• Move Fast & Fix Things by Frances Frei and Anne Morris
    The Big Idea: Leadership is the practice of imperfect humans leading imperfect humans. INTRO: Trust Us, It’s Fixable MONDAY: Identify Your Real Problem TUESDAY: Solve For Trust WEDNESDAY: Make New Friends THURSDAY: Tell a Good Story FRIDAY: Go as Fast as You Can
  • The Corner Office by Adam Bryant
    The Big Idea: Successful CEOs share these qualities. Passionate curiosity. Battle-hardened confidence. Team smarts. A simple mindset. Fearlessness. Introduction While setting overall business strategy is certainly an important part of a CEO’s job, leadership shapes every part of their day. The culture and tone starts at the top, and each company reflects the personalities of […]
  • Scaling Up Compensation by Verne Harnish and Sebastian Ross
    The Big Idea: Compensation is one of your largest expenses and, therefore, one of your most important strategic decisions. Overview: 5 Principles for Effective Compensation Design Principle #1 – Be Different: Aligning Compensation with Culture and Strategy The first principle of compensation design is to Be Different. Strategy is about being perceived as different versus […]
  • The Gap and The Gain by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy
    The Big Idea: When you measure yourself against an ideal, you focus on the GAP. When you measure yourself against where you where before, you focus on the GAIN. Focus on the GAIN for happiness and success. INTRODUCTION Why Most People Aren’t Happy “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” —Thich Nhat […]
  • Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy
    The Big Idea: “How do I achieve this goal?” Although this question seems intuitive, it’s actually the worst possible question you could ask. A much better question is: “Who can help me achieve this?” It takes vulnerability and trust to expand your efforts and build a winning team. It takes wisdom to recognize that other […]
  • Topgrading by Brad Smart
    The Big Idea: Create job scorecards instead of job descriptions. Use 1) Screening Interviews, 2) Topgrading tandem interviews, and 3) Reference Check interviews to identify A-players for your company. Chapter 1: What is Topgrading? Ch 2: Calculate the cost of your mis-hires. Ch 3: Begin Topgrading from the top down. Ch 4: Conduct a talent […]
  • How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson
    The Big Idea: The Stoics believed a good life is the pursuit of the cardinal virtues: wisdom, justice, courage, and moderation. We can’t control our fate, only how we think and act. INTRODUCTION The Stoic school in particular focused on the practical side of Socratic philosophy. The philosophical origins of cognitive therapy can be traced […]
  • The Pragmatist’s Guide to Crafting Religion by Malcolm Collins
    The Big Idea: In a world of declining populations and advancing AI, you don’t want to be the family shaped by pop culture and operating on auto-pilot. You want to be the family with a culture that has been designed to endure. This book is written to help you build a family culture that is […]
  • The Pragmatist’s Guide to Life by Malcolm Collins
    ABOUT THIS GUIDE What should I optimize for in life? How do I know what is true? Who should I be? WHY BOTHER? Why were most cultures in human history wrong, whereas the time and place that you just happen to be born into correct? Many books that claim to be about some form of […]
  • Startup Boards by Brad Feld
    The Big Idea: Managing communications and making decisions effectively, in good times and bad, are two critical elements of a board dynamic. Proactively picking the best board members is like assembling the members of a band—the music can be awesome, if done right. Ch 1 Introduction Ch 2 What is a board? Ch 3 Creating […]
  • Scaling Up by Verne Harnish
  • Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger
    The Big Idea: Climate change is dangerous, but it is not an existential threat to humanity. Industrialization, not environmental activism, will save the world’s ecosystems. Rich nations should do everything they can to help poor nations industrialize. Death rates and economic damage from extreme weather events have dropped by 80 to 90 percent during the […]
  • The Fourth Turning is Here by Neil Howe
    The Big Idea: Historical is shaped by cycles. Each cycle (saeculum) lasts one human lifetime, about 80-90 years. Patterns repeat because generations are shaped by history as children and young adults and, in turn, they shape history as middle aged adults and elders. America is in the middle of the winter season (Fourth Turning) of […]
  • The Art of Enterprise by Gary Hoover
    Introduction Why we do things, our purpose, is at least as important as how we do things The most important skills, if you want to lead organizations, are the ability to speak and write. Find that sweet spot where your own passions and ideas intersect with the real needs of real people. Successful people are […]
  • Great Companies Deserve Great Boards by Beverly A. Behan
    The Big Idea: New CEOs should take the time to learn about corporate governance. Consider subscribing to “Directors & Boards”, “Agenda”, “Directorship”, or “Corporate Board Member”. Terminology for the new CEO Eight components of a high performing board Traits of a high performing board: Board/CEO dynamics to avoid: CEOs should not hesitate to discuss an […]
  • Mastery by Robert Greene
    The Big Idea: Mastery is not a question of genetics or luck, but of following your natural inclinations and the deep desire that stirs you from within. Introduction I: Discover Your Calling: The Life’s Task II: Submit to Reality: The Ideal Apprenticeship III: Absorb the Master’s Power: The Mentor Dynamic IV: See People as They […]
  • Civilization by Niall Ferguson
    The Big Idea: The West has achieved global dominance thanks to competition, science, rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and work ethic. In recent decades, the West has lost its monopoly over these and the balance of power has begun to shift back towards other civilizations. Why did the West, for the past five hundred […]
  • The Crusades by Thomas Asbridge
    The Big Idea: From the 11th to the 15th century, popes and Christian nobles attempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to take back Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslims. The first crusades was the most successful, establishing, for a time, 4 Latin Christian kingdoms within the Holy Land. Crusade Date Started Date Ended Key Battles Primary […]
  • What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz
    The Big Idea: As a leader, it’s your job to design and build your organization’s culture. A well-designed culture can overcome a poor product or service in the long-term, but not in the short-term. (Product-market fit probably matters more than culture for a startup trying to survive past the early stages.) The culture you design […]
  • Outlive by Peter Attia, MD
    Chapter 1: The Long Game Longevity has two components; how long you live and how well you live. The four main chronic diseases of aging (aka Four Horsemen) are: heart disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, metabolic disorder (diabetes.) A single, preventative measure (not smoking) saves more lives than any late stage intervention that medicine has devised. […]
  • Young Forever by Mark Hyman, MD
    The Big Idea: live long and prosper by eating well, exercising regularly, and sleeping well. Chapter 1 Aging is a treatable disease. Functional medicine looks at the body as an ecosystem; diseases are complex but often have identical root causes. Conventional medicine treats the body as a collection of organ; often only symptoms are treated, […]
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
    The Big Idea: Prioritize and focus on what brings happiness, instead of caring about things that don’t matter. Inspired by Stoicism and Buddhism. There is no such thing as permanent happiness. Happiness is the process of solving problems and challenges. Make decisions based on values and reason, not emotions. When you believe you’re special, you […]
  • Angel by Jason Calacanis
    The Big Idea: When done right, angel investing in technology is the best path to rapid wealth creation. It’s high risk, but high reward.
  • Inevitable by Kevin Kelly
    The Big Idea: Much of what happens in the next thirty years is inevitable. Source: Wikipedia
  • Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
    The Big Idea: From 1914 to 1917, twenty eight men, led by Sir Ernest Shackleton, survive for two years on an Antarctic expedition. The crew drifted on ice for a year, then sailed to Elephant Island, then sailed to South Georgia Island, then overland crossed South Georgia Island, before returning to Elephant Island to rescue […]
  • Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday
    The Big Idea: Stillness is the ability to slow down, clarify your thinking, center your soul, and direct your efforts to achieve great things. Part I: MindBecome Present: You can’t do your best if your mind is elsewhere.Limit Your Inputs: Put up barriers to keep away unimportant things out of your head.Empty the Mind: Chop […]
  • The Everything Store by Brad Stone
    The Big Idea: Think long-term. Stay frugal. Stay obsessed with the customer. When in doubt, take action. Always be trying new ideas. Hire only top talent.
  • Breathe by Rickson Gracie
    The Big Idea: For Rickson, jiu-jitsu is life.
  • How Civil Wars Start by Barbara F. Walter
    The Big Idea: Based on analysis of past civil wars (Philippines, Yugoslavia, Iraq), the author argues that right wing Americans, led by Donald Trump, and enabled by social media, are bringing the U.S. closer and closer to civil war.
