Hackers and Painters Summary

Big Ideas from the Computer Age

As far as you’re concerned, the world of intellect is sharply divided between two kinds of people: the math nerds and the creative type. And there’s nothing similar between them since each group is interested in two entirely different things.

In “Hackers and Painters,” Paul Graham asks: “Oh, really!?”

Who Should Read “Hackers and Painters”? And Why?

One of the strangest questions you can ask when books such as “Hackers and Painters” are the topic of discussion.

It really feels like a centaur-book. Namely, the first half of it is more accessible and should be interesting to people who want to get to know with the hacker culture better. Since there are few start-up tips and tricks, entrepreneurs will have a reason to have a look at this part as well.

However, the second half is much more technical and will be much less attractive to non-professionals. Programmers and hackers, however, will enjoy it.

About Paul Graham

Paul Graham is an English essayist and author, entrepreneur and CEO, computer scientist and philosopher. His broad interests and diverse skills have granted him the nickname “hacker philosopher.”

Graham has so far co-founded Viaweb (which was eventually sold to Yahoo! and renamed Yahoo! Store) and Y Combinator, an American seed accelerator. His blog, paulgraham.com, is extremely popular among hackers and computer scientists.

He has authored two more programming books: “On Lisp” and “ANSI Common Lisp.”

“Hackers and Painters Summary”

Let’s warm you up with the first of our two simple tests.

First, picture a hacker. Did that?

OK, now imagine a painter. Done?

Finally, compare the two.

No comparison, right?

Because as few movies from the early age of computers taught us – yes, we’re mostly talking about the one which first made us dream of Angelina Jolie in a dress – hackers are mischievous video-games-addicted coders capable of breaking into any system imaginable.

You know, the guys you should be afraid of because, if they wanted to, they could steal all your money or sensitive photos in a blink.

Media coverage of the Pirate Bay trials, massive leaks of celebrity photos such as Celebgate, and people like Kim Dotcom certainly don’t help anyone change their perception.

As for painters – there’s an archetype there too. Still misunderstood, but an inspired genius, nevertheless, an eccentric profoundly interested in creating order out of chaos, beauty out of ordinariness.

Well, guess what?

Paul Graham, the author of “Hackers and Painters,” has a B.A. in Philosophy, a Ph. D. in Computer Science, and has also studied painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence.

And, as far as he’s concerned, hackers and painters are actually much more similar than hackers and mathematicians.

But you’ll probably understand the comparison better if you redefine the archetypal image of the hacker in your mind. And the proper definition of “hacker” may help.

Via Wikipedia: a hacker is an individual who enjoys “the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming limitations of software systems to achieve novel and clever outcomes.”

Change “software systems” to, say, “visual media” and you get a definition of what it means to be a painter, don’t you?

Another thing painters and hackers have in common: both of them are usually unpopular in high school.

Why?

Well, because they are uninterested in things that are seasonal, be it fashion or morals. Some things change, they intuitively know, while others never do. And since they are smart, they choose to dedicate their time to the latter.

Can you blame them?

Sacrificing four years to insults and solitude for a lifetime of knowledge and a shot at immortality is worthwhile.

It’s you who are in the wrong.

Which brings us to the second test Paul Graham has prepared for you:

“Do you have any opinions that you would be reluctant to express in front of a group of your peers?”

We’ll quote you Graham’s answer in full:

“If the answer is no, you might want to stop and think about that. If everything you believe is something you’re supposed to believe, could that possibly be a coincidence? Odds are it isn’t. Odds are you just think whatever you’re told.”

Well, hackers and painters don’t. You may think of them as nerds or eccentrics, but actually, they are much more rebellious than you’ll ever be.

Originality, after all, is nothing more but an act of transgressing the limitations. If these are humanmade – i.e., the law – they aren’t perfect. So, it’s worth experimenting around them.

Painters do that.

Hackers do that as well.

And just a small number of the latter wear the black hat. The other, just like Picasso or Dali, are merely interested in the limitations of the systems which proceeded them.

Because the ways they can be hacked are actually the same ways which will improve them.

Key Lessons from “Hackers and Painters”

1.      The Freaks and Geeks of the World: Painters and Hackers
2.      Painters and Hackers Are More Similar Than You Think
3.      It’s All About the Feedback

The Freaks and Geeks of the World: Painters and Hackers

In high school, there are at least two groups of people who don’t really belong anywhere. They are neither fashionable nor adhere to social conventions. And they are so focused on what they’re doing that they are sometimes too dull to even talk to them.

The first group consists of those peculiarly dressed art types who spend most of their math classes sketching things – since they don’t really care about equations.

The second, on the other hand, is comprised of math geniuses who know how to solve these equations the second they look at them.

The freaks and the geeks.

The interesting thing: Paul Graham is both.

Before you say “you must have had a difficult time in high school, Paul,” take a second and compare your life to Graham’s life at the present moment.

That’s right.

The freaks have inherited the earth.

Painters and Hackers Are More Similar Than You Think

At first glance, painters and hackers have nothing to share between them. After all, the least favorite subject of either group is usually the one the other group thrives in.

Artists are not good at math; oftentimes, hackers can’t really draw a straight line.

However, hackers and painters have much more in common than you’d think.

For example, as is most apparent, both are uninterested in fashion. A less obvious similarity between them is the fact that both think that morals are seasonal. Possibly even counter-intuitive (and, yet, true) both are more rebellious than both delinquents and jocks.

How?

Well, both are interested profoundly in how to transgress the limitations of a system. That’s why you usually think of hackers as criminals. And the reality is – if art composition rules were laws, Picasso would have been tried.

It’s All About the Feedback

Finally, both hackers and painters only are successful if they create something good. Or, in other words, something other people will like.

The end opinion is what matters.

That’s why it’s better to go through the trial-and-error test regularly. Whether a program or a painting – create it, see the reaction, and then improve it.

It’s worked for many.

It’ll work for you as well.

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“Hackers and Painters Quotes”

There are few sources of energy so powerful as a procrastinating college student. Click To Tweet Object-oriented programming offers a sustainable way to write spaghetti code. It lets you accrete programs as a series of patches. Click To Tweet The recipe for great work is: very exacting taste, plus the ability to gratify it. Click To Tweet The main reason nerds are unpopular is that they have other things to think about. Click To Tweet In business, there is nothing more valuable than a technical advantage your competitors don’t understand. In business, as in war, surprise is worth as much as force. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Hackers and Painters” is one of the very few books of its kind – if not the only one. After all, there aren’t many people with Paul Graham’s background in the world, so not many can write a book like this.

However, Graham seems to forget that he’s the exception (and not the rule) which results in few flawed comparisons and forced arguments. And, truth be told, the book reads more like a collection of essays than a cohesively structured unit.

By the time you reach the end, you’ll wonder why isn’t the book called, “Lisp, the Language of the Future”? However, the writing style and the first half of the book makes up for it.

Or the other way around – if you’re a hacker.

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Humans Are Underrated PDF Summary

Humans are Underrated PDFWhat High Achievers Know that Brilliant Machines Never Will

You know him as the author of the brilliant “Talent Is Overrated.” Now, Geoff Colvin is back with an update: In “Humans Are Underrated,” he explains how talent is not the only thing you can – and should – develop.

Because the machines are coming, and because, as perfect as they are, humans have an advantage in many fields. Learn who they are and how you can benefit.

Who Should Read “Humans Are Underrated”? And Why?

If you’ve read this article and found your job somewhere near the top of the least safe job list – you may be already in a panic. After all – how are you supposed to win against a machine?

Well, “Humans Are Underrated” is here to alleviate your anxiety. It explains what in which ways computers will one day surpass us and which ways they will never be able to.

In other words, even in the worst-case scenario, this book can teach you which skills you should focus on to become indispensable in the future job market.

About Geoff Colvin

Geoff ColvinGeoff Colvin is an American journalist, broadcaster, motivational speaker and senior editor-at-large for “Fortune.” He has written hundreds of articles for the magazine, including the very popular regular column “Value Driven.”

A frequent TV show and radio guest, Colvin graduated summa cum laude from Harvard, receiving a B. A. in economics, before obtaining an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School.

He has authored four books so far: “Angel Customers & Demon Customers,” “The Upside of the Downturn,” “Talent Is Overrated” and “Humans Are Underrated.”

Read more at http://geoffcolvin.com.

“Humans Are Underrated PDF Summary”

Sure, you know that twenty years ago you had to wait about a minute for your dial-up to download a 200px image and that twenty years before only few hundred people on the planet even bothered to buy a computer.

