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The January Hit List: the Best Business Resources and Buys


| December 24, 2020

Here’s our choice of trends and gadgets to help you do great business in January.

How to adopt sustainable business practices in your office or workplace.

This month, we toast an insider’s look at the practices that made Netflix a market leader; a great value Android smartphone; a podcast that embraces inventiveness in CEOs; and a project management technique that’s used by astronauts and Amazon. Here are January's best business resources and buys.

The Best New Business Book: No Rules Rules

The best business book to be reading now is about Netflix by co-CEO Reed Hastings

Back in 2009, a slideshow about Netflix’s company culture – which included a no “brilliant jerks” hiring policy – went viral. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg said it “may well be the most important document ever to come out of [Silicon] Valley.” The brain behind those bulletpoints is Reed Hastings, Netflix’s co-founder and co-CEO; his new book, No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, expands on the management principles of a company that reported US$6436 million (around AU$8800 million) in revenue last quarter.

A Bang-for-Your-Buck Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is a great value android phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is an affordable version of the best Android has to offer. “FE” stands for Fan Edition, meaning the South Korean phone-makers have designed it to please gamers (with very little frame on a 6.5” display), those who like photography (with a triple-lens rear camera and up to 30X super resolution zoom) or content-creators (with the AI-enabled “Single Take” function that generates a variety of different images and videos from one 15-second shoot). All within a chic matte case that comes in a range of fashion colours.

The Business Trend People Are Talking About: Backcasting

Backcasting, the new business trend of 2021, can be adapted for small business

Ozan Varol, author of Think Like a Rocket Scientist (and who is, in fact, a rocket scientist), recommends “backcasting”: visualising your ideal product then working backwards to identify the steps needed to get there. He writes that NASA used this technique to plan its first moon landing and Amazon mocks up “press releases” for products that don’t yet exist – with imagined customer testimonials and FAQs – for an early, cheap way to see which ideas are worth pursuing.

SEE ALSO: How One Small Business Grew During COVID-19 Lockdown

The Best New Business Technology: Cloudflare Web Analytics

The tech tool to try right now for your business website analytics: Cloudflare

It’s just like Google Analytics – a toolkit used to glean insights into onsite activity – except profiling data isn’t fed back to Google. Cloudflare Web Analytics draws in and presents information about visitor numbers, geographical location, device type and so on but doesn’t store or profit from user data, which means users keep their privacy. The service is free for Cloudflare customers, and will eventually be available to all website administrators.

The Best Podcast for Leadership Lessons: The Creative CEO

The best business podcast to listen to right now: The Creative CEO

New leadership series The Creative CEO is all about doing business differently and embracing inventiveness. Guests, including Michelle Bridges, Mark Webber, National Gallery of Australia director Nick Mitzevich and Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason, speak with Kirsten Galliott, editor-in-chief of Qantas magazine, on topics such as balancing commercial success with creativity, shaping teams and finding inspiration in unlikely places.