We Read It So You Don’t Have To

Our lives are busy.  We do all we would like to do much less read all that we would like to read.  To help our readers with this persistent problem, our trusted staff regularly reads new and classic works to help our devoted audience with its work and career.

However, since its inception, this series has been plagued with a recurring problem.  “Have you read today’s book?” asks one cast member.  “No,” says the other, “you said I didn’t have to.”  Within a few lines of that opening, the conversation quickly slides into issues that are always important, questions that are relevant, and ideas that are usually related to the book at hand.  You feel smarter because of the conversation and feel that you’ve had an enjoyable time.  You also feel that you don’t have to read the book, because we have read it for you.


Capital and Ideology


Thomas Piketty?

Don’t get what he’s saying?  

Not sure you care?

Zach, who is back, and Maddie, who has never left tell us what is important about the writings of this economist

Or maybe not.  

Dr. Piketty wrote one of the more controversial book of the past 10 years.  Maddie will tell you why.  

And “R” makes and appearance.  But not “G”.


  • Zoe Anastassiou – Maddie, the 8 Year Old Entrepreneur
  • Noah Masur – Zach, who is back
  • Skippy – Himself


Innovators Dilemma


Life is busy.

There’s no time to read. 

Or view YouTube videos.  

Or even listen to podcasts. 

So Maddie, the 8 year old entrepreneur an Bix, the Master Scrum Master, give you a thorough overview of Clayton Christensen’s masterwork, the Innovators Dilemma.  

It is perhaps the most influential business book of our age.  It was the centerpiece of the late Dr. Christensen’s career.  It’s important cultural icon.

And, of course, Bix hasn’t read it.  

And Maddie has read it too well. 


  • Zoe Anastassiou – Maddie, the 8 Year Old Entrepreneur
  • Ron Bianchi – Bix the Master Scrum Master
  • Skippy – Himself


The Great Convergence


Globalization.  It seems to be a term  of another era.  Simpler.  Less chaotic.  Quieter, perhaps.  Civil, if that remains a relevant concept.

In this episode, we return to that idea as part of our recurring series “We Read It So You Don’t Have To.”  Specifically, we look at the role of technology in linking national economies together.  Our intrepid reviewing team considers The Great Convergence by Richard Baldwin.


  • Penelope Othmar, Principle of the Lillian Moller Gilbreth School of Disruptive Innovation   –  Debbon Ayer
  • Sulley from PR & Policy  – Josh LaForce


John Perry Barlow


He is remembered as as the founder of the Electronic Freedom Foundation. Or, alternatively, as a lyricist for the Grateful Dead and link between counterculture and technology. However, John Perry Barlow was the writer that argued that cyberspace was a frontier and that settling that frontier would require more thought that we were prepared to give.


  • Evelyn the Business Manager – Margaux Amie
  • Rohit from IT – Noah Masur


The Second Machine Age

hwms.coverartYou’ve intended to read The Second Machine Age, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAffee but just haven’t found the time.  It’s an important book, to be sure, and explains a lot about the future of work.  But it’s fat.  And it’s say on your Amazon wish list for what, three years?

This is how we can help.  Sulley from our Policy Office and Maddie, our in house entrepreneur have carefully read the book (more or less) and present a detailed and careful summary for your edification.  Remember, we read it so you don’t have to.


  • Zoe Anastassiou – Maddie the 8-year-old Entrepreneur
  • Josh LaForce – Sulley from the Policy Office


The Machine That Changed the World


Agile Ideas. Agile Development. Agile Software. Agile, and its variants, are the methods of modern industry and modern commerce. Yet, they are as old as industry itself. They become prominent when circumstances demand it.

Anna and Rohit read one of the founding texts of the Agile movement, The Machine That Changed the World and explain why they read it so you don’t have to.


  •  Noah Masur – Rohit from IT
  •  Sarah Corbyn Woolf – Anna-the-Intern
  • Ralph E. Flanders, in a cameo appearance
  • Mr. Skippy as himself


Imagineers of War


Was the Internet designed to withstand a nuclear attack? Common story. Is it true?

Rohit and Penelope Othmar explore the origins of the Internet when they review the book Imagineers of War by Sharon Weinberger, a book that discusses the history of ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency.    The answer is not as straightforward as we might like.


  • Debbon Ayer – Penelope Othmar, Principle of the Lillian Moller School for Disruptive Innovation  
  • Noah Masur- Rohit from IT


The Golden Parachute


Who better to review a book about Harvard Business School than two generations of Entrepreneurs? Vinny the CTO brings the expertise of success. He founded SidePocket in the 1980s and led it to a brilliant, albeit short, life. Maddie brings the perspective of hard experience. She is the founding CEO of WatcherDogz, which is her second company. Between the two of them, they debate the question, “Why is Harvard Business School like a squirrel?”


    • Zoe Anastassiou – Maddie
    • Geoffrey Grier – Vinny the CTO
    • Mr. Skippy –  Himself


Industry 4.0

hwms.coverartWe Read It So You Don’t Have to. There is so much new information published every day that one person can’t possible read it all much less get any perspective on it. Take Automation, Autonomous Cars, Machine Learning. All of these technologies pose new challenges to the organization and at the same time, they represent forces that are quite old. In this episode, we take a look at a new book on these topics, Industry 4.0, and an old one Automation.


  • Josh LaForce – Sullivan from Policy
  •  David Alan Grier – Himself


Enterprise Architecture


Three questions. What is Enterprise Architecture? Does it have anything to do with the Starship Enterprise? And why should we care? Rohit from IT joins the podcast in this episode to explore this idea on one of our “We Read It So You Don’t Have To” episodes.


  • Noah Masur – Rohit from IT


Juugard Innovation


We Read It So You Don’t Have To. We regularly look at new books on technology or organization. Today, we look at an Indian book on Jugaad Innovation and ask “How is it really different from an American book?” Jameela, our Bangalore Office Manager, as always, has ideas. Lots of ideas.


  •   Sonam Powar – Jameela from the Bangalore Office


Hidden Figures


Do you see the talent that you have in your organization.  The movie Hidden Figures brings some welcome attention to the forgotten  human computers who did the calculations for the manned space program.  However, as much as we might like to think that the story of Katherine Goble Johnson and NASA’s West Area Computers was an isolated anomaly, we quickly discover that it is not.  All organizations have hidden, unappreciated workers, as the book When Computers Were Human shows.


  •   David Alan Grier – Author, When Computers Were Human


Fissured Workplace


Not up on the current literature of technology and organization?

Don’t worry.

We read it so you don’t have to.

Well, maybe we don’t.

But we always have plenty to say.

The series began with a look at David Weil’s Fissured Workplace, a book about what is happening to the workplace in the age of Uber, Taskrabbit and Mechanical Turk.



  • Sulley                  Josh LaForce
  • Evelyn                 Margaux Amie
  • Vinny                  Geoffrey Grier
  • Maddie              Zoe Anastassiou