I read this book for obvious reasons.  As the number of years out of graduate school accumulate I have come to experience the generation gap up close and personal.  The book outlines the principles of effective instruction while making a compelling case for constructing courses that will engage the student body.

The author makes it abundantly clear that subject matter mastery does not suffice in being effective.  Engaging students, challenging them and getting them to be stakeholders in their own education is key to creating a community of learners.  The book provides multiple stories both humorous and touching of students discovering their own potential.

THE TIPPING POINT– Malcom Gladwell


I read this book sometime back and enjoyed it because it reaffirmed my belief in the importance of opinion leaders and their impact on product diffusion.  Gladwell provides numerous examples of products that made a considerable impact in the marketplace as a result of what he refers to as the “Law of the Few.”  He classifies them as Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen.  Their connectedness and ability significantly impact diffusion is the central hypothesis of this book.

For a marketing academic the book has value addition in providing multiple examples of products whose adoption rates were significantly expedited as a result of the few who influence the many.

Bottom line:  Good easy read, reinforced a lot of the academic marketing literature dealing with diffusion and adoption rates.



I enjoyed this book as it reaffirmed what we all know. That a few have the potential to poison the atmosphere for many. The book is an easy read and is a take no prisoners call to eliminate this behavior. It provides insights on dealing with them as well as on detecting attributes that an individual may possess that could make others classify an individual as an “ass-hole.” Bottom Line – life is too short to put up with them and organizations owe it to the larger group to create an environment where ass-holes are simply not encouraged at a minimum and tolerated in general.

I subsequently ran into this on the Web and had to chuckle:  A New Asshole Metric:  The Starbucks Test:

Here is an Excerpt:
“New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a “decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n’-Low and one NutraSweet,” ooh, you’re a huge asshole.”

MADE TO STICK– Chip Heath and Dan Heath


I will admit that I bought this book at the airport prior to a transatlantic flight as I was browsing the bookstore stack and fell sucker to the very cool book jacket (a piece of duck tape actually stuck to the cover) and the central premise of the book i.e., Why do some ideas survive while others die?

The authors construct a clever acronym with some creative license (SUCCESs) to explain their central premise.  For them messages and ideas stick when they are; Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Story-containing.  The final “s” is the creative license part.

I found the multitude of examples and the clarity of the communication useful.  The authors convey their premise relying on behavioral psychology, cognitive science, and social history.

Bottom Line:  A good read and useful in furnishing insights on communication in a more compelling fashion.





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