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Simple Rules Audiobook

Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World

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Publisher's Summary

How simplicity trumps complexity in nature, business, and life.

We struggle to manage complexity every day. We follow intricate diets to lose weight, juggle multiple remotes to operate our home entertainment systems, face proliferating data at the office, and hack through thickets of regulation at tax time. But complexity isn't destiny. Sull and Eisenhardt argue there's a better way: by developing a few simple yet effective rules, you can tackle even the most complex problems.

Simple rules are a hands-on tool to achieve some of our most pressing personal and professional objectives, from overcoming insomnia to becoming a better manager or a smarter investor. Simple rules can help solve some of our most urgent social challenges, from setting interest rates at the Federal Reserve to protecting endangered marine wildlife along California's coast.

Drawing on more than a decade of rigorous research, the authors provide a clear framework for developing effective rules and making them better over time. They find insights in unexpected places, from the way Tina Fey codified her experience working at Saturday Night Live into rules for producing 30 Rock (rule five: never tell a crazy person he's crazy) to burglars' rules to choose a house to rob ("avoid houses with a car parked outside") to Japanese engineers using the foraging rules of slime molds to optimize Tokyo's rail system.

Whether you're struggling with information overload, pursuing opportunities with limited resources, or just trying to change your bad habits, Simple Rules provides a powerful way to tame complexity.

©2015 Donald Sull and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (547 )
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3.8 (464 )
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4.1 (471 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    CR Frisco, TX 12-26-15
    CR Frisco, TX 12-26-15 Member Since 2002

    I listen to a variety of audio books constantly in car and gym. My reviews remind me what I’ve read & are hopefully helpful to you as well.

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    "This got past my own simple rules. I won't re-read"

    The concept of simple rules is good and the content is OK. The book wasn't as effective as it could have been in helping the reader come up with these rules for their situation in a concise manner. An abridged version would have been a better deal time-wise. It boils down to:

    1. Figure out what will move the needle
    2. Choose a bottleneck, a constraint that is holding you back
    3. Craft the rules

    This book was a deal of the day on 10/5/15. My simple rules for filtering out these deals is to not bother looking at anything under 4 stars (really more like 4.2-4.3 range is my normal minimum) and it has to have a sizable number of reviews (at least a couple hundred but preferably more). 4.5 stars with 30 reviews is not proof of a good book. It has to be a subject mater I am really interested in to At this time I am writing this review, this book has 3.8 starts with just over 300 reviews. I assume it was over 4 stars when I bought and the subject matter interest green-lighted me for the purchase.

    Now I look at the reviews, sorted by my recent first, and I see the first several reviews are 5-stars. After the deal of the day, when apparently a lot of us were suckered into buying the book, the reviews are 2:1 negative, dragging the score down below my 4.x threshold.

    While there are nuggets of useful ideas, overall, I can't recommend this one if you want a straightforward read with implementable advice. You can probably expand upon the key concepts above from an Amazon review and save yourself 8 hours. That said, if you don't mind some filler and working through the concepts to figure out how to implement, then go for it.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Redwine 10-20-15
    Redwine 10-20-15
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    "Couldn't finish it."

    Spent four hours listening to the same ideas before I had to quit. Performance adequate.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Parry Millbrae, CA United States 10-19-15
    Matthew Parry Millbrae, CA United States 10-19-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Repetitive, not helpful"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Interesting if you don't already use heuristics and go about everything in an overly complicated way.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Narration was OK, the repetitive nature of the content was too much to listen through.


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Wright 10-12-15
    Amy Wright 10-12-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Good information, but..."

    Would rather have read an article, not a full length book. Listening to this made me feel like I was in the back of an overly warm classroom, interested, but wishing the professor would wrap it up.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oliver Nielsen Copenhagen, Denmark 02-02-16
    Oliver Nielsen Copenhagen, Denmark 02-02-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Can't remember a thing from this one"

    I should have trusted the critical reviews of this one.

    It's the kind of book written on the Malcolm Gladwell / Chip & Dan Heath formula: string together a huge bunch of "interesting" stories and anecdotes, to make a single point or two.

    Remarkable. Stunning. Awesome. Inspiring.

    Perhaps to some. Me? I see it for what it is: fluff. Lacking useful substance.

    After I listened to this book i can't remember a single practical take-away I got from it. I felt somewhat "entertained" (aka: slightly amused) though. So I decided to give some chapters a relisten. One day later... I can't remember a single thing. Again.

    Producing learning material myself, my take on this kind of book is that it's drivel. It just takes so much more work and refinement to boil it all down, to somehing coherent, inspiring, motivating, skill-building. This book has nothing of that, sadly (as I love books on simplicity and productivity).

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lionel 01-14-16
    lionel 01-14-16 Member Since 2015

    If I could tell you.

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    "It eventually didn't convince me"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Probably not as I myself was not convinced by the authors.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The author is knowledgeable and can easily find many real-world examples that support their points. That part impressed me. However, the following question also arises: are these examples really related to the "simple rules"?

    The authors wanted to show that "simple rules" work and they claim: hey, there are so many good stories that I can find simple rules out of it; so you wanna trust me. However, what does "simple rules" really mean? We could literally extract some handful of rules out of any case study. Then, if it is a successful case, we could then claim "simple rules work", couldn't we? The examples in the book range from managing Oakland Athletics baseball team to the founding of Netflix, so that naturally makes me think about "whether there's a common clue that can go through most examples, or one can simply extract some rules from most examples".

    The other part is "selection bias". Given so many examples, one can't be convinced without knowing some other examples of failure who failed to use the golden rules. Well, I understand the one-side description is common in the field of business administration, but it is again easy to make people think in that way considering the variety of examples.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The analysis on the making of "House of Cards", a Netflix TV series in order to show how rules lead to its success.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon 11-25-15
    Jon 11-25-15
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    "Repetitive and shallow"
    What disappointed you about Simple Rules?

    Sounds like it was written for a child. Instead of an in-depth analysis, the authors just kept repeating simple statements about the value of simple rules. Particularly grating was the way they kept repeating the words "simple rules" in every other sentence.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Donald Sull and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt again?

    No.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jeff Cummings?

    Yes.


    What character would you cut from Simple Rules?

    The authors.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Earls 11-07-15
    Craig Earls 11-07-15
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    "Typical airport business fodder."

    I dont know what I was thnking when i bought this. Most of ths book comprises over simplified examples that support the authors thesis. They never explain how the "simple rules" were developed, just that, " in this case simple rules workec really well." In most cases it appears the simle rules developed organically not through some sort of conscious process. Whether or not you could develop simple rules that would be successful is really a matter of pure luck.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rex Denver CO 06-09-15
    Rex Denver CO 06-09-15 Member Since 2014

    I'm a Denver based web designer who enjoys having (or making a commute) so that I can listen to my favorite books.

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    "If you are in any sort of leadership position or plan to be, read this book"

    In the middle of this book I was actually asked to do a presentation and I've decided to alter my original plans to focus on this concept. Hopefully we can create simple workflows at my company. We definitely suffer from guideline bloat. I also love the myriad of examples from personal rules to when complexity actually is a good thing and everything in between.

    23 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen 07-28-15
    Helen 07-28-15

    running2remake

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    "It's always good to be reminded that simple is key"

    I thoroughly enjoyed and learned from this book. The information was helpful and it was presented in an interesting way.

    13 of 18 people found this review helpful

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