Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Amanda Palmer The Art of Asking Book Review

I have watched the TED talk The Art of Asking several times. I never really knew who Amanda Palmer was I knew she was a musician yes but not her real background. I did some Googling to find out Amanda was not only an indie musician and lead singer of The Dresden Dolls but an artist, blogger, frequent exhibitionist and now author. Her army of adoring fans follow her every move; her detractors are ready to pounce on her every public misstep, which she provides via the simple expedient of rarely filtering anything she thinks, says or does.

This book could alternatively be titled How Amanda Made a Million Dollars by Saying Please. Yet, it’s about so much more than that. It’s also about being human and about the trials and tribulations of a professional artist in today climate. While her music may not be for everyone, her story could bring almost anyone to tears and laughter.

First Amanda tells about her first job as a living statue in a public park. How that performance made her fall in love repeatedly. It also brought loneliness and harassment. Little did she know at the time she was getting a real education on how to be a professional musician.

Soon she does work full time with her band and even gets signed on with a record label. However, even after selling thousands of copies of her release they considered her a failure. Surprisingly, Amanda Palmer thought of them as failures. She was mad at her record company.

The remainder of the story tells how Amanda did it right -she asked for help. Her and the band raised money through crowd-funding with Kickstarter. They twittered when they needed a place to sleep on tour, or asked for food when hungry.

Amanda Palmer knows how to keep an authentic relationship with her fans. She formed thousands of friendships full of honesty and based on trust. Instead of some large record label marketing schemas of make the audience pay for it, Amanda asks how do we let them offer money?

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. This book helps me to remember to be humble and to ask for help when needed, to go ahead and release the shame and the fear around what the answer may be. The book is yes a biography but could be consider a business or even self help book. I am still not a huge fan of her music but I am a fan of Amanda Palmer the business women and person.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Harry Bosch The Narrows Book Review

I have to say so far out of all Bosch books I have read so far this one is my favorite. I really enjoyed the story, plot and character direction. I am really happy to see Harry Bosch become private investigator working on his own terms not dealing with the politics of the department.

FBI agent Rachel Walling makes a comeback to work with Bosch I love all the books she is with Harry Bosch. Her and Bosch have great chemistry that just works well in the books. I always like to see Bosch with a female partner I feel they keep him in check better.

Rachel Walling greatest fears have come true the Poet has surfaced. She has never forgotten the serial killer who wove lines of poetry in his hideous crimes and apparently he has not forgotten her. Harry Bosch gets pulled in from the widow of an old friend. Her husband’s death seems natural, but his ties to the hunt for the Poet make Bosch dig deep.

Arriving at a derelict spot in the California desert where the feds are unearthing bodies, Bosch joins forces with Rachel. Now the two are at odds with the FBI and squarely in the path of the Poet.

We get to see Bosch new car in action as he rips around the hot desert and deals with his new role as a father. He has to change his life a little to handle his ex-wife and new daughter.

Best Harry Bosch book so far out of the series a 5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Idea Man By Paul Allen Book Review

Idea Man by Paul Allen was a good book published in 2011 by Portfolio publishing. The book goes through Allen’s life from his early year’s right up to when the book was published in 2011. The book talks both about Allen’s business life and personal life and really paints a picture of the kind of thinker he is an innovator.

The book starts off talking about Paul Allen’s younger years and his great family. He then talks about his college education and meeting a friend Bill Gates. Paul Allen gets into his love of computers and his love of working with then friend Bill Gates and how they spend hours a day programming. Paul Allen goes into talking about starting a business as two young kids to then changing into Microsoft.

Paul Allen talks about Microsoft going from writing programming languages to DOS then to Windows. He then goes into his fall-outs with Bill Gates and how he decided to leave Microsoft after everything he had contributed to the company.

Paul Allen does dive into his health issues and his struggle with cancer and how he overcame the illness. I found that very inspiring. He goes into his love of music and Jimmy Hendrix his musical ideal. Allen takes us into the struggles of owning his own basketball team and how he dealt with financing the team and their arena.

Paul Allen then speaks about how he launched a plane into space and how he loved space and never got a chance to every fly into space but was proud to be a part of the entire thing.  He talks about the passions of his and contributions to the medical industry. Allen gives is feelings about the current state of Microsoft and where he would go with the company.

I gave the book 3 stars. I think the book was more a memorandum of an extraordinary man’s life than anything I expected more information on business and technology. I am not saying it was a bad book it was well written and entertaining. Being a tech person I expected more than just a few chapters on Microsoft and the SpaceShipOne. Good book with a lot of firsts that will be important history.