Still – it’s almost impossible to imagine how fast computers increase their power!

American computer scientist, William Nelson Joy, has provided us with an excellent way to think about it.

You walk – he points out – at an average speed of 3 miles per hour. Usain Bolt’s speed has been clocked at about 30 mph. Finally, the fastest planes in the world can fly at a speed of about 3000 mph.

In other words, a plane is faster than the fastest man alive by a factor of 100 and is a thousand times faster than you walking from point A to point B.

Now, get this!

It systems increase their computing power by a factor of 100 every two years. Which amounts to a factor of 1,000,000 if we make the comparison over a four-decade-long period!

Translated back into our analogy, this means that, by now, if the plane industry developed similarly, we should have already developed a plane able to fly around the Earth in no more than two seconds!

We just can’t get our heads around the numbers, exclaims Geoff Calvin!

But they are the real numbers, and, interestingly enough, they were accurately predicted as early as 1965 by Gordon Moore.

Fortunately for humans, the trend can’t go on indefinitely (due to space limitations), but half a century since the original prediction, it still sounds more like a natural law than a projection.

But, why did we say “fortunately for humans”? After all, you’re reading this because of the accuracy of Moore’s law.

Well, because computers are developing so fast that unless homo sapiens evolve into homo deus in few years, we stand no chance defeating them in almost any field whatsoever.

And if we can’t compete against computers in most areas, maybe, you’d think, we’d better hold on to that “almost” from the previous sentence.

Let’s find where we’re better at and where computers are inherently incapable of improving.

Hold your horses!

Computers are now able to write poems, beat Kasparov in chess, and even accurately read human emotions!

Emotions! The first thing you’d say if asked what is the thing which distinguishes computers and humans most!

Elon Musk may be right: the Dooms Day is near!

No – says Geoff Calvin. It’s just a wrong way to posit the problem.

We shouldn’t ask ourselves what the computers can’t do, because they are developing so fast that what is true today may be false in less than a year.

Instead, we should ask ourselves what humans are most driven to do. Or, to put it differently, what we must do even if a computer can do it as well.

Geoff Calvin has discerned five categories where improving will not only make you a more valuable asset in the workplace of the future but will also help you remain human in an increasingly inhuman world.

First of all, empathy, the foundation of all else. It consists of two elements: understanding the feelings of the other and reacting in an appropriate manner. It’s what we crave for – it’s what computers will never be able to imitate.

Because even if a computer is capable of doing everything right, it will not convince us that he feels for us. Because, after all, there’s no pleasure in winning a game if you know that the others let you win it.

Next, teamwork. It’s, once again, something that computers may be programmed to do; but, also something that, really, makes no sense if you don’t put the effort.

And when we do, we create something spectacular: a cohesive group capable of winning even against a less unified team of far more skilled individuals.

Thirdly, storytelling. The foundation of Rolf Jensen’s dream society.

Why?

Because we are born with an inherent need to tell stories. And because, even when it is not true, we like a good story much better than logic and facts.

Let’s just let computers rule the latter. We’ll deal with the former.

Fourthly, creativity.

True, computers can be creative. But humans are better at randomness and serendipity. And that’s the basis of creativity.

Finally, relationships.

No need for further explanation, we suppose. This one’s the difference between animals and humans, between humans and humanity.

Key Lessons from “Humans Are Underrated”

1.      Computing Power Increases at Incredible Rates
2.      Don’t Ask What Computers Can’t Do…
3.      …Ask What We Must Do Even If Computers Do It Too

Computing Power Increases at Incredible Rates

About half a century ago, Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, published a paper which stated that the number of components per integrated circuit is doubled every two years. And it predicted that this trend will continue in the future.

It has. And it has resulted in today’s computers being 1,000,000 times faster and more efficient than those from forty years ago!

Don’t bother trying to grasp what that actually means. Let’s just say that it’s a lot.

Don’t Ask What Computers Can’t Do…

Consequently, asking what computers can’t do is the wrong way to look at things.

They develop so fast that even if they are incapable of doing something today, they may be able of doing it perfectly in no more than few years.

As Randall Munroe’s webcomic xkcd has shown to us a couple of times before, this is something that has been proven over and over again.

…Ask What We Must Do Even If Computers Do It Too

Now, if you start with the premise that computers will one day be able of doing everything, it’s a lot easier to detect what you should start doing now to not be made obsolete by computers in the future.

And the answer is relatively simple: the things you must do as a human, even if computers one day learn to do them as well.

Empathy is the foremost example. No matter how good computers are at empathizing, their empathy will always be programmed and, thus, fake.

The good news?

The same holds true for four other human qualities: teamwork, storytelling, creativity, and relationships.

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Humans Are Underrated Quotes

As the shift in valuable skills continues, organizations are finding not only that they have no jobs for the disengaged and socially inept, but that such people are toxic to the enterprise and must be removed. Click To Tweet Google’s autonomous cars are an obvious and significant example—significant because the number one job among American men is truck driver. Click To Tweet As technology takes over more of our work… the people who master the human abilities that are fading all around us will be the most valuable people in our world. Click To Tweet Computing power increases by a factor of a million in forty years. The computing visionary Bill Joy likes to point out that jet travel is faster than walking by a factor of one hundred, and it changed the world. Click To Tweet The right kind of narrative, told by a person, is mightier than logic. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Humans Are Underrated” is a fresh and original take on something many people have grappled with: how to deal with the advent of AI?

His response is almost counter-intuitive. Unlike other writers on the subject, Geoff Colvin doesn’t really care what computers are incapable of doing; he cares what humans must do even if computers develop so much that they are able to do it too.

Well-researched and superbly written, “Humans Are Underrated” is both a thought-provoking and highly practical book.

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Ignore Everybody Summary

Ignore Everybody SummaryAnd 39 Other Keys to Creativity

Creativity is a mysterious force. You may think that it’s a question of whether you have it or not, but according to Hugh MacLeod, it’s actually one of whether you’ll use it or not.

If you want to learn how he’s a good guy to listen to. And in our “Ignore Everybody summary”, we have a look at each of his 40 keys to creativity.

Who Should Read “Ignore Everybody”? And Why?

“Ignore Everybody” is specifically intended for creative types. True, some of the advises you’ll read here are applicable in other situations as well, but don’t bother if you’re not a writer, a musician, a painter, an architect.

If you are – use this book as a constant reminder. Because sometimes you’ll get an urge to quit your day job – and that’s when you’ll like to remind yourself of MacLeod’s Key #8. And when inevitably you’ll start suffering from writer’s block, Key #25 will certainly help you get over it.

About Hugh MacLeod

Hugh MacLeodHugh MacLeod is an American author and cartoonist.

He worked as an advertising copywriter for a decade before deciding to focus solely on his ultra-popular blog, gapingvoid.com, where he first published cartoons and then started writing about marketing as well.

In 2004, he published “Ignore Everybody” and “The Hughtrain.” Since then, he’s also authored two more books, “Evil Plans” and “Freedom is Blogging in Your Underwear.”

He regularly lectures on the effects of the Web 2.0 paradigm on modern businesses.

“Ignore Everybody Summary”

If the full title of a book is “Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity,” you can’t be blamed for expecting 40 new items in your creativity toolkit.

And, let’s face it, we can’t think of you as a genius of some sort if you’ve already guessed the first one. Or the fact that we’ll list all 40 of them in a second.

Ready?

Let’s go!

1. Ignore everybody.

That’s the basic premise of Hugh MacLeod’s book: if you want to become something important, you need to be able to ignore everybody.

It’s basically a paradox: the better your idea is, the more original artist you are, the less applicable the advice of those around you will be.

Just think of all the Van Goghs and Mozarts from history who died penniless because they believed what others told them!

You mustn’t repeat their mistake. If you think you’re on to something, you’re probably the only person who knows that.

Keep walking the path.

2. The idea doesn’t have to be big; it just has to be yours.

Joseph Campbell said it best: follow your bliss.

We could have emphasized the second of these three words, but I guess you don’t need us to do that. It’s simple: copying a Mona Lisa will make you an epigone of Da Vinci, which is a fancy word for saying that you won’t pass the plagiarism test of history.

But drawing a mouse – and drawing it nice – will make you original. And, more importantly, yourself.

3. Put the hours in.

Remember the talented guy who sat next to you in Literature and wrote so much better than you ever will?

Well, allow us to enlighten you: he was probably just working much more than you. Because even Mozart wasn’t as talented as you think: he just put the hours in.

