Entrepreneur and journalist Shane Snow (Wired, Fast Company, The New Yorker, and cofounder of Contently) analyzes the lives of people and companies that do incredible things in an implausibly short time.
How do some startups go from zero to billions in mere months? How did Alexander the Great, YouTube tycoon Michelle Phan, and Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon climb to the top in less time than it takes most of us to get a promotion? What do high-growth businesses, world-class heart surgeons, and underdog marketers do in common to beat the norm?
One way or another, they do it like computer hackers. They employ what psychologists call "lateral thinking": rethinking convention and breaking "rules" that aren't rules.
These are not shortcuts, which produce often dubious short-term gains, but ethical "smartcuts" that eliminate unnecessary effort and yield sustainable momentum. In Smartcuts, Snow shatters common wisdom about success, revealing how conventions like "paying dues" prevent progress, why kids shouldn't learn times tables, and how, paradoxically, it's easier to build a huge business than a small one.
From SpaceX to The Cuban Revolution, from Ferrari to Skrillex, Smartcuts is a narrative adventure that busts old myths about success and shows how innovators and icons do the incredible by working smarter - and how perhaps the rest of us can, too.
©2014 Shane Snow (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
Smartcuts was awesome because of how it brought the different principles together in an applicable format. Theory was backed up by how they were executed and studies that aligned.
If you combined the principles from Smartcuts, Lean Startup and Virtual Freedom you'd be one powerhouse player.
I truly found this book useful. He made a deliberate decision to look at his subject matter in a different way, used current examples and didn't try to force-fit the evidence to fit his theory (a major sin of a lot of modern writers). I've already recommended this book to 3 persons.
Businessman, Technologist, Marketer. Loves to learn and enjoys books. Mostly nonfiction plus historic novels.
This is a super interesting read (or listen). The book is very well written and very well read. It is enjoyable.
The stories are very inspirational. The message is crisp. The principles are valid and valuable. I just don't think it is a book that makes it easy to put them into practice. The stories are based on ultra successful people, some that started at the bottom, and how they rose to success - but there is little advice that one can get into practice at the end of the book.
It is not one of those books that leaves me with a dozen post-it notes and a couple action items. And yet, I have to recommend this book. It delivers on its promise of success hacking.
I guess I just had different expectations for what this book delivered. It was an analysis of successes and constant affirmation that lateral thinking and climbing different ladders is the way to the top.
Some salient and memorable points. You can tell the collection of work it draws on is more limited than that of some other professional researchers and professors on the topic, but the points extracted are nevertheless insightful and packaged in interesting and engaging vignettes. Four stars.
To be truthful, I drifted off into thoughts many times while listening. I got bored. Perhaps abridging it would be better?
Rewrite and edit to take out the repetitive parts and make it less boring in the reading.
I'm not sure they delivered on the promises to show you how to hack into success faster. The Jimmy Fallon stuff was my favorite part of the book.
I'm sorry, because I really wanted to love it. :(
This book give me the basic framework to think about how to leverage when I already know to accomplish the things I wish to accomplish.
"Good examples taken of real life short cuts!"
Real life examples from a variety of people - surfers to presidents - make the book very enjoyable!
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