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Following is a list of 12 books that I listened to this past year and recommend. I likely wouldn’t have gotten around to reading these titles but found time to listen to them in my car.
Leonardo da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson
This phenomenal biography covers the great generalist’s life and way of thinking. I learned about the way in which he observed the world: consistently with excruciating curiosity. The theme of Leonardo’s life could be “Go down rabbit holes” and this book shows you why.
Cryptoassets, by Chris Burniske & Jack Tatar
The bull run of 2017 sparked my fascination of cryptocurrencies or
Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
This book’s subtitle tells you exactly what it offers: a brief history of humankind. The author of this book does a fantastic job telling the history of Money, Power, Technology, and Evolution. Anybody looking for a more comprehensive view of history and our place in it should read this book.
Zero to One, by Peter Thiel
This book is a must-read for anybody curious about business in the 21st century. Thiel shows you how startups aren’t all about iteration- they’re about vision in confluence with iteration. I still haven’t decided how I feel about his comments on Galt’s Gulch at the end of the book, but ask me about it if your curious what I’m talking about.
Blockchain Revolution, by Don Tapscott
Like Cryptoassets, this book details Bitcoin and Blockchain but focuses more on Blockchain technology instead of the concept of
12 Rules for Life, by Jordan Peterson
I would be surprised if you haven’t heard of Jordan Peterson. He’s today’s most prominent intellectual and whether you agree or disagree with him on most things, this book is a must-read. I also really enjoyed how he narrated the book, you can hear the emotion of the author which makes for a genuine listening experience.
The Four, by Scott Galloway
Understanding technology in the 21st century is paramount, and a key thing to understand about technology is the companies that create the most commonly used technologies. Galloway does a great job discussing the past, present, and potential futures of these companies and diagnoses them from an evolutionary perspective.
Building a StoryBrand, by Donald Miller
This book drills home a super important lesson to anyone starting a company or that’s in marketing: companies act as the guide in the story of the customer (who is the hero). Miller provides online resources that connect to the book that you can go over with your company to make sure that your company is writing the right story for the brand.
Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
Thinking is an important activity to master, and this book convinced me of the importance of synchronizing fast (intuitive/associative) thinking and slow (factual/statistical) thinking to make decisions that are objective yet not robotic. The insights into psychology provided by this book are unparalleled.
21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari
Written by the same author as Sapiens this book takes the lessons from its predecessor and informs us of the challenges we face as sapiens in the 21st century. In it, Harari examines our re-embracement of religion and nationalism and discusses the challenges the technological singularity might bring in the decades ahead of us.
Measure What Matters, by John Doerr
Too many times people can get caught up in setting meaningless goals or measuring parameters which lack any qualitative data. In this book, Doerr and others discuss the power of ‘OKRs’: Objectives and Key Results which are the proper goals and parameters your company needs to set. This book helped me think about and come up with the key results I want to achieve with Boston Event Lighting & Films and Geomitree in 2019.
Benjamin Franklin, by Walter Isaacson
My list ends with another great generalist, although this time its the one who’s on the back of our $100 bills. To be honest I’m still amidst listening to this one and will finish it on my drive back to New England tomorrow. That being said, understanding Franklin’s pragmatism is paramount if we are to lead good lives. The amount of sayings that we can attribute to him is insane.
That wraps up my 12 reccomendations for listening 👂