How to Create a Mind Summary

How to Create a Mind SummaryThe Secret of Human Thought Revealed

Humans are capable of doing so many things computers will never be, right?

Show me a computer capable of thinking, writing symphonies, loving, etc. – and I’ll show you a flying pig.

Don’t put your mouth where your money is, says Ray Kurzweil. Because you will need to breed a whole new race of pigs in a decade or so.

How to Create a Mind” explains why – and how – computers will start writing symphonies.

Who Should Read “How to Create a Mind”? And Why?

Ray Kurzweil’s predictions comprise the wettest of futurists’ dreams. And even though “How to Create a Mind” doesn’t state anything new of this sort, every futurist and curious SF thinker has already bought this book by now.

The rest should read it to find what all the fuss is about. Because even if you know nothing about AI and neuroscience, this may be a good time to start learning about it.

At least if you believe Ray Kurzweil and this book.

About Ray Kurzweil

Ray KurzweilRay Kurzweil is a prize-winning scientist, writer, and futurist.

A winner of MIT’s “Inventor of the Year” prize in 1988, Carnegie Mellon’s top science Dickson Prize six years later and “National Medal of Technology and Innovation” in 1999, Kurzweil has so far received at least 21 honorary doctorates, and special honors from three different U.S. presidents.

He has invented numerous things, ranging from the first omni-font OCR (optical character recognition) to the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, from the first flatband scanner to the first commercial text-to-speech synthesizer.

So, you could say that he’s partially responsible for the Siris, Alexas, and Cortanas you talk to on a daily basis.

Unsurprisingly, in 2002, Kurzweil was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

He has authored numerous articles and books, including “The Singularity Is Near.”

“How to Create a Mind Summary”

Westworld’s second season premiered last night on HBO.

And we felt that there was no better moment to provide you with a summary of a book titled “How to Create a Mind.”

Especially if it is brought to you by a man who has not only been described by “Forbes” as “the ultimate thinking machine,” but who also has an entire Wikipedia article listing his predictions about the future.

And there’s more where that came from!

Ladies and gentlemen, please join us in unraveling the secret of human thought with the one and only Ray Kurzweil, aka the guy who gave humanity flatbad scanners, optical character recognition, print-to-speech reading machines, and text-to-speech synthesizers!

In a nutshell – someone who definitely knows more than most about how our brain may function, based on his work with artificial brains.

And is there a better way to start a book on thoughts other than with few thought experiments?

Let’s try them out.

First, the simplest: recite the alphabet.

Piece of cake, right?

OK, now recite it backward.

Doesn’t feel as easy, does it?

In fact, chances are, you’re incapable of reciting the alphabet backward no matter how much you try. Even though, if you think about it, you should have no problem: you know all the letters, and you’ve used them thousands and thousands of times.

And, most importantly, you just recited them the other way around!

So, what’s the problem?

We’ll get to that in a second.

But, before, try with us another thought experiment. This time, try to visualize a person you’ve seen only once or twice in your whole life. If you can’t think of any, try thinking about your short trip to the local store this morning.

Can you envisage even one single person of the few you passed by?

No, you can’t.

Kurzweil thinks that these thought experiments reveal something much more than the fact that, essentially, your memory sucks.

Namely, that everybody’s memory sucks in the same way. And that this should give us a hint on how our brain is actually doing its job.

You thought that only computers follow specific algorithms?

Guess again: you do too!

So much so that, in fact, human consciousness pioneer Benjamin Libet has proposed that even your free will may be an illusion!

Kurzweil concurs.

Since, according to him, these experiments show that your brain is also merely – OK, in strictly relative terms – doing hierarchical statistical analysis.

And by brain, we actually mean your neocortex, which, according to Kurzweil is where the magic actually happens.

We all know that the neocortex is the most advanced part of our brains and is what makes us so different from the rest of the animal world.

Now, according to Kurzweil, this is because the human neocortex contains about 300 million hierarchically arranged general pattern recognizers. And, as the thought experiments we explained above prove, these pattern recognizers aren’t interested in sounds, images, videos, or smells.

The only thing they are interested in is patterns.

