One of our favorite sources of inspiration and information is, undoubtedly, books. And since our team is growing fast, we’ve decided to put together a monthly list of what we’ve been reading lately!

A multidisciplinary team means a lot of personalities, interests, and hobbies. That being said, this selection is a reflexion of that, with very different themes and writing styles.

Pioneers of Globalization: Why the Portuguese Surprised the World by Jorge Nascimento Rodrigues and Tessaleno Devezas

David against Goliath true story. Imagine that Portugal just won the Space Race to Mars. That’s what happened in the past, and with this book, you can learn how.

“The world system’s telltale signature unveils the emergence of the first globalizing power. Five main theses are defended in this book:

1. History is not a mere accumulation of past facts, the fruit of chance and uncertainty, and the Science of History is not a simplistic narrative of past ‘stories.’

2. Globalization is an evolutionary and irreversible process, initially conceived in China around the 10th century, and born with the Portuguese Discoveries movement in the 15th and 16th centuries.

3. The Portuguese were pioneers in the process that led to the transition to a true global system of cultural and commercial exchange.

4. The application of systemic methodology to the analysis of History allows for the construction of viable future scenarios.

5. There is an inheritance from the Portuguese generations active during the apex period between the 15th and 16th centuries (the “Discoveries Matrix”), as well as a portfolio of acquired knowledge regarding this country’s capacity for resilience and its historical relationship to some of the emerging 21st-century powers.” – at Amazon

Chosen by: Francisco Lé, Head of Growth

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

This is a book that’s super easy to read, it turns complex theories into simple thoughts.

It proves that making decisions is much more complex than it may seem. It explains how your thinking model is not that rational after all, and easy to corrupt.

“In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. The impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risks at work and at home, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning the next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Thinking, Fast and Slow will transform the way you think about thinking.” – at Goodreads

Chosen by: João Almeida, Customer Success

The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond

This book is very interesting, especially in the way it approaches the possibility of interstellar voyages, as well as all the possible (and probable) issues in exploring and terraforming other planets.

“Human civilization is on the verge of spreading beyond Earth. More than a possibility, it is becoming a necessity: whether our hand is forced by climate change and resource depletion or whether future catastrophes compel us to abandon Earth, one day we will make our homes among the stars.

World-renowned physicist and futurist Michio Kaku explores in rich, accessible detail how humanity might gradually develop a sustainable civilization in outer space. With his trademark storytelling verve, Kaku shows us how science fiction is becoming reality: mind-boggling developments in robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology could enable us to build habitable cities on Mars; nearby stars might be reached by microscopic spaceships sailing through space on laser beams; and technology might one day allow us to transcend our physical bodies entirely.

With irrepressible enthusiasm and wonder, Dr. Kaku takes readers on a fascinating journey to a future in which humanity could finally fulfill its long-awaited destiny among the stars – and perhaps even achieve immortality.” – at Goodreads

Chosen by: Rui Silva, Developer

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

A great overview of social media and how content marketing is the key to brand success. This book has been read by everyone on the Growth Team – and it is worth every second spent on it!

“New York Times bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. A mash-up of the best elements of Crush It! and The Thank You Economy with a fresh spin, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really works.

When managers and marketers outline their social media strategies, they plan for the “right hook”—their next sale or campaign that’s going to knock out the competition. Even companies committed to jabbing—patiently engaging with customers to build the relationships crucial to successful social media campaigns—want to land the punch that will take down their opponent or their customer’s resistance in one blow. Right hooks convert traffic to sales and easily show results. Except when they don’t.

Thanks to massive change and proliferation in social media platforms, the winning combination of jabs and right hooks is different now. Vaynerchuk shows that while communication is still key, context matters more than ever. It’s not just about developing high-quality content, but developing high-quality content perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices—content tailor-made for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr.” – at Google Books

Chosen by: The Growth Team

Inspired: How to create products your customers love by Marty Cagan

Even after several years after the first edition (2008) this book now on the second edition is still one of the best resources for Product Management to date.

Understanding that Product is much more than roadmaps, features and deadlines. It’s about your company shifting its mentality to be a product driven company. This means having everyone aligned with the product vision and working towards the same goal, while taking into account the business needs (after all, if we can’t make money the company can’t survive). Ranging from product conception, through product ideation and discovery processes, this is a must read (and follow) for every product company.

“Why do some products make the leap to greatness while others do not?

Creating inspiring products begins with discovering a product that is valuable, usable, and feasible. If you can not do this, then it s not worth building anything.

– How do you decide which product opportunities to pursue?

– How do you get evidence that the product you are going to ask your engineering team to build will be successful?

– How do you identify the minimal possible product that will be successful?

– How do you manage the often conflicting demands of company execs, customers, sales, marketing, engineering, design, and more?

– How can you adapt Agile methods for commercial product environments?

Product management expert Marty Cagan answers these questions and hundreds more as he shares lessons learned, techniques, and best practices from working for and with some of the most successful companies in the high-tech industry. You will find that there s a very big difference between how the very best companies create products and all the rest.” – at Amazon

Chosen by: Pedro Araújo, Head of Product

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Besides the accessible reading, Murakami is able to capture our attention with big twists throughout the novel. A great book to “disconnect” from our daily hectic lives.

“The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 “Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.” – at HarukiMurakami.com

Chosen by: Alexandra das Neves, Designer

Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

From the creators of Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics (which I recommend as well!), this book is awesome to get us thinking outside the box – outside, inside, on top of it, you name it. Amazing storytelling skills, get us hooked from the first to the last page.

“(…)Levitt and Dubner offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems, whether your interest lies in minor lifehacks or major global reforms. As always, no topic is off-limits. They range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain. Along the way, you’ll learn the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they’re from Nigeria.

Some of the steps toward thinking like a Freak:

1. First, put away your moral compass—because it’s hard to see a problem clearly if you’ve already decided what to do about it.

2. Learn to say “I don’t know”—for until you can admit what you don’t yet know, it’s virtually impossible to learn what you need to.

3. Think like a child—because you’ll come up with better ideas and ask better questions.

4. Take a master class in incentives—because for better or worse, incentives rule our world.

5. Learn to persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded—because being right is rarely enough to carry the day.

6. Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting—because you can’t solve tomorrow’s problem if you aren’t willing to abandon today’s dud.

Levitt and Dubner plainly see the world like no one else. Now you can too. Never before have such iconoclastic thinkers been so revealing—and so much fun to read. ” – at Goodreads

Chosen by: Ana Nelas, Copywriter