4. Good ideas have lonely childhoods.

Back to 1, we guess. So, there’s no need of much explaining: if you’re original, don’t expect to be understood. On the contrary, the better your idea is, the less audience you will have.

5. If your business plan depends on some big shot discovering you, your plan will probably fail.

Oh, come on – it’s the 21st century!

What did you expect? That someone will come knocking at your door and offer you a million dollars for your debut novel?

Learn to art-think.

6. You are responsible for your own experience.

“No one can tell you if it is good or meaningful or worthwhile.   The more compelling the path, the more lonely it is.”

Yes, that quote is taken right out of this book! You can tweet it right away – just go to our Quotes section.

7. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.

In other words: remember kindergarten? Remember how much you loved drawing? Come high school, and they suddenly took away your crayons.

And you forgot how much you liked them. Take them back. Just listen to the voice inside you saying: ‘’I’d like my crayons back, please.”

8. Keep your day job.

Now, don’t expect to earn money as an artist straight from the bat.

So, be aware that if you’re an artist, you probably are a person with two different jobs: 1) “sex” ­– which is your sexy, creative job; and 2) “cash” – which is the one which gets you the money.

Chances are – the more original you are, the less likely you’ll merge the two jobs into one.

So – juggle with them!

9. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.

The title of this chapter is so long that we don’t even need to explain it. We’ll let one of our summaries do that instead.

10. Everybody has their own Mount Everest to climb.

There’s no cure-all solution to your creativity problems: your Mount Everest is different from the one others have climbed.

Try climbing it yourself – even if you don’t get to the top, it will be a pleasurable experience!

We promise.

11. The more talented somebody is, the less they need props.

Steven Spielberg didn’t have money to pay for a model of a shark in “Jaws.” His idea: to shoot from its viewpoint.

So, the camera became the shark and “Jaws” one of the scariest films ever.

12. Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.

Have you heard about crowd mentality? Then, does MacLeod really has to tell you this? As far as artists are concerned, there’s no wisdom in any crowd.

13. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.

Buddhists say this for millennia. MacLeod says: they’re right!

14. Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.

You are the only one who knows what’s happening inside you. And the most you know about the people around you is what happens to them based on their outside.

Don’t make comparisons: there may be storms below the calmest faces. And saddest stories under the shiniest smiles.

15. Dying young is overrated.

It really is. Because it adds nothing to your art you’ll be able to appreciate.

16. The most important thing a creative person can do is to learn professionally where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do and what you are not.

You’re really making it easy for us, Hugh!

17. The world is changing.

Constantly. So, don’t expect the old formulas to be applicable both today and tomorrow. Try to adapt.

18. Merit can be bought. Passion can’t.

You know what Angela Duckworth says, right: passion breeds perseverance and the latter breeds greatness.

So, do what you’re most passionate about!

19. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.

Sure you know the Watercooler Gang! They are the guys who try to get you down whenever you’re up. Someone likes your song? They are the ones who say: “So what: many musicians have been one-hit wonders!”

Let us spell that out for you:

A-V-O-I-D! Avoid them!

20. Sing in your own voice.

For someone who favors originality so much, MacLeod is a bit unoriginal. See 1, 2, 4, etc.

21. The choice of media is irrelevant.

It is. Once again – the only thing you need is a medium you’d be interested in. Creativity can be fashioned in all of them.

22. Selling out is harder than it looks.

First of all, because of what we said in 5. And secondly, because of what we said in 1, 2, 4, 20…

23. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.

Yeah… yeah… we know by now. Ignore everybody.

24. Worrying about “Commercial vs. Artistic” is a complete waste of time.

This is related to 22. And it’s kind of important.

Because people seem to think that if you’re commercial, you’re probably unartistic.

Guess what?

There’s no more commercial writer than Shakespeare, no more popular band than The Beatles, no more profitable artist than Picasso or Dali.

The point is: you won’t know if you’re making something popular or not for most of the time. Because it’s impossible to guess.

25. Don’t worry about inspiration. It comes eventually.

Suffering from a writer’s block? That merely means you have nothing to say at the moment.

How long do you think that will last?

A month? A year? Three years?

The less you worry about it, the faster it will pass.

26. You have to find your own schtick.

Now, this is getting rather obvious: be original and true to yourself. We get it, Hugh.

27. Write from the heart.

If it sounds like a cliché, that’s because it is. And it is – because it’s been proven correct numerous times in the past.

28. The best way to get approval is not to need it.

One of the first lessons you’ll learn from “The Art of Seduction.” The same is true with art itself.

29. Power is never given. Power is taken.

That is: you are not a passive participant in this.

30. Whatever choice you make, the Devil gets his due eventually.

It may seem unfair, but it happens: sooner or later, something bad will happen. You know – the Big Crash. Face it.

31. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.

Tell me about it!

I can’t get used to eating vegetables every day, let alone pushing myself to the limits of my creativity. Speaking of which –

32. Remain frugal.

The less energy you spend today, the more you have for tomorrow. So, unless you are a Stephen King type of guy, don’t be too prolific.

33. Allow your work to age with you.

The world is changing. So are you. So should your work.

34. Being poor sucks.

Of course it does! That’s why – see 8.

35. Beware of turning hobbies into jobs.

As we said – see 8!

36. Savor obscurity while it lasts.

Want to be famous? You know that fame comes with a price, right? So, there’s an upside to your current obscurity!

37. Start blogging.

You need absolutely nothing to start blogging. So, why don’t you?

38. Meaning scales, people don’t.

Shakespeare didn’t write many of the things your teacher says that he did. You know why? Because the meaning of what he did changed simultaneously with the world. Even though Shakespeare died way before Eagleton wondered if the Witches in “Macbeth” form a communist sisterhood.

39. When your dreams become reality, they are no longer your dreams.

Well put.

40. None of this is rocket science.

Even better.

Key Lessons from “Ignore Everybody”

1.      Be True to Yourself and, Thus, Original
2.      Art Won’t Pay the Bills Until You Get Famous
3.      When You Do – Don’t Forget Us

Be True to Yourself and, Thus, Original

You know why DNA sampling works?

Because everyone has a different DNA. And when you add to this fact the fact that you actually are your DNA, you realize that, according to science, you are a unique being.

So, your artistic creed should be by now obvious: be true to yourself.

Because if you are – you’ll also be original.

Art Won’t Pay the Bills Until You Get Famous

The Beatles said something along these lines, and there’s no need to quote them here. No need to explain either: only a small part of the artists currently working in the world will really make it!

But are you in it for the money?

If so – then you are not an artist. If not – then you need to be something more than it. In other words, a man with two jobs: a sexy, creative one, and one that gets you the money to be able to work on the former.

Bear that in mind. Until you get famous, that is.

When You Do – Don’t Forget Us

When you do become famous, and your dreams become a reality, please don’t be one of those guys who suddenly forget who they were before they were famous.

Because – after all – being true to yourself is what got you there.

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“Ignore Everybody Quotes”

Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Being suddenly hit years later with the 'creative bug' is just a wee voice telling you, 'I'd like my crayons back, please.’ Click To Tweet Writer's block is just a symptom of feeling like you have nothing to say, combined with the rather weird idea that you should feel the need to say something. Click To Tweet Nobody can tell you if what you’re doing is good, meaningful or worthwhile. The more compelling the path, the more lonely it is. Click To Tweet You have to find your own schtick. A Picasso always looks like Picasso painted it. Hemingway always sounds like Hemingway… Part of being a master is learning how to sing in nobody else's voice but your own. Click To Tweet If your business plan depends on suddenly being ‘discovered’ by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Just like the Hugh MacLeod’s 40th key to creativity explicitly states – none of the book’s advices are rocket science. Which means that most of them are both obvious and unoriginal.

However, it also means that you’ll be able to understand them instantly. And that you’ll be able to apply them the very next second.

So, why don’t you start right now?

Your future depends on it.

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The Magic of Math Summary

The Magic of Math SummarySolving for x and Figuring Out Why

Oh No, I hate math! Hold your horses for a moment; this is more than just a brief introduction to mathematical calculations.

In this book summary, you’ll learn a few tricks; you can use to amuse your friends, and family.

Who Should Read “The Magic of Math”? And Why?

It may come as a surprise to you, but math can also be quite entraining; if you possess the right set of skills.

Don’t worry, no previous experience is required in order to utilize various numerical operations for personal gain.

The Magic of Math” as the name implies, illustrates a brand-new revolution launched in the name of algorithmic and arithmetical functions.

We recommended to all “wizards” and those who want to join the club.

