PARC Innovation Services’ List of Best Websites and Books for Insights (or a Laugh)

PARC’s Innovation Services team of leading social scientists, ethnographers, and UX designers regularly share their incredible insights. But it begs the question… where do they go for information? For inspiration? Or just for sheer entertainment value?

We asked and members of the Innovation Services team answered. They provided some enlightening, and even surprising, sources. From philosophy podcasts to business and innovation gurus to Twitter to beekeeping (yes, beekeeping) – it’s all here.

We’d love for you to add your reactions (or share what you’re reading!) in the comments below. Next month, we’ll feature researchers from another PARC focus area to discover more favorites as well.

Victoria Bellotti – Principal Scientist and ACM SIGCHI Academy award winner

bellotti_victoria_02parc (2)Authors
Dan Ariely, Steven Pinker, Daniel Pink, Barbara Ehrenreich, Patrick Lencioni – “I read a lot and don’t really have a favorite author; there are so many I love. Dan Ariely for his writings about behavioral economics. Steven Pinker for his witty prose on psychology and humanity. Daniel Pink for taking on a variety of subjects of interest to me. Barbara Ehrenreich for her exposes of the underbelly of American culture. Patrick Lencioni for making management and business entertaining.”

Blogs, magazines, or websites
Google – “I am content driven not publisher driven, so I guess Google’s search page is my favorite website.”

Authentic Happiness:  Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment” by Martin Seligman –  (Reading now) “Part of my research right now is looking into what motivates people and what makes them feel rewarded. This is connected with my projects on behavior change (mainly in the realm of health and wellness) and on peer-to-peer service exchange networks (such as timebanks and local exchange trading systems).”
The Wide Lens:  A New Strategy for Innovation” by Ron Adner – (Recommend) “Fascinating perspective on how to approach strategic planning for a new product. It introduced me to the concept of a minimum viable footprint which means minimizing dependencies on entities outside of your control in bringing a new product or service to market.”

Mike Kuniavsky – User Experience Designer, Researcher, Author

Mike_kuniavsky_parc (2)Blogs, magazines, or websites
Fast Company’s Co.Design
Hardware Startups sub-Reddit

@steveportigal – “Steve Portigal because he’s smart and a friend.”
@zephoria – “danah boyd because of her insight and razor-sharp perspective.”

“Plei-Plei!”– (Reading now) “A book about playful mobile UX design.”
Convivial Toolbox:  Generative Research for the Front End of Design” by Liz Sanders, Pieter Jan Stappers
Sketching User Experiences:  The Workbook” by Saul Greenberg, Sheelagh Carpendale, Nicolai Marquardt, Bill Buxton
Observing the User Experience, Second Edition:  A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research” (“which I co-wrote” 😉 by Elizabeth Goodman, Mike Kuniavsky, Andrea Moed
Digital by Design: Crafting Technology for Products and Environments” by Conny Freyer, Sebastien Noel, Eva Rucki
Talk to Me:  Design and the Communication Between People and Objects” by Paola Antonelli, Jamer Hunt, Alexandra Midal

Erik Vinkhuyzen – Ethnographer

eric_vinkhuyzen_parc (2)Blogs, magazines, or websites
The Partially Examined Life, Philosophy Bites, Planet Money, Fresh Air, The Bugle, WTF with Marc Maron (podcasts) – “I don’t listen to many work-related podcasts.  I listen to a philosophy podcast called The Partially Examined Life, and Philosophy Bites, which is a nice antidote to the thinking that everything is new – it is not.  Then I listen to the Planet Money and Fresh Air.  (And The Bugle and WTF with Marc Maron for humor).”
American Sociological Society – Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis – “I edit this website as I am the current co-chair.”
The New York Times

“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman – “A great book by the behavioral economist.”
“Beekeeping for Dummies” by Howland Blackiston – “I inherited a colony.”

Patrick Cook – Director of Innovation Services

patrick-cook_parc_useBlogs, magazines, or websites
The Relationship Economy – “It is looking at how social networks are disrupting traditional business organizational dynamics, both internally and externally.”
Stratechery by Ben Thompson – “A well-written blog about mobile innovation strategy.” – “Subject-based social network with interest ‘channels.’ Aggregates great, relevant content from subject matter experts.”

Reverse Innovation:  Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere” by Vijay Govindarajan, Chris Trimble
Delight is in the Details” by Shawn Blanc
The Shape of Design” by Frank Chimero

Ellen Isaacs – User Experience Designer and Ethnographer

Ellen_Isaacs_parc (2)Blogs, magazines, or websites
Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds – “A good blog about effective visual communication in presentations.”
Freakonomics – “An entertaining podcast loosely about behavioral economics.”

The Signal and the Noise:  Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t” by Nate Silver – “About how difficult it is to predict and how we are wired to see patterns that aren’t there.”

James Glasnapp – Ethnographer

james_glasnapp_parc (2)Blogs, magazines, or websites
The Wall Street Journal and Entertainment Weekly – “I regularly read the WSJ and Entertainment Weekly on my iPad.  The WSJ is my serious go-to site for news. EW feeds my need to be entertained and also I like reading about what I should be seeing or reading.”
Pogue’s Posts (NY Times blog) – “I like David Pogue’s insights.”


Your Sixth Sense: Unlocking the Power of Your Intuition (Plus)” by Belleruth Naparstek
Body of Health: The New Science of Intuition Medicine for Energy and Balance” by Francesca McCartney
Divergent series by Veronica Roth
Silo Saga by Hugh Howey
“I’m working on developing my own intuitive abilities. It is amazing what science is uncovering these days. I enjoy science fiction on dystopian realities. I’m currently reading the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, and I also recently read the Silo Saga by Hugh Howey.”

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