SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Business 101: A reading list for lifelong learners

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Ready to level up your working knowledge of business? Here’s what to read now — and next.

Business 101, with Nilofer Merchant

First, read these 2 foundational books…
1. The Change Masters
Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Free Press, 1985

“A foundational book for your collection. When a colleague recently switched careers, I lent her this incredibly dog-eared book from college days. Rosabeth Moss Kanter helped coined the idea and term ’empowerment’ in the 1970s, a sure sign she was ahead of her time. Even though The Change Masters was published forty years ago, it’s relevant. Why? Because all progress is made by those that are change masters. Become one.”

2. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations
Clay Shirky
Penguin, 2008

“A few years back, I took out Clay Shirky’s book and found it filled with scribbles. While it’s almost passé now to talk of how Obama organized a large community to sweep into the presidency, Shirky’s book is textbook quality for what will happen next. It points to a new truth: Today, connected individuals can do what once only large organizations could. So look past the timeliness of his stories to see the timeless.”

Then, try these 4 to understand current needs…

1. Opposable Mind: Winning through Integrative Thinking
Roger Martin
Harvard Business Review, 2009

“I’m convinced that the way we create an abundant future of prosperity will require a global redesign of what is possible. And I think Roger Martin’s idea here could be key. When you hold two ideas as opposites, you’ll never find a way for both things to be true. But to go forward and reconcile some deep divides we have, we’re going to have to find new solutions to old problems through new thinking. Martin’s book is like yoga for the mind.”

2. Redesigning Leadership (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)
John Maeda
MIT Press, 2011

“The real question is: How will we reinvent the world around us? Well, fundamentally, it will involve having folks take the big step away from just being themselves (the thing we all know best) and join in doing something with others (the people we fear may let us down). John Maeda’s book captures a modern leader’s challenge to switch gears and become a social, collaborative leader.”

3. The Difference
Scott E. Page
Princeton University Press, 2010

“Complex systems turn out to be adaptive and resilient, and therefore thriving, systems. Sounds like something our world needs more of, right? See how a math theorist argues for including difference –- that is, cognitive difference — into our lives, our workplaces and ultimately what we create. The value of this difference is a proven truth, not a feel-good mantra, for how you shape both better ideas and new solutions. It’s going to be central to what happens next.”

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Work Market Study Reveals: Demand for US-Based Freelancers is on the Rise

9.18 WM infographic - August 2013 final-02Our friends Jeff Leventhal and Co. at NYC-based Work Market today announced the results of a study on the freelance economy, which is good news for freelancers and self-employed individuals working in the U.S. Based upon data from Work Market’s online marketplace and enterprise management platform, demand for freelancers and wages earned are expected to increase through the end of this year.

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Larry Was Right! 4Q GDP Declines…

I’ve always felt that there is seasonality in the SMB channel. The “end-of-year” blues has been a common refrain amongst the media integration companies as SMB partners and sponsors are typically holiday budget lean because most of these unsophisticated entities operate on a simple calendar year. They are either out of do-re-me as year-end approaches and/or are marshaling up financial resources for the coming year. It’s something of a cash flow purgatory where more than one snappy salesman has questioned his or her intelligence quotient.

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Thank You Small Business Campaign Launches Tonight in NYC

It’s no secret that the U.S. economy (and in turn) U.S. small businesses have been hit hard over the past few years.  Despite a lot of discussions from the government, corporations and the media, it is not getting easier to grow a small business, and our economy has a long way to go before we fully recover.  As efforts continue to stimulate the economy with huge corporate bailouts and the ongoing frenzy to find and fund the next big start up, the true backbone of our economy- small businesses- continue to fight every day to keep their businesses alive and, as a result, our economy going--and they don’t get a lot of appreciation or support.

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