That’s why you can’t recite the alphabet backward – it should be easy if your brain remembered information and data. But if your brain remembers patterns, reciting the alphabet back or playing a song from the middle is the same as starting to read a book from page 147.

That’s why you can’t remember people you’ve only seen once or twice in your life as well. In fact, police profilers intuitively know this, so they stimulate the memory of witnesses by showing them different types of eyes, brows, or mouths.

Because, as Marcel Proust taught us, there’s a particular type of memory, involuntary memory, which is triggered once an external stimulus hits the right note of the pattern.

You know what we’re talking about!

You can’t remember a song even though someone is singing the middle part of it. But, then someone sings the right sequence and the middle section falls neatly into place!

Finally, pattern recognition is why all of the memory techniques memory champions advise us to use are pattern-related. And even more – hierarchically ordered.

Now, if your brain works this way – i.e., as if an automat – shouldn’t computer scientists be capable of creating an artificial mind?

Yes, they should.

And in Kurzweil’s opinion – using hidden Markov models and genetic algorithms – they inevitably will by 2029.

Why shouldn’t they?

Intel has already devised a way to trick the limitations of Moore’s law by inventing 3D processors. Japan’s supercomputers are already capable of running 1016 calculations per second – which is just as much as a digital neocortex will need to function.

Finally, the data it should store – around 20 billion bytes (300 million patterns * 72 bytes) amounts to no more than 20 GB, i.e., the size of your USB.

Because, as it has been proven over and over again in the past – whether in science or art – it’s not the amount of data that’s important; it’s the actual and potential interconnections inside it.

So, brace for it – Kurzweil claims that AI humanoids indistinguishable by brain power from humans will become a reality in less than 12 years.

We guess the remaining question at this point is: should you believe Kurzweil?

Well, remember the list with predictions we mentioned at the beginning of this summary? It was made back in 1989. And in October 2010, twenty years later, Kurzweil published a PDF titled “How My Predictions Are Faring.”

In 147 pages, the document lists as many predictions. 12 of them are deemed to be “essentially correct,” 17 “partially correct” and 3 – “wrong.”

As for the rest 115?

Let us write this in all caps because it’s that important:

ENTIRELY CORRECT.

Ladies and gentlemen, set your watches: we’re about 12 years away from real-life “Westworld.”

For better or for worse, the countdown commences.

Key Lessons from “How to Create a Mind”

1.      Pattern Recognition Theory of Mind
2.      Welcome to Searle’s Chinese Room: How Do You Know You’re Not a Machine?
3.      The Untethered Artificial Mind: The Artificial Mind Which Learns

Pattern Recognition Theory of Mind

How do we think?

Do we think through data, logic, images, sounds, smells?

Neither, says Ray Kurzweil: we think only and exclusively through patterns.

Our neocortex contains about 300 million general pattern recognition circuits which hierarchically structure our memory and experiences.

In other words, if we translate this into practical example (say, how we read), the process looks something like this.

Namely, some of these recognizers are low-level and see only straight and diagonal lines. But, they transmit this information to the higher echelons which are then capable of recognizing letters. These pass on the message to the word-level recognizers, etc. etc.

The information moves back and forth and, based on previous patterns, in time, the recognizers learn to predict the info ahead. That’s how speech recognition works, and that’s why sometimes you see transcribed YouTube captions revealing words before you hear them.

That is your brain as well.

And yes – it gets a bit strange from here on.

Welcome to Searle’s Chinese Room: How Do You Know You’re Not a Machine?

You see, back in 1980, philosopher John Searle made the distinction between weak AI and strong AI based on a simple experiment.

Say you make a program capable of taking Chinese characters as inputs, analyzing them profoundly and giving the expected outcome. And say this program is so convincing that even a Chinese can’t see anything wrong with it and, thus, it passes the Turing test.

The question is: does the program really understands Chinese?

Searle argued against this, by claiming that if he is locked in a room with the machine’s in-programmed manual, and receives the same inputs under the door, he should be able to give the same answers back by merely following the same instructions the machine does.

However, he doesn’t speak a word of Chinese.

Kurzweil says: OK, that may be true.

But what if your brain works the same way?

