Paul Barter’s Must-Read Books of 2017

At the end of every year, Altitude Accelerator Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Paul Barter, releases the top books he’s read over the previous twelve months. The list is usually filled with material that perfectly summarizes the past year in business and technology. This year is no different as Paul released his top books of 2017 last week. Here are his top three picks:

3. The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos

The Master Algorithm covers five different approaches to machine learning. In each of these approaches, he outlines the people who use them and how each approach has its own master algorithm. These master algorithms are good in some cases but not in others. Domingos goes on to describe the arguments by each group but then talks about a true master algorithm that combines the features of all the existing approaches.

Paul considers this to be the best book about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning from the last year. This book gives people with a basic knowledge of machine learning a broader picture of the different schools of thought and ponders the future of artificial intelligence.

2. Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

This book covers the concept of market research and how surveys and focus groups aren’t what they seem. Everybody Lies shows examples of how people subconsciously lie while being a part of these focus groups and surveys by giving their ideal answers or their intentions. This doesn’t always align with their actions and can mislead companies using this data as a tool to make decisions.

This is where data sources such as Google can come into play. Google collects data from clicks which shows action and real intent from its users. As data, this is usually more reliable than what you might get from a focus group.

While this book has some controversial ideas, it is a must read for those in marketing, market research or any decision-making position.

1. Machine, Platform, Crowd by Andrew McAfee & Erik Brynjolfsson

Written by two professors at MIT, Machine, Platform, Crowd shows why Artificial Intelligence will be the biggest trend of 2018. The authors show how these three pillars are disrupting the world and will continue to do so. AI shifts the workforce from man to machine with innovations like Amazon Go. Companies like Uber and AirBnB work as platforms – an open marketplace where users can trade services directly. And the shift from core institutions to the crowd to create products and services like Bitcoin or Wikipedia is yet another major disruption.

While many of us may think the future is bleak as traditional jobs and established companies crumble, the rise of machine, platform and crowd also presents us with countless new opportunities. As businesses, it’s up to us to capitalize on it in 2018.


To hear more from Paul Barter on the state of business and technology, follow him on Twitter.

Recent Posts