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Books

Book Club: The Geography of Madness

Is PMS real? Can you die from voodoo? Is it possible for a man to have his penis stolen?

These things all seem real to people who experience them. But science can’t prove that they actually exist. These cultural syndromes “exists in a swirl of belief and expectancy and biology.”

Our business book club just finished reading a fascinating book: The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves, Voodoo Death, and the Search for the Meaning of the World’s Strangest Syndromes by Frank Bures.

Five men standing close together holding the book in the middle L to R: me, Steve Kamb, Ramit Sethi, Wayne Mulligan, and Derek Halpern.

In selecting this book, Ramit Sethi said:

I loved this book and it made me think differently. How many of our “diseases” are cultural? How many are in our head? What assumptions do we make? What else is cultural? What can we control and change? It was one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read. It’s also very different than the other books we’ve read in our book club.

Table of Contents

Yellow book cover with title of book and sub-title Cover of the book The Geography of Madness by Frank Bures

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2019-11-13T13:14:27-05:00November 13th, 2019|Books, General|

Losing The Signal: Business Book Club Discussion

This book scared us. It was a cautionary tale.

Our business book club read Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry, written by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff.

I really enjoyed the beginning chapters, recounting the early days of Research In Motion’s (RIM) early wins and battles with the likes of Palm and U.S. Robotics.

The story turns dark and unfortunate as the iPhone is released and Android handsets begin to sweep the globe. It is a scary example of the cutthroat nature of business, especially in technology companies.

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2019-08-02T16:16:43-05:00January 14th, 2019|Books, General|

I Love Capitalism: Book Club Discussion

You might think that this is a book mostly about Home Depot.

You would be wrong.

This book is mostly about Ken Langone’s life, coming up on Wall Street, his adventures with the Medical Center at NYU, and a few great chapters on Home Depot.

Two sheets of paper plus a library copy of the book I Love Capitalism by Ken Langone Business book club notes from I Love Capitalism

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2019-08-02T16:17:31-05:00December 2nd, 2018|Books, General|

Measure What Matters: Book Club Discussion

Are you laser-focused on success metrics?

Do you know what your life goals and business objectives are?

Measure What Matters by John Doerr helped me realize that maybe I don’t know what my goals are, and maybe I’m not ready for an intense OKR process just yet.

Hardcover of Measure What Matters book plus notecards Notes and discussion topics from our book club about Measure What Matters

Our Business Book Club read this and met about it in October 2018.

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2019-08-02T16:18:07-05:00October 30th, 2018|Books, General|

Book Club: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Many of us “have no idea how our behavior is coming across to the people who matter.”

Our business book club read What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith.

Book cover of "What Got You Here" along with a picture of Goldsmith The book cover, with a picture of the author.

The author is an executive coach with lots of blue chip performance experience.

This book inspired a lot of self-reflection and follow-up discussion. We talked about our entrepreneurial triggers, our weaknesses, and things we can improve in our communication styles. We recommend this book.

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2018-09-30T11:02:57-05:00September 20th, 2018|Books, General|

Book Club: Netflixed by Gina Keating

“Netflix was playing to win, versus playing to not lose.”

How do we all lose faster, so that we can win overall?

Our business book club enjoyed Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America’s Eyeballs by Gina Keating.

Cover of the book Netflixed by Gina Keating Netflixed hardcover. Derek Halpern picked this book. He always buys the physical copy.

The book includes anecdotes and depth about the very early days of Netflix. We get to ride along as Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings created an online DVD store, basically before DVDs were even for sale.

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2018-08-28T10:12:56-05:00August 28th, 2018|Books, General|

Book Review: Safari by Geoffrey Kent

“Many entrepreneurs agree that it’s our worst vulnerabilities that inspire us to find our greater purpose.”

I read this book with my friends Ramit Sethi, Wayne Mulligan, and Derek Halpern.

I recommend the book. It was the perfect first book for our business book club that Wayne started. It is less of a “nitty gritty” business book and more of a candy-cane memoir.

Four very attractive, diverse, handsome men with varying levels of hair Ramit, me, Wayne, Derek at the first meeting of our book club and discussion group.

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2018-08-22T14:38:06-05:00July 22nd, 2018|Books, General|

Notes from “Willpower Doesn’t Work” by Benjamin Hardy

This book was an easy, inspiring read. I typed up all of my highlights from the book here.

If you want to be focused at work, you need to remove all distractions from your physical and digital workspace.

If you want to get creative insights, get out of town and relax for a day or two.

When you change your environment, such as surrounding yourself with different people, your thoughts and emotions change.

Books on a table I usually read on Kindle, but after getting the “Willpower Doesn’t Work” book at a workshop I bumped it to the top of my reading list. Finished it on the flight home!

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2018-06-14T16:15:38-05:00June 12th, 2018|Books, General|

Book Swap and Cocktail Party in NYC

I love reading good books. Whether it is on my Kindle, a book I own, or a borrow from the New York Public Library – reading takes up a lot of my time.

One of my favorite parts of a good book is discussing it with smart people and then sharing the book with them.

At my 36th birthday party, I gave guests copies of some of my favorite books.

Book Swap and Cocktail Party

On Thursday, 31 May 2018, I threw a book swap and cocktail party.

Lots of people in a room with books and happy Here we are! The book swap and cocktail party was awesome.

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2018-06-05T10:31:01-05:00June 5th, 2018|Books, General|