I like to collect ‘required reading’ from people of the blogs and books they think everyone should read. I find it’s a good way of understanding what materials have shaped a person’s view of the world, and what empowers and inspires them. It’s also a kind of shortcut to understanding someone’s values and how they think, and subsequently learning from them.
I often find these correlate pretty well with articles that people find themselves referencing a lot in conversation.
These are the 10 blog posts I recommend the most often when I’m discussing businesses, working culture, and how to do it right.
Paul Graham: Wealth
“There are a lot of ways to get rich, and this essay is about only one of them. This essay is about how to make money by creating wealth and getting paid for it. There are plenty of other ways to get money, including chance, speculation, marriage, inheritance, theft, extortion, fraud, monopoly, graft, lobbying, counterfeiting, and prospecting. Most of the greatest fortunes have probably involved several of these.”
Mark Leslie: The Arc of Company Life – and How to Prolong It
“No matter what excuses are made or exceptions declared, it’s the rule that companies at one time viewed as clear winners will ultimately experience the threat of decline and extinction at the end of the Arc of Life. No organization is immune to this fate. Only a select few have demonstrated their ability to undertake enough transformative shifts to extend their life decades beyond their competition.”
Ketan Jhaveri: Elon Musk: The Role of Analogy and Reasoning From First Principles in Disruptive Entrepreneurship
“First principles” is a physics way of looking at the world…what that really means is that you boil things down to the most fundamental truths…and then reason up from there…that takes a lot more mental energy…
Nilofer Merchant: Innovation Isn’t Tied to Size, but to Operating Rules
“The key for every firm — regardless of size — is to figure out how to consistently create value in a demanding, ever-changing market. That is hard no matter what size you are, no matter what industry you’re in.”
Justin Rosenstein: Do Great Things
“We have a greater capacity to change the world today than the kings and presidents of just 50 years ago.”
“One of my most important tasks,” he’d said, “is making sure I stay open to people, and the meaning of what I’m doing, but not to get so overwhelmed by it that it’s paralyzing.”
Going Long: How LinkedIn Became a Wall Street Juggernaut
“In the wake of the Facebook IPO debacle and recent resurgence, I’m often asked about how companies should plan for Wall Street. My answer: the more you can emulate LinkedIn’s approach, the better.”
Sam Altman: The days are long but the decades are short
“I turned 30 last week and a friend asked me if I’d figured out any life advice in the past decade worth passing on. I’m somewhat hesitant to publish this because I think these lists usually seem hollow, but here is a cleaned up version of my answer:”
Yancey Strickler – Resist and Thrive
Number 1: Don’t sell out.
Number 2: Be idealistic.
…It’s not about conquering the world, it’s about doing the right thing. When done correctly, this creates the ultimate product-market fit.
Travis Kalanick at Big Omaha 2011
Whatever it is you’re afraid of go after it. Fear just slows you down.
Dan Rogers: Be Aggressive or Fail
Good luck getting out of the forest.
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