About Arthur Benjamin

Arthur BenjaminYou may have heard of Arthur Benjamin, who regularly shares his findings as a hailed keynote speaker at Ted Talks.

He obtained his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.

“The Magic of Math Summary”

Mathematics is more than just a subject, boring or amusing to various groups of children. Calculations play an essential role in human development, and it’s fair to say, that magic can also be an integral part of its operations.

Take into account the “alchemy” of the well-known numerical patterns. In another case, these algorithms are labeled as patterns made of numbers. How do these features perform wizardry, regarding mathematics?

Well, you are not dealing with anything surreal, but with a well-proven concept that can improve your mental capacity and problem-solving skills.

For example, you don’t need any tool to calculate the square of a number quickly. In this book, you’ll find a detailed explanation of how to make that happen.

Stay with us to learn a few tricks and enlighten your friends and family. No, it’s not geeky; it’s magical if you really understand the trickery that revolves around math. Here are a few guidelines you must follow, in order to make your maneuver work:

  • First, tell your friend/s to think of any two numbers between 1 and 10
  • Afterward, you must add those numbers
  • Next step would be to multiply the result by 10,
  • Once you finished that, next in line is adding the larger number
  • Then, subtract the smaller one
  • and demand the final result.

Once, the “participant” successfully executes all the tasks, you (as a host) are just one step away from to knock your friend’s socks off by revealing the numbers he chose a few minutes ago.

Let’s divide the process, step by step: Let’s say that the final answer is 126. Next in line is separating the first two ciphers from the last digit. Here’s how it goes: Add the last number to the first two (6+12) and then divide this result by 2. 18/2= 9 – and this is the large number.

What comes next? It’s pretty straightforward to calculate the smaller number your friend picked. Just take this number (9) and subtract the last digit of the number, which emerged from the formula discussed earlier (126) = 9 – 6 = 3. It’s that simple!!

What is so special about the number 9? – Let’s dive right into it and unveil everything that contributes to the specialty of this digit.

In truth, not many people are aware of the facts that are partly responsible for making 9 too valuable to mathematicians. The first magic lies in the simplicity of multiple processes. 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90, 99, 108, 117, and so forth.

What’s so special about these digits? If you take a closer look, you’ll see that each of the digits in these numbers if added together will result in the same outcome = 9. For instance, (9+0), (8+1) (2+7) (4+5) … At first sight, many would assume that (9+9) destroys this sequence, but that’s not true.

18 – would still produce the same outcome if you add 1 and 8 once more.

At the beginning of the 13th century, a renowned Italian mathematician known as Fibonacci wrote a fantastic book that represents the point of no return in Math. The Book of Calculation or “Liber Abaci” marks the pivotal moment for solving arithmetic problems and displaying various formulas.

The operation exhibited through “Immortal rabbits” is perhaps the greatest piece of ingenuity that occurred in those days. What’s it all about? – From our basic understanding and rules, every month a little “r” (baby rabbit) converts into “R” (adult rabbit) and thus each “R” becomes “Rr.”

It means that now you have a pair of adults and a pair of babies.

So, what do we get?

  • 1 Month – r
  • 2 Month – R
  • 3 Month – Rr
  • 4 Month – Rr R
  • 5 Month – Rr R Rr
  • 6 Month – Rr R Rr Rr R

One can’t help but notice, that there is something weird about the end-result and the sequence generated from it.

At first glance, the digits – 1,1,2,3,5,8 … may seem irrelevant but scan it more thoroughly. What do you see? It’s pretty evident, that each number in the sequence is in fact, the sum of its two predecessors. For instance (1 + 2 = 3) (3 + 2 = 5) and so forth. This example represents the Fibonacci Numbers.

One thing separates math, from other branches of natural science – facts. Unlike other disciplines, mathematicians mainly focus on propositions, which can prove its absolute accuracy and relevance.

For instance, regardless of the circumstances or the intentions behind various equations, it’s 100% true to say that even numbers are multiples of 2. Therefore, it doesn’t take too much knowledge to realize that such assertation is validated.

Even famous mathematicians have their favorite ways of solving equations. A large portion of them would reply that eiπ+ 1 = 0 is one of their favorites.

Not only that it addresses different calculations, and it also includes the main five features of mathematics: 1, 0, π, i, and e.

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Our Critical Review

Are you a math lover? – You don’t have to be to like this book.

We sincerely enjoyed every bit of it and learned a few tricks along the road.

We advise that you should at least try to do the same because it’ll surely be a time well-spent.

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Out of Our Minds PDF Summary

Out of Our Minds PDFThe Power of Being Creative

Are you creative?

Did you have to think twice? Did you say no?

You are mistaken!

You are creative. You just have to find out how to wake up that part of yourself.

Who Should Read “Out of Our Minds” and Why?

“Out of Our Minds” is a book that will teach readers why creativity is more important than ever, and show them the way that they should transform their mindset and perspective on the topic, in order to prosper in the modern business world.

We recommend it to everyone who wants to keep up with changing times, and preparing for the future, in which creativity will surely be the companies’ competitive edge.

About Sir Ken Robinson

Ken RobinsonSir Ken Robinson is an author, a speaker, consultant, Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Warwick and a renowned leader in the field of creative development.

“Out of Our Minds PDF Summary”

If we ask you if you are creative, what will you say?

Most people would get embarrassed, and say a few words about lacking any artistic skills.

Those people misunderstand creativity.

They believe that it is a gift, a talent which is reserved only for the lucky few who have been born with overflowing talent to paint, write, or compose music.

As you may already guess, that is not the case.

Look around you.

The phone you are holding, the device you are reading this summary on, they are all products of creative people.

The medicine you use when you are sick, the bed you sleep on, and every single thing that surrounds you is such a product as well.

Everything in this world has once been invented, and once created has been continuously improved.

For such advancements, creativity is essential.

Everyone can be creative since creativity can be taught. Creativity is a potential which everyone can choose to use.

Sadly, our education does not teach us to be creative, but only feeds are facts we need to memorize.

However, as the world is changing drastically, creativity is not only needed but an essential business skill to learn.

The competitive edge will soon become so strong, that it will only matter which company has the best creative ideas.

Also, people will have to get used to changing jobs, since having just one vocation over the course of an entire working career, will be something impossible.

Adaptability and flexibility will be the traits that will decide who survives in the contemporary market.

To be able to change the working environment, the world needs first to change the educational system we already mentioned.

In the traditional educational system, each stage of education builds upon the previous one.

Successful students are those who have successfully progressed through all logical stages, as imagined. Schools emphasize mathematics and pay less attention to humanities, and the least attention to art.

However, the world has changed so much that this system is no longer as useful as it once was.

What we see nowadays are huge numbers of graduates, who are not actually ready for the real requirements that come with a job and a transformed market.

So, the change has to happen, especially in the field of creativity.

Self-expression, and the ability to think creatively are crucial for the workers of the future.

Just think about it. What is the difference between humans and other animals?

Is it the ability produce sounds, or the ability to walk on two feet?

No, it is not.

What sets us apart is our brain and most of all the scope of our imagination.

Humans use imagination to see way beyond the present moment and circumstances.

People can travel in the past through their memories, understand the present by considering different perspectives, and anticipate the future by creating different possible scenarios.

Creativity is imagination at work.

It enables people to see more than just a piece of wood in front of them: they can see a table, a chair, or something else that can make life easier and more comfortable.

That is the same with every material, with every sound and every little detail that surrounds us.

When people put their creative ideas into practice, innovation happens.

This world is built on innovative practices.

So, forget about filling up your mind with endless lists of facts. Facts are important, but only if you can use them to come up with something new.

Instead of thinking that factual knowledge will make you a better worker, start understanding that only creativity can make you truly valuable.

In the end, anyone can learn how to do the job in the way it was always done – but only creative and exceptional people will think of ways to do it better.

Key Lessons from “Out of Our Minds”

1.      The Steps of a Creative Process
2.      Misconceptions About Innovation
3.      Creativity is the Competitive Edge of Modern Companies

The Steps of a Creative Process

Each creative process consists of two steps.

The first one is generating new ideas, and the second one is evaluating the generated ideas.

Not all ideas can and should be accepted. Most of them need to be refined, while some of them need to be rejected as well.

Misconceptions About Innovation

Many managers act in the wrong way when they are trying to promote innovation in their companies.

They constantly fear that if they do decide to do it, they alone will have to carry the burden of coming up with creative ideas.

However, managers and business leaders need to understand that a leader is someone who creates an environment which enables and motivates others to be creative.

