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Recommended Reading and Stuff – November 2017

recommended readingLast month’s post of recommendations was very popular. So I thought I’d share some more ideas this month.

It’s important that we keep learning. Keep taking in new information. Keep considering new ideas.

It’s crucial that we keep thinking.

Following are some things I found particularly thought-provoking, insightful, and fun.

Books

Bitcoin for the Befuddled was a great exploration of this new, potentially game-changing technology. I found this book a great way to get a handle on the fundamentals of the cryptocurrency. I loved learning about the underlying technology, blockchain, and how it works. The implications could be tremendous–and don’t have anything to do with the price hype soundbites you see in the news.

I really liked the way the book used cartoons and thought experiments to explain key concepts. But it also included nitty-gritty lessons on the mathematics that make the whole thing work. The authors are clearly pumped up about the technology, but do a good job of providing a level-headed and well-rounded perspective.

Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts was an enjoyable exploration about what makes some books, movies, songs, video games, and other works last while others fade away. I love books about the process of creation. It’s always harder than it looks. It always takes more time than you’d think. It always requires more active promotion than you are aware of to get it out in the world.

The author has done this himself with his previous books. And he includes many case studies from various times and disciplines in the book. The book is a good way to gain an appreciation for the level of depth and commitment that success really requires. And why it’s worth it.

Audio/Video

My hands-down favorite podcast episode was the Barry Ritholz interview of Scott Galloway on the Masters in Business podcast. Galloway is a professor at the New York University Stern School of Business who recently wrote a book The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. The discussion was wide-ranging and insightful. It was a great look at the big picture of how the world and business is changing.

I was on Netflix again and found another great documentary there: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers: Running Down A Dream. In the same spirit as the Perennial Seller book above, I love getting insight into the creative process and what success really requires. I was always a Tom Petty fan, but this movie gave more insight into his work and my respect for him has grown as a result.

Article

From the Association for Psychological Science: Trying to Get Ahead? Plan in Reverse, Study Suggests. We know that planning matters. This was great insight into how the way you plan matters.

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I hope you find some of this useful.

What are you reading/watching/listening to?

I’d love to hear about it!