Books, articles and quotes that bring out the best in me
The internet has changed the fabric of society, allowing people from every nook and corner of the world to share ideas and knowledge. Knowledge is power, and internet is knowledge.
I want to use the internet to to pursue ideas that can help those around me. I decided to bring together articles, books, videos and podcasts that have brought the best in me, and forced to think through different challenges in different ways. I will be updating this regularly with new content I read that has improved my thinking in some capacity.
- The Lean Startup: This is a must read for anyone building new products, especially engineers, product managers and project leads. This book introduced me to the Build-Measure-Learn technique, where you focus on creating small experiments you can measure quickly that ideally prove kep hypotheses on how your target consumers behave, all in the service of your larger, north-star vision. It can be a bit dry at times, but overall a great read.
- Jobs to be Done: The whole point of the book is to remind product developers to focus on the consumer’s needs, not the solutions. This is an age old equation that many have already advocated for, but Anthony W. Ulwick puts it all into an actionable framework. The scatter plot analysis to quantify areas to innovate in is an overkill, but the ideas presented helps give product managers a well-defined path to analyzing what is the job the customer is trying to get done, and the outcome that would WOW them.
- Mahabharata: The original Game of Thrones, the Mahabharata is a long drawn out epic that tells the very human tale of love, treachery, honor and justice. In its longest version, it consists of over 100,000 śloka or over 200,000 individual verse lines, and long prose passages. At about 1.8 million words in total, the Mahābhārata is roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined. Of course, I’ve read the abridged version, just like millions others. Whole there are hundreds of takeaways that this story has offered millions (almost billions of people since it was first written 5,000 years ago), it always reminds me of how I need to focus not on the fruits of the pursuit, but the pursuit itself.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: The brutally honest, no bs story of the struggles and triumphs Ben Horowitz (of the famous Silicon Valley VC firm) went through building a successful business. He survived a lot, from the dot com crash to mass employee revolts, and this book is a collection of his war stories. This was gifted to me by my ex boss Tony Tam, as it offered him guidance when he ran his own company. I’d recommend this book for people who want to know both sides of the startup world, the highs and the lows.
- Awaken the Giant Within: Written by Tony Robbins, this book offers practical advice and habits to be more positive and get the most out of life. I was initially turned off from the cheesy title of the book, but after reading a few chapters, I was hooked.
“You can’t have a plan for your day, ’til you have a plan for your life.”
- How I built this: Guy Raz’s relaxing interview technique fused with insights from founders. What’s not to like?
- Masters of scale: The founder of LinkedIn shares conversations with leaders who’ve successfully scaled their products to millions (or billions) of users
- UnChained: My go-to resource for all things crypto. I’m no bitcoin fanatic, but this podcast helps me stay up to date on what’s happening in the space.