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Austin M. Craig

Provo, UT
  • 21
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 37
  • ratings
  • Originals

  • How Non-Conformists Move the World
  • By: Adam Grant, Sheryl Sandberg - foreword
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders, Susan Denaker
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,728
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,080

With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation's most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals, he again addresses the challenge of improving the world but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Read before listening

  • By Michael on 07-18-16

Good book, but didn’t exceed expectations

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-18

This book has been highly recommended to me by several people. There are a handful of interesting, novel ideas that are valuable here. But I didn’t find the writing terribly compelling, and it didn’t feel terribly cohesive. Maybe that’s just the nature of the subject, originality isn’t monolithic. But it did make it hard to integrate all of the ideas.

  • The Starfish and the Spider

  • The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations
  • By: Ori Brafman, Rod Beckstrom
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 747
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 530
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 529

If you cut off a spider's leg, it's crippled; if you cut off its head, it dies. But if you cut off a starfish's leg it grows a new one, and the old leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. The Starfish and the Spider argues that organizations fall into two categories: "spiders", which have a rigid hierarchy, and "starfish", which rely on the power of peer relationships.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Centralized and decentralized models

  • By Chan Meng on 12-07-07

12 years on, this book needs a follow up.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-17-18

This book is great, but a lot of the concepts are much more understood today than they were 12 years ago. Also, one of the core concepts is the idea that decentralized organization’s can’t manage scarce resources. You can’t really make money from a purely decentralized organization. Well, that may no longer be true with the advent of cryptocurrency. I would love to hear what the authors have to say about Bitcoin, Ethereum, and their are many descendants..

  • The Total Money Makeover

  • A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
  • By: Dave Ramsey
  • Narrated by: Dave Ramsey
  • Length: 3 hrs and 41 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,126
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,675
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,527

Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There's one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that's with The Total Money Makeover. It's the simplest, most straight-forward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it's based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This guy makes sense

  • By Alexandra on 02-11-14

Grounded advice on how to get rich slowly

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-10-18

I’ve listened to this twice, and intend to start now to apply the principles. It’s not complicated, but Dave does a great job illustrating with clarity how important applying these things are.

  • So Good They Can't Ignore You

  • Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
  • By: Cal Newport
  • Narrated by: Dave Mallow
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,481
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,032
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,034

In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that "follow your passion" is good advice. Not only is the cliché flawed - preexisting passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work - but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping. After making his case against passion, Newport sets out on a quest to discover the reality of how people end up loving what they do.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Counter to all the "Passion" Career Lit

  • By Erin on 06-12-13

Good ideas. Still a little frustrating.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-15-18

I get it. "Follow your passion" is bad advice. Pick a track early, and practice. Wish I was hearing this at 18 rather than 35.

So good for you, Cal Newport, Derek Sivers, and everybody else mentioned herein, with your Midas touch and autonomy and success and fulfillment. GOOD FOR YOU.

Any ideas for somebody who is ten years into their career? I'll be sure to pick a career when I'm 15 years old in the next life. Thanks.

  • Sapiens

  • A Brief History of Humankind
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,910
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19,310
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,199

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Should be required reading

  • By Blue Zion on 12-22-18

Insightful. Also pompous, convenient, and dismissive.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-20-18

There is clearly a lot of education behind Sapiens. And there are plenty of ideas that made me think and consider my understanding of the world. But I often felt like I was in a University lecture with a professor who presumed to have all the answers, and wasn’t interested in dialogue. There were areas when he said “we simply don’t know the answers to this question”, when there are some pretty clear, but inconvenient answers. There were sections where he said “the answer is obvious”, and totally neglected the more nuanced part of the subject. There were areas where he contradicted himself.

Worth reading. I’m not sure I can fully recommend it though.

And with that... I’m on to his next book. Why do I do this to myself?

