The most fascinating thing about the internet is the variety of ideas that one can access. What follows is the result of my several years of collection of interesting reads. I have categorized them into broad buckets to make it easier for you to identify your favorites!
I am hopeful that these ideas will resonate well with you and potentially add a new dimension to the way you think.
Startup and Entrepreneurship
We Don’t Sell Saddles Here – Amazing story of the initial launch days of Slack. It would help you understand how to build a product that users actually want and how to market your product by selling the innovation. Understand how startups can define their own market and why execution matters so much. Favorite quote – “Life is too short to do mediocre work and is definitely too short to build shitty things, so why the fuck else would you even want to be alive but to do things as well as you can.”
Fuck Your Startup World – A humor-filled take on the tech startup culture. You will definitely find yourself introspecting and laughing along the way as you read through it.
You’re not Changing the World – Sarcasm filled note on the unironic use of the phrase – WE ARE CHANGING THE WORLD in the Silicon Valley. Peeks beneath the surface of such delusions of grandeur and how it’s all really an existential cry for help. A good, fun read.
Life Lessons and Self Improvement
How To Be Successful – One by Sam Altman. Simply one of the best pieces of advice on improving yourself and becoming successful. A must-read.
People Who Have “Too Many Interests” Are More Likely To Be Successful According To Research – A very comprehensive study against the age-old warning of being a generalist. Provides examples of people from the history who are polymaths, yet wildly successful. It also helps you understand why having a diverse set of skills and being able to integrate them into a top 1% skill is so crucial for differentiation. You will also the numerous advantages of being a polymath and how you could become one too.
Bruce Lee: The Inevitability of Success – Story of Bruce Lee focused on one of his most famous letters to himself. He talks about two ways of making a good living, what pushes him to do what he does, how the creative forces work and how to follow one’s purpose.
Thirty Things I’ve Learned – Just read it.
How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization – A coincidental piece on popular TV sitcom ‘Friends’. The article signals the hard embrace of anti-intellectualism in America and also theorizes the downfall of western civilization. The article also goes on to suggest how to retain one’s sanity in a dumb world. Basically, Ross needs better friends!
The Crossroads of Should and Must – This is a story about two roads — Should and Must. It’s a pep talk for anyone who’s chosen Should for far too long — months, years, maybe a lifetime — and feels like it’s about time they gave Must a shot.
Why You Don’t Need Design Like Apple – A controversial take on authenticity vs beauty from design point of view. Apple has influenced the design of almost everything related to software and product design. The focus on design has done us all good, but this visual polish has a cost – blinding us from focusing on the most important part of the message: the story. Telling a good story, whether that’s through email, film or any medium, creates a connection. And it’s this connection that leads to attention, which leads to trust, which leads to sales. Making something pretty is fine, just make sure this beauty is paired with substance because beauty alone won’t be enough.
10 Basic Principles of Visual Design – As the title suggest, learn about points, lines, shapes, color, typography, space, balance, etc. Great starting point for a non-designer to understand the basics of visual design.
Marketing and Advertising
People Don’t Buy Products, They Buy Better Versions of Themselves – Story about how brands market their product by selling you a better version of yourself while using their product – the most famous example being that of an iPod: 1000 songs in your pocket. Helps you understand clever marketing that focuses on benefits rather than the features.