What We’re Reading: Steven Aguiar

September 13, 2013

Tired of reading the same recommended books from the usual sources? Just think of our weekly What We’re Reading column as your non-committal book club with FADER and some of your favorite bands. For this installment FADER's new Social Media Manager, Steven Aguiar, shares his favorite e-book-related Twitter feeds and lovelorn fiction.

The Innovator’s Dilemma
by Clayton Christensen

If you’ve ever read an article about startups, you might be familiar with the idea of “disruption.” The word disruptive is usually used to describe some scrappy startup poised to takeover the television or pizza delivery industries. The problem is, most technology and business writers use the phrase in the wrong context. The cycle of disruption as coined by Clayton Christensen in 1997 describes a specific species of success. Mainly, the recasting of old, simple or seemingly useless technologies to address the needs of a market that never existed. His main example in the book is the development of smaller, less powerful hard drives, but the proliferation of Snapchat is a more recent example. In this case, we have a product that is basically a dumbed-down version of SMS texting that nobody figured they needed until they pressed their thumb down and got ten seconds of hilariousness from a drunk friend. Disruptiveness describes smart marketing, not advanced technology, and this book invented the entire concept.

The Marriage Plot
by Jeffrey Eugenides

The first few pages of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot mentions streets in Providence where I used to buy beer and two-for-one sandwiches as a Brown undergrad. This nostalgic connection got my attention, but following the complicated love triangle between Madeleine, Leonard and Mitchell is what kept me engaged. Some people call it a depressing read, but I think it’s a strangely hopeful book about overcoming toxic relationships.


“Learn the difference between inexpensive noises.” This Twitter spam bot was initially setup to market various eBooks, but it’s weirdly wonderful tweets developed a cult following. It's fascinating to me how this seemingly random output sometimes creates very poetic phrases. (But the randomness probably also says a lot about my sense of humor. There’s a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to it if you’re interested in more details.


This is my go-to bookmarking app for articles. Install their browser plugin and start adding articles to your queue, which is accessible on your iOS device through their app. (Pro tip: Use IFTTT to push articles you save in Feedly right to Pocket.)

From The Collection:

What We're Reading
What We’re Reading: Steven Aguiar