Let’s not forget that Watson destroyed the best humans in Jeopardy!

In Jeopardy!

The Untethered Artificial Mind: The Artificial Mind Which Learns

It’s time you stopped thinking about machines in terms of programs – unless you start thinking about yourself in the very same way.

In other words, our brains are nothing less – or more – than a pattern recognizing structures. However, this is such a powerful method to acquire new information that it has got us – humans – to a place where we are capable of creating other creatures similar to us.

Because once we perfect a brain capable of recognizing patterns (and we’re already there: think speech recognition), we will essentially create a machine capable of teaching itself. And since a machine’s neocortex can be improved, in time, we will be able to develop machines which will be vastly superior to us.

That’s right: we’re talking about a new species.

Homo deus.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“How to Create a Mind Quotes”

In mathematics you don’t understand things. You just get used to them. (via John von Neumann) Click To Tweet We are a pattern that changes slowly but has stability and continuity, even though the stuff constituting the pattern changes quickly. Click To Tweet The evolution of animal behavior does constitute a learning process, but it is learning by the species, not by the individual, and the fruits of this learning process are encoded in DNA. Click To Tweet Human beings have only a weak ability to process logic, but a very deep core capability of recognizing patterns. To do logical thinking, we need to use the neocortex, which is basically a large pattern recognizer. Click To Tweet Philosophy is a kind of halfway house for questions that have not yet yielded to the scientific method. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“How to Create a Mind” may be uneven and repetitive at times, but, even so, it’s exceptional. Some have deemed its subtitle a bit overpromising, but to others, the book actually manages to give us the most complete theory on how we may think.

Now, if Kurzweil is right about that, then creating an artificial mind is not far ahead. And if that is true, then you reading this book should become a reality in the following weeks.

   Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

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.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“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.

   Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

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.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

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.

   Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Idea Factory Summary

The Idea Factory SummaryBell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

The Great Age keeps moving full-steam ahead, striking every corner of the world.

Neglecting the modern equipment and technology leads to disastrous results.

This preview will give you a couple of inside information about Bell Labs, and their intentions.

Who Should Read “The Idea Factory”? And Why?

What’s your idea? – Do you have any plans for the future or ingenuity doesn’t play a part in your life?

The Idea Factory,” tells an unforgettable story that changed the lives of billions of people. As such, we recommended to all individuals who want to explore more and understand better.

About Jon Gertner

Jon GertnerJon Gertner obtained his B.A from the Cornell University.

He is an author, and a researcher encouraged by Bell Labs’ incredible success over the course of history.

“The Idea Factory Summary”

One can never be too certain when it comes to the age we live in. Such claims are based on the availability of advanced technology, with lots of room for improvement.

The smartphones, tablets, personal computer, and the internet are creating a whole new generation.

In truth, there are plenty of mind-blowing innovations in recent history, which triggered the new era, and any list cannot go without Google, Amazon, Apple, and other giants.

The cutting-edge technology gives credit to tools invented by their predecessors, which were only upgraded.

We bet that you have at least heard of a man called Alexander Graham Bell? – The inventor of the first telephone back in 1876, looked for a way to cash in on his passion, and driven by such incentive, he invented the Bell Telephone Company, which later was reconfigured into the “American Telephone and Telegraph Company” – AT&T.

The labs were in charge to make the phone service not only reliable but accurate on long-distances with very little error. At the time, busy ringing tones were still non-existent, and the caller needed persistence (often in the form of shouting) in order for the person on the other end of the signal to pick up the phone.

While the Great Depression was raging throughout Europe and North America, Bell Labs had little choice but to reduce the number of employees or working hours.

However, many young scientists enrolled in various studies to compensate for the non-working periods.

The war, of course, had a massive role in the Bell Labs development. They altered their methods and way of production by focusing more on creating and designing assets for military use.

In 1940, the US Congress demanded that all spheres of the American Society, including the scientists, should contribute to the war efforts against Japan and Nazi Germany.

As a response, Bell Labs gladly accepted this honor and dropped the regular production.

Radars became an indispensable asset on the battlefield, used for both defensive and attacking military strategies.

Efficient radars could detect planes, submarines, bombers, and other enemy units even in dense fog, or a storm.

