Some books have great ideas… that can be summed up simply. Taken together, the bullet summaries of the following books can be powerful.

I don’t mean to be mean. I’m an author myself, and I know how much work and agony goes into writing a book. But that doesn’t mean that all books are worth 200+ pages of your life.

For the following books, I say read the summary and send the author a tip (or buy their other books):

Don't Make Me Think

  • The best user experience design is design that doesn’t make people have to think

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

  • For any given thing in your life, boil it down to the one, most essential component of it, then just focus on that

The 4 Hour Work Week

  • Figure out what you really want to be doing in your life, then reverse-engineer the minimum amount of work to do it

  • You don’t have to do things the way everyone else does them

  • (I used to recommend reading this book, but its helpful examples are out of date. I recommend reading Tim’s books Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors instead now.)

The Innovator's Dilemma

  • Disruption happens when a business enters the market with a dramatically cheaper solution

  • Sometimes the new solution is actually worse, but it doesn’t matter so long as it’s way cheaper

  • Sometimes way cheaper means it’s actually 10x better for the same cost; that works too

  • Innovation is focusing on the job you need done, not the way to do that job. People who buy drills actually want holes; is there a dramatically cheaper way to get them a hole? If so—disruption!

Finite and Infinite Games

  • There are two types of games:

    • Finite games are played for the purpose of winning

    • Infinite games are played for the purpose of playing

  • Creating win-wins is often about turning a game into an infinite game, one with no “win” state

Note: This list is currently in progress. Check back later for more!