Book Notes

My main book interests are psychology, business, marketing, self-improvement, philosophy, sociology, technology, startups and design. I will start by adding 1 interesting point brought up in some of the book I have enjoyed. These may not be the main point of the book but one idea that either helped me look at an idea in a new or interesting way or something relevant to what I am thinking about at the moment.

I did not take notes on most of these books but did read (listen to) them from start to finish.  That said, I read these in a variety of different circumstances. Some were listened to at the gym or walking the dog, others while doing graphic design projects or sitting at home. Some were read at the book store from start to finish (over multiple days) and others were read a number of times and notes were taken. Some I remember and would recommend and others were lost in my mind but the ideas were still experienced and hopefully updated my world views appropriately.

Over the last 15 years i have read (or listen to) well over 500 books from start to finish and easily as many that i started and did not finish. I am hoping this is a place for me to document some of the ideas. I will start with trying to write down one idea from each book with plans to expand on these over time. This is meant to be something that is continually added to in-depth, scope and connectivity.

Below are some of the books I have started making notes on and will display here.


This is a list if influential ideas from these books

When we realize that someone else likes us we often like them in return.

Unrelated variables often impact how we make decisions.

It is easier to see faults in others than ourselves.

What we buy is often impacted by our identity.

Emotional decisions based on years of evolution may of be better than well thought out decisions.

The Satisfaction with the amount of money we earn is impacted by what those around us earn.

Social proof in advertising can be very effective in helping people feel the made a smart decisions

The situation we are in has a large impact on how we make decisions and interact with the world.

Social proof is a mental shortcut that helps people make decisions on whether or not to purchase your product.

Breaking thing you want to learn into chunks can help you learn faster.

Having common myths, even if they are not true, can be useful.

We share things that will make us look good.

We have evolved to not pay attention to most things around us.

Sharing an interest or passion is a great way to bond with others and get them to like you.

We often compare ourselves to those around us.

Exponential gains are powerful and not always intuitive

Some things are really difficult to make predictions about because so many things influencing the outcome.

Spiritual experience exist but we do not have to give them a supernatural explication .

Even as we strive to be rational many ideas in mystical thinking are part of our daily lives.

We treat women differently in many ways that may not be intuitive.

Our identity placed on us by our culture has a large impact on what we find valuable.

Evolution did not “design” brains to thrive in the modern world.

It is useful to understanding some of the ways humans consistently act irrationally.

What we desire, how we think and what we believe is moral evolve in a similar way that biology does.

We are dishonest in a lot of our day to day interactions in some way but we still think of ourselves as good people.

Our brain has evolved to uses shortcuts to make decisions.

We now have more options and choices in many areas of our life and this puts a new level of responsibility on us to make the right decisions.

We can use positive psychology to go from average to great.

Many cultural aspects of religion can be useful for non believers.

If you really want people to remember you make it personal.

Make marketing content customer centered, not product centered.

You can use marketing tools to help market your product or you can design a product that fits in the marketing tools you have.

Marketing is about telling a story to people who are open to that story.

To go viral create content that people will want to share.

Growth hackers build a product with marketing in mind,

Data from Google can be used to understand your market and not just get customers.

Influence the influencers.

Make your loyal fans feel special.

Develop a small group of loyal fans. You can not please everyone.

Woman make many of the household buying decisions and they often look for different attributes than men do.

Most people can only remember a few things about your company.

People need some sort of inspiration beyond making money.

Individuals, not just business, should have a unique value proposition.

If you want to be valuable at you job make yourself indispensable.

To enjoy running a business you need to enjoy more than the specific industry your business is in.

Say no to a 1,000 things.

Pay attention to the competition and use their good ideas.

Solving a problem for people that they already know they have.

Speed, openness, experimentation, and willingness to take risks are core principles behind Google’s success.

The power of networks is often in the number or quality of people using them and therefore are often more powerful when they are free.

Make value for others and you will have a great business.

Make it easy for customers to buy more item from you.

Keep you website header consistent and people will feel grounded and safe navigating your site.
Do not stray a way from convention when it hurts customer experience.

Make a product your customers want by using feedback to improve.

Think about the experience from the customer’s point of view.

Focused on the customer but use data to make the decisions.

Eliminate the pain of purchasing and people will buy more.

Make sure each web page has a clear purpose and call to action

Optimize, automate and outsource.

Work smart, not hard.

Look for the minimum effective dose.

We can 80/20 most area of our life.

Do what is essential.

Keep your work space minimal to make it easy to focus.

Understand the basics before trying to break them.

Taking stuff away may be better than adding more bells and whistles.

We can not do everything and that is ok.

Most people are not even close to eating enough vegetables.

Diet, exercise and sleep all have a large impact on how the brain works and how well it functions.

Rest is necessary if we want to be more fit or stay healthy.

Do most workouts at a low heart rate but occasionally raise it for short periods of time.

To be GREAT comes with sacrifices and a different mindset.

If you want to change something from good to bad you can change your situation or change how your feel about it.

Having meaning or purpose in life can help you get through just about anything.

Design the life you want first and the career you want second.

Do not worry about the things that you can not impact.

Some items we own make us worse off because we have to care for or worry about them.

Using a broad set of influences can be useful in generating new ideas.

Having a diverse group of people can help bring new ideas to the tables.

Asking others with the skills we are looking to gain can be an efficient way to learn.

Information such as credit score or product reviews can follow a person or object around.

Even if we do not know what specific companies or exact time frame we can predict some future technology trends.

We now have more free time and can use it in a lot of new ways.

We are not stuck to the few people we could have dated that lived near us as we were for most of history.

New media as different incentives and this can change the type of news we get.

Some things we worry about now may not be an issue in the future because of technology or cultural change.

In the past it was important to know information and now it is important to understand how to access it.

free time + Connectivity = new types of content.

Information was a scarce resources but now our attention is the scares resource.

Networks connect people with ideas that they would not have had without the networks.

Cheap sensors will continue to grow in number and capability allowing us to create a lot more data.

Bits are easily transferable at a very low-cost but soon we may be able to do this with atoms.

Elon is driven by missions he thinks will come to fruition even if his business is not the one to do it.

Specialization can help create wealth.

Trade is one reason we are so well off.

We put a price on life.

Nonzero sum gains are one of the reasons we are so well off.

Adding money can change the way people think about a situation.

Networks, reputation, experience and intelligence are all types of value that are not financial but still useful.

Common sense is different between different cultures or groups of people.

Correlation and causation are not the same, but they both can be useful.

Questioning our decisions can help us understand if we are doing things for the right reason or just following the way they have always been done.