  • Lives of the Stoics by Ryan Holiday
    The Big Idea: The ancient Stoic philosophers came from almost every imaginable background: slave, emperor, water carrier, playwright, merchant, Senator, soldier. However, they all focused not on the external world but on what was solely in their own control: their thoughts, their actions, their beliefs. 1. All we control is how we respond: A crisis […]
  • The River of Doubt by Candice Millard
    The Big Idea: Theodore Roosevelt’s expedition down an uncharted tributary of the Amazon River is a story of poor planning, but also incredible courage and grit. Description from the author: The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians […]
  • The End of the World is Just the Beginning by Peter Zeihan
    The Big Idea: Deglobalization and unavoidable demographic changes will produce winners and losers. Winners: United States, Mexico, Canada, France, New Zealand, Argentina. Losers: Russia, China, Middle East. Since Bretton Woods in 1944, the United States promised to provide security for the world, in exchange for support against the Soviet Union. Geography is critical in a […]
  • Life Force by Tony Robbins
    CHAPTER 2 THE POWER OF STEM CELLS Stem cells, ideally the placenta, are the foundation of the coming wave of regenerative medicine. Panama and Mexico are common destinations for Americans seeking stem cell therapy. In the U.S., Fountain Life (Naples FL) offers many of the diagnostics discussed in the book. If you are interested in […]
  • The Changing World Order by Ray Dalio
    The Big Idea: Empires rise and fall. The US is in the declining stages of its empire. China appears to be rising. No empire in human history has lasted forever. Empires have life cycles, much like organisms have life cycles. A successful empire lasts 250 years, give or take 150 years. The cycle swings between […]
  • Limitless by Jim Kwik
    The Big Idea: Reject your limiting beliefs and learn how to learn, in order to unlock your full potential. 1. Mindset: You must believe you can learn and you must be ready to learn. 1.1. Many people learned limiting mindframes when they were young.1.2. Kwik calls this learned helplessness “LIE” or “Limiting Idea Entertained”.1.3. One […]
  • Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell
    The Big Idea: Show your team you care and they’ll deliver extraordinary results. Bill Campbell has coached Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, Steve Jobs, Al Gore, Ronnie Lott, and John Hennessy. Humanity and compassion => happy employees => extraordinary long-term results. Teamwork > individual performance. Don’t demand respect. Earn respect. Let the best idea […]
  • We Do by Stan Tatkin
    The Big Idea: a successful and long-lasting marriage requires acquiring skills such as: knowing how to communicate, knowing how to fight, knowing how to build a couple bubble, and knowing how to manage thirds Introduction: Why Should You “We Do?” 42 percent of first marriages end in divorce. If you want to beat the odds, […]
  • The Self-Driven Child by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson
    The Big Idea: A parent’s ultimate job is to raise a strong, confident, and responsible adult by giving the child 1) space to make (and learn from) mistakes, 2) space to explores their interests, and 3) the right balance between guidance and freedom. INTRODUCTION: Why a Sense of Control Is Such a Big Deal We […]
  • The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
    The Big Idea: The Selfish Gene says that all forms of life on Earth begin with genes, and that the purpose of life is to make sure those genes survive. Any form of life anywhere in the universe must begin with some type of replicating molecule. Genes are like a blueprint for the bodies they […]
  • Falling Into The Gap by Donald Fisher
    The Big Idea: Falling Into The Gap is the inspirational story of how a man with no retail training built the world’s most successful international apparel company by being willing to take risks based on his natural instincts. Lessons for Founders It’s better to be lucky than smart. Being a (tenacious) novice can be a […]
  • Thank You For Being Late by Thomas Friedman
    The Big Idea: The rate of change has accelerated since 2007, outpacing humanity’s ability to adapt to the change. We can’t stop change, so we need to adapt. Three forces are shaping the world: technology, globalization, and climate change. There are four types of globalization: flow of technical knowledge, the flow of business, the flow […]
  • The Good Gut by Justin Sonnenburg and Erica Sonnenburg
    The Big Idea: eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and fermented foods to maintain a healthy microbiome and discourage disease. An unhealthy microbiome is associated with: infant colic, allergies, autism, auto-immune diseases, obesity, depression, schizophrenia, OCD, stroke, heart disease, systemic inflammation, and cancer. Vaginal childbirth is preferable to C-section. Breast milk helps feed […]
  • The Extended Mind by Annie Murphy Paul
    The Big Idea: Thinking doesn’t just take place inside the brain; it also takes place outside the brain. When your body (emotions/unconscious mind) is telling you something, listen to it; this is called interoception. Practice meditation to improve your interoception abilities. Regular walks can improve thinking. Physical demonstrations helps students learn abstract concepts better. Gestures […]
  • How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen
    The Big Idea: Strive for happiness, not success. 1. How to find happiness in your career Understand what motivates you. Internal motivation > external motivation. Money and status are more of a by-product of being happy with a job, than a cause of it. Think about the long-term consequences of your decisions. Make plans but […]
  • The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
    The Big Idea: Humans have transformed the Earth and now we are experiencing accelerating rates of species extinction. Until the 18th century, scientists were unaware that species came and went, over the past billion years. Big Five Mass Extinctions End Ordovician, 444 million years ago, sudden cooling Late Devonian, 375 million years ago End Permian, […]
  • The Great Mental Models Volume 1 by Shane Parrish
    The Big Idea: Better mental models (frameworks) mean better thinking. Introduction: Acquiring Wisdom In life and business, the person with the fewest blind spots wins. This book is about avoiding problems. Our failures to update from interacting with reality spring primarily from three things: not having the right perspective or vantage point, ego-induced denial, and […]
  • Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne
    The Big Idea: For most of the Old West times (1740s – 1870’s), Comanche tribes controlled the Southern Great Plains. The westward migration of settlers decimated their power and population. 1500The Comanches start off as a Shoshone linguistic group that migrate to the Great Plains. 1680The Pueblo tribe revolts against the Spanish colonists. They manage […]
  • 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman
    The Big Idea: Instead of getting more done, focus on getting the right things done. There are many time management books out there that try to teach you how to get it all done. But that’s a mistake. Because it’s impossible to get it all done. And it’s dangerous to try. You’ll lose focus on […]
  • The Molecule of More by Daniel Lieberman and Michael Long
    The Big Idea: Dopamine and H&N neurotransmitters (serotonin, endorphins endocannabinoids, oxytocin) control much of our behavior. Harmony is achieved through a balance of dopamine and H&N. Creative activities are the best way to mix dopamine and H&N. Chapter 1 LOVE Dopamine, they discovered, isn’t about pleasure at all. Dopamine activity is not a marker of […]
  • Brain-centric Design by Rich Carr and Kieran O’Mahony
    The Big Idea: Abandon traditional instruction (ie lectures) based on outdated behaviorist theories and replace with Brain Centric Instruction Design based on our improved understanding of neuroscience and learning. Traditional instruction is based on BF Skinner behaviorism theory and reward-punishment thinking. The result is lectures, where the instructor does 99% of the talking, and little […]
  • The Parasitic Mind by Gad Saad
    The Big Idea: America needs to defend freedom of speech, the scientific method, intellectual diversity, and a meritocratic ethos. “For decades now, a set of idea pathogens, largely stemming from universities, has relentlessly assaulted science, reason, logic, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, individual liberty, and individual dignity. If we want our children and grandchildren […]
  • Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism by Peter Hotez
    The Big Idea: We have massive data showing the genetic or epigenetic basis of autism, together with a handful of environmental toxins. What Does Cause Autism? We now have data and information on more than one million children that show vaccines do not cause autism. Instead, the brains of kids (and of course, ultimately, adults) […]
  • The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson
    The Big Idea: Take Naval seriously because he…questions nearly everything, can think from first principles, tests things well, is good at not fooling himself, changes his mind regularly, laughs a lot, thinks holistically, and thinks long-term. Books make for great friends, because the best thinkers of the last few thousand years tell you their nuggets […]
  • Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
    The Big Idea: Success in show business is a result of talent, hard work, strategy, and luck — probably in equal portions.
