Books 2019

I want to start keeping track of the books I read year over year. I used to do that on Goodreads but this year I decided to start posting them here instead.

I read somewhere that books are just like food. Some of them are meant to be tasted, snacked upon or throughly devoured. I did not finish every single book on this list nor I expect to do so every time I open a book. This list is a good reflection on what topics draw my attention and called upon further research. In bold are the ones that I enjoyed the most.

  1. Keeping Up with the Quants by Thomas H. Davenport
  2. Meta Analytics by Juan Manuel Damia
  3. High Output Management by Andrew Grove
  4. Python Crash Course by Eric Matthes
  5. Papillon by Henri Charriere
  6. The Minto Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto
  7. Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony de Mello
  8. All the Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  9. Leading Digital by George Westerman
  10. Why Digital Transformations Fail by Tony Saldanha
  11. The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge
  12. Spin Selling by Neil Rackham
  13. The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon
  14. What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz
  15. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  16. The Man Who Solved The Market by Gregory Zuckerman
  17. Data Science by Executives by Nir Kaldero
  18. The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos
  19. Keto Answers by Anthony Gustin
  20. High-Profit Prospecting by Mark Hunter
  21. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
  22. Range by David J. Epstein
  23. How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims
  24. Secrets of Sand Hill Road by Scott Kupor
  25. Recursion by Blake Crouch
  26. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
  27. Dark Age by Pierce Brown
  28. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  29. The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis
  30. Key Management Models by Gerben Van den Berg
  31. The Back Of The Napkin by Dan Roam
  32. Consultative Selling by Mack Hanan
  33. Super Thinking by Gabriel Weinberg
  34. Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
  35. Warrior of the Light by Paulo Coelho
  36. Devotions by Mary Oliver
  37. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  38. The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker
  39. Churchill by Andrew Roberts
  40. Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
  41. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  42. Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax
  43. Nutrient Power by William Walsh
  44. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
  45. Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab
  46. The Amazon Way on IoT by Josh Rossman
  47. Awareness: Conversations with the Masters by Anthony de Mello
  48. The Circadian Code by Satchin Panda

IoT sells but who’s buying?

Technology deployments for technology’s sake are worthless. IoT is no different. A successful IoT project goes beyond the cool factor and originates from a business objective that clearly outlines the problem to be addressed.

Technological assessments are ancillary activities. Don’t get me wrong, I love tech. Tech is awesome. We just need successful IoT projects that move the needle in the right direction.

Most vendors are great at pitching you case studies and features, and in most cases implementation seems pretty straightforward but IoT (as with other exponential tech) is very different. General use cases do not apply easily and require a deeper knowledge of the problems to tackle.

Mind the Gap

The true chasm that exists today is between the tools and the real life application for exponential technologies. The knowledge of exponential technologies is not yet “evenly distributed”. You may understand the company’s problems deeply, but may not always understand the capabilities of new technologies.

Technology vendors should focus on their capabilities and provide guidance to customers in a consultative role. SAP does precisely that with their Leonardo accelerators and help their top customers envision clear applications of exponential technologies.

Companies on the other hand need to make an effort to train and expose their managers to new technologies and get their creative juices flowing. Singularity University Programs are great for that purpose. Exponential tech needs to be approached just as a musician approaches a new instrument. Play with it, understand it and then brainstorm/jam applications for your organization.

The Bottom Line

Understanding benefits for commodity products is usually pretty straight forward. Cost is so low and the value proposition is so straight forward that we are able to make quick assessments. The application of new technology is much harder to understand. Technology advances so quickly that generalists miss what specialists see so clearly.

It all comes back to good old “listen to your customer”. Trying to sell an IoT platform or service without approaching consumer/business clients with a truly consultative approach is a waste of time, money and reputation. IoT solutions need to be framed in additional dollars earned or substantial cost reductions to final customers.

IoT solutions need a real and true consultative approach, not by having the client approaching you with a “job to be done” but with you reaching out to the client to understand their pain. Get out of the building and start connecting the dots for your clients.


(Hispanic) Polling in the age of Mobile

The following was originally posted on the blog of Adriana Cisneros in 2016. Adriana graciously invited me to share our work with FIU during the 2016 presidential elections when we tried a new approach at polling Hispanics in the US.

Traditional polling to Hispanics is doomed. Well, not totally but imagine the following:

A man is sitting comfortably in his sofa. It is 7:15 pm, he just finished having dinner and is about to turn on the TV to watch his favorite show. The phone rings, he hauls himself off the couch and picks up the handset. “Hello? Hello?” — a quiet click and then a voice pops up. “Hi! This is John from Traditional Research Corp, we are reaching out to people like you about the upcoming elections, this will only take 10 minutes of your time. Press one for english or presione dos para Español…

This is how “robocalls” work. Can you spot what is not right in this scenario? I am sure that you can think of many reasons, mostly related to the annoyance of receiving late calls, the impersonal nature of a recording and so on.

Let’s focus on the shortcomings of this method. Traditional polls require thousands of calls in order to produce complete responses to very lengthy questionnaires, to the rate of 9 out of 100. People mostly hang up after they learn to identify the recording.

The number of people reachable through this method is in decline. FCC regulations require that robocalls are carried from databases or by randomly dialing exclusivity to landline phones.

There is also the matter of sample bias, i.e. collecting data in a way that some members of the population are over or under represented. Can you guess the demographics of the man in the sofa?

Hispanics in the US are a nightmare for traditional polling: mostly young (over 50% between ages 18 and 30), highly connected through their mobile (smartphone ownership is over 75%) and subsequently heavy data and app users.

The New Latino Voice Poll

Researching public opinion is a very important activity in all democratic societies. It is truly the only option we have to make our voices heard as a group. The importance multiplies when it comes to voicing the concerns of minorities. This is why Adsmovil, a Cisneros Interactive company, partnered earlier this year with Florida International University’s (FIU) Latino Public Opinion Forum to launch the New Latino Voice tracking polls. A full fledged website with research and findings will follow.

Adsmovil has been running mobile advertising campaigns to US Hispanics since 2011. We know our trade and we have now successfully applied it to political polls.

Alongside FIU Professor Eduardo Gamarra, we designed, ran and published weekly polls for over five months covering Hispanic voting preferences and important issues. (Read some of the coverage we got from NPRUnivisionLatinousa, and WSJ ). Here are the results from the two main polls that ran nationally and in Florida, both are fully aligned with results from other polls serving as validation that mobile polling is a great alternative.


9/5 National & Florida Hispanic Mobile Poll from New Latino Voice

Over 200,000 Hispanics have been surveyed across the US. This is an enormous sample size by any poll standard. Consider that the average sample size for a traditional robocall campaign is 1,000. We have polled 200x more at probably the same cost. Impressed? Not yet? What if I told you that one of the key reasons has to do with user experience?

Mobile media transforms public opinion research (polls) to a type of “permission marketing”. Seth Godin defined permission marketing as “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them”. People tend to be more receptive to prone to engage while on their mobile. We use our smartphones, among other things, to fill the empty moments in our days: our leisure time.

Mobile advertising, well executed, could be a delight. Our pollers participate in a non-intrusive opinion opportunity through a rich media piece. The user has total control over the experience and over 25% choose to make their opinions heard. Why? Because they are available and willing. That is the power of connecting to the right audience through the right media.