Posts Tagged ‘blink’

Malcolm Gladwell audiobooks

The first book from Malcolm Gladwell I read was The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference back in 2007. I continued to read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking in 2008. And then it seems I’ve weaned off Gladwell, with the exception of his pieces in magazines like The New Yorker. 

I’ve started listening to audiobooks again, most of last year, because I find that when I go to the gym, its much better than listening to music on repeat. So I listened to Blink again which further cemented ideas in my head. Then I thought I needed to listen to a new book – Outliers: The Story of Success

This is his famous book that suggests you have to get some kind of “luck” to practice 10,000 hours to get proficient in things (known as the 10,000 hour rule). Examples include the fact that Bill Gates got access to a computer terminal when he was in high school; something that doesn’t happen for many people during that time. Opportunities can equate to luck

Some choice quotes:

  1. Achievement is talent plus preparation. The problem with this view is that the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play.
  2. Those three things–autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward–are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether our work fulfills us.

I think its worth reading or listening to these books. I know I’m behind on Gladwell’s stuff – I hear David and Goliath is a good read, and I guess that’s next on my to-read list from him. As for the audiobook format, I think its worth picking books carefully as I like the idea of highlighting on the Kindle (and before that, dog-earing pages and writing copious quotes/notes). It’s quite hard to do when you’re driving and listen to a great point – wait for my thoughts on Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle which after listening to the audiobook, I also grabbed the Kindle edition (and for what it’s worth, I happen to have the dead-tree edition as well – go figure).

Books: The Art of the Start, The Logic of Life, Blink

Not strictly read this month, but here are my quick reviews of these three books:

  • The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything – a great book by Guy Kawasaki, you can only imagine how dog-eared my copy of the book is. There can be no summaries, as the whole contents of the book is worth reading. If you’re thinking of the start up world, or running your own company, this book is a must read. Guy has also linked to a talk he gave on this topic.

    Disappointed I was, when I found out guy was recently at a satellite event (NetBash @ WCIT), something I could have definitely attended had I known about it (I was at WCIT, the expo hall though) – Guy Kawasaki: 45 hours in KL.

  • The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World – always interested in economics, this is the second book by Tim Harford, and its fabulous. He touches on game theory, talks about the teenage oral sex craze, crime, and lots of other illogical behaviours. Highly recommended, especially, if you’ve read his previous book, The Undercover Economist.
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking – yet another book by Malcolm Gladwell (if you’ve read The Tipping Point, this is a must read follow-up), its a very quick read (pretty thin book), and it covers the two seconds or so that we take to make snap judgements. Should we trust our snap judgements? Generally yes. I tend to agree with the book, especially when it comes to reading strangers (and sizing people down, for example). There are of course, caveats about jumping to conclusions when you’re in a business that focuses on dealing with people, and its covered too. Anyone can definitely learn a thing or two about trusting our subconscious from the book.