In “Reading List,” we ask ecommerce professionals to name some of their favorite books and blogs, and tell us why they read them. For this installment, we corresponded with Rama Ramakrishnan, founder and CEO of CQuotient, a company specializing in email hyper-personalization, who offered his favorite books and Twitter follows.
Dr. Ramakrishnan is an entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in applying analytics to business problems. He states that he founded CQuotient when he “came to the realization that infusing customer insight systematically into everyday decisions would be transformative to retailer economics.”
Prior to CQuotient, Dr. Ramakrishnan taught analytics in the M.B.A. program at MIT Sloan School of Management and was chief scientist and V.P. of research and development at ProfitLogic, a provider of retail-management software. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Dr. Ramakrishnan was engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm, and senior portfolio manager at CIBC Oppenheimer, an investment company.
Rama Ramakrishnan’s Top Books
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
“In my honest opinion, the most thought-provoking business book of all time. If you want to understand how David beats Goliath in the world of business, this is the book.”
Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson
“Irreverent and unconventional advice on building a business from the guys behind 37Signals. You will be inspired to view your business differently, guaranteed.”
Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
“As a card-carrying data and math geek, it is not surprising that I like this book. The authors examine a number of situations through a data lens and come up with interesting and unique insights. If nothing else, the book will sensitize you to the benefits and dangers of a data-centric view of the world.”
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
We like to think that we are rational but in reality we are not. This easy read does a great job of pointing out the common ways in which we stray from the rational path. Some of this material is quite applicable to ecommerce.
The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone
“A warm, inspiring book on living a life of possibility and contribution. The authors open your eyes to how small changes in attitude can make a big difference. My favorite quote from the book: ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather. There’s only inappropriate clothing.’ Though I must confess that New England winters do test my belief in this viewpoint.”
Rama Ramakrishnan’s Top Twitter Follows
“Sucharita Mulpuru is an analyst at Forrester Research that serves e-business and channel strategy professionals. Her pieces on ecommerce, multichannel retail, consumer behavior, and trends in the online shopping space are spot on.”
“Harvard Business Review aims to provide professionals around the world with rigorous insights and best practices to help leading organizations operate more effectively and make a positive impact. I particularly enjoy the Management Tips of the Day to better enhance my leadership skills.”
“iMedia Communications is a trade publication serving the interactive media and marketing industries. I like reading the articles on the ’email trends page’ to see results on the latest email marketing stats. iMedia’s weekly newsletter also keeps me up to date on all the latest digital marketing news and information.”
“Greg Linden was part of the original team at Amazon that built its recommendation engine. He tweets or blogs about recommendation systems and a whole bunch of other topics. They all have something in common: you will learn something new and interesting.”
“Clayton Christensen is the author of The Innovator’s Dilemma and How Will You Measure Your Life?. He’s a professor at Harvard Business School and the architect of and the world’s foremost authority on disruptive innovation. My admiration for him grew as he was named the ‘World’s Most Influential Business Thinker’ in 2011 [by CrainerDearlove, a consulting firm]. As an entrepreneur it’s important for me to stay on top of management trends and to perfect my leadership abilities.”