This strategy proved to be decisive, and Bell Labs continued during the post-war period to supply the American Army with the latest technology that will later be used in the Cold War.

In the 40s, the Lab Scientists invented a transistor, and officially entered the field of influence on a global scale.

Yet, even top-notch technology has its weaknesses. As a practical and highly efficient device, the transistor was known for its unpredictable behavior, which periodically produced inaccurate reports.

Fellow Labs scientist known by the name of William Shockley discovered a way to improve the device and fix the issues.

When the public was introduced to the transistor, it didn’t have the effect everyone was expecting. Its relevance and impact didn’t rise to the surface with the first wave, yet Claude Shannon was among the very few who anticipated such reaction.

Right before the end of WW2, Bell Labs’ highly skilled innovators and technicians began their experiments, for the purpose of enhancing the transmitting capabilities.

One of the main methods, which will remain deeply embedded into the history of telephony is known as the pulse code modulation or PCM.

It may seem odd to some people. But Shannon’s ideas marked the beginning of what’s known today as the age of modern technology and digital communication.

The range of their activities cannot be defined since Bell Labs covered almost anything associated with their area of expertise.

A decade later after WW2, it wasn’t merely a dream to use telephony for overseas communication.

A new invention named satellite technology enabled this happening and stimulated the production of the first-ever, communications satellites.

Bell Labs’ renowned scientists Cal Fuller and Gerald Pearson took into account the properties of silicon, and despite the odds managed to build and maintain a silicon solar battery.

This device will become the first functional solar power tool in history, and the representative of the top-notch solar technology.

It’s needless to say that Bell Labs transformed the world. The transistor, overseas communication, satellites all originate from a group of highly experienced technicians and innovators. Still, this was just the beginning.

In the 1960s, Bell Labs embarked on a new adventure and began their research concerning the mobile telephony. Before taking any concrete steps, it was vital to solve the two main issues:

First: The availability of wireless frequencies, which indicates that only a dozen of calls could be set in motion simultaneously.

Second: The scientists had little clue about – How can a caller move around and speak without experiencing a call disconnection?  

It wasn’t until the 70s that AT&T’s monopoly was challenged. The corporation was forced to “surrender” its local company holdings, which later became independent companies.

Bell Labs continued in the same manner, with intentions to impress the world with its know-how and expertise.  

Unlike Google, Amazon, Yahoo and other Marketing Brands, AT&T placed its fate on innovation, which was not the case with other companies.

Such orientation spontaneously triggered growth, expansion and worldly domination in the realm of communications.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The Idea Factory” Quotes

You get paid for the seven and a half hours a day you put in here,- Kelly often told new Bell Labs employees in his speech to them on their first day, but you get your raises and promotions on what you do in the other sixteen and a half… Click To Tweet The men preferred to think they worked not in a laboratory but in what Kelly once called “an institute of creative technology. Click To Tweet One study group in particular, informally led by William Shockley at the West Street labs, and often joined by Brattain, Fisk, Townes, and Woolridge, among others, met on Thursday afternoons. The men were interested in a particular branch… Click To Tweet My first stop on any time-travel expedition would be Bell Labs in December 1947. Click To Tweet I tried to get other people to do things. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In our opinion, this book deserves all the merits for being right on the spot with its accuracy, and simplicity.

We cannot be more pleased, for being a part of such amazing journey, which hopefully will continue with a new set of innovations.

   Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

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!

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“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!

   Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

How to Become a Straight-A Student Summary

How to Become a Straight-A Student SummaryThe Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less

Do you want to know “How to Become a Straight-A Student?”

Then read Cal Newport’s book.

About Cal Newport

Cal NewportCal Newport is an author, and an assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University, holding a PhD from MIT.

“How to Become a Straight-A Student Summary”

Some people consider their college years to beat the best time of their lives.

For those people, college is a time of partying exploration and finding themselves.

Other people, on the other hand, think of college with a feeling of anxiety and stress.

This makes perfect sense, says the GPA students get doing their studies shape their entire future periods

We bring you some good news.

It is no longer a problem if you had a hard time studying.  We will show you what steps you can take in order to study more efficiently.

