Digital Strategy Articles And Books To Add To Your Reading List
Digital strategy totally has it’s roots in psychology, behavioural economics and data. Which hopefully comes through from the books we’ve recommended. We’d love your recommendations too.
- The Cluetrain Manifesto — Rick Levine. The first book you should read about the Internet.
- Understanding Media (1964)— Marshall McLuhan. As new channels emerge, OG McLuhan becomes even more relevant.
- Software is Eating the World — Marc Andreessen.
- Customer Development Manifesto, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 — Steve Blank. This is how clients should start thinking about product.
- Getting Real — 37 Signals. An incredible document that clarifies how small teams ship faster, better.
Level up your Client: Org Design and Operating Systems
- Scaling Agile @ Spotify — how Spotify organizes its 1,000 person product team to function like a startup (into squads, tribes, and guilds)
- The Operating Model that’s Eating the World and The Last Re-org You’ll ever do — Undercurrent’s (by Aaron Dignan) latest theory on how digital firms operate.
- The Innovator’s Dilemma — Clayton M. Christensen. Theory on why clients struggle with disruption.
- Stevey’s Google Platforms Rant — Steve Yegge. Building an org that is connected and platforms-focused.
- Inside Instagram—Mat Honan. On understanding scaling decisions and how small companies can build great things.
- The Uncanny Valley of the Functional Organization and Why Microsoft’s Reorgnization is a Bad Idea—Ben Thompson.
- Gabe Newell on Valve—this article is relatively new (Jan, 2014), but really distills how the next generation of companies will operate. Gabe is also a legend in the industry.
How Ideas Spread, Content Theory
- Transmedia Planning — Faris Yakob
- Thinking Allowed, Part 2, Part 3 — Russell Davies
- Permission Marketing — Seth Godin
- Buzzfeed’s Strategy — Jonah Peretti
- How to make something go viral (Gawker study)— Neetzan Zimmerman. Understand primary and secondary sources for content on the Internet.
- Distribution…Now — John Borthwick (Betaworks). One of the first articles to discuss the stream and its impact on sharing.
- Spreadable Media — Henry Jenkins
- Stock and Flow — Robin Sloan. One of the most important articles on how clients should approach small and big bets in content.
- Why Gawker is Moving Beyond the Blog — Nick Denton
- 10 Web Content Urban Legends — Ricky Van Veen
- On the Bubble—Rick Webb. One of my favorite articles on how brands think about digital and channels.
The Art of Strategy
Too often are a strategist’s recommendations fluffy bullshit. Here’s examples on how to write a strategy that directs an organization on exactly what to do.
- The 2012 UK Digital Strategy and Audit— the gold standard for an excellently written strategy with coherent actions. I believe Russell Davies was involved in the recommendations.
- The leaked NY Times Innovation Report —similar to the UK strategy, this is a thoughtfully written audit and strategy with crystal clear recommendations.
- Don’t Let Strategy Become Planning — By Roger Martin
- What is Strategy? (Michael Porter) and What is Strategy? (Mike Arauz)
- 1997 Letter to Shareholders — Jeff Bezos. This is what a long-term looks like — a nearly unchanged vision for the past decade and a half.
- Business Model Generation — Alexander Osterwalder
- Good Strategy, Bad Strategy—Richard Rumelt
Products and Solving Needs
- Product / Market Fit — Marc Andreessen.
- The Startup Pyramid — Sean Ellis. How to evaluate product/market fit.
- Why Wesabe Lost to Mint — Marc Hedlund. Why “better” features sometimes don’t matter.
- How Spotify Builds Products—Henrik Kniberg. Includes Spotify’s build process.
- What Hackers Should Know About Design Thinking—Interview with Gentry Underwood. What you need to know about design thinking/human-centered design.
- Social Software: The Other ‘Design for Social Impact’— Gentry Underwood. This distills some of the most important nuances to product design that involve human-to-human interaction, including the notion of “ethnography by prototype.”
Communities and Collective Action
- Why I Love Bees: A Case Study in Collective Intelligence Gaming — Jane McGonigal
- Why Youth Heart Social Networks — danah boyd (bonus: Youth, Identity, and Digital Media).
- Entrepreneurial Design 101, SVA — this is the syllabus from an SVA course on entrepreneurial design. It is brilliant.
- Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup—Stanford, Spring 2012