Tue 27 Dec 2011
Ugh, my reading this past year was way down. Despite all the long flights (hmm, I think I was mostly catching up on sleep), I was nowhere close to my preferred pace of two books per month, barely managing to get in one read per month.
Here’s what I did manage to read:
- Adapt - Why Success Always Starts with Failure
- Evil Plans - Having Fun on the Road to World Domination
- Mastering the VC Game - A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get from Start-up to IPO on YOUR Terms
- Maverick - The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace
- Poke the Box - When was the last time you did something for the first time?
- The Art of the Start - The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
- The Democratic Enterprise - Liberating Your Business with Freedom, Flexibility and Commitment
- The Element - How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
- The Great Reset - How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity
- The Lean Startup - How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
- The Three Laws of Performance - Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life
- Where Good Ideas Come From - The Natural History of Innovation
Given my efforts to start up an indie game incubator and raise some venture capital, you can notice the startup/VC trend in the reading list. The classic Art of the Start is an especially good book to, uh, start with. And, Lean Startup is amazingly good, and not just about starting a company but really much more broadly about “validated learning” in an iterative process under conditions of uncertainty. Nice to see it is already catching on in game dev circles.
Maverick was oddly inspiring: a much older book on a democratic workplace in Brazil, where factory workers decide on their own hours and pay. And, Where Good Ideas Come From was especially informative and fun to read. I’m just finishing up Adapt, which plays in nice to my usual “fail to succeed” lectures, but it is much more real-world (eg, Iraq war, banking crash, etc) than management process type stuff I was expecting.
Of the bunch, Democratic Enterprise was pretty meh. Some good info, but just too densely written and super boring. Conversely, was very happy with Element after being inspired by Ken Robinson’s beautiful (and funny!) TED Talk on the need to nurture creativity. And, thanks to Susan Gold for Poke the Box, a fun little book that I now need to hand off to someone else…