In other words, studying longer does not mean that you are studying better.

Instead, we want you to adopt the new stance. We want you to study smart.

First, you have to understand the nature of people.

Most people waste their time working in a distracting environment with low intensity.  After long hours of learning your concentration drops, which also means that you engage in a low-intensity learning.

A much better way to focus your thoughts and your time are to work in short chunks of time with high intensity.

Studies show that the optimal length of a learning period is around 50 minutes.

This means that it is much more productive to spend 50 minutes concentrating fully and then giving yourself a break, then just spending a few hours working or studying in a low concentration mode without any break.

However, you need to make sure that you actually spend the short bursts of time actively working.

And to do that you have to learn how to manage your time.

Most people leave their work for the evening. If you are one of those people, you are doing it all wrong.

Your body is preparing for rest when the sun goes down, so your concentration levels are much lower than in the morning.

Let’s not forget that the evenings are full of social events and temptations that can lure you into giving in, and not finishing up your tasks on time.

To avoid all that, study early, and study in isolation.

Stay away from distractions, be it friends or a comfortable space to lie down.

Just do whatever you can to be on the top of your game during those small chunks of time you have decided to be devoted to learning.

Key Lessons from “How to Become a Straight-A Student”

1.      Beating Procrastination
2.      How to Study Wise
3.      The Study Process

Beating Procrastination

We all suffer from procrastination.

It is impressive to notice how many reasons one may find not to do the tasks one needs to do.

However, then again, some people successfully resist procrastination and actually do their work on time.

How do they manage to do that?

Well, there are a few ways to beat procrastination, one of them being a progress journal.

How to Study Wise

  • Do not skip classes
  • Study early
  • Study in isolation
  • Keep your energy levels high

The Study Process

  • Define precisely what you need to learn
  • Focus on important details
  • Quiz yourself until you are completely satisfied

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“How to Become a Straight-A Student” Quotes

Jot down new tasks and assignments on your list during the day; (2) next morning, transfer these new items from your list onto your calendar; and (3) then take a couple of minutes to plan your day. Click To Tweet

   Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Future Shock Summary

Future Shock Summary

“Future Shock” takes you back in the 70s and allows you to see the future through the eyes of Alvin Toffler.

About Alvin Toffler

Alvin Toffler

Alvin Toffler is a writer, thinker, and futurist. In all of his works, he collaborated with his colleague and wife Heidi Toffler.

“Future Shock Summary”

“Future Shock” is the term Toffler gave to the trauma that happens as a result of going through great changes in a short time.

In his book he explores how people can adapt to the changes they face, and while doing that he establishes a new social norm: embracing change.

Although it was written in the 70s when people were not aware that many of the ways they conducted business and the technology they were familiar with would disappear, his thoughts remain relevant even today.

Preparing for change and embracing it is not a topic that will lose its importance soon.

Today, we are used to this sort of advice, but at the time when Toffler advocated his views, his thoughts were unusual.

He did not know much for the Internet, but he did a wonderful job in predicting the future by forming a new mode of being that he called “The Ad-hocracy” which will transform the world into a “free-form world” of kinetic organizations.

According to his notions, which later turned out to be exact, many functions will disappear, offices will no longer be as necessary, communication will be constant and conducted over different types of media, etc.

He tries to find ways to balance vicarious experiences, which are the things you pay others to do for your enjoyment and non-vicarious experiences, which are the things you do.

As you can already notice, Toffler’s predictions are incredibly accurate.

Finding the balance between these two types of experience has only grown to become more critical as time went by.

Such is the case with most of his questions and predictions, which proves that he was a thinker that was a step ahead of his time, and raised questions that people can relate to even today.

Key Lessons from “Future Shock”

1.      A World Full of Many Markets
2.      “Invention with Invention”
3.      Stability Zones

A World Full of Many Markets

Toffler came up with another prediction that relates to the many markets.

He discusses the emergence of “overchoice” which according to him is tied to the consumer’s increasing focus on individuality.

He further predicts that technological advancements will be responsible for creating product variety, as consumers will reject standardized products and search for individuality.

