I love to read, but I’ve found lately I have less time to actually sit down with a book. As a result I’ve been listening to a lot more audio books through Audible. Since I was able to get through multiple books this year I figured I’d throw a quick summary together to cover what I’d “read”.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution
By: Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, Jim Huling
The 4 Disciplines of Execution is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing your most important strategic priorities despite professional distractions. The authors suggest adopting the 4 Discipline. These disciplines are Focus on the Wildly Important; Act on Lead Measures; Keep a Compelling Scoreboard; Create a Cadence of Accountability. Through these disciplines, leaders can produce breakthrough results. These significant improvements require a commitment to these disciplines and effective integration into the wider team.
I found this book really insightful when it came to reframing goals and defining them in ways that are easier to measure
This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends
By: Nicole Perlroth
This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends (2021) takes a deep dive into the ongoing global cyberweapons arms race. It explains how the unregulated market for destructive weapons began, how nations are buying and using these weapons, and why they represent a threat to our immediate future.
This one pulled back the curtain on the impact of zero day exploits as weapons.
Sidney Crosby: The Rookie Year
By: Sidney Crosby
In this Audible show Crosby describes what it was like trying to live up to the hype, stepping onto NHL ice for the first time, playing with legends like Mario Lemieux, and feeling the weight of a nation throughout his early career.
If you’re a hockey fan this is worth the four hours it takes to listen to it. Crosby’s story is pretty interesting.
Thinking in Bets
By: Annie Duke
Professional poker player Annie Duke explores how we can all become better decision-makers in an uncertain and challenging world. She helps us understand how to disentangle the role of luck and skill in determining outcomes, ultimately helping us make better bets that lead to better outcomes and a better life.
Since moving into Product Management I’ve been focusing on more books like this to get my head into the right “space”.
The Network: The Battle for the Airwaves
By: Scott Woolley
Woolley, a technology and business writer, traces the development of communications technology from the telegraph to the television to the first visions of the Internet. He frames these advances with the story of the complicated friendship between David Sarnoff, a media mogul who rose to the helm of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), and Edwin Armstrong, prolific inventor who developed, among other game-changing technologies, the first amplifier to enable telegraph signal reception from greater distances.
Having previously read “Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World” I figured I’d find this story about the fight for dominance with early broadcast technology interesting … and I was right ;)
On October 5th, 2017, President Trump made a cryptic extemporaneous remark in the State Dining Room. He called this gathering of top-ranking military officials, “the calm before the storm,” and refused to elaborate as journalist and politicos inquired further. But on the infamous message boards of 4chan, elaboration began all on its own.
In the days that followed, an anonymous poster spun a yarn inspired by Trump’s remarks that rivalled Tom Clancy and satisfied the deepest desires of MAGA-America. Did any of it come to pass? No. Did that stop people from clinging to every word they were reading, expanding its mythology and promoting the theory for years? No.
How did this happen, who are these followers, and how do adherents reconcile their worldview with the America they see around them? Mike Rothschild, a journalist specializing in conspiracy theories, explains all–taking readers from the earliest posts on 4Chan to its embrace by right-wing media, and the game that Donald Trump has played with its followers.
As rabid adherents to the theory show no sign of calming—with Baby Boomers especially susceptible to its messaging—families are being torn apart and politicians are starting to openly espouse the ideology in their campaigns. It’s time to figure out what QAnon is, because QAnon explains everything you need to know about American politics and global fear after Trump.
It’s hard to not be morbidly curious as to how all this MAGA stuff came to pass.
The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You
By: Eli Pariser
We all know the internet is vast. Indeed, it’s a veritable universe of information – an exciting frontier open to all. Or at least that’s what we’re led to believe. In reality, though, our access to this digital cosmos is closely monitored, our every click subtly guided. We think we’re surveying the heavens, but, more often than not, we’re never able to see much farther than our own backyard.
How did our view become so limited? Well, internet giants like Google, Facebook and YouTube have created an individualized web for us. By using personalization and filters, such companies ensure that we never get the full picture – that we’re always confined to our own digital bubble.
I’ve heard about this book for a while now and never bothered to give it a shot as the premise seems pretty obvious. After giving it a listen I don’t know that I really got a whole lot more out of it than what I already knew going in.
Algorithms optimize for engagement, so you end up only being exposed to a subset of content you’re likely to engage with - which filters out a lot.
Product Management in Practice
By: Matt LeMay
Product management has become a critical function for modern organizations, from small startups to corporate enterprises. And yet, the day-to-day work of product management remains largely misunderstood. In theory, product managers are high-flying visionaries who build products that people love. In practice, they’re hard-working facilitators who bring clarity and focus to their teams.
In this thoroughly revised and expanded edition, Matt LeMay provides real-world guidance for current and aspiring product managers. Updated for the era of remote and hybrid work, this book provides actionable answers to product management’s most persistent and confounding questions, starting with: What exactly am I supposed to do all day?
If anyone wants to get into Product Management I’d highly recommend reading/listening to this book. Product management is a much harder role to define than I anticipated and the whole “if you don’t know who’s responsibility something is, it’s probably yours” statement was apt.
Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America
By: Christopher Wylie
Mindf*ck (2019), written by a whistleblower, tells the story of the largest data crime in history to date. On the eve of the 2016 United States presidential election, consulting firm Cambridge Analytica harvested the Facebook data from 87 million people and used it to conduct a mass disinformation campaign. Now, the full story has finally come to light.
More Trump and MAGA shit to close out the year. After listening to this it really makes me feel bad for all the folks that bought into the MAGA movement as it seems “manufactured” by Bannon and Cambridge Analytica. Real people, their lives and families are being affected by getting caught up in this perpetual cycle of outrage …