my summer reading so far

i haven't read as much or as often as i should. but after reading how Warren Buffet gets smarter, i've realized the need to become a learning machine.

for the last two weeks the following are books i've read and the subsequent mini-summaries. you can see my GoodReads list here; feel free to add me and suggest other books.

Give and Take

  • giving is good - in the long-run
  • a tactic to deal with takers is to create a recipricoal relationship in the short-term
  • dormant ties are important - they require less effort to ignite
  • responsibility bias - attribution of work comes to the self first, rather than others
  • a teachers' belief in the students' potential is enough to make students better
  • loss of productivity associated with giving is unfounded
  • giving all at once more efficient and produces more results than distributed giving
  • negotiation for givers - remember to negotiate not for yourself, but for others


  • extrinsic incentives boost short term productivity, but has long term detrimental effects
  • extrinisic motiviation for execution only tasks
  • any extrisnic rewards should be after the task is accomplished
  • simulate play for work


  • hook model: trigger->action-> variable reward ->investment
  • provide pricing flexibility to reduce trigger friction
  • vitamins vs painkillers - painkillers solve an obvious need; vitamins appeal to users' emotional rather than functional needs. For vitamin startups, develop habits
  • the more users invest time and effort into a product/service, the more they value it

    Lean In

  • the struggle for workplace recognition is a struggle not only with women, but with all minorities
  • embrace the jungle gym approach of building a career - multiple ways and routes
  • have an 18 month plan - what do you want to accomplish?
  • select mentees on performance and potential - nothing else
  • have policies that allow equal access to both men and women
  • don't be afraid to ask for stuff - the worse is a no


  • void a narrow frame. don't focus on current options, consider opportunity costs, what if current options disappeared?
  • multitrack - consider more than option simultaneously, don't consider fake options, toggle between prevention and promotion mindsets, push for this and that, not this or that
  • look for someone who's solved your problem, incorporate a playlist, ladder up to analogies "what would have to be true for this option to be the right answer"?
  • consider the oppositive, devise the total oppositie, test assumptions with a deliberate mistake
  • zoom in, zoom out; consider the base rates - what are the best case and worst case scenarios.
  • ooch an answer - try something first
  • attain distance before making a decision, do 10/10/10 (10 seconds after, 10 minutes after, 10 years after)
  • consider your core priorities
  • bookend the options - best and worst case scenarios
  • set a tripwire - set a deadline or partitiion when you need to make a decision by
  • make sure you have a process when making decisions