Two Books To Get You From Good To Great

Two great books on business I’m always recommending. Both are by author Jim Collins. The first is “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t” and the second is, “Great by Choice“. Best read in that order:¬†Good first, Great second.

Those links go to Audible, which I’ve used for a couple of years now to listen to these books and dozens more on my daily commute to and from work. If you don’t have Audible, use the link at the bottom of this post to get a 30-day free trial plus 2 free books instead of the usual 1 free book. You get to keep them if you cancel. I originally signed up with a link from a friend that got me this deal so I’m happy to pass the same deal on.

Combined, these two books provide almost twenty hours of spectacular storytelling on what separates great businesses and leaders from the rest. Jim uncovers so much value to growing a business of any size, it’s all grounded in research, and he does it with an enthusiasm that put a lot of other business books to shame. I loved listening to these two books – I’ve listened to Good¬†three times in the last six months! I’ll wind up listening to it at least one more time in the next six. It’s that good.

Both Good and Great were narrated by the author. I’ve had several neutral experiences with audiobooks narrated by the author, along with a couple of bad ones, but these were welcome exceptions. Jim’s passion shines through almost immediately, and he also takes the time to not only read through each book word-for-word but describe the few figures/charts used in the books very clearly.

10/10 would read again and I say that while on my second listen of Great right now! If you’re a fan of reading about how to grow a business, how to sell and market products or services, or just love well-presented research, pick these up now.

Once you’re done, or if you’ve read them already, give me your top 2 takeaways and recommend at least one book to be the next on my list.

Get Audible free for 30 days and two free audiobooks

The One Thing That Matters In Product Design

A code update resulted in a rarely-used button looking a little off. It was 2 pixels to the right of where it used to be. 200 customers and not one of them had made a peep about it. Fixing it would be trivial but the last update was only a week old. The engineers wanted to wait until the next release.

The CEO was fidgeting while he listened. I hadn’t seen this in other meetings. He spoke up:

“Fix it. Push the update with no other fixes.”

The discussion turned into a debate. I had sales to get to, so I broke away and got going with my day.

Later that day, the CEO asked why I had not stayed for the rest of the conversation.

“I didn’t think I could add value and, to me, it seemed trivial. Whether we fix it now or fix it as part of the next release, I mean. Why do those 2 pixels matter so much?”

He nodded and then replied, “It’s a good question. The button looked off which weakens the product. A user may see this and then ask themselves what else is wrong with our app. Who knows where that thought takes them next? Details make or break a product. Even the tiny ones. Especially the tiny ones.”

I thought about that statement for a minute. I admitted, “I haven’t spent a lot of time with our app as a user.”

He smiled. I continued, “I know it inside and out but as the expert, not the user. You use our app all the time. You were fidgeting this morning. You were imagining what our customers must be thinking about those 2 pixels, weren’t you?”

He smiled again, this time tapping the tip of his index finger against his temple a few times, “Now you’ve got it.”

If you aren’t sweating the small stuff, get out of your perspective and get into your customer’s. The details matter. More than you know.