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Storyteq picks: Books we loved in 2020 📚

As 2020 comes to a close, there are a lot of fun, interesting, and important things for us to look back on at Storyteq. One of my favorites is reviewing what we’ve read.

Dec 28, 2020

🕑   4-minute read

Pim van Willige

Andreea Serb

Content Strategist at Storyteq

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We found that the most effective way to deepen our expertise in our respective departments is through reading.

Reading is an amazing way to upskill, gain different perspectives, broaden our knowledge, and find creative ways to level up our careers. We’ll leave it at that. 

Happy reading!

PS. We also threw in a few bonuses for those who love the audio medium. 🎧

Lennard Kooy, Managing Director

💡 Why

“Bad Blood is the poster child of what can go wrong when wanting the glory of building the world’s best start-up too much. It’s a fascinating story that gives many lessons especially on what not to do (when running a tech start-up).  

Although it actually happened, it reads like a thriller and page-turner. The writer got a Pulitzer prize for his articles and the book mostly because he was the first to really uncover the scam. It’s not only fun to read for business owners but anyone out there. I don’t know anyone who didn’t like reading it.”

Ronald Timmers, Full-Stack Developer

💡 Why

“It was a Storyteq birthday present after mentioning that I was interested in it. I enjoyed the approach about coding in general and not focusing on a specific framework or language. 

The writers describe coding as a craft and try to explain the main arguments on how to write clean but foremost understandable code. 

I learned that the most important reason is to write something easily understandable for others by thinking about naming, comments, and mainly about different levels of detail inside functions.”

Alise Šcerbinina, Business Development Specialist

💡 Why

“In sales, we are trying to create as much predictability as possible in our processes and outcomes, but since we are dealing with humans who can be notoriously unpredictable, there is always a risk that a prospect/lead at any stage of the sales funnel does something we did not anticipate. 

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a source of information that tells you what people think and how they act in almost all situations, all over the world? Well, thankfully Seth Stephens-Davidowitz had the idea to sift through tons of data and basically created a guide to human feelings and thoughts. 

If you want to know what your prospect/lead is going to do before you even speak to them, read this book.”

Guillaume Fernandez, Marketing Manager

The Psychology of Desire by Wilhelm Hofmann

💡 Why

“As a marketer, I often seek new ideas for developing enticing copy whether for our ads or the website.

Online content can teach you how to use some decent shortcuts but it never teaches you how to put yourself into someone else’s shoes.

For that, you definitely need to meet and listen to people but I think there’s much more to it than just that. I believe that understanding and tapping into what drives emotional decision-making is key so this book might be a great starting point to learn that.”

Andreea Serb, Content Strategist

Atomic Habits by James Clear

💡 Why

“I love this book because it reveals practical strategies that teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. 

According to Clear, “an atomic habit is a tiny change, a marginal gain, a 1 percent improvement,” which you can use as a building block to improve yourself every day.

In my role as a content writer, I find it crucial to use a system of growth and be disciplined enough to fill out a blank page every day so I am truly inspired by this book; I see it more like a manual  for anyone who needs to make small, incremental changes that compound over time.”

Kristine Ugalde, Business Development Specialist

💡 Why

“it’s not just for sales but for everyday life. The book really helps in uncovering people’s true motives and how you can meet them in the middle in a way that benefits both sides.”

Jasper Meijer, Account Manager

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham

💡 Why

“The SPIN Selling theory, based on a study of thousands and thousands of sales calls, helps you retrieve all the crucial information from a prospect needed during a B2B sales process. 

Based on four categories (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-Payoff), it’s a structured approach of asking questions that lead to closing a deal.

What is particularly useful for me, besides the way it teaches you to work in a structured way, is that it’s always good to see if you have all the information you need at the right time in the process.”

Bonus

Margreet Lindeboom, Customer Success Manager

“How’s work?” by Esther Perel

💡 Why

“I am a big fan of Esther Perel, who is an iconic couples psychotherapist. Recently, she has also launched this podcast, which brings new perspective to the invisible forces that shape workplace connections.

I recommend it because it gives food for thought and great insight on relational self-awareness and how the quality of your work life depends on the quality of your relationships.

It makes you realize that you are building relationships everywhere you go and that the division between your personal and professional life is not as strict as you might think.”

Also check out:

  • Simon Sinek’s podcast “A Bit of Optimism” – for a bout of positivity during these strange times
  • Shane Parrish’s “The Knowledge Project” – to help you think, reflect, and better understand the complexities and interconnections in the world in which we live
  • Inside Bill’s Brain – a Netflix documentary which gravitates largely towards the issues tackled by Gates’ foundation

Andreea Serb

Content Strategist at Storyteq

Andreea is a content strategist at Storyteq and is passionate about writing, storytelling, and cross-functional collaboration. When she’s not busy typing away, you will always see her reading a good book.

Pim van Willige

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