The November Hit List: Business Resources, Tech and Tools
Business| By Alison Boleyn | October 30, 2020
Here are the best of this month’s business resources: the book, podcast, app, idea and gadget for starting a new business or when you’re well on your way.
In this month’s round-up of the best business resources, tune in to a podcast to hear how successful founders organise their days; check out a lap desk that will make working from home easier; consider the economic value of social connection; and invest in a classic business book with lessons that have held true for close to 20 years.
The Best Podcast to Listen to: How I Work
Melbourne-based organisational psychologist Amantha Imber, who’s advised companies including Disney, LEGO, Coca-Cola and Apple, asks business leaders to share their habits on her podcast, How I Work. Elizabeth Khuri Chandler, co-founder of the Goodreads website, says she works with a pen and paper whenever she’s blocked at the keyboard. Fred Schebesta, co-founder and director of product comparison site finder.com.au, is a “sleep segmenter” who splits a night’s shut-eye with a bout of work from 3am. You might be inspired to take on some of their habits as your own; if not, it’s a great insight into how other people structure their days (and nights!).
The Best App for First-Time Business Owners: Backr
CommBank’s incubator program X15 Ventures has developed Backr, a soon-to-launch app that offers a digital, task-based approach to starting a small business. It guides first-time small business owners and entrepreneurs through early-stage processes step-by-step, from registering a business name and getting an ABN to creating a business plan and generating invoices.
The Best Clever Gadget to Buy: Portable Lap Desk
Sometimes you just want to work on the lounge (or maybe even from bed!). This lacquered MDF (medium-density fibreboard) portable desk features a padded base for comfort, is big enough to support a laptop, includes a groove for holding a tablet and doubles as a meal tray for when the work-life divide gets a bit fuzzy.
The Best Business Book to Read: The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova
Psychologist and writer for The New Yorker Maria Konnikova was a novice at cards when she decided to “better understand that line between skill and luck” by competing in high-stakes poker games under the mentorship of world champion Erik Seidel. The resulting book teaches a little bit about poker and a lot about risk-taking, decision-making and personal responsibility in the game and out of it.
The Idea Everyone’s Talking About: “Social Capital”
This term has been around since the 1890s and refers to the shared values, obligations and sense of identity that come with connecting with others in anything from the Scouts to a startup. The idea found new energy after Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, asked in May whether remote working was “burning up some of the social capital we built”. Monash University has since called social capital a “significant” factor in employment success, finding 45 per cent of surveyed graduates found their first job through a personal contact.