Media Hits: What to read, watch and listen to

From an HBO special about the bloody mess at Theranos to a new book about digital minimalism, here are podcasts, books and videos to fuel your communication inspiration.


Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Unplug, turn off and disconnect in order to regain some semblance of control over the digital forces trying to control your life. If you weren’t such a dopamine junky, you could concentrate and get something done. Think of it as Marie Kondo for your smartphone.




Design Is Storytelling by Ellen Lupton

If design is problem-solving—e.g., the iconic New York City subway map—“what about beauty, feeling, and sensation? What about humor, conflict, and interpretation?” So begins this wonderful book by Ellen Lupton, senior curator of contemporary design at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. By turns entertaining, funny, admonishing, interactive and thought-provoking, her book shows you the difference between designs that tell you something and those that just sit there. From infographics to shampoo bottles, you’ll never look at the world in the same way.



Theranos may be the biggest crash-and-burn story in high tech.
A documentary (The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley), a book (Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup), many, many articles, and a great interview with the book’s author, John Carreyrou, on Bloomberg, give a blow-by-blow of the deception perpetrated by Elizabeth Holmes, a Steve Jobs wannabe and failed changer of the world. If you’re in crisis communication, listen to Carreyrou about the difference between the hype and the reality. What is your brand promising and what is it actually delivering?


The Crazy One by Stephen Gates

The chief design evangelist at InVision, aka The Crazy One, is full of advice on design, creativity and leadership. Plus, on his website, you’ll find lists of books, apps, blogs, conferences, you name it. Stephen Gates will keep you inspired and help you do what you do. Impressive if a little overwhelming.



Rebecca Rolfes

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