Lately I’ve been exposed to several books, which have been published over the past year or so, about some unique aspect of security — I wanted to share them with you. Admittedly, I’m in various stages of reading each of them, although you won’t find any spoiler alerts here. Just some summaries and observations, should you decide the topics interest you.

Business Magnetism, by Lars Thinggaard, president and CEO of Milestone Systems, is about the author’s journey at Milestone from its inception through its acquisition by Canon in mid-2014. In a sometimes humorous, oft-times serious tone, Thinggaard discusses business philosophies (Scandinavian versus American management styles, for example) in a deeply intellectual manner. He touches on topics of leadership, timing, technology evolution, and much more — and his writing style is engaging. From Chapter 1: “A workshop. Two Danish engineers. A coffee machine. They’re beavering away on ideas for products that will change our approach to conventional physical security and surveillance systems. Pioneering a new way for users to interface with their building controls. ... These two Danish engineers work for Milestone Systems. The year is 2012. The location is Silicon Valley, the beating heart of the world’s technology industry.”

You can watch Thinggaard discuss his book at

GREATEST IDEAS of the alarm industry’s greatest thinkers, by Ron Davis, president of Davis Group Mergers & Acquisitions (home of the Graybeards), is my summer read. The book is divided into six parts: 1. Great Ideas in Creating RMR; 2. Great Ideas in Taking Care of Your Customers; 3. Great Ideas for Continuing Education; 4. Great Ideas in Personal Motivation; 5. Great Ideas in Building Prosperity; and 6. Great Ideas in Personal Development. The book is based on a question the author has asked more than 100 industry professionals over several years: “If you had just one really great idea you could share with the alarm industry, what would it be?” The result is hundreds of ideas in short-form from security people such as Art Romero, Dave Hood, Jay Hauhn, Michael Marks, Chuck Speck, Joel Matlin, Tim Whall, Don Young, Dale Eller, Harvey Cohen, Mel Mahler, Kit Vail, John Lombardi, Dom D’Ascoli, and even Ron’s wife, Beverly Davis. This looks to be a treasured portfolio of industry views and I can’t wait to begin the journey through these pages.

You can order the book at

Take the Stairs, by Rory Vaden, is a New York Timesbestseller book I received from the author himself, who spoke at DMP’s annual Owners Forum in Las Vegas in April. Sometimes inspirational speakers come across as more ordinary than unique, so I was skeptical when he first began to speak, especially because he looks so young. But Vaden was an outstanding speaker; his material is original from thought process to delivery. In Take the Stairshe writes: “The last time you came up to a set of stairs and an escalator, did you Take the Stairs? If you’re like 95% of the world, then you probably didn’t. Most people don’t; most of the time we look for shortcuts. We all want to be successful and we all want to have a happy life, but we constantly look for the easy way. We look for the “escalator” in hopes that life will be easier. Unfortunately, in our search for making things easier, we are actually making them worse.” Vaden’s writing is compelling; he provides the reader with concrete steps they can take to tackle life’s hard projects, even when human nature tells them it’s easier to do nothing.

Learn more at


In This Issue:

SDM has been publishing the exclusive “State of the Market” article series since 2006 to inform readers about the progress and viability of the security industry in four major product categories: access control, intrusion (burglar) alarm and monitoring, video surveillance, and fire protection. New this month, we have added a fifth part to SDM’s State of the Market series on the Connected Home.

Senior Editor Karyn Hodgson writes: “The connected home space is one of ‘activity but uncertainty’ today. The security industry holds the advantage right now, with a built-in revenue model and expertise in integration; but the challenge will be not losing that edge as outside competition starts to figure it out.”

Begin the journey into this fascinating subject on page 57.