Creativity is the Competitive Edge of Modern Companies

It is no longer important just to be well educated, but to also know how to think creatively.

Rules change fast in the modern world, and only flexible people that know how to transform as fast as their environment and think of ways to satisfy the emerging needs of the customers can make it.

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“Out of Our Minds Quotes”

If all you had was academic ability, you wouldn't have been able to get out of bed this morning. Click To Tweet What we become as our lives evolve depends on the quality of our experiences here and now. Click To Tweet The task of education is not to teach subjects: it is to teach students. Click To Tweet Being in your element is not only about aptitude, it’s about passion: it is about loving what you do. Click To Tweet Our ideas can enslave or liberate us. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Out of Our Minds” explains why creativity is important, what is the fault at the educational system, and what society can do about creating creative generations that can prosper in the turbulent market.

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Finish Summary

Finish SummaryGive Yourself the Gift of Done

Have you ever felt like your life is merely a list of disappointments and defeats, a catalog of ideas and in-progress projects?

If you’re like us – you have. Numerous times.

And Jon Acuff has written a guidebook just for you. Its title is as straightforward as it gets: “Finish.”

Who Should Read “Finish”? And Why?

Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? If so, it’s quite likely that your portfolio doesn’t include too many finished projects. Because – Jon Acuff says – you’re probably just giving yourself an excuse not to finish them.

What you need is someone to tell you how to strangle that disgruntled perfectionist inside you. And that someone is Jon Acuff. We feel that “Finish” is a book which targets preeminently creative people, but almost anyone who struggles to complete a project may find something useful inside.

We know we did. How do you think we finished this summary? Yeah – we know, it’s far from perfect. But, that’s precisely the point.

About Jon Acuff

Jon AcuffJon Acuff is a bestselling American nonfiction writer.

He first came into prominence when he was hired by Dave Ramsey as a full-time speaker and author in 2010. Soon enough, he wrote his first book for Dave Ramsey’s company, “Gazelles, Baby Steps & 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt.”

The book was followed by “Stuff Christians Like,” a collection of essays on topics discussed on Acuff’s very popular blog, http://stuffchristianslike.net/. His next book, “Do Over,” may have been his greatest success so far; in fact, Seth Godin described it as “the best career book ever written.”

Before “Finish,” he also wrote “Quitter” and “Start.”

“Finish Summary”

How could it be that, no matter what you’re doing, you just can’t put the final full stop?

Because that has happened to you so many times before that the only viable explanation is that you are experimented on by aliens, who want to find out whether not finishing a project would cause humans more pain and torment than getting their extremities ripped out slowly.

Yup – that might be it.

That – or perfectionism. You know – the thing you say is your best-groomed personality trait every time your teacher asks you why you haven’t filed your report.

According to Jon Acuff – who, to your utter amazement, hasn’t even considered the first option – it’s undoubtedly perfectionism. Because, if you are like him – and like about 90 percent of the people – you will probably give up once the things stop being perfect.

And that will inevitably happen.

So, the real question is: why do you suppose that everything will be perfect from start to finish? Wouldn’t it be better if you assumed the opposite – so that you are happy when it goes according to the plan, and ready when it does not?

Sounds rational, right?

However, it’s not something you can achieve naturally. Because you’re probably inherently enslaved by something scientists refer to as “the planning fallacy.” And when we say scientists – we mean Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman.

We know it sounds like a good title for a Big Bang episode, but, unfortunately, is not funny. It means that you’re overly optimistic when you’re planning anything – even if your past experience has proven you otherwise numerous times before.

The solution?

Change your plans halfway down the road. Say you want to write the first four chapters of your book in two months? After a month – when you will be predictably stuck over the twenty-sixth revision of your seventh sentence – cut the initial objective in half.

So – two chapters by the end of the next month.

Jon Acuff says that, on average, you have about 63 percent chance of fulfilling this second, fine-tuned goal.

Another great way to make your life easier and get things done?

To the ears of all the slackers out there, this one will surely sound like a symphony: don’t really do them. Or, to use the more scientific term, practice strategic incompetence.

Essentially, this means that you are great at some things, good at some others and terrible at many. However, to resort to Daniel Kahneman’s psychological expertise once again, you’re overconfident, and you think you’re an expert in everything.

But, more often than not, doing something in an imperfect manner is much better than not doing it at all. And why should you be able to clean up your front yard perfectly if you’re a father of two with 4 billion readers of your blog?

Yes, we’re talking about Jon Acuff.

And no – we have no idea how unruly his front yard looks at the moment.

Key Lessons from “Finish”

1.      The Joy of Being Imperfect vs. The Planning Fallacy
2.      Don’t Go to Your Hiding Place or Use a Noble Obstacle as an Excuse
3.      Fun = Success

The Joy of Being Imperfect vs. The Planning Fallacy

The perfectionist conundrum – another possible Big Bang episode title – may have been best and most straightforwardly summarized by The Guild’s Felicia Day in “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).”

“It’s either perfect,” she writes, “or it’s the worst thing ever made and everyone is an artistic failure, including myself. (Yay, emotional extremes!)”

How many times have you felt this? And how do you still think it is healthy?

The problem is relatively straightforward: you’re overambitious. You’re suffering from a weird case of the planning fallacy, namely the idea that you can get things done flawlessly and in time. Nobody has; and nobody will ever be able to.

Because – as John Lennon sang right before his death (talking about the tragic irony of vindication!) – “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”

Don’t Go to Your Hiding Place or Use a Noble Obstacle as an Excuse

You can blame perfectionism for two very distinct and very tormenting distractions which hinder your creativity severely on a daily basis. Namely, hiding places and noble obstacles.

Hiding places are activities which you do instead of doing the one which you need to be doing. They are safe places where you can go to “hide from your fear of messing up.” Which is why you visit them pretty often. But Netflix, Facebook, Twitter – neither of them asks for any real skill. How far can you get in life that way?

Noble obstacles sound virtuous – but are actually just excuses. On the surface, they seem like Very Good Reasons to not pursue your goal at the present moment. In one case they evolve into the Y of the phrase “I can’t do X until Y,” where X is your project. In the other, they are the negative Y in the false idea “But if I finish X I will become Y.”

For example, would be entrepreneurs would rather do nothing than become workaholics – even though not every entrepreneur is an alcoholic to start with.

Fun = Success

For example, this guy certainly isn’t. He’s the exact opposite, in fact: a flamboyant, otherworldly, larger-than-life character who’s in it for the fun. The success is just a side note.

Why – at least in that regard – can’t you be more like him? Find your why. Have fun. Enjoy. Do the work because you want to. If success comes as well with it – then great. If it doesn’t – it’s not like you spent your life doing something you don’t like, right?

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“Finish” Quotes

But more than just analysis, perfectionism offers us two distinct distractions: hiding places and noble obstacles. A hiding place is an activity you focus on instead of your goal. A noble obstacle is a virtuous-sounding reason for not… Click To Tweet This is the first lie that perfectionism tells you about goals: Quit if it isn’t perfect. Click To Tweet Developing tolerance for imperfection is the key factor in turning chronic starters into consistent finishers. Click To Tweet The harder you try to be perfect, the less likely you’ll accomplish your goals. Click To Tweet Finishers make things easier and simpler. The next time you work on a goal, I dare you to ask the following questions during the middle of the project: Could things be easier? Could things be simpler? Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Finish” is an appropriate companion piece to Jon Acuff’s “Start” – and a nice addition to the philosophy expressed in “Do Over” and “Quitter.” It’s exciting and applicable, but, moreover, amusing and funny as well.

As Michael Hyatt says “no one beats Jon Acuff” when it comes to laughing at your own shortcomings. Chris Guillebeau paints a too vivid picture to get around it: “It’s wisdom disguised as stand-up comedy, like eating a bag of jelly beans and somehow ending up smarter.”

And he’s not far from the truth.

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Finding My Virginity Summary

Finding My Virginity PDFThe New Autobiography

In 1998, Richard Branson – oh, sorry, that’s actually Sir Richard Branson – published his debut book titled “Losing My Virginity,” a 600-page autobiography which was lauded by both critics and general readers.

Twenty years and six books later – he’s back with the rest of the story: “Finding My Virginity” is the iconic sequel to an iconic memoir of an iconoclastic showman.

Who Should Read “Finding My Virginity”? And Why?

Oh, come on – it’s Richard Branson! If anybody has a life story to tell – it’s him! While we would probably struggle to pen an exciting chapter or two, Branson’s autobiography, across his two memoirs, is over 1,000 pages long!

