Reading is good for the soul

What I’m Reading

This current project I’m on started a long time ago; I saw this cheat-sheet for Jason Fried’s book Rework back in 2010, and shortly thereafter I bought the book from the iBookstore. It took me awhile to get around to reading it, but it was a worldview-changing experience once I finally sat down to spend some time with it. I plowed through it in an evening, and I really need to read it again.

After I finished it, I bought Making Ideas Happen from Scott Belsky, behind 99 Percent, Behance and The Action Method. It quickly became one of the zillion books that I read the introduction of and then laid aside. I picked it up again late last week and started it from the beginning, and have made it about a third of the way through the book. It’s very similar in philosophy to the meetings-are-poison mindset of Rework, but focuses on specific tactics and strategies for organizing and executing projects. So far it’s been an enlightening read; it’s not quite the “everything you’re doing is destructive and wrong, and here’s why you should blow it up and start over” hammer to the heart that Rework was, but it’s an equally enthusiastic call to challenge the status quo.

Both books are written from perspective that is intended to support people interested in launching tech startups, but the more I read about the mindset behind successful startups the more I see a significant number of things that could be pulled out and adapted to a great number of other enterprises. When you combine this mentality – laser-focus on productivity and leading effective teams – with that of winning customers by focusing on building experience – like in the video I posted yesterday – and you’ve got a toolkit that could be adapted to a broad variety of enterprises or organizations beyond tech startups.

Once I get through Making Ideas Happen, I think my next target will be Jacob Morgan’s The Collaborative Organization. I’ve read the sample from iBookstore, and from just that 20-something page snippet it seemed clear that it was cut from a similar cloth to these other two books – only placing focus on specific strategies for using technological tools to work with people and solve problems.

Lots to learn.

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