1. The printing press as an agent of change

By Elizabeth L. Eisenstein

Published by Cambridge University Press, 1982

The best place to look for understanding of the present is the past. The story of how print changed Europe and then the world is incredible and from the 'Silicon Valley' of printers around Venice to the way that the medium changed the very way we think, this book helped me grasp just how much of a real revolution the web represented.

2. The origin of wealth

By Eric Beinhocker

Published by Random House Business, 2007

Beinhocker shows how applying the principles of evolutionary theory to economics reveals the true complexity of financial systems. Fascinating in its own right, it helped me grasp the fundamentals of network theory and complex adaptive systems. It was from this that I grasped the concept of digital media creating an 'attention market' in which brands, media and individuals compete. I thought about marketing communications differently from then on.

3. The hard thing about hard things