“Invention with Invention”

Toffler believes that markets can maintain their competitiveness and survive only if they meet invention with intention.

He argues that new technology should be regulated as little as possible, and tries to address all kinds of other aspects that may play a significant role in shaping society.

“Stability Zones”

He also addresses the people’s need for stimuli.

He recommends for people to embrace stability zones in their lives, out of which the strongest one is a long-term, monogamous relationship.

He believes that in the profound connection to another person, one builds the emotional basis from which they can observe the world as it changes, without changing their identity.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Future Shock” Quotes

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Click To Tweet If you don't have a strategy, you're part of someone else's strategy. Click To Tweet Change is not merely necessary to life - it is life. Click To Tweet Science fiction is held in low regard as a branch of literature, and perhaps it deserves this critical contempt. Click To Tweet The future always comes too fast and in the wrong order. Click To Tweet

   Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? Summary

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? Summary

Is there life after smartphones? How do the little black screens affect our reality?

About Jean M. Twenge

Jean M. Twenge

Jean Twenge teaches psychology at San Diego State University.

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? Summary

Typically, people change through a slow evolution, and so do their behavioral patterns.

However, in the modern era, drastic and unprecedented changes have occurred to the millennial generation and the behavior of teens who belong to it.

The changes began in 2012, the year which was also marked by the increase of smartphone users – more than 50% of Americans were owners of smartphones.

The smartphones, and the social media craze that accompany them define the generation born between 1995 and 2012, otherwise known as iGen.

Knowing that these devices are part of the definition of a generation shows the massive effect smartphones have on everyday teenage life.

Today’s generations are much safer than those that preceded them: they prefer to stay at home with their smartphones than to experiment with alcohol, party, and drunk-drive.

They also date less, which increases the average age of the beginning of sexual intercourse. As a result, teenage pregnancies reached an all-time low in 2016.

However, should we be happy, or should we be worried?

These facts and statistics are a result of the sad truth that teenagers no longer know how to develop friendships and healthy human relationships.

Most of the social life of today’s teens take place on the screen of their smartphones.

But, this is not just some trend that shapes a generation – this may be a trend that destroys one.

Numerous pieces of evidence suggest that social media has an adverse effect on the mental health of its users.

Feelings of loneliness and being “left out” are not rare among teenagers.

Studies become making a connection between the average time spent on a phone and the levels of one’s happiness.

In fact, the statistics are gruesome: in 2011 the suicide rate surpassed the rate of teen homicide for the first time in almost three decades.

Many believe that the reasons for such cases are connected to teens spending less time together, and feeling more lonely and depressed.

Key Lessons from “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?”

1.      Boys vs. Girls Depression Rates
2.      Learn how to find your way
3.      See the big picture

The Perceived Safety of Contemporary Teens

Today’s generations prefer to stay at home with their smartphones than to experiment with alcohol, party, and drunk-drive. They date less, which resulted in teenage pregnancies reaching an all-time low in 2016.

The Real Danger

Numerous pieces of evidence suggest that social media has an adverse effect on the mental health of its users. Studies become making a connection between the average time spent on a phone and the levels of one’s happiness.

Boys vs. Girls Depression Rates

Studies show that girls are more prone to depression than boys. No one knows the right reason why, but one explanation argues that girls are more likely to be victims of cyberbullying.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” Quotes

The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health. Click To Tweet Across a range of behaviors – drinking, dating, spending time unsupervised –18-year olds now act more like 15-year-olds used to, and 15-year-olds more like 13-year-olds. Click To Tweet Girls use social media more often, giving them additional opportunities to feel excluded and lonely when they see their friends or classmates getting together without them. Click To Tweet

   Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Consumption Economics Summary

Consumption Economics SummaryThe New Rules of Tech

With the process of “cloudization” under way, it’s good to have a book to guide you through it. And “Consumption Economics” is one of the best you’ll read, both in terms of theory and practice.

Let us walk you through it!

About J. B. Wood, Todd Hewlin and Thomas Lah

J. B. WoodJ.B. Wood is the CEO of TSIA (the Technology Services Industry Association) and one of the leading authorities on the “x-as-a-service” business model.

