Reading is fundamental

What’s the secret of success of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Cuban, President Obama, and many other captains of industry and world leaders? To be honest, they probably have lots of secrets that contribute to their success (practices, behaviors, etc.), but one of them is reading. Lots and lots of reading, apparently about 50 books per year. This wide breadth gives them a holistic understanding of cultural shifts that might not be evident to a narrower focused mind… and the ability to anticipate changes in the market.

One of my goals for this year was to increase my reading time; I was shooting for 12 “books of substance” in 2018, and I’m surprised to say I already hit that goal. This is a big deal for me; when I was younger I read all the time, but it seems that in recent years I’ve read fewer and fewer books. Blogs, sure. News articles, constantly. Books… only a couple a year. The content of short form writing, and the quality in general, is very different from books.

I’m positive this has contributed to my personal well being, professional prospects, and life aspirations. Here’s a selection of my 2018 favorites (so far):

Product Management:
User story mapping / Jeff Patton *HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Learning agile / Andrew Stellman
Essential Scrum / Kenneth Rubin

Professional Development:
Think and Grow Rich / Napoleon Hill *HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Rework / Jason Fried and David Hansson
A Theory of Fun for Game Design / Raph Koster

Personal Enrichment:
Designing your life / Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
The Obstacle is the Way / Ryan Holiday *HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big / Scott Adams

I’ll likely go into more detail about a couple of them in the future. Think and Grow Rich, in particular, is a revelation. This despite the fact that it was first published in 1937!

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