You thought you’ve read everything once you finished “Losing My Virginity”?

Well, you thought wrong!

Delve even deeper into the story of Branson and “Virgin” with “Finding My Virginity.” And you don’t need to be an entrepreneur or a would-be business magnate. You just need to be interested in remarkable life stories.

About Richard Branson

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas BransonRichard Branson is a British entrepreneur and philanthropist, one of the 400 wealthiest people in the world and probably the most colorful business magnate of the 20th century.

A high-school dropout, he started a magazine called “Student” at the age of 16, before setting up a mail-order record business four years later. In 1972, at the age of 22, Branson opened his first record store, “Virgin Records,” a brand which will grow rapidly during the next few decades, allowing Branson’s empire to expand in many different areas.

In 2000, Branson was knighted for his services to entrepreneurship, and two years later, he was voted the 85th Greatest Briton in history.

“Finding My Virginity PDF Summary”

If you know anything about Richard Branson – you know, other than that he’s quite mad, bad, and… well, quite entertaining to know – you certainly know that he founded Virgin Group Ltd., a multi-billion multinational corporation which needs a separate Wikipedia article to list all of its subsidiaries and investments.

“Finding My Virginity” is about them. And how Branson made them what they are.

We start off with Virgin Atlantic, the seventh-largest UK airline. However, it didn’t get there without a fight. And, of course, the sassiness and chutzpah which make Richard Branson such a showman.

And the story goes like this.

Branson didn’t like British Airways – and British Airways didn’t like Branson. And in business – being a sort of a regulated war – everything is allowed. BA’s method: printing tedious libelous remarks about Virgin Atlantic. The oldest trick in the book.

Branson’s way (and he always does things his way): in-flight massages. And a Heathrow sign that read: “BA Don’t Give a Shiatsu.”

Amusing?

Wait till you hear the next one!

You know the London Eye, the 400-feet high Ferris Wheel on the South Bank of the Thames? Well, its raising was sponsored by BA. Unfortunately, due to a technical problem, the engineers weren’t able to put it up, leaving it stranded sideways close to opening day.

Branson knew that the press is on its way to report on this – and he felt it was his duty to make their reports a bit more interesting. So, he scrambled a message and put it on a blimp which flew from an airship company just outside of London.

The result: a blimp flying over the London Eye while bearing the slogan “BA Can’t Get It Up.”

Now, how’s this for a marketing strategy?

Now, here’s one picture-perfect example of what competitive advantage and disruptive innovation mean.

Virgin Mobile UK launched in 1999, and by the end of the next year, it had half a million subscribers and was estimated to be worth over 1 billion dollars.

How did that happen?

Well, you see, Virgin Mobile UK was the world’s first mobile virtual network operator. Meaning: instead of building a network of its own, it partnered with Deutsche Telecom (the parent company of T-Mobile) and used theirs instead.

This reduced costs and gave “Virgin Mobile UK” the chance of offering pay-as-you-go plans, another first in the world.

No wonder that, in the meantime, Virgin Mobile expanded to over 15 countries, with its USA subsidiary – one of the fastest-growing mobile companies in the world.

Now, we can go on!

Corbyn’s “Traingate” aside, Virgin Trains is probably one of the companies responsible for improving the previously government-owned rail service. Before being sold for over 4 billion dollars, Virgin America was considered one of the best airline companies on the other side of the Atlantic.

And, finally, Virgin Galactic aims to be the first company to take ordinary people to space so they can see the Earth from an entirely different perspective.

Now, that would be a great way to cap Richard Branson’s flamboyant career, wouldn’t it?

Key Lessons from “Finding My Virginity”

1.      Boldly Go Where Many Men Have Been Screwed Before
2.      Build a Great Team – and Step Aside
3.      Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Your Mind – Especially If It Gets You in Trouble

Boldly Go Where Many Men Have Been Screwed Before

Many people think that entrepreneurship is about doing something that nobody has done before. Richard Branson’s career is a proof that you don’t always need to be original. Just offer people a better service – and that will do the trick.

Virgin Trains wouldn’t have existed if the nationalized railway service had done its job well before them. Virgin Atlantic wouldn’t have had a beef with British Airways if the latter had bothered to give shiatsu. And the gym chain Virgin Active was established once Richard Branson realized that everybody had something against their gym.

So, do that: see what’s wrong with a service, and build a company which will improve it. If you’ve learned anything from “Field of Dreams,” you already know the drill: if you build it, they will come.

Build a Great Team – and Step Aside

It’s always a good idea to only go into a business you understand beforehand. However, if you really want to venture somewhere else, please, don’t be a smartass. And leave the job to those who know how to do it.

That’s why, when Richard Branson wanted to found a charity, he gave a call to a friend of his. And what a friend, indeed!

Fortunately to Branson, Nelson Mandela agreed to become the first Elder of Virgin Unite. Even more, he agreed to pick 12 more Elders to run the charity and make the world a better place. And when Mandela calls you – you come.

So, soon enough, the Elders included more Nobel Prize winners than your history book. Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Yunus, Kofi Annan…

Now, that’s what you call a team, ha?

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Your Mind – Especially If It Gets You in Trouble

Many have noted that “Finding My Virginity” is much more political than “Losing My Virginity” – and not few have criticized Branson for this.

He, however, couldn’t care less.

Whether it is about South Africa’s HIV issue, climate change, or the decriminalization of drugs, whether it is about Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Jeremy Corbyn – Branson has a word or two to say (or, in this case, write).

Sometimes, he’s right; sometimes he’s probably not. Either way, the only way we’ll ever find out which one of the two is it – is if he speaks his mind.

You know – the beautiful and dying art of disagreement.

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“Finding My Virginity” Quotes

‘Remember, it’s not material things that matter in life,’ I told them. ‘Things aren’t important, people are. All that matters is that everyone is safe. Click To Tweet Developing mental toughness isn’t just about being resilient – it’s about accessing your reserve tank when you think you just can’t go any further. Click To Tweet We owe our freedom to extraordinary people,’ he told the assembled crowd. ‘The bad, the evil, doesn’t have the last word. It is ultimately goodness and laughter and joy and caring and compassion.’ Click To Tweet Whenever you are setting up a new project, the most important thing is to surround yourself with people who are better than yourself, have different skills and a healthy combination of enthusiasm and experience. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Finding My Virginity” is not as interesting as “Losing My Virginity.” After all, even Richard Branson doesn’t have 1,000-page-long stories to tell.

But it’s still a must-read. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur. Or someone who likes to think differently.

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Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t Summary

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t SummaryWhy That Is And What You Can Do About It

Is your dream to be a writer?

Well, guess what: so is mine.

And, if you do not know already, we share this dream with millions of other people all around the world.

However, your dream remains just a dream, since it seems that “Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t.” And so does mine.

So, what can we do? Are we doomed?

Don’t worry; this is all about to change.

Who Should Read “Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t” and Why?

Do you want to be a writer?

You know, writing is much more than just finishing your manuscript.

“Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t” explains all variables in a great story, whether it is a story told in a book, a screenplay or an advertisement.

We recommend it to all aspiring writers who finally want to get their big break.

About Steven Pressfield

Steven PressfieldSteven Pressfield is a bestselling writer of both fiction and nonfiction.

He has worked both in advertising and screenwriting and is the owner of his popular writing advice blog stevenpressfield.com.

“Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t Summary”

The writing world is hard to penetrate to.

Let’s say you just finished your novel. You have spent hours and hours “bleeding” words onto the paper, and you finally saw your creation done.

You are probably excited – for the fun starts now! You cannot wait to see how people will react. What will they say? Will they love it? Will they hate it?

Stop.

Stop asking those questions.

Chances are, you will never get the answer since nobody wants to read what you have written.

People avoid commercials, unknown books, and unknown writers.

But, your writing group thinks you are brilliant!

No one cares. Those people there are forced to read your writing. The real audience, however, has many other things they would prefer doing.

Does this mean that you are doomed? That you have wasted your time dreaming of becoming an author?

No, don’t worry, not all hopes are lost. The only thing that this means is that your writing needs to be exceptional.

And, by exceptional or if you prefer “good”, we do not mean that you can write clever, and nice sounding sentences.

Good writing is the one that will hold your reader’s attention and make him or her thirsty for more.

Good writing is easy to understand. And most significantly of all, it is never boring.

Thankfully, you can easily avoid being boring by making your work scary, tragic or suspenseful.

And let’s not forget the other thing that you absolutely have to do: get out of your own head.

