My Tech Books – 2018

As much as business books are the mainstay of helping you grow a business, I would assert that there is a place for good fiction and non fiction as a way of expanding what is possible and what we may see with technology in the future. From such ideas, opportunities flow and in this ever changing world of technology, what is fiction today becomes fact tomorrow.

Below is a list of tech (both fiction and non-fiction) that I have really enjoyed and recommend to anyone interested in technology and the impact it may play in our lives down the track. Many books are ‘hacker’ style stories about the security challenges our technology creates thanks to it’s intersection with humanity. I think that technology simply magnifies the good and the bad. What do you think?

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1. Daemon – Daniel Suarez [Fiction]

A glimpse into the future of where drones and augmented reality may take us. That may not necessarily be a good place either.

2. Freedom TM – Daniel Suarez [Fiction]

A follow up to Daemon. What happens when technology dominates the world? Who benefits?

3. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline [Fiction]

Much like the Matrix. What is life like if you live inside the machine? You can be just about anyone you choose. I also love this book for all the retro technology that was part of my life. TRS-80 anyone?

4. Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for our Connected World – Marc Goodman [Non-fiction]

Technology will ultimately doom us all I believe because we are building our world on stuff that unfortunately places a low regard for security and privacy. This book will show you why that is a road to ruination.

5. Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon – Kim Zetter [Non-Fiction]

If you don’t believe cyber warfare is real then read this book to understand how software is now a weapon as potentially devastating as any nuclear device.

6. Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World – Bruce Schneier [Non-Fiction]

Security is important but it is important in context. We need to be rational when we consider our security not emotional. A great level headed approach to how we need to be secure.

7. American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt or the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road – Nick Bilton [Non-Fiction]

An amazingly detailed book on the rise and fall of Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the Silk Road web site. In here are asked to think about whether technology plays something more than a neutral role in today’s world.

8. The Cuckoos Egg – Clifford Stoll [Non-Fiction]

Before the Internet was in the public sphere it existed in the world of academia. This is the story of how one man’s search for the source of an accounting error uncovered something are more sinister.

9. Takedown – John Markoff and Tsutomu Shimomura [Non-Fiction]

The pursuit and eventual capture of notorious hacker Kevin Mitnick makes for great reading.

10. Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution – Steven Levy [Non-Fiction]

Ah, the good ole days when it was more about proving how smart you were than trying to actually cause harm. If you think hacking is something new, then you’re in for a surprise with this book

Recommended reading from 2015

I get through a lot of books during the year but here’s my recommended list from what I read in 2015 in no particular order.

The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande

Checklist are the way to ensure you perform in a standard and repeatable manner. They allow you to focus on getting things done and prevent missing steps or making mistakes. This is a great book that reminds of the power of checklists and why you should be using them every day.

The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod

Those who get up early get more done and are more successful. After reading this book I changed my morning routine to get up much earlier and it is amazing how much more I get done first thing following the suggestions and guidance from this book. If you really want to get more done in your day, read this book.

Profit First – Mike Michalowicz

Another great book that had a major impact in the way I manage money. I like that it keeps things simple and focuses on the money after all expenses (i.e. profit). if you run a business or struggle to save for a goal I’d highly recommend you read this book.

Sleep Smarter – Shawn Stevenson

The key to so many aliments we experience in the modern world is to get more sleep. This book helps you understand why sleep is so important for optimal mental and physical performance. I am still struggling with eliminating technology before bedtime as recommended within the pages but I am getting better and so is my sleep after reading this book.

The School of Greatness – Lewis Howes

A revisit for me of many of the best things I’ve learnt via other books. However, it is always good to have it re-inforced and this is great book to ensure you are across the things you need to be great. There is always room for more common sense and motivation and you’ll find it in this book.

Extreme Leadership – Jocko Willnik and Leif Babin

A book with a strong military focus which I do find both appealing and interesting. Whether on the battlefield or life to be a leader means owning and fixing the problem even if you didn’t create it. Doing so with grace and humility is tough but that what being extreme is all about. Leadership is a skill and can therefore be learned and is something can make a huge impact when applied correctly. This book gives you insight into how to go about that.

Any of these books I suggest you’d find very worthwhile and you’d certainly take away some lessons. As they say – readers are leaders – and I certainly subscribe to that so set aside some time every day and watch yourself grow as a result.