As a product manager, I’m always interested in learning new mental models, improve my thinking process, and be better at problem-solving skills.
Therefore, I bought the book Think like an Engineer: by Guru Madhavan, my expectations were high because one the best books I’ve read around the subject is Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian & Tom Griffin.
I read because I think is the easiest way to get smarter and grow through someone else experience.
“Men who have made these discoveries before us are not our masters, but our guides” - Seneca
Every year I publish my favorite books, and this year is no exception. I really enjoyed the following 5 books. And I’m really looking forward 2018, and keep these learnings through the rest of the year. I will read 40 books this 2018.
1. A book about Enlightenment - The truth around life and nature.
“The most important trick to be happy is to realize that happiness is a choice that you make and a skill that you develop. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it. It’s just like building muscles.”
If you’re looking for a formula for greatness, the closest we’ll ever get, I think, is this: Consistency driven by a deep love of the work.
“The big question I ask is, “When I had the opportunity did I choose courage over comfort?”
Remember too that your time is your one finite resource, and when you say “yes” to one thing you are inevitably saying “no” to another.”
“As a middle manager, you are in effect a chief executive of an organization yourself….As a micro CEO, you can improve your own and your group’s performance and productivity, whether or not the rest of the company follows suit.”
This is my list of what I’m planning to read in 2018:
5 Books that defined me in 2016, and make my 2017 better
TOP 5 BOOKS THAT MAKE YOUR 2017 BETTER.
*An old post that I left as a draft that I thought I should just publish it.
In 2016 I read 16 books, I’m already starting to read another one so probably will be 17 books in total for 2016. Reading for me is not about entertainment, but educating myself for a greater future.
At the beginning of the year when I wrote my OKRs (aka my late NYE Resolutions were written in February btw.) I put myself the goal of reading 2 books per month, that was out of my league for 2016. I didn’t read as fast as I can today, I had to practice almost one year to read faster, but retain as much as I can.
So after 16.5 books here you have my top 5 books that define my 2016:
This book challenges you; makes you feel small, lazy and doesn’t matter what you do, you can do more and be better.
Elon Musk Quest for a Fantastic Future is an open window to understand the mind, and life of the real Tony Stark. Musk’s mind works in a different way from politics and power to technology and product, and this books gives you a glimpse of that and more.
***Why should I read it? *** It doesn’t matter if you are not in technology, entrepreneurship or the Startup World. Reading this will give you an understanding of how the future will be defined thanks to Musk and it will give you an external framework of how Musk’s mindset works towards everything he do.
“My mentality is that of a samurai. I would rather commit seppuku than fail.” — Sir Elon Musk
There are two behavioural psychologists I admire the most, and both of them are my namesakes; Daniel Kahneman Nobel price in Economic Science, and Daniel Ariely MIT professor with 20 years of researching behavioral economics.
2014–2015 I immersed myself in behavioural economics until 2016when I ran into Ariely’s work. Ariely has found that people tend to behave irrationally in a predictable fashion. Basically, we suck at making decisions.
Even the most analytical thinkers are predictably irrational, and this book explains why, and how the brain tricks you to make stupid decisions.
Why should I read it? If you are a product manager, or work on sales or marketing, in fact any type of business, this book will help you to understand from how to do pricing, to how to frame things in a better way for your customers for better conversion rates.
Besides that, it will teach you to understand yourself better, why you do certain things at certain times, from being a father to purchasing something on amazon to procrastination.
We make decisions as a function of the environment that we’re in. Most people don’t know what they want unless they see it in context.
Man this book is fun! And amazingly entertaining! In Spanish we have a expression that says “Cuando veas tu vecino las barbas cortar, pon las tuyas remojar” aka when you see your neighbor’s beard cut, put yours to soak.
At the beginning of the post, I stated I read for education, not entertainment, but Dan Lyons managed to accomplish both.
Why should I read it? If you work at different startups as I do; Disrupted will teach you what NOT to do, and also bring you back to reality, I mean how the startup life can stupidly irrationally compared to the way my parents used to work. It will also give a sense of how the system works between VCs, shitty product, with a high valuation.
“You don’t get rewarded for creating great technology, not anymore…It’s all about the business model. The market pays you to have a company that scales quickly. It’s all about getting big fast. Don’t be profitable, just get big.”
Angela gives you an outstanding framework for looking your life, business or any project in a different way. The book could have been shorter and it was a little bit repetitive, but worth the extraction//scanning reading.
Why should I read it? The never ending cliché, Talent vs HardWork, and every knows hard work always wins! But how do you establish a good process and framework to continue quality work? How do you keep yourself inspired? I think Angela gives you anecdotes, stories, for you to create your own inspiration, and own grit.
It soon became clear that doing one thing better and better might be more satisfying than staying an amateur at many different things
Before as PM, and now as Head of Product forecasting is tough, a mix between science and art. How do you manage incoming data, new variables and events, and keeping the roadmap clean and healthy? This is what inspired me to read this book.
Why should I read it? Tobe honest it is a thick, dense book, and it won’t teach you “how to predict”. Nate Silver focuses on giving the correct mindset towards forecasting and predictive analytics. It will help you to develop intuition for the kinds of predictions that are possible, that are not so possible, where they may go wrong, and how to avoid some common pitfalls.
“The signal is the truth. The noise is what distracts us from the truth”
Why should I read it? I recommend you to read this, not for following each of the steps because almost everything was written before the digital era, but it will help you to create your own sense of GTD technique that applies to your own needs.
Mine ended up being Toggle + Trello.
“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”
The other books I read last year:
Naked Economics & Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan
The Design of Everyday Things — Norman Donald
Originals by Adam Grant
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
Sprint: How to solve big problems in just five days — Jake Knapp GV