Yes, we know that you have been taught to write what you know, but you need to stop rumbling about the things you find fascinating and start focusing on your audience.

You have to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and work hard before you get any recognition whatsoever.

And the best way to learn the craft is to become someone’s apprentice.

Also, read stories like those which you want to write, and try to develop your unique voice and style.

If you are using too many phony phrases, pretend you are writing a letter to a friend or your family, since when we write to people, we know we sound more like ourselves.

In the end, you have to tell a great story.

And to be able to tell a great story – you need a great concept. The concept revolves around the problem your protagonist faces and how he resolves it.

After you think of the concept, think about a theme you would like to convey: is your story a story of envy, survival, or revenge?

Or is it about something else?

You will notice that in most movies and books, the structure is the same. Usually, it is a three-act structure which has remained the same ever since the ancient times.

First you introduce the problem and create interest, then you show the protagonist’s fight with the problem, and present many other conflicts, and finally, you finish with a resolution.

These three acts need to be balanced – give them enough time to develop.

Also, develop your characters. No story will be good enough without three dimensional, deep and developed characters.

Make them memorable so that readers can connect with them.

Lastly, be patient. Writing is just like any other skill – you have to keep at it in order to develop it.

Read a lot and write a lot. Accept critiques and revise.

Do it again.

And one day, your authorial voice will be heard.

Key Lessons from “Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t”

1.      Start with a Concept
2.      Become a Problem Solver
3.      Follow the Three-Act Structure

Start with a Concept

Without a concept, your story is nothing.

Do not start without a direction. Those who wander in writing – are lost.

Become a Problem Solver

Writers are problem solvers.

Writer’s blocks do not exist!

If you hit a wall, just think hard about the problem that creates the situation, how that problem can be further complicated, and finally how it can be solved.

Follow the Three-Act Structure

No matter the genre, most stories follow the three-act structure.

It has to be something that works since it has survived since ancient times to today!

So, stop trying to be clever, and do like the grand masters do: tell a story in three acts.

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“Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t” Quotes

When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, you develop empathy. You acquire the skill that is indispensable to all artists and entrepreneurs—the ability to switch back and forth in your imagination from your own point of… Click To Tweet You learn to ask yourself with every sentence and every phrase: Is this interesting? Is it fun or challenging or inventive? Am I giving the reader enough? Is she bored? Is she following where I want to lead her? Click To Tweet At the beginning, the author's writing was like a selfie: a disposable plea for attention that was all about him and his life. But since he hadn't done much living, there wasn't much substance. Click To Tweet All of a sudden I understood why I was so moody, neurotic, simultaneously paranoid and megalomaniac, mistrustful, uneasy, driven by ambition but paralyzed by guilt about my ambition, horny, obsessive, compulsive, obsessive-compulsive, not… Click To Tweet My role-options in life and career, I realized, were not limited to Businessman, Athlete, and Boneheaded Patriot. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If you are serious about your writing career, you absolutely must get this book!

In it you will find all the core concepts of telling a story.

If you have already read extensively on the subject, you may not find anything new, but still, it is good to be reminded of the things that matter from time to time.

You can never know at what point something will resonate with you.

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Everything I Know Summary

Everything I Know SummaryThe Basics of Creating a Learning and Problem-Solving Culture

If you want to learn how you can be your own boss – and still achieve stellar heights – it’s good to know a guy like Paul Jarvis. Because he wants to share his entire knowledge with you and teach you everything he knows.

And our “Everything I Know” summary is everything we know about his book.

Who Should Read “Everything I Know”? And Why?

“Everything I Know” reads like a host of haphazard advice taken out from personal experience. Consequently, it’s flexible and adaptable, or, in other words, different parts of it would appeal to different categories of people.

The creative type would certainly benefit most. But even entrepreneurs will be able to find something for them here. Just as people with great ideas and/or products, who have failed to monetize them.

About Paul Jarvis

Paul JarvisPaul Jarvis has spent most of his professional life in the online tech world. He is the strategist and designer behind some of the world’s most successful online businesses. His clients include Microsoft, Yahoo, Mercedes-Benz, Danielle LaPorte, Marie Forleo, The High Line and many more.

In addition to “Everything I Know,” he has authored three more books: “The Good Creative,” “Company of One” and “Be Awesome at Online Business.”

“Everything I Know Summary”

So, you want advice on how to write your masterpiece? Or how to invent the product which will disrupt the market and make you the next Steve Jobs? Or, maybe, you just want to learn how to win a million dollars?

Then, “Everything I Know” is probably not for you.

Because Paul Jarvis doesn’t believe in easy solutions or “one-size-fits-all advice”! On the contrary, he’s all about uniqueness and fluidity. And, though, paradoxically, that means that his book sometimes tends to incline towards clichés and common knowledge, it’s still a great read!

After all, some phrases have become truisms and sayings because they often proved to be correct; not because people are uninventive.

Paul Jarvis’ first advice is twofold: use two guidelines to find your path.

First of all, align your life mission with your values. Although, this is something obvious in itself, the real reason for it may be a little less apparent.

Intrinsic motivation.

Namely, whether in school or at work, you’re used to external grading. However, if you don’t work what you really want to – and you’re, like Jarvis, a boss of your own – then, you won’t be motivated enough to do your own work – unless it’s one which expresses your values unwaveringly and wholly.

Which brings us to the second guideline.

Namely, when you’re doing what you know and like – don’t even think for a moment to do it the way others are doing it. Do it your own way! You need to be unique – and find a way to pair your uniqueness to a market need.

Everything else is imitation and living in someone else’s shoes.

If Richard Branson had did it the copycat way, you wouldn’t have known The Sex Pistols today. (Hey, that’s a rhyme! Maybe we should dip our fingers in the springs of poetry next time… That’s not a bad idea – at all… maybe, that’s our unique call?)

Branson was a rebel – he projected this image into his doings; and the world loved it! Because, let’s face it, the only thing people like more than is the real deal.

But, don’t be fooled: even the real deal hasn’t fallen from Mars! (That is, unless he’s Ziggy Stardust!) We are the product of what we listen and watch, what we read and what we know and what we think about all the time.

In other words, as T. S. Eliot wrote in his essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” our idols and competitors are not our enemies; but, actually, they are everything that we know about our field of work.

Consequently, it’s not only allowed to use their work so as to create ours – it’s a requirement! And if you are still in doubt whether we’re advocating stealing, let us ease your troubles: yes, we are. However, it comes with a caveat: do steal; but steal like an artist.

The aforementioned T. S. Eliot has the best quote on this:

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.”

While we’re here, you want another Eliot tip you won’t find in Jarvis’ book? Here it is:

“A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.”

You know – so that it’s more difficult to find the sources…

And yes – T. S. Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

So, you’re good to go.

Key Lessons from “Everything I Know”

1.      Don’t Pursue Goals: Align Your Work with Your Values and Skills
2.      Share Your Work and Don’t Be Afraid of Criticism, But Welcome Feedback
3.      Be a Great Artist: Transform Stolen Works into Something Better

Don’t Pursue Goals: Align Your Work with Your Values and Skills

If you’re in it for the money, you’re not in it at all!

And the same holds true for a host of external motivators, whether we’re talking about diplomas or grades, twitter followers or public recognition.

Simply put, external motivation rarely works the long term – and, even when it does, it can make you happy just for a brief period of time. Right at the end.

The point is to be happy throughout it all! You know what they say: the goal of the journey is not the goal – but the journey itself.

So, plan it the way it would best suit you. Namely, align it with your interests, skills, and values. If you do that, it ultimately won’t matter if you succeed.

Your whole life will be a success.

Share Your Work and Don’t Be Afraid of Criticism, But Welcome Feedback

Now, let us get one thing straight: whatever you’re doing, you’re not really doing it for yourself exclusively. Even if you’re writing a book you’re not planning to publish during your lifetime, the little voice you have in your head is actually your future readers talking to you what you can do better the next time.

In other words, humans are part of societies; just as inevitably as your work is – be it an invention, scientific contribution, or an artistic creation.

So, be prepare to share what you do with others. And be even more prepared to face some vicious criticism. But, don’t be afraid of it! Because some of it is just out of spite: remember celebrities reading their mean tweets? And the other part is constructive and will help you become better.

Differentiate well – and don’t dwell any more than a second on the former.

Be a Great Artist: Transform Stolen Works into Something Better

Finally, if you want to be an original artist, learn the best way to achieve originality: steal from others.

Of course, stealing is only a part of it. (Otherwise, we would be advocating plagiarism, won’t we?)

