life, Sport

Favorites Books And (Virtual) Ironman 2020

It’s been a challenging year.
A year that caused lots of misery and the long term implications are still going to be discovered in the future. Nevertheless, I’m trying to focus on the hope we see just around the corner.

As for books and running/biking and swimming, it was all ‘virtual’ events. The Ironman race I was registered to do at Santa Rosa was first ‘pushed’ to ‘later this year’ and a after few months it was canceled.
As we learned during this year, it’s best to have patience (and endurance). Looking backward, there were quite a lot of new events that we managed to do. Both Strava and Zwift saw their platform taking an uplift. The new (or old) way to do a group ride: Zwift and Discord is quite cool. It won’t replace the real thing, but with the ‘new norm’, it’s quite a nice option.

Virtual Races

This year moved ‘everything’ into ‘virtual’. Sports events are just one example.
Since all the official races were canceled I did some virtual ones.

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life

Reading Recommendations From @naval

A list from @naval talks/podcasts and tweets.
It’s mainly for my personal usage when I’m buy new books (or ordering some from the library).

  • Poor Charlie’s Almanac: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger. This one is the biggest book (for real) you will have in your library. Find a special and strong shelf for it.
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. I wrote about here in the past.
  • The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle (@EckhartTolle)
  • The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age by James Dale Davidson
  • Incerto Series by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb): All 5 books are great but not an easy read. I had to re-read some parts in the books again and again and I’m still not sure I got to the bottom of the idea(s).
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life

Are You Doing COVID-19 Research?

“World War II was the defining moment of our parents’ generation. In a similar way, the COVID-19 pandemic—the first modern pandemic—will define this era.” – Bill Gates said it in his last post yesterday.

One of the interesting aspects of his observations is the need to collaborate our efforts on treatments, vaccines, testing and contact tracing.
We all want to help fight Covid-19. At JFrog we are helping developers be more productive with their work by harnessing the power of DevOps best practices (and tools).
Are you working on IoT to medical devices?
Here is one example on how to improve your process to ship better code in a faster way.

There are many more examples like that but bottom line, we want to help any organization that is fighting Covid-19.
You can apply here: https://jfrog.com/covid19/

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Business, life

Improve Your Decisions

I find the topic of decisions making to be a fascinating one.
In the past few years, I wrote about it several times and this is the post I keep returning as the ‘checklist’.
However, it’s great to have quick and simple rules that you can use.

Three rules to improve your decisions (that I ‘borrowed’ from @naval):

  • If you can’t decide, the answer is no – It might be a bit tricky in cases where you don’t have a Yes/No decision. However, the idea (IMHO) is that you should have a hunch on what will be the right path and if you can’t feel it, try to base the decision on the best data you can find.

  • If two equally difficult paths, choose the one more painful in the short term (pain avoidance is creating an illusion of equality) – This is a clever one, as it’s pointing you in the direction of
    ‘Easy choices → Hard life. Hard choices → Easy life’.
    I’m not sure, this rule will be valid in all cases, but even if it’s holding for 80% it’s a good one to remember.

  • Choose the path that leaves you calmer in the long term – Smart way to validate which is the better decision for a given challenge.

Also, it’s good to remember that
“It’s extremely hard to make good decisions in a poor environment.”

So do your best to improve the environment (e.g. company, friends) before taking important decisions.

The original tweet:

Have a great weekend.

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life

What It Takes – Book Review

What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence” is a book I enjoyed in the last two flights. It’s a classic entrepreneurship story and half of the book is talking about his path in starting, building and expanding Blackstone. The other half is composed of stories in his life.

Who is Stephen Schwarzman?

Well, he manages over $500 billion as the co-founder/CEO of Blackstone.
He also wants to teach readers “how to grow organizations, and do positive things, and how to help their careers”. 

I felt through the book that there are some good lessons.

One lesson is around the same (more or less) rules that Buffet coined around:

  1. Don’t lose money.
  2. Go back to confirm you are executing rule #1

A few little details make the book fun to read. For example, when he explained how Angela Merkel raised her hands to imitate a locust and how he mimics her. Another good one is when he tells of why he earned the nickname “Farmer Blackstone” in China. It is because he promised that the company’s stock price was like a seed that would grow in time.

I also liked this suggestion:
“There is nothing more interesting to people than their problems. Think about what others are dealing with, and try to come up with ideas to help them. Almost anyone, however senior or important, is receptive to good ideas provided you are thoughtful.”

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books
life

2019 Favorite Books And Runs

In the past few years ( 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013) I’ve been summarizing the year both on sports events (running, biking, snowboarding, etc’) and on books.

This year is no different.

Let’s start with the books I’ve enjoyed most in 2019.

Books – Learning and thinking

  • Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know – Malcolm Gladwell
    This is another masterpiece from Gladwell. He knows how to tell a story and to take you from A to B in a fascinating way.
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth
    I enjoyed this one as it’s not ‘just’ talking about the importance of Grit but also on how to deal with the complexity of life.

  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century – Yuval Noah Harari
    If you read the first two books you got the main ideas. However, it’s a great book with many good internal stories. I liked it a lot.
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