On My Shelf with Simon Ammann— Co-founder of WAY (Copenhagen)

Alexander Hipp
Feb 10 · 4 min read

About

I’m Simon, co-founder of WAY where we solve business problems in non-business ways — as consultants, product builders and investors. I love oscillating between the big picture and granular detail. Grasping the essence — and if you’re really at the bottom of it, coming up with fresh ideas to reach fundamentally better solutions.

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On my shelf

The Situation Is Hopeless But Not Serious

The Pursuit of Unhappiness
by Paul Watzlawick

My opinion

I love Watzlawick’s instructions to make our daily life utterly miserable. It’s almost an identification process, finding yourself in those objectively contradictory instructions — and connecting them to your everyday life. Read in German, if you can.

128 pages, W. W. Norton & Company 1993

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Principles

by Ray Dalio

My opinion

Dalio, one of the most successful investors there is, shares his set of rules that guide(d) him through life and work in a clear-cut, US-American way. While I don’t agree with everything he says, it’s refreshingly direct and therefore easy to reflect your position and make up your mind. It’s like a melting-pot of psychological, social, economic, cultural and biological aspects — sometimes indirectly referring to Freud, Jung and the like. Also watch the YouTube miniseries:

592 pages, Simon & Schuster 2017

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The Great CEO Within (former Founder to CEO)

How to build a great company from the ground up
by Matt Mochary

My opinion

A very actionable and opinionated guide to building a “category-killing company”. While I have tons of things to criticise (first and foremost the US-American, hyper-capitalistic angle as a default) — it made me understand why the things are like they are (economically) and why that happened in the last ten years.

202 pages, Mochary Films 2019

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In Studio

Recipes for Systemic Change
by Helsinki Design Lab (Bryan Boyer, Justin W. Cook & Marco Steinberg)

My opinion

For me, reading this book was the eureka moment what design (here: Strategic Design) is: “Strategic design enables us to explore this delicate combination of pragmatism with imagination: strategic intent with iterative action, systems thinking and human-centeredness, all underscored by an optimistic belief in progressive change.”

335 pages, Sitra 2011

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Copywrong to copywriter

Is a Practical Guide to Copywriting for Small Businesses, Small Organisations, Sole Traders and Lone Rangers
by Tait Ischia

My opinion

Mostly because of the title. No, seriously — a big chunk of the way we communicate today is writing (as I’m doing write– erm right now). This book is a fun, short encouragement for better writing. “If you […] just don’t feel confident writing about yourself without sounding like an idiot, read this book.”

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Die Stein Strategie

Von der Kunst, nicht zu handeln
by Holm Friebe

My opinion

I don’t think there is an English version of this yet. An excellent excuse to fresh up your German? Anyways — This book is the antithesis to the imperative of our time: “The world is changing faster than ever.” It’s about the upsides of not acting, calmness and serenity. A free interpretation of the book’s back cover: “If you move, you have to know where. If you don’t move, you have to know why.”

215 pages, Hanser, Carl GmbH + Co. 2013

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The PM Library series “On my shelf” features Product Leaders from all over the world who are passionate about reading and sharing with the community. If you want to join the movement and share your reading list with others send us a message or fill out the following form. Let’s get better together 📚.

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PM Library

Over 200 curated books that everyone who builds products should read

Alexander Hipp

Written by

Product Manager at N26, Founder of PM Library, Co-Organizer of Product Tank Hamburg & Barcelona

PM Library

Over 200 curated books that everyone who builds products should read

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