I don’t really consider myself a “startup” type, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. I went in expecting the usual fare about building it fast and cheap and “experimenting,” but instead found a voice that aligns with my own thinking quite a bit. Learned some new stuff about advertising and positioning of a product as well as the concept of a “last mover” advantage. Worthwhile read if you’re building a software business or any other early-stage company.
Starred items are favorites.
A book created from a talk by Jesuit priest, Anthony de Mello. Absolutely brilliant and something that I’ll come back to multiple times in my life. As the name implies, the book makes a point of “waking up” the reader to reality. Helping to understand the difference between the illusions that carry you through life and what’s really taking place. Learned about this from Tim Ferriss who says he’s bought multiple copies to pass out to friends and family. Read it and you’ll understand why.
Brief read, only a hundred pages or so. More of a reminder than new information. Good rules for personal conduct and how to keep yourself out of unnecessary trouble and angst. Highlighted quite a bit—in the same vein as “The Courage to Be Disliked” but the choosing of four maxims to guide your life by is nice. Worthwhile if you find your life in disarray or lacking in some areas and want some guidance for how to improve.
A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the prerequisites for success. One of those books that “plops” in your path, you read it, and it changes your life forever. Simple, quick read that will help you to shift your perception of how and why you live your life the way you do.
Entertaining. A nice reminder/illumination of the inanity plaguing leftist politics and humanity as a whole. A bit of a rehash on “can you believe how nuts these people are?” but overall a worthwhile listen.
Another great book by Preston Pysh, this time joined by his partner Stig Brodersen. The first book in their series hinted at some of the topics in this book, placing more of an emphasis on personal psychology and decision making. In this book, the focus is primarily technical, teaching you how to dissect the three financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement) to make investment decisions. Interestingly, more than giving insight into developing an investment strategy, this also informed how I think about my own business quite a bit.
Holy cow. Simple, fast read packed with information. If you’re interested in a more conservative, predictable approach to investing: this is it. This book teaches the basics of value investing (the technique used by the well-known investor, Warren Buffett) through a series of easy to understand stories and examples. It shares the equations necessary to determine intrinsic value of a stock and some helpful “general range” numbers that good value stocks fall into. Excellent book.
A random pick on a Saturday afternoon that turned into a weekend speed-read. Overall a good book. It has less of a slant on practical measures to take and puts more of a focus on “how to get your head straight.” This was a good reminder that slow-and-steady investment strategies are generally best. Thinking you can outsmart the market or that you’ll stumble on something other—more experienced—investors haven’t is a fool’s errand.
The age-old lessons nicely packaged here: invest consistently and diversely, shifting your strategy based on your immediate need for money (read: weight your investments toward stocks in your prime years and dial back to bonds when you’re nearing retirement). A nice theme throughout: enjoy life, too. Don’t become an over-obsessed money nerd; just be smart and aware and enjoy the ride.
Not a bad book, but a lot more obvious than expected. A lot of the ideas here are slanted toward someone who’s just getting started releasing their own creative work. I’d say it’s still worth a read even if you’re experienced; I managed to pick up some nice tidbits along the way. If anything, it’s a great reminder of how to focus on a career or body of work vs. one hit wonders.
Decent book. Picked it up because I saw the author mentioned in another book I really enjoyed (Small Giants) and knew of his business in Chicago, Artist’s Frame Service. Overall great ideas and tips, though, towards the end a lot of the info was either outdated—expected as the book is from 1998—or only applied to a physical business. If you’re just starting out running your own thing, this is a quick worthwhile read; just flip past the stuff that doesn’t apply to your type of business.
One of those rare books you come across randomly and it ends up changing your life permanently. Saw this on a “best books you read of 2018” tweet/thread and picked it up because of the name. Devoured it inside of a week, highlighting passages on nearly every page. A completely different way of looking at the world—one that can help you immensely to improve your relationships with other folks, and ultimately, your overall level of happiness. 100% a must-read.
Two books in one, and a good pair to come back to throughout life. The title makes it sound like bottom feeder trite—which is what I expected when it was recommended to me—but I was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite. The overwhelming message of the book is the importance of mindset and taking action, though that doesn’t do it justice. There’s a religious component that can be off-putting depending on your own beliefs (this is briefly addressed in The Science of Being Great), but it’s best to ignore it and look to the points being made. Read it, try what it says, and see if it has an impact on your life.
