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What's New in Business: April 2001
Particularly recommended by the business librarians are:

HF 5827.95 .R67 2000
THE ANATOMY OF BUZZ: HOW TO CREATE WORD-OF-MOUTH MARKETING by Emanuel Rosen. (Doubleday/Currency, 2000)

How did Hotmail grow from zero to 12 million subscribers (the fastest adoption rate of a new product ever) in 18 months? Why did Cold Mountain, a literary Southern novel by an unknown first-time author, become a blockbuster bestseller? What made the Palm Pilot succeed when similar devices failed? "Buzz" is the answer, which the author defines as "the sum of all comments about a particular product or company at a certain point in time." Buzz spreads through powerful but invisible "network hubs." Members of network hubs are opinion leaders; they travel more, read more, are faster to adopt new products, and are more likely to recommend them to others, in person and on the Internet. Many people can love your product, but word about it will not spread if those people are not part of a network hub. Therefore, it is critically important to "influence the influencers."

What can you do to stimulate buzz? According to Mr. Rosen, it's a lot like good storytelling. Withhold information and release it gradually. Build anticipation. Make people feel like insiders. Be a bit outrageous, too! Scarcity also builds interest - think of the scramble for the first Trivial Pursuit games, or for rare Beanie Babies. Of course, the best buzz is created when the product is truly impressive on its own.

Included are dozens of fascinating and instructive anecdotes about strategies by makers of the BMW Z3 sports car, Microsoft's Windows 95, Power Bars, Birkenstock shoes, and others. The author also discloses how to keep buzz alive after the newness fades.

The importance of "influencing the influencers" was illustrated recently in a February issue of New York Magazine. "You Will Be Wearing These," the headline proclaims, and goes on, "Christian Dior eyewear's new spring sunglasses...have barely hit the counter at Saks, but already they're everywhere...Sixty fashion editors received them and...magnanimous Dior reps have been handing them out to trendsetters." "Next season," gushes its spokesperson, "you're going to see Dior everywhere." Lesson learned, Mr. Rosen!

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qHF 5382.5 .U5 W46 2000
WETFEET.COM'S INDUSTRY INSIDER GUIDE: THE INSIDE SCOOP ON THE JOB YOU WANT (Jossey-Bass, 2000)

Since 1994, Wetfeet.com has been one of the Internet's best occupational guides to white-collar industries, careers and companies. This book represents part of their extensive foray into the publishing world. The WetFeet.com's Industry Insider Guide is a print version of this popular web site, offering valuable and entertaining information for jobseekers and job changers. Based on extensive interviews with actual employees, the Industry Guide's information, while largely subjective, has a more authentic ring to it than more conventional guides. Overviews, trends, and descriptions of workplace culture are given for 30 growth industries ranging from non-profits to venture capital. Wetfeet.com's defining characteristic, however, is the frank and revealing manner with which it explains how to get a job in each field and what it is like once you get it. This candid excerpt on the field of law paints a particularly vivid picture:
Litigation hell: you sit in a windowless room for
twelve billable hours a day dividing documents into
piles marked "privileged" and "non-privileged" while
the paralegal sitting next to you does exactly the
same thing.

Particularly interesting are the "Real People Profiles." This section gives a sometimes brutally honest hourly account of a typical day. ("11:00 More phone calls, more fires. Help a new bank representative with several calls he's unsure how to manage. 12:00 Lunch with mother who lives nearby."). The Industry Guide is full of blunt appraisals of the working world culled from the experiences of those serving at the front lines. The reader feels as if he or she is getting the scoop from a friend over a beer, which is far more illuminating and enjoyable than any Department of Labor survey.

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HD 70 .U5 O69 2000
HIDDEN VALUE: HOW GREAT COMPANIES ACHIEVE EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS WITH ORDINARY PEOPLE by Charles A. O'Reilly III and Jeffrey Pfeffer. (Harvard Business School, 2000)

O'Reilly and Pfeffer, professors at Stanford University, are men with a cause - that of bringing out the best in every employee, and in doing so, creating winning companies. They profile eight remarkable businesses in diverse industries, from Cisco, the major world supplier of networking equipment for the Internet, to AES, the world's largest independent energy supplier. All of these businesses are service-oriented, but they have one other important thing in common: their employees come first. The authors believe that how a firm nurtures and uses talent within its work force is far more important than attracting new talent. Instead of placing the focus on individual stars, these companies create the conditions for each worker to become a star. They know that every employee who shines brightly on the job will produce satisfied customers.

How to achieve this is explained clearly through analyzing the practices of these exemplary firms. The key is in making specific values and beliefs - such as trust, quality, truth, innovation - the foundation of all corporate policies, creating an organizational team spirit that inspires and motivates everyone. The top executive is a "servant leader" who practices and encourages alignment to the principles of the company and who believes that work should be something you love to do.

These companies increase productivity and profit not by monitoring and controlling people but by offering them involvement, opportunity, autonomy, coaching and a delightful place to work. In the team culture of Southwest Airlines, if the pilots need to load bags, they'll gladly do so. Cisco has a buddy for every new employee. At the Men's Wearhouse, there are no sales clerks, only wardrobe counselors, titles that add dignity and respect. The authors convincingly demonstrate how these companies use the ideas, knowledge and creativity of everyone in the organization to unleash a powerhouse unbeatable in the market.

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Also recommended are:

HD 9696.8 .U62 M36 2000
COMING INTERNET DEPRESSION : WHY THE HIGH-TECH BOOM WILL GO BUST, WHY THE CRASH WILL BE WORSE THAN YOU THINK, AND HOW TO PROSPER AFTERWARDS by Michael J. Mandel. (Basic Books, 2000)

KF 228 .U5 B75 2001
U.S. V. MICROSOFT by Joel Brinkley and Steve Lohr. (McGraw-Hill, 2001)

HG 179 .F444 2000x
YAHOO! ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FINANCE AND MONEY ON THE WEB : FROM BONDS TO BILLS, MORTGAGES TO MUTUAL FUNDS, CREDIT TO CAR LOANS by Julie M. Fenster (HarperResource, 2000)

Contact the business librarians, who also answer questions about business, money, and work, at (412) 281-7141 or at www.carnegielibrary.org/locations/downtown/contact.cfm.

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