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Jul 08, 2019 21:41:47

Reading list for a new season

by @jasonleow | 738 words | 364πŸ”₯ | 402πŸ’Œ

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 364πŸ”₯
Total posts: 402πŸ’Œ
Total words: 198840 (795 pages πŸ“„)

It's a season of renewal and change. After finishing work for the year, I definitely feel that I'm eager for change, to start on what I'd been excited about for some time already. 


To transition from design consultant for governments to a location-independent company of one, making a living from internet products like SaaS apps.


I'll still do consultancy, but super selectively, limited to one project a year. The rest of the time, I'll be developer, designer, entrepreneur, marketing, sales, admin and plumbing all in one. I'd always been a generalist and I enjoy it deeply. 


As with all new seasons, I always feel drawn to first getting new inspiration, before hunkering down to doing. So I'm taking a forced break in July from doing, to absorbing, imbibing, aspiring. Now I finally have the time to read all the books that I didn't have time for. And I'm sharing a list here so that I socially commit to sharing notes from it when I'm done reading. If anything, the notes are more notes to self, for my own future reference in this new season. YMMV.   


Work, business, entrepreneurship & career

- I'm interested in new ways of working that doesn't confirm to conventional business thinking. Because the old school ways of entrepreneurship and even of startups don't seem to work for me. This is coming from not the lack of trying. Growing big, hiring, hustling, having playground offices, getting a million dollar valuation, getting VC money, just isn't my definition of success. Often it's repulsive, even. I like to stay small, be close to customers, be free and autonomous, but wealthy enough. I think the books below will help me gain some clarity. Can't wait!

Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business, by Paul Jarvis

Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

It Doesn't Have To Be Crazy At Work, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss

The Middleman Economy: How Brokers, Agents, Dealers, and Everyday Matchmakers Create Value and Profit, by Marina Krakovsky

Podcasts and videos about ethical wealth creation, and tech-inspired wisdom by Naval Ravikant.


Future-proofing myself

- I previously worked on a consultancy project where I interviewed managers and professionals in their 50s who got retrenched due to the economic recession. What I took away was that no one is safe from disruption if one doesn't continually adapt and grow throughout one's career. With the looming disruption from AI, this is made more pressingly urgent. I don't just want to be resilient - being able to bounce back after taking hits - but to be able to be 'lucky' enough to preemptively leverage on opportunities that come in a volatile and uncertain work landscape. Antifragility and planned luck is the key.   

How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love, and Life by Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh

Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Productivity & lifestyle design

- I heard so much about the power of making small incremental changes, that I want to really start trying today. I'd always been biased towards big, paradigm-shifting changes, but with age, I'm not sure how many more major changes my heart can take. Moreover, a 1% improvement every day/week/month is severely under-rated. So I wonder, what can I do with a 1% regular increase, at 100% deep focus? Therefore, these 2 books:

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, by James Clear

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport


Random, fun & weird

- I like to add random into the mix because these are fun to read/watch! Much of what's considered mainstream used to be outside/on the edges of sanity, logic and correct, so why not?!  

How To Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveller, by Ryan North

The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin

Videos and podcasts by Joe Rogan, about lost civilisations by Graham Hancock, alien tech by Bob Lazar, and many of the other intriguing guests he hosts on his talk show.


Let me know what you think of the books if you'd read them before.


From Jason Leow's collection:

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    @jasonleow - Don't know how I missed this. I like your putting things in section.
    I have read these books:

    AntiFragile - Fantastic book and concept. Brand new way of thinking for me. One of the top books that I recommend people to read.
    Atomic Habits - It is a well written and researched book but I prefer Scott's - How to fail at everything and still win. I think a majority of Atomic Habits comes from Scott's work. And I like Scott's delivery better.

    I like this project.
    Got work out of the way and doing what you love. ❀️ it.

    Keni avatar Keni | Jul 18, 2019 18:35:09
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      @keni oooh thanks for the suggestions! Will definitely check out How To Fail.

      I'd not got to Antifragile yet in my book stack, just finished How Luck Happens. I grouped them together because the concept of antifragility is very much similar to or related to luck, I feel. Can't wait to read Antifragile now that I have some context of what the science of luck looks like!

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jul 21, 2019 22:21:02
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    @jasonleow Jealously bookmarked.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Seun Oyebode avatar Seun Oyebode | Jul 14, 2019 18:05:00
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      @seunoyebode let me know if you read any of the books...would love to discuss! ;) I'm also sharing notes I took from it, so keep a lookout in my posts

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jul 15, 2019 21:52:37
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    @jasonleow Each time, your title has already killed me for jealousy.

    Thanks for sharing. Love your four sub-categories (Atomic Habits and podcasts by Joe Rogan are our common items.)
    As for one recommendation in "fun": I'm reading β€œSurely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character

    5plus6 avatar 5plus6 | Jul 08, 2019 22:44:19
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      @5plus6 thanks for the suggestion! I have great respect for Richard Feynman as well. I'd put that in my want-to-read list!

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jul 09, 2019 21:10:40
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