  • The Fourth Turning by Neil Howe and William Strauss
    The Big Idea: Brace yourself. Winter is coming. The 2020’s will be a time of crisis and will remake America. CHAPTER 1 – Winter Comes Again The four turnings of the saeculum comprise history’s seasonal rhythm of growth, maturation, entropy, and destruction. The First Turning is a High, an upbeat era of strengthening institutions and […]
  • Post Corona by Scott Galloway
    The Big Idea: Coronavirus: this too shall pass. The pandemic’s most enduring impact will be as an accelerant of existing trends. Look beyond our unprecedented present and predict the future by creating it. In any crisis there is opportunity; the greater and more disruptive the crisis, the greater the opportunities. Three of the largest, and […]
  • The Better Angels of our Nature by Steven Pinker
    The Big Idea: Contrary to what the media might depict, violence has declined over the past decades and centuries. Understanding the driving forces of the decline can help societies continue that momentum. Nearly every form of violence (murder, abuse, torture, rape, assault) has declined over time. The decline can be seen in our attitudes toward […]
  • Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
    The Big Idea: the story of Nike, from idea in 1962 to global brand. Nike began as a paper at Stanford on the potential market for importing Japanese athletic shoes to the United States. At age twenty-four, before he started Nike, Knight set out on a backpacking trip around the world. Phil Knight borrowed fifty […]
  • Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
    The Big Idea: People are emotional creatures, so negotiations are more emotional than people think. Use tactical empathy to negotiate. Don’t just split the difference. CHAPTER 1 THE NEW RULES Life is negotiation. “Getting to Yes” and BATNA assumes a purely rational interaction. Many negotiations are highly emotional. The key concept in this book is […]
  • The Way of the Iceman by Wim Hof
    The Big Idea: Boost your immune system and reduce inflammation with the Wim Hof Method, based on science and ancient techniques. The Wim Hof Method = 1. Cold Therapy + 2. Breathing Exercises + 3. Commitment. 1. Cold Therapy 2. Wim Hof Breathing 3. Commitment
  • On the Shortness of Life by Seneca
    The Big Idea: Life is short unless you live it well. Study philosophy and protect your valuable time from others. It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. The part of life we really live is small. For all the rest of existence is not […]
  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil de Grasse Tyson
    The Greatest Story Ever Told In the beginning, nearly fourteen billion years ago, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence. Einstein’s general theory of relativity, put forth in 1916, gives […]
  • Giving the Devil his Due by Michael Shermer
    The Big Idea: We must protect speech no matter how hateful it may seem. The devil is anyone who disagrees with you. And what he is due is the right to speak his mind. 0. Introduction Who Is the Devil and What Is He Due? Err on the side of freedom. Let Truth and Falsehood […]
  • Disunited Nations by Peter Zeihan
    THE BIG IDEA: American will retreat to the safety of its borders while other countries struggle to find their place behind America is this new global order. Without the American-led global order, the world will face turbulence not seen in a hundred years. 0. Introduction: Moments of Transition Geography might not be destiny, but it […]
  • The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
    The Big Idea: If you wish to control others, you must control yourself first. You can only fight the way you practice.To know ten thousand things, know one well.Know your enemy. Know his sword.Get beyond love and grief. Exist for the good of man.If you wish to control others, you must control yourself first.Do nothing […]
  • Money by Jacob Goldstein
    The Big Idea: Money is made up. But as long as people believe in it, it’s as real as anything else. Money has evolved over time and will probably continue. Money did not evolve from barter. The evolution of money, roughly: communal giving => informal credit systems => commodities and metal coins => paper IOUs […]
  • Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
    The Big Idea: Out of every hundred men on the battlefield, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters…and one is a warrior. Only you can master your mind, live a bold life, and become that warrior. “Do you know who you really are? I’m sure you think so, […]
  • Debt: The First 5000 Years by David Graeber
    The Big Idea: Avoid excessive debt. Protect debtors. The evolution of economies from barter to markets is a myth. -It’s a myth that money evolved out of barter.-Outsid of distrustful exchanges, primitive markets exchanged goods primarily using credit/debt.-Money and violence are inextricably linked in history.-Historically, there were often periodic debt cancellations across an entire economy.-Coins […]
  • Essentialism by Greg McKeown
    The Big Idea: Do less but achieve more by focusing on the true essentials. Most of what typical people do is non-essential. Ignore what typical people do, because typical people tend to focus on being busy — not on doing the right things. Treat your time has highly valuable. If you value your time, then […]
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
    The Big Idea: Mindfulness is “the awareness that arises by paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” Meditation practice means showing up consistently, not about achieving a specific state. Samadhi is “onepointedness”. Meditation cultivates the ability to focus attention. Meditation trains and reshapes the mind. Sitting meditation means to sit with dignity. […]
  • The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis
    The Big Idea: The federal workforce is full of unsung, passionate people who run important federal programs. The fifth risk = the risk you haven’t considered. Presidents come and go, but the federal workforce persists. Trump’s administration has been incredibly dismissive and antagonistic of these important federal workers Example of important federal programs mentioned in […]
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
    The Big Idea: Europeans conquered the world because they existed in a temperate climate and in a long East-West axis connected to the Fertile Crescent and Asia. This geographic starting point led to a faster development of agriculture, which led to larger populations, which led to faster technological development and stronger militaries. How did Europeans […]
  • Unstoppable by David Hauser
    The Big Idea: Adopt a low-carb, high-fat diet. Early to bed, early to rise. Move more throughout the day. Lift weights. Practice yoga. Limit social media. Meditate regularly. Prioritize experiences, friends, and family. Get healthy, start finding your answers to questions like how much does the bar weight at the gym? Identify => Measure => […]
  • The Precipice by Toby Ord
    The Big Idea: The chance of an existential catastrophe in the hundred years is 1 in 6. Man-made risks far outweigh natural risks. We need global cooperation, continued work, and deep reflection to prevent the end of our species and reach our true potential. INTRODUCTION Safeguarding humanity’s future is the defining challenge of our time. […]
  • The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb
    The Big Idea: A Black Swan is an outlier event with low probability and extreme impact. We act as if Black Swans do not exist, but, even though they are impossible to predict, they occur with regularity. A black swan has three traits: it’s an outlier, it carries an extreme impact, it is explainable after […]
  • Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke
    The Big Idea: Success in poker and life comes from making good decisions while recognizing that luck is also a major factor. There are two things that determine how our lives turn out: the quality of our decisions and luck. Life is poker, not chess. Chess contains no hidden information and very little luck. Most […]
  • Factfulness by Hans Rosling
    The Big Idea: Humans are at risk for a number of cognitive biases that hamper our ability to think analytically and exhibit good judgement. Introduction It is the overdramatic worldview that draws people to the most dramatic and negative answers to my fact questions. The overdramatic worldview is so difficult to shift because it comes […]
  • Gardening with Less Water by David Bainbridge
    The Big Idea: Super-efficient irrigation techniques (ollas, clay pipes, terraces, check dams, swales) have been used for thousands of years. Drip irrigation has helped most landscapers like King Green. Drip irrigation has helped increase water-use efficiency in gardens and farms, but drip systems are for the well-off. The key to minimizing water use is to […]
  • Flip the Script by Oren Klaff
    The Big Idea: Instead of studying hard sell techniques, a better approach is help the buyer discover for himself why he wants what you’re selling. Get your audience to pay full attention to you and take you seriously, as they would a partner or colleague. Do this by achieving Status Alignment, the first step to […]
  • University of Berkshire Hathaway
    The Big Idea: What you want in a business is an economic castle with a very wide moat and an honest, talented knight to handle marauders. Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. Think different from the crowd. Think long-term when others are thinking short-term. When the tide goes out, […]
  • How to Clear Land by James Starbuck
    The Big Idea: use a backhoe to topple and then use forks on the backhoe to move into brush piles. I know what you’re up to… you’re on a mission to reveal your land. You want to show it off by uncovering its natural attributes. I don’t favor clear cutting – the practice of cutting […]
  • Friction by Roger Dooley
    The Big Idea: always try to make things easier for customers. INTRODUCTION Eliminating or reducing friction can have long-lasting and even disruptive effects. Stamp out ridiculous rules, pointless procedures, and meaningless meetings. Become a relentless advocate for the customer and minimize customer effort. PROLOGUE: Engine of Disruption The roads the Romans built were amazing feats […]
  • The Storm Before The Calm by George Friedman
    The Big Idea: Tumultuous times in the 2020’s will clear the way for calmer times beginning in the 2030s. The kind of mutual rage and division we see in America today is trivial compared with other times in U.S. history. The American president has little power compared with European prime ministers. At the moment, a […]
  • Biased by Jennifer Eberhardt
    The Big Idea: You don’t have to be racist to behave with subconscious racial bias. Introduction This book is an examination of implicit bias. Implicit bias is not a new way of calling someone a racist. One of the strongest stereotypes in American society associates blacks with criminality. Knowing that a disproportionate amount of violent […]
  • Build a Better World In Your Backyard by Paul Wheaton
    The Big Idea: Small scale permaculture is the solution to most environmental problems. Ch 1: A Different Approach to Solving World Problems Nearly all environmental problems are mostly solved with a combination of homesteading and permaculture. Ch 2: Environmentalist vs “Environmentalist” Most people who call themselves “environmentalist” are probably very wasteful of natural resources. Energy […]
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    The Big Idea: Forget about goals. Focus on systems, good habits, and continuous improvement. INTRODUCTION Changes that seem small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results if you’re willing to stick with them for years . PART 1: THE FUNDAMENTALS – Why Tiny Changes Make a Big Difference Ch 1: The Surprising Power […]
  • Dirty Genes by Ben Lynch
    The Big Idea: most chronic health problems are caused by impaired gene expression — which can be fixed by eating and living clean. Epigenetics is the process of turning genes on and off. Our genetic destiny isn’t fixed. Genetic expression is affected by our environment and our lifestyle choices (diet, exercise, sleep, stress, pollution.) Most […]
  • Fusion by Denise Lee Yohn
    The Big Idea: The best companies fuse their (external) brand with their (internal) culture into one. Culture is “the way we do things here.” Brand is “how others feel about us.” Herb Kelleher says that culture is the key competitive advantage of Southwest Airlines. Brand-culture fusion improves employee retention, improves employee motivation and productivity, differentiates […]
  • The Algebra of Happiness by Scott Galloway
    The Big Idea: In the end, relationships are all that matters. Balance when establishing your career, in my view, is largely a myth. However, you can still experience a lot of reward while working hard on the way to success. The most important decision you’ll make is not where you work or who you party […]
  • Bounce by Matthew Syed
    The Big Idea: Talent is overrated. Mastery is developed through many years of deliberate practice. Child prodigies are no exception, they just start early and practice more. Examples mentioned: Wayne Gretzky, Mozart, Tiger Woods, David Beckham, Brazilian futsal, Polgar chess sisters, Enron collapse, growth mind-set, placebo effect,
  • Contagious by Jonah Berger
    The Big Idea: word of mouth relies on six principles: social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical values, and stories. Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20-50 percent of all purchasing decisions. Word of mouth is more effective than advertising because it is more persuasive and more targeted. As widespread as social media is, […]
  • Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger
    The Big Idea: The Governator tells his unbelievable life story while making the rest of us feel like losers. Turn your liabilities into assets. When someone tells you no, you should hear yes. Never follow the crowd. Go where it’s empty. No matter what you do in life, selling is part of it. Never let […]
  • Unconventional Medicine by Chris Kresser
    The Big Idea: Most chronic disease is preventable, and much of it is reversible, if a comprehensive, individualized approach, called “Functional Medicine,” is followed. Ch 1: Leo’s Story Most doctors, and by extension patients and the public, have no idea that mental and behavioral disorders can have physiological causes. Ch 2: From Band-Aids to True […]
  • Lead with LUV by Ken Blanchard and Colleen Barrett
    The Big Idea: Show your employees love and they will show your customers love. Foreward Most people are looking not only for monetary security but also for satisfaction in their work. Southwest’s People have produced an unprecedented and unparalleled record of job security, Customer satisfaction, and Shareholder return. What Is Leadership? LUV is our symbol […]
  • Freakonomics Discusses Trader Joe’s
    Freakonomics did a podcast on Trader Joe’s strategy and company culture. The Big Idea: ignore competitors and focus on your customers; hire for cultural fit. How is Trader Joe’s different from competitors? How is Trader Joe’s doing vs competitors? What are the key lessons for companies?
  • Jason Fried, Why 40 Hours is Enough
    The Big Idea: focus on profit not revenue; meetings interrupt deep work; remote work leads to deep work and attracts top talent. Think of your company as the primary product that you are building. What are the features and benefits of your company? What areas of the company need improvement? Think about how the company […]
  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
    THREE MAJOR HUMAN REVOLUTIONS The Cognitive Revolution (c. 70,000 BCE, when Sapiens evolved imagination). The Agricultural Revolution (c. 10,000 BCE, the development of agriculture). The unification of humankind (the gradual consolidation of human political organisations towards one global empire). The Scientific Revolution (c. 1500 CE, the emergence of objective science). # YEARS AGO 13.5 billion: […]
  • The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant
    The Big Idea: History may not repeat itself, but it often rhymes. Chapter I: Hesitations Chapter II: History and the Earth Chapter III: Biology and History Chapter IV: Race and History Chapter V: Character and History Chapter VI: Morals and History Chapter VII: Religion and History Chapter VIII: Economics and History Chapter IX: Socialism and […]
  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek
    THE BIG IDEA: Great companies have a clear purpose for their existence, and it’s not the pursuit of money. INTRODUCTION The Wright brothers were able to inspire those around them and truly lead their team to develop a technology that would change the world. Apple inspires. Apple starts with Why. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, […]
  • Rainwater Harvesting, Vol 2, Earthworks by Brad Lancaster
    Eight Principles of Successful Rainwater Harvesting Begin with long and thoughtful observation. Start at the top of your watershed and work your way down. Start and simple.  Slow, spread, and infiltrate the flow of water. Always plan an overflow route, and manage that overflow as a resource. Create a living space. Do more than just […]
  • Rainwater Harvesting, Vol 1 by Brad Lancaster
    Eight Principles of Rainwater Harvesting Begin with long and thoughtful observation: Notice what’s working and what’s not. Start at the top of your watershed and work your way down: Collect water at the top, and then let gravity drive your water distribution downhill to meet your needs. Start small and simple: Strategies are easier to […]
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
    1162 Genghis Khan was born into the Borjigin tribe under the name Temujin. His childhood was poor and his family struggled to survive. Temujin, however, thrived and made many political alliances among other Mongol tribes. 1177 Temujin was captured by a rival tribe and imprisoned. With the help of a guard, he escaped by hiding […]
  • When by Daniel Pink
    The Big Idea: Pay attention to the timing of events, decisions, and actions. PART ONE: THE DAY CH 1. THE HIDDEN PATTERN OF EVERYDAY LIFE According to studies of Twitter, mood increases in the morning until about 11am, plummets after lunch, and then increases again in the evening. Quarterly earnings calls in the morning tend […]
  • Superhuman by Habit by Tynan
    The Big Idea: The most consistently successful people invest their energy into building a set of good habits. People who consistently seem to excel share one key thing: they are better at building and sustaining new habits. Those who build habits are like people who live below their means, slowly building up an impressive balance […]
  • Turning the Flywheel by Jim Collins
    The Big Idea: great companies are built by consistent execution of a strategy with built-in positive feedback loops — like turning a giant flywheel over and over, building momentum with each turn. When building a great company, there’s no single defining action, no grand program, no single killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, and no […]
  • The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
    I. Cascades II. Elements of Chaos Heat Death Hunger Drowning Wildfire Disasters No Longer Natural Freshwater Drain Dying Oceans Unbreathable Air Plagues of Warming Economic Collapse Climate Conflict “Systems” III. The Climate Kaleidoscope Storytelling Crisis Capitalism The Church of Technology Politics of Consumption History After Progress Ethics at the End of the World IV. The […]
  • Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink
    Bottom Line: A leader has ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of an operation and should have extreme ownership of it. The laws of combat are: Cover and Move, Keep It Simple, Prioritize and Execute, and Decentralized Command. INTRO Leaders cast no blame. They make no excuses. Instead of complaining about challenges or setbacks, […]
  • Water Storage by Art Ludwig
    The Big Idea: For small volumes of water storage, use ferrocement if you can and plastic if you cannot. For large volumes of water storage, use ponds if you can and ferrocement if you cannot. Design Principles 1. Lease as much of the water work as possible to nature. 2. Divert water just after evaporation […]
  • Why Sell Tacos in Africa by Paul Oberschneider
    The Big Idea: start businesses in emerging markets where there is much less competition. I decided to visit the small Eastern European country of Estonia. People who build successful businesses — are driven by circumstances and then led by opportunity. As an entrepreneur , you must be first and foremost an optimist. Being a successful […]
  • Strategy Concepts of Bill Belichick
    The Big Idea: Bill Belichick built a dynasty around on a culture of accountability, continuous improvement, strategic flexibility, and detailed preparation. Part 1: Culture “Do your job” is the New England Patriots mission statement. The goal is to improve on a daily basis, work hard, pay attention to the little details, and put the team […]
  • Agile Project Management with Kanban by Eric Brechner
    The Big Idea: Apply lean production principles (Theory of Constraints) to software development. Reduce the work-in-progress to let developers concentrate on only one task at a time. Agile development with Kanban means creating a kanban board with tasks posted and a well-defined workflow. There are no milestones or sprints and there is minimal overhead. Inspired […]
  • Dream Teams by Shane Snow
    THE BIG IDEA: To build a dream team, find independent thinkers from diverse backgrounds. Then ensure there is just enough tension to generate creative solutions but not so much tension that the team is dysfunctional. INTRO Between 1960 and 1990 , the Soviet national hockey team won nearly every international match it played. It was […]
  • Great People Decisions by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz
    The Big Idea: 1) IQ matters but the best predictor of success is relevant experience plus high emotional intelligence (EQ). 2) Interview 20 individuals before selecting finalists. 3) The preferred strategy for sourcing is to contact people who may know the best candidates. INTRODUCTION Organizations are all about people. People are the problem, but they […]
  • It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried and DHH
    The Big Idea: choose to have a calm, profitable, healthy workplace.  Why is work so crazy? Physical and virtual distractions at work. And an unhealthy obsession with growth. Sustained exhaustion is not a badge of honor, it’s a mark of stupidity. How many hours at the office are really spent on work itself? The answer […]
  • Rework by Jason Fried
    You don’t have to work miserable 60 / 80 / 100 – hour weeks to make it work. You don’t even need an office. Ignore the real world. It’s a place where new ideas , unfamiliar approaches , and foreign concepts always lose . Learn from your successes. Failure is not a prerequisite for success. […]
  • Data Science for Business by Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett
    The Big Idea: Invest in data and data science teams. Better data + better data scientists = better models = better business decisions = sustainable competitive advantage.  Chapter 1: Introduction, Data Analytic Thinking Data mining is the extraction of knowledge from data. Data science is a set of principles to guide data mining. Big data […]
  • Permaculture by Sepp Holzer
    The Big Idea: Learn how nature works. Then work with nature, instead of against it, to practice sustainable agriculture. Ch 1: Landscape Design Permaculture landscape design is about restoring a partially destroyed natural landscape. Keep water on your land as long as possible. Terraces are an important part of my permaculture system. With the exception […]
  • Built From Scratch by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank
    The Big Idea: Clarify your core values and make sure everyone knows them. Core Values 1. Excellent customer service 2. Taking care of our people 3. Developing entrepreneurial spirit 4. Respect for all people 5. Building strong relationships 6. Doing the right thing 7. Giving back to our communities 8. Shareholder return Ch 1: Two […]
  • The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh
    The Big Idea: focus on fundamentals and execution (The Standard of Performance), instead of focusing on the score and on the competition. Part I: My Standard of Performance Failure is a part of success. Everyone gets knocked down. The Standard of Performance is the set of core values, principles, and ideals that define the organization. […]
  • Tribes by Seth Godin
    The Big Idea: In today’s world, where geography doesn’t matter, tribes are thriving. Tribes are about connection and caring. Leaders of tribes build connection and caring into the tribe. Human beings need to belong. You can’t have a tribe without a leader, so learn about leadership. Everyone is expected to lead. Geography used to restrict the […]
  • Influence by Robert Cialdini
    The Big Idea: The presence of cognitive biases means we don’t always act rationally. Cialdini outlines six weapons of influence which can be used to influence behavior. Even if you aren’t a salesperson, you are a consumer so it’s good to be aware. 1. Reciprocation We tend to reciprocate a favor, even if it is […]
  • Step 25: Joel Salatin On Nature Laughing Last, The Respect Of Seasons, and The Terrible Twos
    The Big Idea: Follow the four seasons in your life. In the spring, you plant new seeds. In the summer, you work the land. In the fall, you harvest the crops. In the winter, you let the soil rest.  Don’t be so ego-centric to think you can beat laws of nature and laws of physics. […]
  • The Right and Wrong Stuff by Carter Cast
    The Big Idea: High potential people stumble in their careers most often because of a lack self-awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses. Fantastic advice in this book. The five archetypes of high potential people who stumble: Captain Fantastic: high performer but terrible interpersonal skills Solo Flier: high performer when working by himself but doesn’t know […]
  • To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink
    The Big Idea: Even if you’re not a “salesman”, you probably have to sell or persuade people all the time. Therefore, learn how to sell. Everyone sells. Physicians sell patients on treatments. Lawyers sell juries on verdicts. Teachers sell students on coursework. Entrepreneurs sell investors on visions. Writers sell producers on scripts. Coaches sell players […]
  • The Resilient Farm and Homestead
    The Big Idea: An efficient, eco-friendly homestead takes good planning and years of work to become stable and self-sufficient. Modern, industrial agriculture is incompatible with a rapidly growing population and resource depletion. Well-designed permaculture systems promote biodiversity and restore land back to health. Nut trees are the core of good permaculture. A nut tree is simply […]
  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Summit Interview
    The Big Idea: Be resourceful, think long-term, and have a sense of adventure. I learned self-reliance and resourcefulness on my grandfather’s Texas ranch. Building Amazon is a constant flow of problems solved by self-reliance and resourcefulness. About letting his kids use power tools, “I’d much rather have a kid with nine fingers than a kid […]
  • How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons
    The Big Idea: Grow Biointensive (a variant of organic farming) produces more food per square foot while also building soil, using less water, using less fertilizer, and requiring less fossil fuel. Industrial agriculture depletes 6 pounds of soil for every 1 pound of food produced. Organic agriculture also depletes soil as it produces food. Grow […]
  • How I Built This: Patagonia
    The Big Idea: We’re here for the long-term. That means we need to treat everyone well and make quality, long-lasting clothing. I started Patagonia to make better quality climbing gear for myself. Our profit margins were about 1% Patagonia branched out into clothing when I wore some local clothing and people started asking me where […]
  • The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama
    The Big Idea: You have everything you need to achieve happiness. Happiness is achieved through mental practice. Service to others is the best way to live. If you can’t live your life in service to others, at least refrain from doing harm to others. Happiness is not a luxury but the purpose of our existence. Eliminate […]
  • Extraordinary Experiences by Denise Lee Yeon
    The Big Idea: creating extraordinary customer experiences is an essential part of building a great brand. Intro. Brands matter more than ever. The internet has increased transparency, so now brands need to be more authentic than ever. Image manipulation through marketing muscle is not enough. Great restaurant and retail brands rely heavily on great customer experiences […]
  • Kellogg on Branding by Kellogg School of Management
    The Big Idea: a strong brand is one of the most important economic moats a company can build. Building a brand is not easy but, if done well, can pay dividends for many years. Intro A brand is much like a reputation. A strong brand will reshape perception. Cash: Executives are pressured to focus on […]
  • Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday
    The Big Idea: you can’t trust the media. Clicks equal revenue. Therefore, online news sites care more about clicks than truth. Since all news is online now, established media has to compete for clicks with millions of blogs, twitter accounts, and satirical news sites. The result of this competition is that the media we consume is flooded with […]
  • Permaculture for the Rest of Us by Jenni Blackmore
    The Big Idea: With creativity and persistence, you can live well on a small homestead, even if the climate is difficult and the soil is subpar. Every homestead will be unique. Contours, zones and sectors should be mapped out on paper before getting started. Zones are concentric circles around your home. Zone 0 is your […]
  • Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
    The Big Idea: the key to success in life is relationships + creating with others. Real networking is about helping others succeed. Make goal setting a lifetime habit. Young Bill Clinton would record the names and backgrounds of everyone he met on index cards. Older Bill Clinton is famous for creating instant rapport with everyone […]
  • Barking Up The Wrong Tree by Eric Barker
    The Big Idea: how to succeed in business and life using science. Chapter 1: Should We Play It Safe and Do What We’re Told If We Want to Succeed? Grades are a great predictor of self-discipline, conscientiousness, and compliance. Grades are a poor predictor of career success. There are two types of leaders: filtered (rise […]
  • Step 24: Gandhi’s Funeral, Stephen Covey’s Wars, and Flurries Of Activity
    The Big Idea: Know Your Endgame In Life. Win Wars, Not Battles.  Depression’s function is to tell you to change. Ask yourself: when I die how many people will show up at my funeral? When Adolf Hitler died, the world celebrated. When Gandhi died, the world mourned. Most people are rewarded for flurries of activity. Do […]
  • Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin
    The Big Idea: Today’s level of overconsumption and resource-depletion is unsustainable. Ch. 1: Children, Chores, Humility, and Health Historically, children had chores and responsibilities that taught them how to be an adult. Our children were homeschooled, never had television, and were encouraged to pursue entrepreneurial adventures. I don’t believe in allowances. 50 years ago, 50% […]
  • Who by Geoff Smart and Randy Street
    The Big Idea: to win in business, learn how to recruit A players. CHAPTER 1: YOUR #1 PROBLEM When do most hiring mistakes happen? Most mistakes happen when managers are: 1. Unclear about what is needed in a job 2. Have a weak flow of candidates 3. Do not trust in their ability to pick out […]
  • With Winning in Mind by Lanny Basham
    The Big Idea: winning consistently requires the mental programming of a champion. Principles of Mental Management Your mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time.  If you are picturing something positive in your mind, it is impossible, at the same time, to picture something negative.  Choose to think about what you want to […]
  • The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin
    The Big Idea: focus on fundamental principles and foundational movements until they are unconscious. Tao Te Ching is a life changer. I’ve been keeping journals of my chess study since I was twelve. Eventually, the foundation is so deeply internalized that it’s no longer conscious. The boating life has also been a wonderful training ground […]
  • Step 23: Landing Your Plane On The Great Wall
    The Big Idea: Problems are going to confront you.  Be prepared by expecting them, putting them into perspective, developing the fortitude to overcome, and learning how to innovate past them. To succeed, you must learn how to bypass the obstacles of life. Life will deal tremendous blows to you.  This is the reality. Statistically, something bad will […]
  • SAS Survival Handbook by John Wiseman
    The Big Idea: if you head out to the wilderness, tell someone exactly where you are going. Take a wilderness survival course to learn how to survive for a few days until you are found. The average person requires 0.5 liters of water a day. Three fires are an internationally recognized distress signal.  SOS is also widely […]
  • Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
    The Big Idea: Productivity can be learned. Chapter 1: Motivation To feel motivated, people must feel like they are in control. Leadership is learned. Don’t praise people for intelligence; praise them for effort. A bias towards action keeps people motivated. Start with why; why are you doing what you’re doing? Examples: Marine boot camp, renegade […]
  • Aquaponic Gardening by Sylvia Bernstein
    The Big Idea: Aquaponic gardening is a symbiotic, permaculture-friendly version of gardening in which fish supply nutrients to plants, which then remove all fish waste from the water. Aquaculture dates back to 5th century B.C. China Benefits of aquaponics: completely organic, cheaper than hydroponics, minimal maintenance, minimal fertilizer, lots of vegetable production, fewer diseases, no […]
  • Step 22: The Seven-Fold Path To The Obvious Signs
    The Big Idea: Experiment. Experiment. Experiment. Set the right goals and cut out anything that is not moving you towards your goals. Don’t delude yourself.  Embrace the truth when you’re asking yourself if you’re moving towards your goals. Jeff Bezos is one of the best in the world at seeking and embracing the truth, especially through […]
  • The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox
    The Big Idea: identify the bottleneck.  Relieve the bottleneck.  Repeat. The Goal is one of Jeff Bezos’ three required books for his senior team. (Also, Effective Executive and Innovator’s Dilemma) Cost accounting conventions lead businesses to focus on the wrong things. The goal of a business is to make money. Therefore, every operational metric should […]
  • Step 21: Mastering The Four P.A.S.E. Energies & Casanova’s Chameleon
    The Big Idea: Understand your strengths. Work on your weaknesses. Learn to identify the strengths of other people. Speak in the language of other people’s strengths. When you’re a worker, technical skills determine your success. When you’re a leader, social skills determine your success. Understand your core strength (P, A, S, E). Understand your weakness (P, […]
  • Step 20: Richard Branson’s Hurricane & The Imaginary World Of Kanye West
    The Big Idea: If you were independently wealthy, what kind of life would you create? Work backward from there to engineer your ideal life. An entrepreneur creates the world in his own image. Richard Branson created Virgin Airlines because a hurricane stranded him on an island. There are three types of people: people who watch things […]
  • Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
    As a beginner, gardening can be quite overwhelming, but learning from experience is key. Last year, I jumped right into creating a square root, raised bed vegetable garden without much prior knowledge or preparation. However, this year I plan to approach it differently and do some research beforehand. In addition to learning about plant care […]
  • Made in America by Sam Walton
    The Big Idea: Walmart succeeded through a combination of unique culture, very effective strategies, and lots of hard work. Nadine West’s two favorite role models are 1) Southwest Airlines and 2) Walmart, for their shared focus on affordable prices, lean operations, and Texas/Arkansas authenticity. Wal-mart Culture Building a great team is a given. Hiring only people […]
  • The Best Place to Work by Ron Friedman
    The Big Idea: Happy employees are a competitive advantage.  Chapter 1: Success is Overrated, Why Great Work Places Reward Failure make it okay to try new things and fail learn something from every failure, always reward attempts, not just results Chapter 2: The Power of Place, How Office Design Shapes Our Thinking office design matters eg. red invokes […]
  • Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
    The Big Idea: the purpose of life (and business) is happiness, not money. Business is not about money. It’s about making dreams come true for others and yourself. Making a company is a great way to improve the world while improving yourself. When you make a company, you make a utopia. It’s where you design […]
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
    The Big Idea:  Chapter 1: Good is the Enemy of Great Good to Great companies always had Level 5 Leaders. Recruit the right people before choosing a direction/mission/vision/strategy. Confront the brutal truth and move forward anyways. Stick to your core. Create a culture of discipline. Use technology as an accelerator of existing greatness. Focus on […]
  • High Output Management by Andy Grove
    The Big Idea: Understand the principles of factory production and apply them to business management. Chapter 1: The Basics of Production Focus efforts on identifying and fixing the bottleneck (limiting step) in the workflow Chapter 2: Managing The Breakfast Factory Define good KPI’s. Understand JIT inventory management. Automate things to improve work leverage. Chapter 3: Managerial […]
  • Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit by Leonardo Inghilleri and Micah Solomon
    The Big Idea: Invest more in creating an exceptional customer experience. What is the cardinal rule of exceptional service? Anticipate the needs of your customers. What are the four basics of good (but not yet exceptional) service? 1. Perfect product 2. Delivered by a caring, friendly person 3. In a timely fashion 4. Supported by good problem […]
  • Step 19: & The $32,000 Brain Budget
    The Big Idea: Spend 30% of your monthly income on reading and learning.  Do an audit of your finances. Find out how much you spend on 1) consuming vs 2)  investing (specifically, learning). Spend 30% of your automatic income on learning new skills. Spend 30% of your income on bills. Spend 30% of your income […]
  • How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams
    The Big Idea: Losers have goals.  Winners have systems. Losers have goals.  Winners have systems. Your mind isn’t magic.  It’s a moist computer you can program. The most important metric to track is your personal energy. Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success. Happiness is health plus freedom. Luck can be managed, sort of. […]
