Introduction: Self-Education Reading List: Books I Plan to Read Next
I am struggling to bring a few products to market. They are all related, having one common thread that ties them together. The hold up is that I am taking an old idea and presenting it in a new way. In Zero to One, Peter Thiel says that your new product offering must be at least 10 times better that what is on the market. What I have now is better, but I am not sure if it is 10 times better yet. So, I have a self-education reading list, hoping that I will find the secret sauce to make my products at least 10 times better.
What I Recently Read to Get a Self-Education
I find that, for me, reading is one of the best ways to self-educate. Recently, I read the following books:
- Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators and Icons Accelerate Success
- Standout: How to Find Your Breakthrough Ideas and Build a Following Around It
- Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days
These three books are excellent and I recommend them. I love it when I find innovative ideas and ways of thinking. And these three books do that. Smartcuts provides the tools you need to find success in less time. It is not about taking shortcuts. It is about finding ways to hack the process through efficiencies.
Standout shows you how to become an influential person in a small pond. Your expertise makes you known. It is finding your niche. Mind Hacking shows you how to focus to achieve big results. Within the pages of these three books, I found many nuggets to make my products better.
Self Education Reading List: What I Plan to Read Over the Next Few Months
In the next few months, these are the books that I plan to read to get my self-education.
- Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
- The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness
- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
- Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
- A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future
- The Big Enough Company: How Women Can Build Great Businesses and Happier Lives
- The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
- Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life
- The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything Fast
- What They Don’t Teach at Harvard Business School
- Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers: I finished reading this book on June 19th. I read Gamestorming because I wanted to learn more about gamification. I was looking for ideas on how to gamify the reading challenge to increase engagement. I learned a lot more than I expected and can use the new information right away. The book provides different types of games for different situations which gave me ideas. I particularly liked Forced Analogy, Mission Impossible, Heuristic Ideation Technique, Pre-Mortem, Blind Side and the 5 Whys. The book is worth the read.
- Enterprise Games: Using Game Mechanics to Build a Better Business: Finished reading the book on May 27th. I wanted to revisit gamification. After reading Enterprise Games, I know a simple way to gamify the Strategic Reading Challenge. There are four defining traits of a game – Goals, Rules, Feedback Systems, and Voluntary Participation. I defined each trait for the reading challenge and will add that information to the automatic emails that go out to participants.
- Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture
- The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less
- The Legacy of the Grand Tour
- Monkeys, Myths, and Molecules: Separating Fact from Fiction, and the Science of Everyday Life
- Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream
- The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups from Their Founding Entrepreneurs
Also, I plan to read a few chapters in The Business of Media Distribution: Monetizing Film, TV, and Video Content in an Online World. Before you ask, I do not plan to make films. The film industry is one of the original content creators, so I thought that I could learn some lessons from them. I bought this book a few years ago, but have not gotten around to reading it yet. It is expensive because it is a textbook.
When you look at the books on my self education reading list, you may shake your head and wonder what gives. There is a method to my madness. I want to become knowledgeable about learning and memory, so you will notice a few books dealing with the mind. I want to make my products more ‘fun’. So, I want to learn more about gamification. Over four years ago, I took a course on gamification and read For the Win by Kevin Werbach, who taught the course.
Thiel says that your offering should be at least 10 times better than what is available. But I do not want to give so many choices that people become paralyzed. That is why I am reading the Paradox of Choice. I want to further explore the idea that people who are happy do not commit crimes, so you will notice a few books on happiness. I want fair pay for my work, so I am interested in hearing what the author of Cheap has to say. I write a lot about ideas and combining them, therefore, I want to see if there are ideas in Linked that I can use.
I want to read the Legacy of the Grand Tour to discover if there are ideas I can use in the reading challenge. And I have wanted to read Choose Yourself for some time now. This seems like the perfect time to read the book.
Final Thoughts: Self-Education Reading List: Books I Plan to Read Next
The selection of books on my self-education list is diverse. And that is a very good thing. Most of them will not be easy read, so I am sure that I will be able to find my secret sauce that will make my products at least 10 times better.
The Legacy of the Grand Tour: New Essays on Travel, Literature, and CultureScrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the TimeThe Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, Revised EditionThe Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups from Their Founding EntrepreneursLinked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday LifeCheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture