Books

The Art of Learning / Entity vs Learning Intelligence

One of my pet theories is that 95% of business books are just one good idea expanded into 300 pages. The book, The Art of Learning, is just the opposite. Josh Waitzman (the kid who was featured in Searching for Bobby Fischer) packs the book full of insight that I had to set it down every few pages. One of Josh's points is talking about the two types of intellingence theories adopted by each of us: Entity Intelligence people believe their intelligence comes innately. You'll hear them say things like,…

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On Hiring A-Players

My Geekdom Fund partner, Mike Troy, and I were discussing the hiring challenge for startups. Mike observed there are lots of hiring methodologies out there. The mistake startups make is not picking one. After being exposed to the Topgrading methodology, I’m sold. The methodology has a number of insightful points: Most resumes are full of lies. Regular conversational interviews don’t expose those lies. But, we all want to hire top performers (“A-players”) A-players always have lots of people who will provide enthusiastic references B-players and C-players will have…

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On Luck / Phil Knight's Shoe Dog

Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Phil covers many topics in recapping the journey from one guy with a Crazy Idea to the largest athletic brand ever, Nike. One sticks out: The importance of luck in success. Warren Buffet is quoted on this topic describing how we feels he won the lottery being born in America: If you could put your ball back, and they took out, at random, a hundred other balls, and you had to pick one of those,…

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Possesions and Joy

Originally a best-seller in Japan, the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has a uniquely un-American way of looking at our relationship to our things. Most of us, including me, are plagued by a situation of excess things: Too many books, clothes, utensils, lawnmowers, camping gear, too big of homes, second cars, etc. One idea about stuff had always stuck with me: "You think you own your things but after you get too much, your things own you." Ms. Kondo takes the ideas around possessions even further. She starts out…

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Finding Great People: Cleaners, Closers and Coolers

As an investor and employer, I’ve learned the hard way to exclusively work with highly resourceful problem solvers is the way to go. Great employees seem to make the company better and make their manager’s life easier every day. Until now, I didn’t have a language to refer to those people. The book, Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable was recommended to me last month. The author, Tim Grover, was athletic trainer for Michael Jordan and other NBA greats. Tim describes three types of people: Coolers…

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