Excellent book. Though most of the ideas it contains were things that I’d learned from others already, hearing them reaffirmed alongside amusing anecdotes was quite welcome. This is a must-read for folks just getting started in business and running their own things. It’s far less of a practical, step-by-step manual and more of a mindset-shaper; a set of moral and ethical guidelines that will indirectly help you find success in business.
A random find—it was randomly pitched to the author’s mailing list that I forgot I was on—this one played my skeptical fiddle extraordinarily well. Through a range of topics, the author(s) break down why we do what we do and how (e.g., political or religious affiliations), more often than not, what we do is backed by hidden motives. It definitely had me questioning my own motives but also made me more empathetic toward inconsistency in the beliefs and motives of others. There weren’t many surprises in this book, but it was nice to see all of the concepts organized and illuminated together.
A good book for folks just getting started out on their own in business or a creative field. I wish I would have come across this a few years ago—it distills a lot of similar thinking I’d read across multiple books into a nice collection of quick-to-digest pointers. The humor it interjects through the use of the author’s cartoons—he doesn’t forget to remind you multiple times that he’s famous for these—makes the read more enjoyable. Worth the short time it took to read.
I stumbled upon Dr. Peterson’s work last year and have slowly been warming up to his reasoning. It’s a shame that he’s cast in a negative light by so many—what he suggests is far from harmful, hateful, or negative (he’s often referred to as a bigot which is utterly confusing); in fact, quite the opposite. I eagerly awaited the release of this book and it lived up to expectations. A lot of wonderful ideas, and more importantly, questions to ask yourself about your own conduct. A worthwhile read for anyone at any age looking to improve their thought process, and ultimately, their life.
Random find. I hadn’t heard of Nathaniel Branden until I came across his chapters in The Virtue of Selfishness. I recall liking his writing more than Ayn Rand’s and decided to look him up. Came across this book as an audiobook and put it on while packing for an upcoming move. Really enjoyed the overall message of this one. It underscored the importance of building up one’s self-esteem and learning to enjoy the happiness in your life (and not feel guilty about it).
Forbidden fruit. This is one of those books that others will shame you for reading and cast judgment on you for agreeing with the principles of, but damn this was good. A great argument against altruism in a way that doesn’t read quite how you’d expect (i.e., don’t pass judgment just based on the title/anecdotal experience with it—read for yourself). A real eye opener for me and a big motivator toward personal responsibility moving forward. Highly recommended, but be careful; what it teaches you will not make others happy (this is addressed in a later chapter).
I can’t remember how I came across this but glad I did. Interesting story of how the LEGO company almost went bankrupt in the early 2000s and the subsequent turnaround. It was nice to see a major, well-known company making similar mistakes and learning how they corrected them. This was an excellent reminder to avoid complacency at all costs.
Travel companion for a series of flights. A brief treatise on the buckling of economic and social stability in Western countries. Well-articulated ideas, backed by data, presented without unnecessary fluff. One of the books you hate to enjoy due to the topic matter, but if this sort of thing concerns you: give this a read. Only ~150 pages.
Quick story written from the perspective of a copywriter working his way up at an ad agency. Nice reminder that the obvious thing is usually the most effective. Short enough to read a few times through to drill-in the concepts.
A must-read for those who are frustrated and/or tired of the hyper-politicization of the world. Great thoughts about the importance of free speech and the importance of upholding the First Amendment, even if you disagree with what someone says. This book is hardly dangerous. Give it a read. At the very least a few laughs are guaranteed.
Excellent read, albeit a bit repetitive. Comprehensive look at a lot of ideas that can improve your overall thinking. An intellectual Swiss Army Knife.
Technically a journal by the chef spanning one year. Learned a lot from this one as René didn’t cover up the mistakes or fears he experienced in his business and personal life. Really unique read that I’d recommend to anyone—especially younger folks—just getting started in business.
The number one book I either recommend or buy for folks I work with. There is simply no recipe for success better than sitting down and doing the work consistently. This book was the turning point in how I looked at my work (and how I did it).
I wish I would have read this when I was younger, but it showed up at a point in life when I was confused/scared and it gave me solid Cliffnotes on how to exist without excessive angst. Keep a copy around and review it from time to time; you won’t regret it.
Adding this review long after I listened to it. Great story about Chris’s life, how he became an astronaut, and some of the lessons he learned on the way up. Entertaining but shouldn’t be dismissed—I learned a ton from Chris about personal conduct and perseverance.