September 19, 2004

News & Opinion: Some New Books

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:49 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

My new book The Medici Effect discusses how one must be able to incorporate failure into ones actions in order to maximize innovative success. Interestingly this particular theme returns with an intriguing twist in the book Got Game: How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever by John Beck and Michael from HBS Press. Their thesis centers on the fact that the gamer generation, which has grown up playing video games, has a fundamentally different outlook on opportunities, failures and risk-taking than the generation before them. The gamer generation has, through video games, become far more at ease with exploring opportunities, quickly learning what is required to win, and most importantly pressing restart if they fail. These lessons came into full force in the real world during the dot com boom. The younger generation, and those that play games in particular seem quite able to move on after they fail, to focus on whats required to win, and to always be on the lookout for new puzzles and opportunities. Thats the way they have grown up and they will bring these lessons into the workplace. Managers and executives would do well to realize this potential and leverage it.. I also had the opportunity to read another upcoming book from HBS Press - Mass Affluence: 7 New Rules of Marketing to Today's Consumers by Paul Nunes and Brian Johnson. Their main argument is that while people have become richer their spending has not risen at a commensurate rate. This leaves plenty of dollars ready to be consumed and the authors suggest that we should target these new middle-markets with more upscale, higher quality products. These products should be priced below the luxury class, but above mass-market. In other words somewhere in the middle - a traditionally dreaded zone for marketers. This new middle is willing to buy premium golf balls, disposable electric toothbrushes and other more expensive items because they have the money to pay for it and they are willing to spend it, too at least for the right benefits.