10 Books to Dive Into the Future of Digital Transformation: Automation Talks Reading List #1

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raquel tavares

Written by: Raquel Tavares  linkedin  (8min reading)

A book is always a good distraction from the reality around us. Now imagine ten about Digital Transformation!

Our latest project Automation Talks is a podcast about Digital Transformation, that believes the world around us is changing way quicker than we think. Artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics will make this shift as significant as the shift towards mechanization in prior generations of agriculture and manufacturing. 
While some jobs will be lost, and many others created, almost all will change! 

We will all change as a society. This podcast is a space for genuine and insightful conversations where humans discuss the future of their species in an era of machines, automation, and AI. Our host, João Fernandes, alongside our invited speakers, will discuss the impact of the most trending technology and digital transformation.

Was your New Year’s resolution this year to read more books? We have the perfect solution for you. At the end of each episode, we always have a challenge—the automation challenge. We challenge our guests to recommend a podcast to listen to, a book to read, and a person to meet or learn about. We believe that everyone has an inspiration and contributes to better knowledge in the most diverse areas, technology, social impact, banking. We have systematized the recommendations of the first 10 books for you to read:

ricardo ribeiro

In the first episode, Ricardo Ribeiro, responsible for Montepio Crédito’s technology and innovation area, recommended getting a better understanding of financial service by reading The End of Alchemy of Mervyn King (2017) (also available here in the audio version).

In our banking system, something is wrong. We all feel that, but Mervyn King knows it first-hand; his 10 years at the helm of the Bank of England revealed profound truths about the mechanisms of our capitalist society, including at the height of the financial crisis. He offers us an essential work on the history and future of money and banking, the keys to modernity.

rui pedro alves

Rui Pedro Alves, CEO of the group Rupeal, was the second guest to participate in this challenge. Although Rui gave us several book suggestions, he strongly recommended The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Bem Horowitz (2014) (also available here in audiobook). A book that explains that, while many people talk about how great it is to create a company, very few of us are honest about how challenging it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the concerns that leaders face every day, sharing the insights he has gained from developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and coordinating technology businesses.

Rui’s second recommendation is The Road Less Stupid (2017) by Keith Cunningham. (also available here in audiobook). Dumb things are done by smart people. This is a business book for those who want to learn about great decision-making and risk reduction principles and strategies. “The Thinking Time” structure will allow you to minimize the default emotional response to the most apparent idea available at the moment.  

roberto machado

Roberto Machado, CEO of Subvisual, started our conversation with the challenges of accelerating a startup and recommended The Lessons of History (2010) by Will and Ariel Durant (also available here in audiobook).

Five decades of study of world history and philosophy were dedicated to the authors, culminating in the masterful 11-volume The Story of Civilization. Will and Ariel Durant share the vital and profound lessons of our collective past in this compact summary of their work as well as their perspective, acquired after a lifetime of thinking and writing about human history.

afonso eça

Capitalism without Capital by Jonathan Haskel & Stian Westlake (2017) (also available here in audiobook), was recommended by Afonso Eça, CEO and Founder of Raize. The book is about the authors exploring the uncommon economic features of intangible investment and analyzing why these features essentially differentiate an intangible-rich economy from one based on tangible things. 

By presenting three possible scenarios for what the future of an intangible world might be like, Capitalism without Capital concludes by outlining how managers, investors, and policymakers can exploit the characteristics of an intangible age to grow their businesses, portfolios, and economies.

luis newton

The president of the parish council of Estrela Luís Newton, recommended the  Team of Teams by General McChrystal (2015) (also available here in audiobook).

As head of the Joint Special Operations Command, former general Stanley McChrystal held a key position for much of the War on Terror. He discovered in Iraq that Al Qaeda had an advantage because of its structure as a loose network of small, independent cells, despite the vastly superior resources, manpower, and training of the U.S. military. This is a book that Luís Newton believes helped his organization.

rita casimiro

Leaving the reality of startups and technology for a little bit, Rita Casimiro from Maze, recommended I Am Malala, written by Malala Yousafzai   (2015) (also available here in audiobook). The book is about one girl speaking out when the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Malala Yousafzai has refused to be silenced, fighting for her right to an education.  Instead, the miraculous recovery of Malala took her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of New York’s United Nations.

Rita believes that this book is a reflection that we have to look at realities other than ours and understand that what we consider rights are not available for everyone, including going to school and learning to read.

joao fernandes

CEO of DocDigitizer João Fernandes thinks that everyone should read the book by Alan Sten Jr. Raise Your Game (2019) (also available here in audiobook).
In it, Alan explains that because of their discipline, high achievers are at the top of their game. In everything they do, they have made a commitment to establish, tweak, and repeat positive habits. Raise Your Game reviews the top sports and business leaders and demonstrates that success is a result of the little things we do all the time.

João Fernandes believes that the examples in this book can be used by any company or team that wants to reach its peak of talent, and hopefully inspires all its readers and helps create a winning mindset to be able to progress to new levels of success

manuel e goncalo abreu

Marco Silva, from Microsoft, thinks due to our reality in 2020 that we all need a little inspiration and therefore recommended An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth (2015) by Chris Hadfield (also available here in audiobook).

The book demonstrates how to make the impossible possible. Col. Hadfield explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement and happiness through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of liftoff; the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks; and measured, calm responses mandated by crises. You may never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video, or, like Col. Hadfield, perform basic zero-gravity surgery, but his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut. The way you see life on Earth—especially your own—will completely change.

manuel e goncalo abreu

Gonçalo Abreu, Founder of Alfredo AI, said that  The Technology Trap(2020) by Carl Frey (also available here in audiobook) helped him to trace a better panorama and understand the technologies throughout history.

The Technology Trap takes a sweeping look at the history of technological progress and how it has radically shifted the distribution of economic and political power among the members of society from the Industrial Revolution to the age of artificial intelligence. As Carl Benedikt Frey reveals, over the long term, the Industrial Revolution created unprecedented wealth and prosperity, but the immediate consequences of mechanization for large sections of the population were devastating.

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