life

Great Books To Start The Year

Few of the best books I’ve read in the past and you might enjoy. There are in no special order, but if you love good stories start with the first and the last.

 

One of the best books I read in a long time. It’s an interesting story about the humankind in the last ~70,000 years and Harari does it so well, you won’t feel it’s a history book.

I like the 2nd book (Homo Deus) as well and found more things in it that I would like to discuss about with the author. I just need to find the right time and place. Continue reading

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Business, life

Books I Enjoyed During 2017

This year was full with good books.

I got to some books by mistake (e.g. Girl with a pearl earring during a trip to Zion national park) and others after getting a warm recommendation. Here is the list of the ones that I like most. There were at least ~12 other books that I didn’t like and stopped in the middle, but I guess, it’s part of life.

One of the best papers I read this year (again) was “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. The paper is quite short (only 8 pages without the references) but every word there counts and it’s giving a total picture of this powerful invention. It’s much bigger than ‘just’ cash system and in the future we will see this technology breakthrough changing many industries.

OK, let’s jump to the books. Continue reading

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Business, life

Where The Best Ideas Win

I’ve just finish to read one of the best books for this year: Principles: Life and Work

It’s a a long book but very well organized. You get a good background on Ray Dalio and how he arrived to where he is today. I knew him for the past 10 years, but I was amazed to learn that he was broke in the early 80′. In a classic american dream story, he was able to build one of the largest (and maybe, best) hedge funds in the world that these days managed over $150B.

Things I liked:

  • He is giving good explanations to each principal and how he got to it. There are many cases where he is driving his points with a real life example, which is helpful. In a way, you can think on this book as a recipe book for life and business. Ray doesn’t want you to follow blindly after this principals but to get you to think on them and come up with a set of principal that is based on your idea, experience and life lessons.
  • He provides the reader with a strategy and a roadmap to better thinking and dealing with problems and challenges.
  • He also giving tools and methodologies to accomplish goals you think are important base on your values.
  • After over 40 years in the stock market, he learned that in order to be so successful you need to be an independent thinker (because the consensus is baked into the price of assets) and you need to be more right than wrong. So the ability to learn from your mistakes and to keep improving is critical.
  • In the last part of the book, he is talking about business and how to build a group or organization that will be transparent, self improving and able to bubble up with the best ideas. It sounds easy, but from the past 20 years, I know how hard it is to accomplish.

Continue reading

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life

Golden Gate Relay Run – Progressive Web App

GGR MAP

On May, We (a team from Google) are going to run from Napa Valley to Santa Cruz. It’s a relay 191 miles race or as some call it: “The longest party in CA”. There are teams of 12 members that will run 36 legs (3 legs per runner, 3-8 miles each) through 36 cities and… across the Golden Gate Bridge at midnight. All that is in support of Organs R Us.

Btw, if you want to help us, please donate.

In a quick effort from few Googlers, we came with a nice script that took a KML file and compile the information so we see all the legs of the race on one page.
The goal at the beginning was to print it so we could have it with us during the race. However, the final results is a little progressive web app (you can get it also at: https://bit.ly/ggrr1 ) that is working offline so you can save some trees and still see all the details for your next leg. If you do want to print this page, you can find this ‘printer friendly’ document useful. Continue reading

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Business, life

Einstein: His Life and Universe

I just finished to read this book and there are few aspects I really enjoyed.

It was a long book that the master of biographies (Walter Isaacson) wrote based on the newly released personal letters of Albert Einstein.

I liked to learn about Einstein personality and his private life as well as his academic achievements. His imaginative and ‘thinking out of the box’ approaches enable him to create a revolution. To me, the amazing part, is that he only used his mind. No experiments or ‘tools’ that will guide him.

The book explores how an imaginative patent clerk came with theories that changed the way we understand the universe. We get a description of a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate. I learned that unlike the pop culture that claimed he was an awful student, he was a good one. He wasn’t strong in french but in math and physics, he was a good student who got high scores.

One of the thing that I found as a surprise, was the fact that he knew that he is going to win the Nobel prize. He also promised his first wife the money from the prize. Continue reading

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Business, life

You Don’t Need Status Meetings

The most valuable and scarce resource is time.

As a young startup you must do your best to use it as efficient as possible because you have limited time to show traction and become a profitable business.

Now, there is no doubt that you need to focus and try to spend most of your time on real work. However, we all did it in the past, we get into a room of 5-10 people and everyone is telling the group what they did.

It’s such a waste of time! Even if each person is talking for 5-10min you got here 50-100min of boring meeting which is equal to a waste of time.

Why not have this updates in a tool that let everyone in the team to see what all the others are working on? Continue reading

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building tip
life

Recommended Books

A mid year reflection on the books I’ve been lucky to read in the past 6-7 months. I usually try to blend one ‘learning’ book and one ‘story’ book. However, in most cases, it’s not an easy definition and these types are blending.

Smarter Faster Better – It’s a book that I took with me on a long flight (TLV-LAX) and it was good learning experience. At the core of this book there are eight key productivity concepts: from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making. It try to explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics—as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters.

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life – This is one of the best books I’ve read in the past years. The snowball makes immensely clear why Buffett is so respectable. I liked the fact that Alice Schroeder (a great writer btw) paint a picture of a human, that like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth, Buffett’s legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people’s lives. There are many lessons in this book and I plan to go over it again. It’s a long one but full of great mini stories in it.

Year Of YES – This is a wonderful, funny and easy book by Shonda Rhimes. After reading it, I wasn’t surprised to learn that she is the extremely talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and of How to Get Away With Murder. It is a great story that show to power of positive attitude and how to be (even) more productive. I specially liked that description that she gave to her roll: “Laying the tracks to the railroad”. In her cases, it’s a lot of long-long rails.

 

The rest of the list is below. Have fun.

books 2016

Happy reading.

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