Todd HewlinTodd Hewlin is an expert in the field as well, managing director of TCG Advisors, and author of one more book, “B4B.”

Thomas LahThomas Lah is the executive director of the TSIA and the author of several books, the last of which is “Technology-as-a-service Playbook.”

“Consumption Economics Summary”

We know that you are familiar with what a “generation gap” is, but have you ever heard of the “consumption gap”?

Probably not.

So, it’s probably good, before telling you what consumption economics is, to teach you what it is based upon.

And it’s fairly simple!

Theoretically, consumption gap is the gap between what you pay for and what you actually use. Practically, it means that even though you’ve paid for about a hundred thousand preprogrammed options, you still use your phone to either call someone or browse the Internet.

Well, up to about a decade ago, IT companies used this to their benefit. In other words, you couldn’t exactly buy a different kind of phone, but the one with all the options. So, you paid much more than you should have paid. Or, better yet – would have paid, if you had the option to choose.

But, then, two things happened: Steve Jobs and the Cloud.

The iPhone introduced both revolutionary flexibility and customization options which, for the first time, made users aware of what they actually need and how they can get it. In other words, Apple successfully transformed how we consume IT products.

The Cloud made an even greater step forward. It made possible for companies to start charging not before they offer their products, but during it. Or, to put it in laymen’s terms, companies nowadays don’t need to buy the Microsoft Office suite. They can just log into Office 365 online and use Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel as much as they like.

And, of course, pay by the hour.

And the news is: they are doing it big time! In fact, 2017 was the last year when traditional Microsoft software licenses were sold in larger numbers than online subscriptions.

And, that’s what “Consumption Economics” predicted in 2011.

According to the authors, technology consultants J. B. Wood, Todd Hewlin and Thomas Lah, we’re in the middle of a paradigm shift. And your company must react immediately if it wants not to be left behind.

Namely, it’s better for anyone to use cloud services because they are both cheaper and more customizable. Say, you need Photoshop, but you need it only for one-time use. In the days before the Cloud, you had no choice but to pay for the full license. Now, you can just pay for a one-day use of the software and forget about the program altogether!

And there are many things which are already offered under the label “(put what you like here)-as-a-service.” You can either use them (if you’re a customer) or start offering your services in a similar manner (if you’re a client).

There’s no other way. Because you’ll lose big time.

But, what about the money if you’re a company? After all, you won’t be earning thousands-of-dollars-per-product, but cents-per-service!

Don’t worry: Apple and Microsoft have shown that it’s still a high-earning business.

And studies have suggested that it was always going to be the age of the long tail.

Key Lessons from “Consumption Economics”

1.     Narrowing the Consumption Gap
2.     The Future Is All About Consumption Economics
3.      Few Things You Should Do Right Now to Not Fall Behind

Narrowing the Consumption Gap

The consumption gap is the gap which exists between what you’ve paid for a product and the actual extent to which you’re using it. In the past, this gap was pretty big, and IT companies used it: they simply didn’t offer you enough options. However, with the iPhone and cloud computing, things changed radically. And you better take note!

The Future Is All About Consumption Economics

Bill Gates successfully predicted our future in 1999. Wood, Hewlin, and Lah tried to predict the one we’re about to enter. In their opinion, it will be an age of simplicity and low prices, because, well, almost certainly it will be a future of pay-as-you-consume processes.

Additionally, it will be an age of large volumes – since companies won’t earn money as quickly as before. But, they will earn enough in the long run!

Few Things You Should Do Right Now to Not Fall Behind

And you have to act fast to catch up with the time!

Start by re-engineering your products so you can offer clients customized services (beginners, intermediates, and experts). Recombine services you offer and try to align them with the requirements of the market. And be on the lookout for changes in the “x-as-a-service” model, because that’s how your future looks like.

Fortunately for the rest of us – for the first time in history – it’s customer-centric!

