I've just finished reading Seth Godin's The Purple Cow. For all of you people who think you don't have time to read... this one is quick and powerful. The premise of the book is how important it is today to "stick out" and take risks. In fact, Godin postulates, taking risks is the least risky thing to do. If you stay put, you will surely be left behind.
There are lots of insightful points throughout the book. One of my favorite passages is called "Follow the Leader:"
"Why do birds fly in formation? Because the birds that follow the leader have an easier flight. The leader breaks the wind resistance, and the following birds can fly far more efficiently. Without the triangle formation, Canada geese would never have enough energy to make it to the end of their long migration.
A lot of risk-averse business people believe that they can follow a similar strategy. They think they can wait until a leader demonstrates a breakthrough idea, and then rush to copy it, enjoying the break in wind resistance from the leader.
If you watch the flock closely, though, you'll notice that the flock doesn't really fly in formation, Every few minutes, one of the birds from the back of the flock will break away, fly to the front, and take over, giving the previous leader a chance to move to the back and take a break."