[Book] One more: Rework

Such an easy book to read. I got it at the beginning of a long weekend ad it was done by Sunday morning. I wanted to read it as a mean to rethink the way my organization works, however I couldn’t help having the idea of starting something by myself. If it ever happens this book will definitely be a checklist to revisit.

Probably you won’t agree with all their advices but you’ll need to try hard to prove them wrong.

“You want to feel that if you stopped doing what you do, people would notice.”

“Forgoing sleep is a bad idea. Sure, you get those extra hours right now, but you pay in spades later: You destroy your creativity, morale, and attitude.”

“And that means it’s tempting to try to build a business by being a copycat. That’s a formula for failure, though. The problem with this sort of copying is it skips understanding—and understanding is how you grow.”

“Your goal is to make sure your product stays right for you. You’re the one who has to believe in it most. That way, you can say, “I think you’ll love it because I love it.””

“Try learning first. What you give up in initial execution will be repaid many times over by the wisdom you gain.”

“Problems start when you have more people than you need. You start inventing work to keep everyone busy. Artificial work leads to artificial projects. And those artificial projects lead to real costs and complexity.”

“If you are trying to decide among a few people to fill a position, hire the best writer.”

“How much time do IT employees waste on monitoring other employees instead of working on a project that’s actually valuable?”

“If you want something done, ask the busiest person you know.”

“Inspiration is a now thing. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.”

[Book] Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Blink is a book by Malcolm Gladwell that deals with a kind of event you have probably experienced before: sometimes you take a (good) decision but you don’t really know why. It’s the typical in the shower moment where you’re happily distracted singing Lady Gaga and, suddenly, you find a neat solution to that issue that had been bothering for weeks. Well, it seems there is a good reason for these blinks and Gladwell explains it fairly well.

“People are ignorant of the things that affect their actions, yet they rarely feel ignorant. We need to accept our ignorance and say “I don’t know” more often.”

“Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions.”

“When you write down your thoughts, your chances of having the flash of insight you need in order to come up with a solution are significantly impaired.”

“They gather and consider far more information than is truly necessary because it makes them feel more confident (…). The irony, though, is that that very desire for confidence is precisely what ends up undermining the accuracy of their decision.”

“The problem is that buried among the things that we hate is a class of products that are in that category only because they are weird. They make us nervous. They are sufficiently different that it takes us some time to understand that we actually like them.”

“Understanding the true nature of instinctive decision making requires us to be forgiving of those people trapped in circumstances where good judgment is imperiled.”

“On straightforward choices, deliberate analysis is best. When questions of analysis and personal choice start to get complicated—when we have to juggle many different variables—then our unconscious thought processes may be superior.”

As they say, ignore it at your own risk.

We fail when we get distracted by tasks we don’t have the guts to quit

All our successes are the same. All our failures too; We succeed when we do something remarkable; We fail when we give up too soon; We succeed when we are the best in the world at what we do; We fail when we get distracted by tasks we don’t have the guts to quit. — Seth Godin, in The Dip.

The Dip is a little book that I found the other day by chance in a nice bookstore in the Dupont area. The book basically teaches you when to quit or to stick to a project, mainly professional, but you can apply it to anything in life.

The idea is very simple, you should identify what really matters (and he tells you how) and then focus. Quit otherwise and ignore the rest. Personally I found the book pretty inspiring although I disagree with the author in some of the examples he gives; you can even say the little book is too long at times.