Harvard Business School professor of strategy Bharat Anand presents an incisive new approach to digital transformation that favors fostering connectivity over focusing exclusively on content.
Companies everywhere face two major challenges today: getting noticed and getting paid. To confront these obstacles, Bharat Anand examines a range of businesses around the world, from The New York Times to The Economist, from Chinese Internet giant Tencent to Scandinavian digital trailblazer Schibsted, and from talent management to the future of education. Drawing on these stories and on the latest research in economics, strategy, and marketing, this refreshingly engaging book reveals important lessons, smashes celebrated myths, and reorients strategy.
Success for flourishing companies comes not from making the best content but from recognizing how content enables customers' connectivity; it comes not from protecting the value of content at all costs but from unearthing related opportunities close by; and it comes not from mimicking competitors' best practices but from seeing choices as part of a connected whole.
Digital change means that everyone today can reach and interact with others directly: We are all in the content business. But that comes with risks that Bharat Anand teaches us how to recognize and navigate. Filled with conversations with key players and in-depth dispatches from the front lines of digital change, The Content Trap is an essential new playbook for navigating the turbulent waters in which we find ourselves.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2016 Bharat Anand (P)2016 Random House Audio
"As Bharat Anand shows in this eminently readable book, connections are now more important than content. His insights will bring you several steps closer to understanding the digital revolution and how you can avoid its many perils." (Daniel H. Pink, New York Times best-selling author of Drive and To Sell Is Human)
"A very smart book - creators, ignore this at your peril. This revolution has been twenty years in the making, and Bharat Anand makes the past (and the future) a lot more clear." (Seth Godin, New York Times best-selling author of Meatball Sundae and Linchpin )
"Bharat Anand has written the rarest of books, one that combines deep strategic insight with great practical impact. The Content Trap is both a delight to read and the essential book for understanding today's digital revolution. In the process, Anand debunks the conventional wisdom time and time again; his insights are sharp, perceptive, and strikingly original." (David Garvin, C. Roland Christensen professor of business administration, Harvard Business School)
It's a rather long book. And it feels even longer. Even at 3x speed. Yes, it is that boring. Could with great effect have been edited to half its length. It would still be too long, but a lot more interesting and concise.
Everything (absolutely *everything*) in the book, consists of case stories and anecdotes. Maybe it's a matter of taste – I just can't stand books that goes from one anecdote to the next from paragraph to paragraph. It's tiring to listen to. Imagine being on a date with someone who talks about his mom this moment, while 2 mins ago he/she babbled about his sports bike, and 5 minutes later, he/she's talking about dog food. Would you go on a second date? Likely not. This book is like that. And I feel dumb for listening to 2/3rds of it, before giving up. Like going on ten dates with the babble-head!
It's as dry as silica gel (that little bag inside shoeboxes) – academic in tone, with zero emotion, let alone humour.
It's also not organized as coherently as it could be. Difficult to make practical sense of.
Two other books I can recommend, instead of getting this one, are:
Digital Relevance – by Ardath Albee. AMAZING book for content marketers. Only available as a real book (not audiobook) though. But it's the most highlighted book I've ever had. So full of marketing wisdom and practical nuggets of gold.
Disruptive Marketing – by Geoffrey Colon. It's like a more digestible version of The Content Trap. A much better read, that I listened to a couple of weeks ago, and already look forward to relistening to.
The Content Trap – don't fall into the trap of buying it;)
I suspect the publisher chose the name for this book. Sure, the author talks some about content but the book is really about connections: social connections that spread ideas and contribute to network effects, product connections that contribute to the whole offering described by Geoffrey Moore and give consumers a compelling reason to buy, and functional connections which are the hallmark of good strategy. Each type of connection has been covered separately in more depth in other books like Good Strategy, Bad Strategy. This book is more of a compilation and the author does a good job connecting the dots and applying them to the digital context.
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