Streampunks: YouTube and the Rebels Remaking Media Book Review

Streampunks: YouTube and the Rebels Remaking Media Book was a great book written by Robert Kyncl with Maany Peyvan and it was a great book. Robert Kyncl is the Chief Business Officer at YouTube where he oversees all business functions such as content, sales, marketing, and operations. Previously, Kyncl was Vice President of Content Acquisitions at Netflix.

The book highlights YouTubers like John Green, Casey Neistat, Lilly Singh, Hank Green, Jenny Doan, Shane Smith, and many other popular YouTube stars. The book layout is great every chapter highlights another YouTube star.

I learned so much about how YouTube has changed the video industry and how YouTube has helped the cable industry promote shows. Shows that upload clips to YouTube have higher ratings then shows that do not. I learned about YouTubes ranking algorithms that goes by the length of time viewed rather than the number of views.

One thing I learned was how Justin Bieber used YouTube as his platform to get a record deal. I read that viral videos do not build long-term subscribers like long-dedicated audiences that are built over years of video creation. Audiences are built on great video with a consistent content release schedule.

Robert Kyncl explains YouTube Red and how original content works. He writes about how YouTube Red is aimed more towards mobile users of YouTube. He explains how YouTube Ped pays content creators and what the advantages of YouTube Red are as a consumer.

I think this was a great book I learned more about YouTube then I ever knew. I truly believe this book is a must-read for anyone wanting to build a YouTube audience or wants to get into social media marketing. This should be a must for anyone wanting to advertise or make money on YouTube.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Behind the Cloud Untold Story of Salesforce Book Review

Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry by Marc Benioff was a good book published October 19, 2009. I think the timing of the book was great in 2009 was right around the time the iPhone was changing the industry and everyone was getting broadband in their homes so the timing of the publication was perfect.

Marc Benioff was an executive under his mentor Larry Ellison who decided to go out on his own and start the Software As A Service (SAS) model that we all know today like Office 365, Quickbooks in the cloud and many others. Marc got the blessing from Larry Ellison and a two million dollar investment to start the company.

Salesforce started in an apartment next to Marc where he rented and turned the living rooms into offices and closet into a data center. Marc Benioff is famous for his customer support and people skills in the book he goes through a lot of the things he has learned that have made him one of the best in the business for dealing with people. Marc Benioff talks about how he was always better at dealing with people then he was coding computers.

Marc talks about outages that his company has had and how they turned trust.salesforce.com into a platform for users of their software to find out about outages and how they have built trust with customers because of this trusted platform.

Marc goes into sales strategists they use at Salesforce and how they develop new features based on customer feedback to ensure customers do not leave their platform. Marc talks about the Salesforce pricing model and the hardship for going from monthly to yearly services.

Marc Benioff goes into why he started a cloud-based system and how he does not care for the software server and client model that Microsoft built and how IBM and places like that were building million dollars software packages to sell which were not focused on small business.

Marc Benioff talks about his 1-1-1 style of management and his philanthropy work through his company. He talks about talking Salesforce globally and hiring the right people for the right job. Marc then talks about the Salesforce offices and their culture of life and giving back to employees. Marc goes into his travels around the world and how that inspired him to leave his cushy job at Oracle and start Salesforce.

I think this was a good book. It was a cross between self-help, business, and biography. I am not a big self-help book person so there were parts that I was not thrilled with and felt more like “you can do it” rather than the biography style of “this is how I did it”. I still think it was a great book and a must read if you are in business and would like some great pointers on building an internet business.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Red Goodbye

The Red Goodbye A Serena Triton Detective Novel (Book 2)

The Red Goodbye is the follow-up to my first novel The Pangram Killer.

A year after Serena Triton a detective cracked the largest cases in her career she is rewarded with a move from active homicide to the open unsolved unit. Serena gets her first taste of the new unit working a case that is older than she and could possibly lead her to an unexpected killer and unexpected alibi in an old enemy.

On sale Now
Kindle / Paperback / Audiobook

Friday, January 1, 2016


Serena Triton a detective on the job only six months in the homicide division gets called to the park to investigate a murder and the only clue left behind is a pangram. As Serena digs deeper to find the killer things take an unexpected turn.


Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella Book Review

Satya Nadella is the third CEO (Chief Operating Officer) in Microsoft’s 42 years of operation. Bill Gates served as CEO for 35 years then ...