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Consumption Economics” Quotes

Tech is not immune to commoditization – it’s just harder to spot. Click To Tweet IT’s dominance is giving way to the growing influence of the end business user. Click To Tweet The new world of software looks to be smaller, more focused, highly modular and cheaper. Click To Tweet Customers are rapidly losing their awe of complexity. Simplicity is becoming the new hallmark of sophistication. Click To Tweet We need to learn to qualify the customer’s ability to consume. Click To Tweet

   Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Business @ the Speed of Thought Summary

Business @ the Speed of Thought SummaryUsing a Digital Nervous System

That’s right: we have a Bill Gates’ book this time around! And it’s the one everybody was talking about two decades ago: “Business @ the Speed of Thought.”

About Bill Gates

Bill GatesBill Gates is one of those people who need no introduction whatsoever. Few common nouns would do: entrepreneur, investor, computer geek, business magnate, author, philanthropist. He’s also the founder and CEO of Microsoft Corporation. And yes: one of the richest men in history.

“Business @ the Speed of Thought Summary”

Now, let’s get one thing straight from the outset: “Business @ the Speed of Thought” will probably not live up to your expectations.

And It’s not that some of its information it’s outdated; in fact, that may be the more interesting aspect of it. It’s simply that it’s too long (more than 400 pages) for its own sake. And, yes – sometimes it reads as if a Microsoft commercial.

(Unfortunately, without the subtlety of David Ogilvy’s confessions.)

So, to understand the better side of it, it may be a good thing to have in mind that it was published in 1999. And that many of the things it states, even though taken almost axiomatically as true nowadays, were somewhat prophetic two decades ago.

Which brings us to the main premise of “Business @ the Speed of Thought.” Namely, that businesses which resist integrating technology into their core operations will lose the race to their competitors. Of course, everybody knows this nowadays, but not everybody was so certain back in the days of Windows 98!

So, Gates goes on to explain how a company can profit from streamlining its processes by using the right computer software. (That is, you know, Windows – cough, cough – or Microsoft Office – cough, cough…)

And he’s – not so surprisingly – well ahead of his time. (That’s how he made his fortune, after all). Gates is adamant that the human brain is incapable of collecting, storing, and using information the same way a computer can. And he goes on a tour of the best ways you can make your company more efficient.

The paramount: the advent of the then still-young Internet!

Because if computers can build the digital nervous system of your company, the Internet can connect it to other companies’ digital nervous systems.

And there it is: one giant virtual mind, organizing each and every process on the planet. Gates is certain that people will start using it to learn, to buy and sell stuff, to contact each other. He even says that in the future, people may own small wireless devices helping them do these things on the go.

And lo and behold – the man was right! The second wave of the digital revolution predicted from start to finish by the man who actually made it happen!

And he has even hinted about things that are yet to come.

Internet of Things, anybody?

Key Lessons from “Business @ the Speed of Thought”

1.      Technology Is for Everybody
2.      The Lifestyle of the Future: Web Lifestyle
3.      Bill Gates Is a Computer Wizard

Technology Is for Everybody

Now, bear in mind that “Business @ the Speed of Thought” was written at a time when not many people owned PCs, let alone knew how to use the 32 Kbit/s dial-up Internet. Yet, that didn’t stop Bill Gates from being sure that in the future, everyone will own a PC. And almost everyone will know how to use it.

The Lifestyle of the Future: Web Lifestyle

And Gates is just as much certain in his next prophecy: that the future is Internet-based. Internet, he says, will make it possible for people to perform online transactions; it will also make possible for them to contact each other in a quite easy and simple manner. The commercial and the social effects the Internet will have on our society, he concludes, are hard to imagine!

Bill Gates Is a Computer Wizard

And yet – he imagines them surprisingly accurately. In fact, the main takeaway from this book is probably the title of this key lesson: Bill Gates is a genius. He envisioned the future we are living in 2018 back in 1998. So, next time you hear him talk about upcoming events, take notice.

Because, if history teaches us anything, it’s that he’ll probably be right!

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Business @ the Speed of Thought” Quotes

Ultimately, the most important speed issue for companies is cultural. Click To Tweet The U.S. astronauts, like the monkeys before them, were just along for the ride. Click To Tweet By embracing the digital age, we can accelerate the positive effects and mitigate the challenges such as privacy and have-vs.-have-not. Click To Tweet Building an information economy will make all the companies in the country more competitive. Click To Tweet Learn about the Internet today. Click To Tweet

   Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF: