Best of what I consumed in 2018 Q1
Key points from the videos, articles, books, and audio books I consumed in 2018 Q1.
I read, watched, and listened a lot in these three months. I took copious notes. Here are the key points from the videos, articles, books, and audio books I consumed in this quarter.
Shapes of Stories by Kurt Vonnegut
- All stories can be drawn in two-axis — vertical axis is G-I (good fortune / ill fortune) and horizontal axis is B-E (beginning / end)
- Be aware of the thief in your mind who can steal your promises
- Animals are safe in their cages, the fence keeps out predators and competition.
- Freedom is a choice to do or not do. It is the heaviest burden on the humans.
- Freedom is being responsible for the consequences.
- Discipline comes from inside to do something. Obedience is because of fear.
- Discipline and indiscipline pays in the long-term.
- Judas got the money, but at what price. When he realized the price, he hanged himself.
- Don’t make a masterpiece, make your life a masterpiece
- Multiple affiliations
- An opposable mind
- Experimental mindset
- Taking hobbies seriously
- Taking half-chances
- Cultivating humor ( have low inhibition)
- Interconnectedness - Everything needs something else, often a complex array of other things, to survive
- Synthesis - combining of two or more things to create something new
- Emergence - emergence is the natural outcome of things coming together (There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it will be a butterfly — R. Buckminster Fuller)
- Feedback loops - Reinforcing loops causes instability but exponential growth; balancing loops are self-correcting and brings stability
- Causality - one results in another in a dynamic and evolving system
- Systems mapping - identify elements within a system to understand how they act and interact
- Entrepreneurial behavior is about a desire for a certain kind of journey.
- What do people do when they’re acting like entrepreneurs?
- They make decisions.
- They invest in activities and assets that aren’t a sure thing.
- They persuade others to support a mission with a non-guaranteed outcome.
- They embrace the work of doing things that might not work.
- By committing to two careers, you will produce benefits for both: Subsidizing your skill development, make friends in different circles, discover real innovations;
- By doing more than one job, you may end up doing all of them better.
- People care about something making sense than something that is right.
- Stories beat statistics.
- Storytelling is an exponential fuel.
- An OK idea told persuasively is more powerful than a good idea told poorly.
- The CEO who understands everything about their field except the most important thing – rallying employees behind a mission and vision.
- Virtually every job is a sales job, especially as you move up the ladder.
- Luck & risk are cousins. They both happen because the world is too complex to allow 100% of your actions dictate 100% of your outcomes.
- Realizing that both luck and risk are ever-present makes you accept that not everything is in your control, which is the only way to identify and focus on whatever is in your control.
- There are all kinds of quotes that belittle luck – “It wasn’t luck, it was hard work and persistence,” and whatnot. I get the temptation. But can you imagine how crazy someone would look saying the same thing about risk? “The earthquake wasn’t a risk, we just didn’t work hard enough to predict it.”
- Capitalism rewards things that are both rare and valuable. You make yourself rare by combining two or more “pretty goods” until no one else has your mix of skills.
- Trust = (Credibility + Reliability + Authenticity) / Perception of self interest
- Credibility = to have the knowledge, experience, and familiarity to perform a particular role well
- Reliability = do what you say you’re going to do
- Authenticity = do and say what you mean
- Perception of Self Interest = taking credit, fighting for executive attention, pushing for more money and status; this variable is more about optics
- There are Proponent, Opponent, Decisionmaker, Other stakeholders, and of course Salesperson.
- Understanding the relationships in the sales process is key to creating a playbook
The Cluetrain Manifesto by Rick Levin and others
- I have read many summaries of this book and they had huge impact on the way I looked at work, marketplaces, and future of work. So I decided to read the whole book.
- Two of the thesis in this book stand-out for me: Markets are conversation; Hyperlinks subvert authority. I don’t think I have grasped the full impact of even these two theses out of 95 theses in the book.
Thou shall prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin
- This is an insightful book but lacks good editing. It is unnecessarily loose, making the book a drag in few places.
- Rabbi distills centuries of wisdom about money making into ten points:
- Believe in the Dignity and the Morality of Business
- Extend the Network of Your Connectedness to Many People
- Get To Know Yourself
- Do Not Pursue Perfection
- Lead Consistently and Constantly
- Constantly Change the Changeable While Steadfastly Clinging to the Unchangeable
- Learn to Foretell the Future
- Know Your Money
- Act Rich: Give Away 10 Percent of Your After Tax Income
- Never Retire
The Triumph of Christianity by Rodney Stark
- Paras Chopra asked in Twitter, “Is there any book chronicling the growth hacks that made Christianity #1 religion in the world?” I got interested in the question and searched for books, which led me to this book.
- Stark overturns lot of common misperceptions about Christianity’s growth. Ex: Constantine embracing christianity diluted the religion rather than strengthening it. Medieval Christians weren’t pious as we imagine they were.
- Luther’s “heresy” is called the Reformation because it survived (because winners write history)
- Religions fare when there is religious pluralism. (Every right-wing religious leader, who is trying to annihilate other religions should understand. It is better for their religion that there is religious pluralism)
- I listed out few others in my reply to Paras.
Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
- Whenever we exaggerate or demonize, oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the debate, we lose.
To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink
- If your role demands “moving people”, you are in sales. That means, all of us are in sales.
- New ABCs– Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity
- Attunement = understanding the context and perspective of the buyer
- Buoyancy = grit of spirit plus sunny outlook
- Clarity = distill your offering and simplify what you are offering; give the buyer clear next action to take.
- You get paid linearly for analyzing and solving problems. You get paid non-linearly for spotting and seizing opportunities. @farnamstreet
- Your company will move at the speed of trust. @kevinbehr
- What’s on the outside sells tickets. What’s on the inside wins games. @EdLatimore
- We are very good lawyers for our own mistakes, and very good judges for the mistakes of others. - @paulocoelho
- Ask not “how are we going to test this?” Ask rather “how are we going to ensure this goes out with the necessary levels of quality?” - @flowchainsensei
- The quest of a lifetime is to find the context to which you are best suited to thrive and feel alive. Every person has a unique set of genes that are perfectly designed to excel in the right context—if you can only find it. — @james_clear
- Have you ever considered that your bottleneck is a lack of knowledge not a lack of ‘resources’? @KirstenMinshall
Under: #wins , #insights , #retro