May, 2016

Smartcuts by Shane Snow

The Big Idea
Work smarter, not harder.

Key Takeaways

  1. Hacking the Ladder: sometimes the fastest way up is side-to-side; eg. US presidents with little political experience, movie stars with little acting experience
  2. Training with the Masters: find a successful mentor to accelerate your learning; eg. Jimmy Fallon, Steve Jobs
  3. Rapid Feedback: embrace failures but always learn from them, develop a system and culture of experimentation; eg. Upworthy, Second City, heart surgery
  4. Platforms: take advantage of existing platforms to maximize leverage and avoid reinventing the wheel, build platforms when necessary, don’t repeat yourself; eg. David Heinemeier Hanson, Ruby on Rails, car racing, calculators, Finland schools
  5. Waves: riding a wave is good, riding two converging waves is much better, learn to spot trends and move quickly, first-mover advantage is overrated; eg. Scrillex, surfing
  6. Superconnectors: building relationships can accelerate progress like a turbo booster, become a superconnector by being generous with your time; eg. Fidel Castro, JJ Abrams,
  7. Momentum: parlay small wins into big wins to keep the momentum going; eg. Michelle Phan, Oreo
  8. Simplicity: less is more, small is beautiful, taking on less focuses your resources and energy; eg. Embrace, Mac, Finland schools
  9. 10x Thinking: big thinking can galvanize teams and partners, fewer competitors can focus your efforts; eg. SpaceX, GoogleX

Get Acquired by Ian Bednowitz

Wonderful Udemy course for founders on how to get acquired — taught by the former head of M&A for eBay, Ian Bednowitz.

Fortune 500 M&A teams have different priorities than investors.  They care much more about strategic fit than about traction and revenue.

Take the course. It’s all meat, no filler.

The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

95% of this book was about why sleep is so important.

5% of the book is about how to get better sleep.  Save time by reading this article instead.


More and better quality sleep will make your life better.  Exercise. Meditate. Avoid caffeine after 2pm.  No digital devices near bedtime. Keep your bedroom cool.


  • Lack of sleep weakens your immune system, can make you fat, can make you depressed, and hurts your decision making.
  • Sleeping pills are terrible for you.
  • No coffee after 2pm.
  • Dreams can often be the source of good ideas, so keep a dream journal by your bed.
  • Do you check the post on because you snore too much? Snoring might be a sign of sleep apnea, which can disrupt REM sleep and make you perpetually exhausted.
  • Lucid dreaming helps some people overcome night terrors.
  • Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
  • Some couples sleep in separate beds and still maintain a happy relationship.
  • Turn down all light an hour or two before going to bed.
  • No digital screens allowed in bed.
  • Ideal sleeping temperature is 60-66 degrees.
  • Exercise at some point during the day will improve that night’s sleep.
  • Eat dinner at a reasonable time.
  • Avoid spicy foods before bed.
  • Alternative remedies can help but ignore alternative remedies until you get the basics handled: acupuncture, chamomile, lavender, GABA.
  • Reduce your stress with yoga, meditation, or qigong.
  • Write down your blessings before bed.
  • Write down your todo list before bed.
  • Naps are fantastic for your body and mind.