Books

Scott Berkun is the bestselling author of five books. You can learn about all of them here, download free chapters, or read blog posts related to each one.

The Ghost of My Father

This book is available for pre-order, releasing on Wednesday Oct 22nd 2014.

Berkun takes on an entirely new kind of book, a memoir, telling a tough tale of his failed relationship with his father and how his family was torn apart in 2012. Through intimate personal stories the book explores the meaning of family and how he worked to understand himself as an adult in the wake of a distant parent and a broken family.

This is an achingly personal memoir of loss, love and the hope of transformation by understanding the past. This story is for anyone struggling with their identity in their family and seeking a bright path through dark times. 

A portion of profits from this edition will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters, a non-profit that helps children find supportive adult mentors.

This book was backed by 247 fans on Kickstarter. Read the chapter excerpt here.

The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com & the Future of Work

An Amazon.com Best Book of 2013. This behind the scenes story of the 8th most popular website in the U.S., where everyone works from home, no one uses email and dozens of improvements launch to customers every day.

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The Year Without Pants is one the most original and important books about what work is really like, and what it takes to do it well, that has ever been written.”Robert Sutton, professor, Stanford University, and author, New York Times bestsellers The No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss

“The underlying concept—an ‘expert’ putting himself on the line as an employee— is just fantastic. And then the book gets better from there! I wish I had the balls to do this.” — Guy Kawaski, author, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, and former chief evangelist, Apple

“If you want to think differently about entrepreneurship, management, or life in general, read this book.” — Tim Ferriss, author, New York Times bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek

Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds

This definitive best-of collection of Berkun’s online writings, provocative and  entertaining, guaranteed to make you think & smile.

Essays include famous missives such as:

  • How to be a free thinker
  • The Cult of busy
  • Why smart people defend bad ideas
  • Street smarts vs. Book smarts
  • Hating vs. loving
  • How to make a difference
  • And more than 20 other provocations that will motivate, delight and inspire.

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“The ideas contained in the essays are persuasive and it’s a fun, well focused read.”Simon Moore

“What’s unusual about this book is the incredible directness of the author’s ideas… Scott Berkun in this book manages the art of speaking directly into my brain.” — James Fructerman

“Some great ideas here. Can be read from middle or end or anywhere in-between, i’m glad i got it. Written well and very motivating.” — Rory Gatfield

Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management

In the updated edition of this critically acclaimed and bestselling book, you’ll learn field-tested philosophies and strategies for defining, leading, and managing projects. Based on his nine years of experience as a program manager for Internet Explorer and lead program manager for Windows and MSN, Berkun explains what it takes to plan and ship a large software or web development project.

  • How to make things happen
  • Making good decisions
  • Specifications and requirements
  • Ideas and what to do with them
  • How not to annoy people
  • Leadership and trust
  • The truth about making dates
  • What to do when things go wrong

Complete with a discussion guide for  reading groups and in-depth exercises to for each chapter, it’s the  book you and your team need within arm’s reach. It will serve you well with your current work and on projects to come.

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“I learned more in the first 100 pages of this book than from my years of experience in the industry.”Blogcritic.org

“Reading this was like reading the blueprint for how the best projects are managed at Microsoft.” — Joe Belfiore, VP Microsoft

“Outshines its class.” — Slashdot.org

“Highly recommended for CEOs, project managers, and hackers alike.” — Matt Mullenweg, Founder and lead developer, WordPress.org

The Myths of Innovation

This updated paperback edition of the classic bestseller, takes you on a hilarious, fast-paced ride through the history of ideas. You’ll learn to transcend the false stories that deceive many business experts, scientists, and much of pop culture, with history based lessons on how to invent, create and deliver on your own ideas.  You’ll have fun while you learn:

  • Where ideas come from
  • The true history of history
  • Why most people don’t like ideas
  • How great managers make ideas thrive
  • The importance of problem finding
  • The simple plan (new for paperback)

Since its initial publication, this classic bestseller has been discussed on NPR, MSNBC, CNBC, and at Yale University, MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Google, Amazon.com, and other major media, corporations, and universities. It has changed the way thousands of leaders and creators understand the world.

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“Berkun sets us free to try and change the world.”Guy Kawasaki, Apple Fellow

“Small, simple, powerful: an innovative book about innovation.” — Don Norman, author of Design of Everyday Things

“Brimming with insights.” — Tom Kelley, GM of IDEO

“Thoughtful, often contrarian, and a great read.” — Richard Saul Wurman, creator of the TED Conference

“Insightful, inspiring, evocative and just plain fun to read.” — Steven Johnson, author of The Ghost Map and Where Good Ideas Come From

Confessions of a Public Speaker

In this hilarious and highly practical bestseller, Berkun reveals everything you need to know to speak well in front of any audience. It’s a uniquely entertaining and instructional romp through the powerful skills you need to have the influence you want.

Highlights include:

  • Berkun’s hard-won and simple philosophy, culled from years of lectures, teaching courses, and hours of appearances on NPR, MSNBC, and CNBC
  • Practical advice, including how to work a tough room, the science of not boring people, how to survive the attack of the butterflies, and what to do when things go wrong
  • The inside scoop on who earns $30,000 for a one-hour lecture and why
  • The worst — and funniest — disaster stories you’ve ever heard (plus countermoves you can use)

Filled with humorous and illuminating stories of thrilling performances and real-life disasters, Confessions of a Public Speaker is inspirational, devastatingly honest, and a blast to read.

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“A fresh, fun, memorable take on the most crucial thing: what we say. Highly recommended.”Chris Anderson, Wired

“Berkun tells it like it is… you’ll gain insights to take your skills to the next level.” — Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos.com

“Loved it! This is a very informative and entertaining look at the art of public speaking.” — Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen

“Packed with Invaluable tips and advice.” — Tom Standage, Business editor for The Economist