Ok, nothing to see here, move along.
Disclaimer: I am Brazilian and read this book in Portuguese. That might explain why I don't like Paulo Coelho. I see him as a pop version of Herman Hesse, an easy to read cheap mystic. Gave up on these kind of readings a long ago.
here is the fb url https://www.facebook.com/groups/40433509545/
i know that this is not very HN, but neither is a "xx books ever entrepreneur should read" linkbaitblogpost on the front page.
here my favorite quotes:
"porn movies has better plot than his books"
"He mixes a couple of diff books in one (but the other two arent his :-)"
"Reminds me something that could be called langue de bois, a suspicious rhetoric that is targeted towards desire of happiness. Too good to be true, to abstract to be examined, too vague to be accomplished. I guess the speeches of early USSR politics could be depicted as a same type langue de bois, that were talking about a perfect society in a loud tone of sentiments and deep emotionality, but created nothing more than utopian abortion."
"in my opinion people who actually like Paulo Coelho have never ever read a real book and are unable to enjoy literature. Paulo Coelho = scary new age pseudo babble for lost middle class brats. It is good news for Paulo Coelho's bank account the world is full of those."
When you express this level of hate for something however, I'd venture to say it's more about yourself than you might think. You talk about 2 hours of your life wasted, yet your still burning energy in hating it, and forming a group of all things.
nonetheless i made an exception for that guy. if everyone (according to bestseller lists and the linked blogpost above) is an awe of that guy, somebody has to point out "that the king has no clothes" (reference to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperors_New_Clothes )
I found the story superficial, disjointed, and disappointing overall. I'm not sure what the appeal is.
So I think you might be right that he became too populat, but I disagree that "nothing to see here", I'm sure a lot of people will find inspiration just like I did.
Well, I haven't read the book so I can't comment on the rest
If I where to give one recommendation it would be Clayton Christensens "The Innovators Dilemma"
That book isn't specific to entrepreneurs but to business in general. It is however the one book that will give you an understanding of the game you are in.
As en entrepreneur you are trying to find the holes in the cheese or create your own. Not to eat it.
I'd also add
- Sherry Turkle's The Second Self
- Geoffrey Miller's Crossing the Chasm and Inside the Tornado (a different Geoffrey Miller than the one in the original list :) )
- Rita McGrath and Ian MacMillan, The Entrepreneurial Mindset
I guess the book might make you appreciate design and that might affect your sensitivity to design.
But I think you need to have a general affection for design in general to really get anything out of the book.
Otherwise you run the risk of thinking your understand design now that you have read a book about it.
Just my opinion of course.
In my experience you don't :-) At least, I've seen it switch many people out of the design == "making things pretty" mindset into something more productive. It's always on my reading list for people who don't get design, or people who understand that they need to get design. Seems be effective with both groups.
I think it has something to do with it not being written as a "design" book per se. Remember the original 1988 title was "The Psychology of Everyday Things". It's up there with "Peopleware" as a book I keep buying for clients :-)
But I think the question is whether you can be a successful entrepreneur without having some sense or idea about design.
In my experience from working with many many startups the entrepreneurs either get it or they don't. In fact if they don't they wont even entertain the idea that they don't get it.
But yeah our experiences might differ :)
The downside is that now some of them think they can instantly render a well-founded opinion on anything relating to design. Although that may simply be a corollary of the general phenomenon where experts in one field (and programmers and engineers may be the worst) think they possess the master key to critical thinking and problem solving in any and all fields.
Good book, but ... can't you pretty much sum it up in a page or two at most?
Perhaps although I think there are more gems in this book (and Druckers for that matter) than in most other books.
He talks about something less trivial and fundamental about innovation which I don't think most other books I have read do.
You can also listen to this:
A great speech he did a while back which sums up his opinion.
Yeah. I had a site doing summaries for those for a while, and the percentage of them like that is fairly high. He's definitely a bright, interesting guy, who seems like the 'real deal', and not just some 'guru' kind of self-promoter. However, that book really can be compressed into a brief summary.
Think of PCs vs workstations, the iPhone vs Blackberry (the iPhone was a terrible smartphone according the the market in 2007, i.e. heavy email/business users), etc.
FWIW, I think the sequel, The Innovator's Solution, is a more useful book.
Personally, that's a motivator to build a product without being concerned about what all the other products are doing / how they look. It's also a great reminder of the importance of empiricism in some parts of life, which is great to keep in mind with something as simple as debugging your code or doing customer support...coming at a problem like an experiment, from the position of knowing nothing, means you can get to the answer faster (usually) and with more accuracy and precision.
More than twenty years old now—yet still incredibly relevant. If you're new to building/leading/managing teams or project management, and don't have a copy, go get one now.
Science Fiction: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2978027
Computer Science: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3595599
Computer Science: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1636275
Developing mental models and increasing cognition: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3277457
Quant finance: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3177815
General (non software): http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1226736
Math for beginners: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=755043
Military strategy: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=456275
"I want to start a web company": http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1567456
As a broke fresh college graduate, one of the most widely talked about books (and one I actually bought myself) was Eric Ries' The Lean Startup. It really helped me feel like I had a sense of direction instead of "thinking I knew" something,
Even if a book you want isn't in the library's catalog, go talk to a librarian. They can work some magic.
Another thing to do is see if your college will let you keep online or other library access for a nominal fee. I remember (ab)using MIT libraries for a while after leaving.
Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love (http://www.amazon.com/Inspired-Create-Products-Customers-Lov...) - The best if not only required reading for product management
Peopleware (http://www.amazon.com/Peopleware-Productive-Projects-Teams-S...) - Great read on managing and understanding people as it relates to organizations
Managing Humans (http://www.amazon.com/Managing-Humans-Humorous-Software-Engi...) - Obviously on management, you can read much on this http://randsinrepose.com/, though the book does a great job of consolidating it
Also a question if any Amazoners are reading this. Why when I click from the amazon.com to amazon.co.uk does it not remember the book I'm looking at. Come on guys it's not the 20th century anymore.
Read it, liked it more than Lean Startup: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055D7O1U/ref=as_li_ss_tl?...
Started reading it, seems much more thorough than Lean Startup: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0984999302/ref=as_li_ss_tl?... - annoyingly does not have a Kindle version.
Haven't ready it, heard it's good: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006UKFFE0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?...
And of course, my favorite of all, because it's full of real, practical advice, Start Small, Stay Small.
Eric Ries is in the consulting business (like Clayton) and he's trying to bring Lean Startup to the mainstream & big companies. I think his book achieves that goal but at the expense of being helpful to startups.
This revisits books from earlier in the decade (like _Good to Great_), and shows that many of the profiled companies failed. It's a great way to learn how to read entrepreneurship books; many theories are based on "Intel is successful; Intel does X; therefore doing X will make you successful".
In general, go read books from ten years ago and see if any of the predictions held up. Likewise, I recommend _Founders at Work_ because so many of these (currently) successful companies were launched with opposing philosophies, and all of them worked. Open plan? Works! Offices? Also works! Deep funding? Works! Bootstrapping? Also works!
Jack Welch: Straight From the Gut
The Innovators' Solution.