  • Step 18: Man-On-The-Moon Contrast and Keeping Easy Things Easy
    The Big Idea: Break down complex things into simple things, but keep simple things simple. Ask yourself: is what you’re trying to do harder than putting man on the moon? We put a man on the moon by breaking up the problem into smaller steps. There are two types of men in the world: those […]
  • Step 17: Elon Musk‘s 14-Hour Workday vs. The 4-Hour Work Week
    The Big Idea: The most successful men work 14 hour days, not 4 hour work weeks. Learn to love the grind. — John Calipari In fifty years, you will wish you had the energy to work hard. Life is grind.  Hate the grind and you will hate life. If you love the grind, it’s not really […]
  • Step 16: Rousseau, The Renaissance Man, & Iron Sharpening Iron
    The Big Idea: The most successful people are generally renaissance people, who know a lot about a lot. Our brains are simulation machines. Jet pilots do not start learning by doing, they start in a simulator. Learn by reading, not by trial and error. Today, it is not very rewarding to be a renaissance person. People […]
  • Step 15: Descartes & Solving Problems With A Calculator
    The Big Idea: To run a successful business, you must be comfortable with math and statistics. Math is the only 100% certain truth. — Descartes I was dyslexic, but I realized that if I was going to be rich I had to understand numbers. — Richard Branson To make good decisions, you must understand math […]
  • What They Don’t Teach You At Business School About Entrepreneurship
    -startups are best for people who crave flexibility, excitement -partners (cofounders) are great, it’s so difficult to do it all by yourself -it’s okay to not have all the answers; trust in the process and in yourself to find the answers when you need them -focus on the process and the results will take care […]
  • Scaling Up Excellence by Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao
    THE BIG IDEA Scaling is a ground war, not just an air war. Scaling requires grinding it out; building the organization brick by brick, day after day. One more metaphor…it’s a marathon, not a sprint. META LESSONS 1. All scaling issues are basically the same across all organizations and industries. 2. Scaling entails more than […]
  • Nuts! by Kevin and Jackie Freiberg
    The Big Idea Southwest succeeded by focusing on profitability over market share and by taking the time building a fun and positive culture. Doing this likely slowed down their growth but also resulted in top customer service ratings, top safety record, very low employee turnover, and 40+ consecutive years of profitability Key Takeaways Chapter 1: […]
  • Smartcuts by Shane Snow
    The Big Idea Work smarter, not harder. Key Takeaways 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 Training with the Masters: find a successful mentor to accelerate your learning; eg. Jimmy Fallon, Steve Jobs Rapid Feedback: embrace failures but always learn from […]
  • 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. THE BIG IDEA Fortune 500 M&A teams have different priorities than investors.  They care much more about strategic fit than about traction and revenue. KEY TAKEAWAYS 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. THE BIG IDEA 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. KEY […]
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
    THE BIG IDEA: We, as individuals and organizations, operate by habit; learn how to engineer good habits; learn how to identify keystone habits that shape many other habits KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE POWER OF HABIT Habits emerge because the brain is looking for ways to save effort. The habit loop is: cue => routine => […]
  • Traction by Gabriel Weinberg
    The Big Idea: concentrate your efforts on the core traction channel that really matters; learn how to quickly identify your core traction channel because it will change as your startup grows KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM TRACTION One traction channel will always dominate. Predicting which traction channel will work for you is nearly impossible, so always test and let the […]
  • Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
    This is a study on how to build a company that is resilient and exceptional.  It’s one of my favorite books. The Big Idea: visionary companies have a strong inner core (core purpose, core values) and a willingness to change and adapt everything except that core. KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM BUILT TO LAST 1. Build clocks instead of relying […]
  • Basic Wilderness Life Support
    This was from a wilderness medicine course I took at BCM. The Big Idea: boil all water, clean wounds with soap and water, wash off poison ivy within 1-4 hours, do not suck out snake venom, splint possible fractures, seek medical attention  Essentials for Wilderness Travel map, compass, knife, matches, flashlight, first aid kit, sunglasses/sunscreen, […]
  • Emergency by Neil Strauss
    After reading Emergency, I watched the bleak, post-apocalyptic The Road, with Viggo Mortensen.  Bad combination for a good night’s sleep. The Big Idea: when the shit hits the fan (WTSHTF), will you be prepared? LA >> NYC, since it’s too spread out and has no single building or monument that symbolizes the nation Most gas […]
  • Cosmos with Neil DeGrasse Tyson
    Just finished watching Cosmos on Netflix.  Amazing work!  Had to post this final monologue by Carl Sagan. From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone […]
  • Get Backed by Evan Baehr and Evan Loomis
    The Big Idea: you need a well-designed pitch deck and a well-planned road show to raise serious money for your startup. Pitch Deck Overview Opportunity Problem Solution Traction Customer or Market Competition Business Model Team Use of Funds Road Show Investors love a great story Potential stories: origin story, customer story, industry story, venture growth […]
  • Step 14: The Shaolin Monk & Touching An Electric Fence
    The Big Idea: Prepare for what is difficult when it is easy. If you take the approach that everything is your fault, you can begin to anticipate and plan for many scenarios (disease, recession, breakup, accidents). If you get mugged and beat up at 30, it’s your fault because you could have been training since you were 10. […]
  • Step 13: The Amish Vacation, Tap Dancing To Work, & Avoiding What You Love
    The Big Idea: If you have to go on vacation from what you do, don’t ever come back. The Amish work almost every day but don’t feel the need for a vacation. The Amish have 1/5 the depression of non-Amish. The Amish integrate work and life. Never permit a dichotomy to ruin your life.  A dichotomy […]
  • Step 12: Mike’s Stack Of Resumes, My 96 Year-old Grandma, & Your Eulerian Destiny
    The Big Idea: Stay focused on the one thing you do best. Be able to share your life mission in one sentence. (Understandable by a 96 old grandma.) Jordan the baseball player was mediocre.  Jordan the basketball player was legendary. Stay focused on the one thing you do best.  Everything else is just a hobby. Jack […]
  • Step 11: The Whispers Of 10,000 Generations, Dunbar’s 150, & Evolutionary Mismatch
    The Big Idea: Don’t Fight Your Evolutionary Hardwiring; Understand It. The biological impulses you have come from 10,000 generations of evolution.  However, the world has completely changed  over the last 10 generations. Our biology leads us to overeat since we now live in an abundance of food. Our biology wants to to sleep from dusk to […]
  • Step 10: Stoic vs Epicurean, Arnolds 1000 Reps, Apache Cold Showers, and the Spartan Whipping Post
    The Big Idea: Do Things That Develop Toughness a nation is born stoic and dies epicurean — Will Durant stoics say sacrifice today for tomorrow (invest wisely) epicureans say live for today (eat drink and be merry, yolo) there is truth to both, but stoicism is what I recommend Arnold wanted big calves, moved to South Africa […]
  • Step 9: Warren Buffett’s Book-A-Day Diet & Making War With A Multitude Of Counselors
    The Big Idea: Reading Voraciously for Success billionaires read voraciously Warren Buffett reads 8 hours a day a rich man’s house always has a library — Jim Rohn Alexander the Great used to travel with a library survival machines that can simulate the future are one jump ahead of survival machines who can only learn […]
  • The Next 100 Years by George Friedman
    The Big Idea: U.S.A will dominate the next hundred years, first by controlling the oceans, then by controlling space. Geographic isolation gives the U.S. military advantages few nations can claim, which translates to economic and political dominance. Russia will challenge American dominance but will suffer from internal problems, declining population, and poor infrastructure. China will not […]
  • Step 8: The Integrated Good Life and The Four Pillars of Eudaimonia
    The Big Idea: The good life integrates four pillars of health, wealth, love, and happiness. The Amish are so happy because they do not compartmentalize work from life. Do whatever it takes to avoid hating Mondays. The 2 Mile Rule: work and shop within 2 miles of your home; traffic (work/life compartmentalizing) is an enormous […]
  • The One Thing By Gary Keller
    The Big Idea: 1) find your purpose and then 2) for four UNINTERRUPTED hours every morning, focus on THE ONE THING that will get you there fastest. If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. –Russian proverb Ask yourself “What’s the one thing you can do right now that will make everything else easier or […]
  • Step 7: Martin Seligman’s Salary Slave and Learned Helplessness
    The Big Idea: Take risks in life The modern education system trains students to rely on others for their education Read a book a day and become self-educated for happiness Learned helplessness exists in education, health, income, love Great nations are born stoic and die epicurean In the American economy today, the consequences of failure are not […]
