It is the time for end-of-year lists. The one from Product Hunt on startup-related books, full of jaded, predictable entries really got me thinking that there has got to be a more bold selection out there.
So here are five books I've read in 2015 that are weird, wonderful and related to product, design or tech.
I suspect this will be the seminal volume for connected products. In-depth, speaking from experience and with firm emphasis on user experience and service design. As I've said, a future classic.
This brief, to-the-point biography of Ettore Sottsass probably works best if read alongside its big brother - Sottsass monograph by Thomé.
I'm assuming you won't be shelling out 150 EUR for the both, but at least read Sudjic's instalment. It is an amazing tour-de-force covering much of the 20th century.
From product / tech perspective, I found it fascinating for two reasons. Both are to do with Apple in a way.
The first - a realisation that Olivetti was a proto-Apple of sorts.
The second - a reminder that there are other strains of modernist design, beyond the cold, restrained International Style so strongly associated with Apple.
In 2016 go wild. Add some colour or a squiggly line or two even. It's OK. Ettore would have approved.
I said somewhere that this is like Eggers' "The Circle" but with balls and brains.
The story is unabashedly about Google. Unlike Eggers' literar take , Cohen's attempt is a trip. Worth a ride for the epic Moe character alone.
A book? A prank? A piece of performance art? Whatever it might be, it is shrouded in mystery. The plot focuses on a death "inexhaustible foot soldier of the first dot-com boom", who was "fully post-meal". It also features hand-drawn tweets of iconic founders, venture capitalists and angel investors.
Given that startup world definitely grew to became a "new power" of sorts, it's more important than ever that we start to take its received wisdom with a dollop of salt.
Talking about taking it with pinch of salt, no one does it better than Warren Ellis. Here with seven or eight presentations from 2011 and 2015 transcribed, amazingly coherent for a collection.
Unlike platitude-riddled startup cannon, Ellis points the way how to read the past and forge the future. Weird, messy and wonderful one too.