AOAPM 2: Cynical book summaries
I’ve read 100 books in a year so that you don’t have to!
Congrats pal. 👏
My eyes glaze over when I see social media posts vomiting the next set of must-read books at me.
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So here’s my anti-post.
I’ll be honest.
There’s no way I can read 100 books in a year.
Not a bloody chance.
At least not if I want to absorb what I’m reading.
Or if I want to get anything else done in life.
But I’ve still read a lot of books in recent years.
And since I woke up feeling grumpy and even more cynical than usual, I thought it would be fun to share a different perspective on a few of them.
Disclaimer: I’ve taken something valuable from every one of the books below. But the cynic in me can’t help myself…
So, without further ado, here’s the list, each with a brief summary…
Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Learn how to imagine you're lean and efficient while desperately grasping at straws in the hope that something will eventually work.
Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff
Prepare to be charmed by tales of bootstrapping, as if your measly angel funding could compare to the Salesforce empire.
Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
Ponder over philosophical dilemmas in the hope that doing so will absolutely fix your cash flow issues and skyrocket your growth.
Hooked by Nir Eyal
Master the art of creating addicting products that consume your customers' lives, because nothing says success like exploiting psychological vulnerabilities.
Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross & Marylou Tyler
Develop the ability to sell so consistently you’ll be able to predict your startup's revenue with impeccable accuracy. Just kidding, it's going to be about as predictable as the arrival time of a TransPenine Express train (for anyone who’s never had the misfortune to travel on a train operated by these muppets, consider yourself lucky). But at least you’ll learn a thing or two about outbound selling.
Play Bigger by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, et al
Expand your ego to epic proportions by striving to dominate a market you're not even sure exists.
Running Lean by Ash Maurya
Because running your startup like a finely tuned machine is totally doable. All you have to do is ignore the chaos that's consuming it from the inside.
Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman & Chris Yeh
Discover the magic formula for scaling at breakneck speed, even if it means sacrificing stability, profitability, and probably your mental health.
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Platform Scale by Sangeet Paul Choudary
Unlock the secrets of building a platform that'll revolutionize the world. Or at least make you feel like you're about to.
Contagious by Jonah Berger
Unleash your inner viral marketer and strive to create contagious content that spreads like wildfire or, more realistically, fizzles out in obscurity.
Radical Candor by Kim Scott
Learn how to deliver brutal honesty to your team while conveniently forgetting about nurturing their fragile souls. Who needs emotional well-being anyway?
Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love by Jon Kolko
Because deep down, we all know it's important to care about users, even if we're too busy chasing growth metrics to bother with empathy.
I hope this provided a brief respite from the challenges of your dysfunctional startup life.
I’ll be back soon with more AOAPM musings - the first few weeks of the new year at Kinetikode have been nothing short of diabolical.