The Books That Shaped WUNDER

WUNDER has built the next generation of eCommerce AI for emotive brands. WUNDER helps brands to understand the ‘consumer mind’ at the earliest part of the eCommerce funnel. Our AI does this by analysing data such as a consumers’ habits, interests, hobbies, emotions and micro-conversions of intent. Because, after all, it is all these things that makes a person who they are. You are the cumulation of your experiences, your hobbies, the content you read, the stories you hear and the books you read. 

WUNDER helps brand to understand the consumer mind. But what about the WUNDER mind?! In this blog post we looked at some of the books that shaped WUNDER. There is an eclectic mix. If you want to check out any of the books, we’ve provided links so you can get a copy of your own. As avid readers, we had great fun putting this list together. We hope you enjoy it!  

How to Create a Mind

By Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil is arguably today’s most influential, and one of the most controversial, futurist. In How to Create a Mind, Kurzweil presents a provocative exploration of the most important project in human-machine civilization—reverse engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines. This book has been a huge influence for us as we seek to better understand the consumer mind. 

The Emotion Machine

By Marvin Minksy

The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind. In this book, scientific pioneer, Marvin Minsky, offers a fascinating new model for how our minds work. He argues that emotions, intuitions, and feelings are not distinct things, but different ways of thinking. Marvin Minsky was an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence. This book is the result of a lifetime spent thinking about thinking.

The Book of Why

By Judea Pearl & Dana Mackenzie

The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Judea Pearl is a Turing Award-winning computer scientist and philosopher, best known for championing the probabilistic approach to AI and instigating the “causal revolution”. Pearl’s work not only lets us know if one thing causes another, it lets us explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. This book shows us the essence of human thought and key to artificial intelligence.

Thinking Fast and Slow

By Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli-American psychologist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, noted for his work on behavioural finance and hedonic psychology. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes the reader on 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. This is the granddaddy of all popular psychology.


The Paradox of Choice

By Barry Schwartz

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less – How the Culture of Abundance Robs Us of Satisfaction. We were brought up thinking that having options is a good thing. But too much can be crippling. It can lead to anxiety, dissatisfaction and regret. In this book, Schwartz explains at what point choice, the hallmark of individual freedom, becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. A fascinating meditation on how too much choice can be debilitating. 

Zero to One

By Peter Thiel with Blake Masters

Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future. This book presents the idea that in order to follow in the footsteps of people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Larry Page, you have to follow your own path and build something that’s never been built before. The next world-changing business won’t be one modelled off an existing business. Instead, it will go from nothing to something or 0 to 1. This philosophy has been a guiding principle for WUNDER. 

Ask, Measure, Learn

By Lutz Finger and Soumitra Dutta

Ask Measure Learn: Using Social Media Analytics to Understand and Influence Customer Behaviour. This guide shows you how to extract significant business value from big data with Ask-Measure-Learn, a system that helps you ask the right questions, measure the right data, and learn from it. This system was originally devised to help governments and NGOs sift through volumes of data and use it to better understand the consumer mind. A fascinating read.

The Far Side Gallery

By Gary Larson

The Far Side Gallery is just one book from The Far Side creator, Gary Larson. It wasn’t this book in particular that shaped WUNDER but a lifetime of WUNDER Founder, Rupert Steffner reading The Far Side comics. While the 8 books above could be considered quite heavy and serious, this is more light-hearted and playful. Gary Larson revels in the quirky, whacky and absurd. Including The Far Side here is a nod to finding the weird and wonderful in everything. 

Speaking of Play…

The online shopping experience is one that has undergone rapid acceleration. It’s fair to say that eCommerce has been propelled five years into the future because of changing behaviours and needs of online shoppers.

One of the major trends is ‘Playful Engagement’. Learn more about playful engagement by checking out this blog post and find out why we believe it that embracing play is the Future of Early Stage Conversion to Basket.