YOUR group, but the thinking applies to every hive I can think of.
Amazon.com: Books: The Pursuit of Wow! Tom Peters at his best--the book that will push you to do the safe (risky) thing you must do to make your products remarkable.
Amazon.com: Books: My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising: Two Works (Advertising Age Classics Library) Very old, very good. If you're doing any advertising, you have a professional obligation to read this.
Amazon.com: Books: The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from Ideo, America's Leading Design Firm I don't know if you can teach this kind of creativity, but you can certainly raise your expectations by seeing how well they do design.
THE REPUBLIC OF TEA. Out of print, but findable at abebooks and other spots, this is a book about an entrepreneur getting his head around the otaku of his audience.
Amazon.com: Books: Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works, Second Edition This book helped me see design differently. Good design costs just as much as bad design, but it breaks through all sorts of clutter.
Amazon.com: Books: Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale The biggest challenge most executives face is selling their ideas, not their products. And selling internally is a lot like selling in the street. This is the best book I've ever read about selling anything at all...
Amazon.com: Books: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Malcolm Gladwell's breakthrough insight was to focus on the micro-relationships between individuals, which helped organizations realize that it's not about the big ads and the huge charity balls... it's about setting the stage for the buzz to start.
Amazon.com: Books: Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia This book outlines the reasons why many efforts to jumpstart third-world economies fail. It's not just peasants, though. Many of your prospects feel precisely the same way.
Amazon.com: Books: Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind This book is built around the brilliant insight that your prospect doesn't care nearly as much about what you do as you do, and thus you must boil down your offering into a unique slot that repositions the competition.
Amazon.com: Books: The Big Red Fez: How To Make Any Web Site Better I wrote this short book to drive home a few basic points about how bad most corporate websites are.
Amazon.com: Books: Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends, and Friends into Customers This is a key next step in spreading your idea--what do you do once people discover it? The answer: get permission to follow up. That makes it much easiser to launch your next idea.
Amazon.com: Books: Unleashing the Ideavirus You can find this book for free at www.ideavirus.com (click on "get it") but the book version is handier to read on the beach.