However, the other part is the more difficult one. It means spending hours and hours researching through various sources and taking away the best of each of them; next, it means combining these best bits into a new work; and, finally, it means shaping the new work in a coherent and/or functional product.

Stealing has never seemed more difficult.

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“Everything I Know” Quotes

What if instead of reading, you wrote? Instead of watching TV, you made videos? Instead of listening to music, you learned how to play guitar? Click To Tweet A large part of choosing your path is figuring out which values will determine your worth. Once that’s clear, it’s much easier to decide if the work you’re doing will increase or decrease your feelings of worth. Click To Tweet Most reasons to delay are invalid if you get right to the core: no time, no money, no audience. These are all future concerns, which make it hard to start anything. Worry about those things later or not at all. Click To Tweet A funny thing happens when you focus on work that you love; more soon starts to appear. Like attracts like. Plus, that intersection between enjoying what you do and getting paid to do it is the sweetest place of all. Click To Tweet You shouldn't pay attention to things that don't grab your attention. If you do, you're being a pretentious douchebag. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

When a guy as successful as Paul Jarvis writes a book containing everything he knows, there’s certainly more than one reason to read it.

Short and sweet – just as all of its chapters – “Everything I Know” doesn’t try to look organized or anything.

But that may be its biggest advantage.

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Content Inc. Summary

Content Inc. SummaryHow Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses

OK – so you’ve built a beautiful business website, but no matter what you publish there, people don’t seem that interested in visiting it? Can you do something different?

Of course you can.

And Joe Pulizzi has all the neat tips and tricks to turn your small business into a giant “Content Inc.

Who Should Read “Content Inc.”? And Why?

If you are not aware what content marketing is, then this book is certainly not for you.

But, wait a minute! We may have formulated that wrong!

So, let’s try again:

If you want a thriving business in the age of websites and the Internet, then, on the contrary, “Content Inc.” is undoubtedly the book you should buy first!

Because let’s face it: if you don’t know what content marketing is, you don’t stand a chance against those who do. Because, nowadays, it is not only a branch of marketing, it is basically part of marketing’s definition!

So, future entrepreneurs and current CEOs, startup-ers and audience-less Einsteins, wannabe influencers and digital writers of all ages – dive deep into Joe Pulizzi’s radical six-step business strategy and start building your own personal Content Inc today!

About Joe Pulizzi

Joe PulizziJoe Pulizzi is an entrepreneur, author, podcaster and venue speaker. He is one of the leading figures in the content-marketing movement, and the founder of the foremost company in the field, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). Some even say that he’s the one who coined the phrase “content marketing” about two decades ago.

A winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council, Pulizzi has written four books. “Get Content Get Customers” and “Managing Content Marketing” were well received, but his third book, “Epic Content Marketing,” was a stellar success. In fact, “Fortune” magazine named it among the “Five Must-Read Business Books of the Year” in 2014!

You don’t expect anything less from a man of Joe Pulizzi’s profession but a strong internet presence. So, find out more at http://joepulizzi.com/. But, also, read his blog at http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/author/joepulizzi/; and, while you’re there, listen to some podcasts at http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/podcast-network/.

“Content Inc. Summary”

When David Ogilvy wrote “Confessions of an Advertising Man” back in 1963, he couldn’t have supposed that half a century later, the world of advertising would be radically different. Although, he might have intuitively understood something, because – let’s face it – you can consider that book as one of the precursors to content marketing!

Because content marketing is all about the stories. Or, as Harry Beckwith would say – it’s all about selling the invisible!

Really!

Once upon a time, you needed a great product and millions of dollars for an even better marketing campaign! Nowadays, you need nothing more but a good storyteller and a free online platform of your choice to disseminate your stories.

Oh, and of course – Joe Pulizzi’s 6-step strategy. Which, in video form (see Key Lesson n. 5), looks something like this:

Put down in writing, in a nutshell, it boils down to a simple premise: first build an audience, then create a product, and monetize only in the end.

We know it sounds counter-intuitively. But, according to Pulizzi, the strategy is reverse engineered from those practiced by some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.

So, without further ado – let’s go!

Step-by-step.

Key Lessons from “Content Inc.”

1.      Find Your Sweet Spot
2.      Create Your Unique Content Tilt
3.      Choose Your Platform and Build Your Base
4.      Harvest Your Audience
5.      Diversify
6.      Monetize

1. Find Your Sweet Spot

Your sweet spot is where your interests, your knowledge, and your passion intersect. It’s basically what you want to do the most – and are able to do with the most confidence.

The best way to find your sweet spot is if you make three lists – of your interests, your skills, and your passions. Now, see where they intersect. That – that is your bliss!

And it can be anything – believe it or not, there’s an audience for anything you can think of!

Take, for example, Andy Schneider. He wanted to teach, and he knew a lot about raising chickens. Today, he’s a chicken whisperer, with books, magazines, and even a radio show!

2. Create Your Unique Content Tilt

This may be the most important of the six steps.

Because, as we said above, there’s an audience for everything. Consequently, at least some of it has already ventured into the world of business. So, your job is to find out how can you be a bit different than them!

You can do this by doing a survey – or you can simply research things online. The latter is fairly easy – and, let’s face it, you’re doing it on a daily basis.

And, then, there are only three things left to consider: focusing on your niche; highlighting the special skills only you can offer and letting know your audience what they should expect from you from the start.

After all, nobody has time to lose nowadays!

3. Choose Your Platform and Build Your Base

There are so many channels available out there to disseminate your knowledge that choosing the right one may seem like a daunting task. But it’s crucial if you want to build your base!

For example, the stats show that 62% of YouTube’s audience consists of males and that the majority of them watches soccer or game related videos. Consequently, the only channel where Matthew Patrick’s (MatPat) Game Theory – where he comments on the scientific accuracy of various video games – had a chance of succeeding was YouTube!

But, choosing the channel is only part of it! You build your base not merely by attracting the right people, but also by keeping them hooked.

And the best part to do this?

With a publishing schedule, of course. Don’t be haphazard: make them know when you’ll publish something new!

4. Harvest Your Audience

Reaching your target audience is one thing; turning them into loyal listeners, visitors, or subscribers – is a completely different thing!

There are many ways to do this too. Facebook and Twitter were probably the first things that crossed your mind, right?

Well, it seems that email subscribers and search engine optimization are more important! And yield better results!

Here are some tips and tricks as far as the latter is concerned. And once you’re on the first page of Google – the former should inevitably follow.

5. Diversify

Now that you have harvested your audience, it’s time to diversify! And there are few ways to do this!

The first one is the simplest one: add more channels! You have become a YouTube sensation – create a podcast. You are the podcaster of the moment – build a WordPress website and use your harvested audience to get among the top of Google’s results.

If you want to be a bit bolder, you can start writing books and magazine articles, or even begin offering speeches. After all, that’s what Pulizzi did!

Finally, if you have the money, you can even go as far as buying a content asset! It can be an influencer or a magazine with an already built base of subscribers.

6. Monetize

Finally, monetize!

There’s no point in doing anything described above if you don’t end up making some money in the end, right?

Well, wrong!

That’s the beauty of content marketing! Remember: you don’t have a product and you’re telling other people stories about what you really want to do in life! If it works out – add ads to your channel, ask for some small fee from your subscribers!

And if it doesn’t – well, you can’t say it wasn’t a great adventure!

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“Content Inc.” Quotes

Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled. Click To Tweet For each article, Upworthy writes a minimum of 25 different headlines. Then the company does various A/B tests with its subscription lists to see which headline led to the most e-mail opens and the most shares. Click To Tweet The easiest way to turn off your community members is to broadcast the same message across multiple channels. Instead, determine the kind of content that interests the members of your community in a way that is useful to them. Click To Tweet When you’re creating content and you’re getting feedback from the audience it allows you to hone your vision, as well as embed your vision ultimately with whatever it is that you’re creating. Click To Tweet What I now know is that it’s next to impossible to truly be a thought leader in your industry without a killer blog, a thoughtful book, and a speech that rocks. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Instead of throwing money away and sucking up to A-listers, now there is a better way to promote your business” – wrote the one and only Guy Kawasaki once Pulizzi published “Content Inc.” “It’s called content marketing, and this book is a great way to master this new technique.”

Well-structured and even better written, think of “Content Inc.” as a sort of a simple roadmap to success. Because even if you can’t translate this into money –  just as we wrote in our final key lesson from above – using content marketing usually means doing the thing that you like the most!

And having a hell of a good time!

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