  • The Four

  • The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
  • By: Scott Galloway
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,886
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,537
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,523

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are the four most influential companies on the planet. Just about everyone thinks they know how they got there. Just about everyone is wrong. For all that's been written about the Four over the last two decades, no one has captured their power and staggering success as insightfully as Scott Galloway. Instead of buying the myths these companies broadcast, Galloway asks fundamental questions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So Smart and well written!

  • By Joe Walsh on 10-16-17

Great Read, Similar to his YouTube Channel

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-24-17

If you’ve watched Scott Galloway’s YouTube channel, you know exactly what to expect. This is a further exploration of the same issues and subjects.

  • Ego Is the Enemy

  • By: Ryan Holiday
  • Narrated by: Ryan Holiday
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,391
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,527
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,474

"While the history books are filled with tales of obsessive visionary geniuses who remade the world in their images with sheer, almost irrational force, I've found that history is also made by individuals who fought their egos at every turn, who eschewed the spotlight, and who put their higher goals above their desire for recognition." (From the prologue)

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good content, tedious performance

  • By Jefferson Lam on 07-28-16

Hey book I will re-read and share with others

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-28-16

I've been a fan of Holidays other books, and this is arguably is best. I feel like I need to read it again on paper, with a highlighter. It's dense with insight and motivation. Something I'll keep on my nightstand to read often in the future.

  • The User Method

  • How Entrepreneurs Create Successful Innovations
  • By: Jeff Schwarting
  • Narrated by: Jeff Schwarting
  • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 18

Forget everything you've learned about creating new businesses. Forget market research. Forget customer interviews. Forget everything business schools teach. Forget about "finding pains in the market", or gaining user empathy, or validating hypotheses.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Home Run!

  • By kidsdad on 02-09-16

Exceptional Insight

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-05-16

This is short, but packed with clear, actionable insight. In a class with The Lean Startup, Start With Why, and Zero to One.

  • The Next 100 Years

  • A Forecast for the 21st Century
  • By: George Friedman
  • Narrated by: William Hughes
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,453
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 863
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 869

In The Next 100 Years, Friedman turns his eye on the future. Drawing on a profound understanding of history and geopolitical patterns dating back to the Roman Empire, he shows that we are now, for the first time in half a millennium, experiencing the dawn of a new historical cycle.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Take with a few grains of salt

  • By Ryan on 10-16-11

An elaborate game of RISK that the author plays with himself.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-21-16

Friedman plays a sprawling, intricate game of RISK with himself. If that sounds interesting to you, then be my guest, but mostly he got eye rolls from me. The level of hubris necessary for any individual to believe they can for see the next hundred years with any appreciable degree of accuracy is impressive. Friedman fails to appreciate butterfly effects. Nothing could have stopped the Mongol hordes from sweeping across all of Europe, except for Kubla Khan drinking himself to death. Could anybody have predicted the particular rise of Hitler before he was born? Suppose a terrorist detonates a nuclear bomb in our lifetime? And contrary to Friedman's assumptions, nations don't always play by some predetermined playbook.

He makes no attempt to account for the technological singularity. He presumes to know what technology will look like in practice in 80 years. And he admits that he never addresses global climate issues.

Mostly this book was a display of academic arrogance.

  • What It Is Like to Go to War

  • By: Karl Marlantes
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,018
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 900
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 908

In 1969, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his war experience.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Destined to become a Classic

  • By Lynn on 09-05-11

Deeply insightful, masterfully performed

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-16-15

Karl Marlantes illustrates a picture that is neither idealized nor simplified. He talks about the personal shockwaves of warfare in ways we know but don't often speak, and ways we may never have consciously understood. Every prospective soldier, current soldier, and veteran, every family member of a soldier, and every legislator who turns the gears of war in to action will gain much from Marlantes' perspective.

Bronson Pinchot did the job perfect justice. The book is written from a first person perspective, and Pinchot tells the tale convincingly, as though he had gone to war himself.

I'll be getting this book for my army veteran father for Christmas.