June 20, 2016

Summer Reading List: Top Books for Data-Driven Executives

The weather is heating up and the days are getting longer. It’s official: Summer is here.  With the change of seasons, we hope you’re also brought a change of pace–time to relax and take a deep breath (hopefully somewhere sunny with your toes in the sand).

While the days of required summer reading lists have long since past, you may still find yourself searching for the perfect summer read. Finding ourselves in a similar situation, we asked the Clearhead team to share some of their favorite book selections.  The list they compiled is the perfect starting place for any data-driven executive looking to sharpen their tools and find inspiration. Without further ado, we present to you the Clearhead Summer Reading List.


Matty’s Recommendation

Matty Wishnow, Co-Founder and CEO

Malcolm Gladwell: Collected by Malcolm Gladwell

“I’d buy this box set for the illustrations alone, which are amazing little pieces of art masquerading as data viz. That said, these books are nothing if not eminently readable and provocative nuggets that tell stories and bigger truths through data. Perfect for those that want more fun and mystery in their data.”

Sam’s Recommendations


Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter by Cass Sunstein

“This book provides perspective on how groupthink can amplify bad decisions and solutions, where data-based estimates create stronger outcomes.”

Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends by Martin Lindstrom

“Lindstrom stretches your thinking with stories on collecting small pieces of data to get the big picture. The lessons are applicable to various aspects of branding and user experience.”

Sam Decker, Co-Founder and Chairman

Ryan’s Recommendations

Ryan Garner, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

Lean StartUp by Eric Ries

“The original, data-driven product design gangster. I am sure you are aware of this book, and you’ve undoubtedly heard phrases like “keep it lean” and “MVP” (over) used. Perhaps you’ve used them yourself. But have you read the book that started it all? There’s more value to be had than just the buzzwords. Pro-Tip: Try the audio book. The author narrates, and he’s good at it.”


 Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelen

“Data can drive you off a cliff if you interpret it incorrectly. Don’t let data drive you off a cliff. Charles Wheelan can help. He makes statistics fun (really), and  provides shocking examples of data-driven decision making gone wrong.”

David’s Recommendation


Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp 

“This book from the folks at Google Ventures was interesting in that it wasn’t a theoretical case study of how innovation happens. Instead, it was a practical field guide on how to run week long innovation sprints with product teams. And I think it’s also a great primer on running strategy workshops with gamestorming principles.

David J. Neff, VP of Consulting

Have some recommendations of your own for summer reading material? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @clearheadme–we’d love to hear them!

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