This is the best book on the topic I've read. David MacKay manages to mix popular science, common sense, common language and hard-core science to explain one of the mankind's highest priority problems. How can "new technologies" solve our CO2 problems? What does it take to eliminate our addiction to fossil fuels? MacKay tackles these issues in a very readable and entertaining style, supporting his statements with simple mathematics and provide references to everything he says
I bought this book as it has been written by a guy who did "Clerks", which in turn is a piece of pure brilliancy. And whoa, this was quite a journey. Obviously you expect something similar from someone as clever as Kevin Smith and he delivers. Although the book has bits you wish never end , it's only after you read the whole piece you get to start seeing it more through.
For me I like how he represents a path I've seen in my experience too. That is the path where you start with something that is a true expression of yourself, done in the best possible way (for Kevin Smith it's the "Clerks"). Then there is a (longish) period in life where not only everybody tells you what to do, but you listen. And then finally you make your way through all of that crap and come true to yourself once again.
Worth noting is that Kevin Smith considers himself fat. It is only after reading this book where he made probably more than thousand references of him being fat, that I started thinking about him in that way. I had so many words to describe him before - cool, clever, witty,. vulgar, brilliant but fat was never one of them. Because he is all these things primarily.
This book tells the Zappos.com story, through the eyes of the early investor and later its CEO. Zappos got from zero to $1 BN in annual merchandise sales in just 10 years.
One thing after reading this book is clear – Tony Hsieh ought to be a cool guy to hang out with. Not only he is smart, but his business ideas are progressive, honest and cool. Curious how he strikes me as a complete opposite of Jeff Bezos of Amazon although both are ultimately passionate about the same thing - the very best customer experience. (read my review of “The Everything Store”)
Following Tony from the earliest (childhood) days to the eventual sale of Zappos to Amazon, the book is full of inspirational stories told from the personal experience. It can hardly get any better than that.
In this period of my life I normally read books about entrepreneurship, and I must have gotten this book through a recommendation by an entrepreneur. But this book is different and it hit me like a train. Viktor Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist, who was among the lucky (and few) to survive the horror of German concentration camps during World War Two. Between 1942 and 1945, Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother and pregnant wife perished. This is a story about finding the strength to deal with the almost unreal cruelty, mental and physical torture that lasted for years. Frankl argues that although suffering cannot be avoided, one can try to cope with it by finding a meaning. I read the book in one evening, in one breath, and felt terrified at first, followed by vivid and strong emotions that followed me through the sleepless night. If you decide to read this book, be ready to be profoundly shaken.
I am pretty passionate about inbound marketing as a new age concept of marketing that is non-intrusive and relies on creativity. In my view inbound marketing is all about planting seeds. As much as I was eager to read the book, I soon became very disappointed. The book seems to be geared towards beginners and if you are at all familiar with concept of blogs and SEO, you will not find anything new or worth reading. However I think the book fails talking to newbies as well. It uses a mix of very simple language "Many web pages also include images." (I kid you not, that is the actual sentence from the book) with recommendation of complex actions like when you are done writing your blog post share it on Twitter and Digg (to whom, your zero followers?). Ultimately the book most feels like an early attempt to build more awareness about the concept, so the authors can profit from the expanding market (both commercially involved). Many references to their product throughout the book support this.
The book follows the incredible success of Amazon.com and pursuit of a one man's dream and it left me in clear admiration of Mr. Bezos - he does seem to be on a mission to leave something huge to the world. He is a without a doubt a visionary, who like many other visionaries, achieved so much because he stubbornly stuck with his vision.
And going through the book, it sometimes feels that a lot of things he accomplished were sadly at the expense of his own workforce.
In a way it almost feels like Mr. Bezos is building Amazon like a Pharaoh built Pyramids.
I have no doubt that what he created is valuable. If I take a look at Facebook and Amazon today, both similarly valued at around $170 BN, I have no doubt that I would invest my money into Amazon. It's value clearly comes from serving its users as opposed to exploiting them.