This is not one of those Malcolm Gladwell'ish books that pretend to be clever, yet caters to the airport book buying crowd who needs something that digests easily, like fast food calories. No, this book actually has some very interesting unique content regarding focus and concentration, and it challenges some common concepts within that area. If you're interested in productivity and the brain: Get it!
This isn't a bad book. And it isn't a boring book. For what it is, it's good. But only if you're:
1. Working at the top of a big corporation or large advertising agency.
2. Enjoys math.
If you fulfill the above two criteria, it's a good book for you. It ain't fluff, it's packed with concrete advice on using data to boost the bottom line of your client or company.
But it isn't applicable to small or medium sized business.
I buy quite many audiobooks in the genre of productivity, business, self-improvement and so on. This book is one of those rare few, that really made me listen. It will (already has) changed the way I see, and wanna live, my life.
In it, the author goes into detail about the neuroscience of ADHD, and introduces some quite novel concepts that were new to me. I've never encountered "stochastic resonance" before. Now I have.
It's a well-written book, super well narrated, and a book I can't wait to listen to again, from the beginning. It's like the focused version of Goleman's recent book Focus, which is a mishmash of anecdotes. Meanwhile, this book is clearly written by an individual who really thinks (!) about the stuff he writes about. No fluffy Gladwell / Heath brothers crap here.
In addition, I think the book points out some major problems of our modern society. Everyone should read this book.
Your Brain at Work, which is another really great book that deserves more attention than most other books in the productivity genre.
Both yes and no. It's okay, but the author goes on a sheer rampage of things you have to do. You should spend 20 minutes on this every day, spend 30 minutes on that, and 10 minutes on this and 20 minutes on that. And, you should make this list and that list, and then another list, and brainstorm and think about and generate ideas and on and on and on and on.
I got really stressed listening to all his suggestions. Everyone can be creative. What everyone can't, is be consistently productive while being creative, as a creative professional.
I don't feel the book helps me much in that regard. Rather, it suggests how I can stress myself out writing a gazillion notes and do a multitude of exercises.
Nothing new here. If you've read Eric Ries' The Lean Startup, or something similar, there's little new here. It's basically "make an MVP, watch, learn, iterate. Build social sharing enticement into the product marketing".
It was an easy listen.
Snug narration. He sounds like the kind of guy who thinks very highly of himself, and believes that everything he has to say is a revelation to people around him, yet these "revelations" are usually stuff everyone has known for years.
Beware of the selling. At the end of each chapter he wants you to go to his website to "keep learning and exploring and sharing" - aka buy more stuff, sign up for his newsletter and share his content on Facebook and Twitter.
He just wants to make money. That's fine, but it feels like it's all he really wants to achieve.
Anecdotes, curiosities, aha-moments
Nothing. While I like Don Hagen, I would have preferred the authors reading the book. Don is a bit too mellow and laid back.
The part about perfectionism and what to do about it.
At first I didn't think this book contributed much to me, apart from various anecdotes. But I must say I got quickly through it, despite the 9 hours it takes. Why? Because, while the book could use more substance and concrete, actionable advice, f.e. some sentence stems to finish, it did turn out to be quite interesting.
It's like the authors want to be the Heath brothers (authors of Made to Stick) but actually exceeds them. The book has had an impact upon my view of the world. So while not perfect, I do recommend it!
While I agree with the basic message, which can be comprehensively articulated in full, on a napkin, I find this book to be extremely trite and boring.
As if the words themselves aren't boring enough, Simon's narration is so slow that even when listening to it at 2x speed on my iPhone; it still sounds as if he is half asleep!
He could have come up with some ways to find your own "why". And he could have skipped all the trite Apple references. Yes, Apple are cool, I've been a user since 1997 but hey, these Apple examples have been repeated ad nauseam in countless books for years and years.
Boring, overhyped and highly overrated.
I'm a big fan of elegance, simple solutions, and minimalism. But this book is like a bad Malcolm Gladwell book. Endless case stories, meant to make you go "aha, interesting" and feel entertained. I don't like that way of describing concepts. It's like fast food, doesn't give you any kind of quality content, just something to chew on. This book goes on and on and on and on, shifting direction and case story by the minute. I was unable to follow along, and had to rewind again and again. Constantly I had the feeling "what's he talking about" - yes, it really is that much of a bomb of babble.
This book is not bad per se... But I got bored halfway through. It started out well, and I had high expectations. I was recommended to read this book as a counterweight to Ayn Rands writings and philosophy. I must say Atlas Shrugged for me beats Steppenwolf by many many miles. It's like Atlas Shrugged is jampacked from start to finish, and really has something to say. Steppenwolf on the other hand is quite slow going. The moral of the story is fine, but nevertheless; I got bored with it. Maybe I'm just more into direct language than metaphors.
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