  • Step 6: Sculpture vs Lottery and the Anthropic Media Bias
    The Big Idea: The media lies to you about success.  Success takes years of focused work towards a wisely-chosen goal. The media lies to you about success The media doesn’t emphasize Bill Gates worked 7 days a week for ten years.  Arnold Schwarzenegger worked out 4 hours a day during his teens. Overnight success takes years Learn to love […]
  • Step 5: My Poor Friends & Cameron Diaz’s Parrot
    The Big Idea: Study how successful people think.   Don’t pick your friends based on their success, but be selective about which friend’s advice you listen to. Pay attention to how your more successful friends think and how your less successful friends think. Like parrots, successful people repeat quotes all the time (not their own opinions.) Successful […]
  • Step 4: Picasso’s Rising Tide and the Law of 33%
    The Big Idea: Use mentors to shorten your learning curve. Good artists copy and great artists steal. —Picasso If I’m great it’s because I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. —Einstein To get what you want you must be a learning machine. Poor people should take rich people to dinner. 70% of communication is nonverbal. […]
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
    One of the top ten most influential books of the 20th century.  It’s a great book to read or re-read when I’m in need of a little perspective and inspiration in my life.  Read wikipedia’s book summary. the meaning of life is found in every moment of living Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost […]
  • Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
    This is another quick read from the founders of 37 Signals and creators of Ruby on Rails.  Nadine West has been working remotely from the beginning and there isn’t anything in the book to disagree with. ADVANTAGES TO REMOTE TEAMS Fewer interruptions than at the office No commuting Technology makes it possible Flexible work hours No need to […]
  • Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant
    Two things about this book: it’s very short and it has a very simple message: repeat “I love myself” over and over, every day.  I bought it because it was recommended by James Altucher, Tim Ferriss, and Sean Stephenson. Repeat “I love myself” every day.  Do this with emotional intensity. Meditate for 5-10 minutes every […]
  • Work Rules by Laszlo Bock
    Preface: Why Google’s rules will work for you Companies who follow many of the same principles: grocery chain Wegman’s, a Sri Lankan clothing manufacturer, a Nike factory. The book’s key messages: take power and authority over employees away from managers, managers serve the team not vice versa, empower your employees Chapter 1: Becoming a Founder […]
  • Advice From First Round Capital
    The Most Dangerous Leadership Traps — and the 15-Minute Daily Practice That Will Save You Spend 15 minutes a day in reflection — true reflection, in a quiet space, with your inbox closed. Take this time to review the events of the previous day and make plans for the one coming up. At the end […]
  • Step 3: Sam Walton’s Night in a Brazilian Jail, Stealing from McDonald’s, and Michael Jordan’s Humility
    The Big Idea: the most successful men are usually the most humble. They read and study constantly because they know there is much they do not know. I’ve never met a player listen so closely and then go and do something like Michael Jordan. —Dean Smith Michael Jordan was cocky but immensely coachable. Sam Walton […]
  • Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff
    I read in the Amazon reviews that Oren Klaff is the Neil Strauss of Wall Street.  That comparison makes a lot of sense.  I really liked this book. My notes are below. CHAPTER 1: THE METHOD Pitching may be the most important thing we do. What are the two brains humans have? Crocodile brain (fast thinking) and Neocortex […]
  • Step 2: Blue Footed Booby Birds, ESS, and the 500 Year Old Mind
    The Big Idea: Change is the basic law of nature in life, so be an adaptability machine.   Read, learn, and expect occasional setbacks towards success.  Change is the basic law of nature. The species that survives is the one that is best able to adapt to change. — Darwin Similarly, the most successful individuals and […]
  • Step 1: The Billionaire’s Brain and Jennifer Lopez’s Voice
    The Big Idea: To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want.  Awareness is key to success.  If you’re not successful, be self-aware enough to understand why. The good life = health, wealth, love, and happiness. To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want.  the world is not […]
  • Unbeatable Mind by Mark Divine, Part 2
    A couple of weeks ago, I posted some notes on Unbeatable Mind, based on a quick skim and video from Philosopher’s Notes.  I’m adding some more in-depth notes today. Intro Mark Divine is a former Navy SEAL turned life coach, fitness trainer, business trainer, and entrepreneur.  Unbeatable Mind is about the mental training he learned as a […]
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    This book is on my top 20 books of all-time list. I must have been in middle school when I first got my hands on this book and read it cover to cover. Ever since then, I’ve had a copy on every bookshelf I’ve owned. Dale Carnegie included his own book summary at the end of […]
  • Entrepreneurs Are Made Not Born by Lloyd Shefsky
    Written by my Entrepreneurship professor at Kellogg. Ch 1 luck is opportunity meets preparation learn how to overcome rejection Ch 2 believe in your dream take the angel money do what you know and love believe in yourself project conservatively Ch 3 keep your business plan informal at first be ready to pivot or even […]
  • Unbeatable Mind by Mark Divine
    For this book, I’m piggybacking off of Philosopher’s Notes’ book summary. 1. First Premise Win first in your mind and then on the battlefield.  An unbeatable mind knows it will win. 2. Starve + Feed In the parable of the two wolves — the wolf of fear and the wolf of courage — which one […]
  • Simplify by Joshua Becker
    This book, from the blogger behind Becoming Minimalist, wasn’t terrible, nor was it great.  But at least it was only $3 on Kindle and took 20 minutes to read. 1. Be Convinced easier to clean less stress eco-friendly more time for other things 2. Make it Work for You find a style of minimalism that works for […]
  • The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Michalowicz
    Not a classic business book, but I’ll post my summery anyways. When you are down to three sheets of toilet paper, you are very careful with it.  When starting a company, you should have the same mentality.  You should manage your precious resources while building the business using creativity and hard work. The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur […]
  • Delivering Happiness By Tony Hsieh
    This is one of our top 5 business books.  Our first company tagline was “Happiness in a Pink Package.” Book notes are below: Books recommended: Good to Great, Tribal Leadership, Fred Factor, Fish, Made to Stick, Peak, Emotional Equations, Connected, Re-Imagine, Crush It Be clear about your company’s culture, values.  Communicate them.  Commit to them. Ask yourself, “what […]
  • The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
    This one’s a classic business book by the dean of business thinking. Effective executives know where their time goes Effective executives focus on results Effective executives build on strengths Effective executives focus on the 80/20 Effective executives make effective decision 1. Effective executives know where their time goes people can be very time consuming be […]
  • Life of the Party by Bert Kreischer
    Collection of hilarious real-life stories by stand up comic and Joe Rogan regular Bert Kreischer.  Below are my notes from the book: That is all.
  • Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
    This book has some simple but valuable ideas on how to change your life.  The message is simple, probably similar to what you’ve read or heard elsewhere but still valuable.  Another book in this genre is Daily Rituals, one of Tim Ferriss’ favorite books. The author’s message is that if you want to transform your life, you should six […]
  • Predictive Analytics by Eric Siegel
    Predictive analytics is about what the mass media calls data science or big data.  It seems that practitioners prefer the more precise term, predictive analytics, which is what is sounds like, using analytics to predict behavior.  The book is a quick, non-technical introduction to data analytics, explaining basic concepts and definitions, and then sharing real-world […]
  • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
    Stoicism is trending these days on the internet, especially among entrepreneur-types.  What is Stoicism?  Wikipedia says that stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy (300 B.C.) with a number of tenets but most practically for today’s entrepreneur: “Stoicism teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions.” The Obstacle is the […]
  • The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
    We want to model Nadine West after Zappos. Happy employees = Happy customers. Happy customers = Happy company. Which means, we need to study the science and psychology of happiness. Below are my notes from Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage. The science says that we become more successful when we are happier and more positive.  Not the other […]
  • Like a Virgin by Richard Branson
    Weekends are for good books, podcasts, and blogs. Richard Branson is my favorite entrepreneur.  According to Branson, success in business is best measured by whether or not you have created something of which you can be truly proud. Below are my notes from Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School. Success in Life […]

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