books + ideas

Here Comes Everybody
The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
– Clay Shirky – February 28, 2008

free time + Connectivity = new types of content

Wikipedia, YouTube, blogs, podcasts

We are now able to do new things with the collection of people that we were never able to do in the past. People have more free time and the ability and desire to work on a number of user based products.

In some cases this has changed the line between pro and amateur because anyone can publish and make money. Books, blogs, radio and so on can now be done by anyone.

Social networks with friends are also interesting and can be part of this but can also be thought of in a different way.
Inbound Marketing
Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs
– Dharmesh Shah, Brian Halligan – 2009

Make marketing content customer centered, not product centered.

People care about themselves and how your product will help them. The customer should be the focus, not the bells and whistles of the product. Make content that shows how it will make their life easier, better or solve a problem.
Marketing, Business

Question: What do customers care about in your industry and how can you make sure to highlight these things?

Do your customers care about
– price:
– prestige
– convince
– discovery
– safety
– signals
– convience

If a customer cares about safety it may  not be a good idea to market all about price.

Selling eyewash stations
– customers may really care about passing OSHA test. A small difference in price is not as important as passing regulations. In this case you want knowlegable staff to help out. How will the product help them pass the test, not have a fine, keep workers safe.

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs
– Carmine Gallo – 2016

People need some sort of inspiration beyond making money.

Put a dent in the universe. Do something that really matters, something that motivate your team and yourself. Steve Jobs really believed in his vision and got others to believe too. He was not only making money with Apple but also making the best products that have a larger impact on the world.
Apple, Business

Question: How can I make my work activities focus on a mission and not just profit?  What mission motivates me?

The Start-up of You
Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
– Reid Hoffman – 2012
Individuals, not just business, should have a unique value proposition.

Treat yourself like a business that your boss chooses to hire or have a contract with. If you can develop your unique value, just like a business, you will be able to demonstrate more valuable to your employer or those that wish to work with you.

Business, Work

Questions: What is my work or personal UVP or what UVP do I want to work on developing?

Sustainable UVP:
– possibilities,

– understanding of User centered design, marketing, psychology,
– use creativity to think of invasive business models that take advantage of new technology
– I want to the person that has visited more online shops than anyone.
that has looked at more commerce user experiences.

Rick free logo design:
Logo design


Think Smart:
A Neuro Scientist’s Prescription for Improving Your Brain’s Performance
– Richard Restak – 2009

Diet, excessive and sleep all have a large impact on how the brain works and how well it functions.

Optimize, Psychology, Health
Question: What healthy activity can I start to make my brain work better?

I need to meditate, get more rest and limit caffeine intake

Elon Musk:
Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

– Ashlee Vance – 2015
Elon is driven by missions he thinks will come to fruition even if his business is not the one to do it.

Of course we should not let rockets crash and have to remake them every time we go in space. Of course electric cars are better. Elon may not be sure that his specific companies will succeed but he is sure that he will be on the right side of the history with his ideas.
Business, Future, Tech
Question: What do you believe is inevitable to happen even if the business case is not here yet?

new education
elimination of MAP pricing (Map pricing may be good but it is restricting information and technology is going
eliminating of many jobs

Man’s Search for Meaning
– by Viktor Frankl – 1946

Having meaning or purpose in life can help you get through just about anything.

If we have a purpose more important than us we may be able to handle some of life hardships a bit easier.


Question: What meaning can I add to my life to make any amount of hardship worthwhile?

I know that if i had 5 kids that had no food living nearby I would feed them. I wish i could feel the positive impact of helping others in a way that was in line to the positive i was doing. I may not think twice about drinking and energy drink for 2 dollars but the amount of joy i get out of that is little and amount that could be gained is a lot. I am not willing to give that up. If they were my kids I would.

If i  could give to charity and feel even a small part of the joy given to others I may be willing to give up more that the energy drink

Meatball Sundae
– by Seth Godin

You can use marketing tools to help market your product or you can design a product that fits in the
marketing tools you have.

Build the marketing into the product. Make the product so remarkable


Question: What can I incorporate into a product or service I am working on to make it market itself?

we send toilet paper to a friend when you order from us?

make it so people want to share it. ( i donated a meal with give one meal) make the ability to share easy and market to people that sharing that they donated is

plant a tree every time you shop on amazon. (share


Poke the Box
– by Seth Godin

Networks, reputation, experience and intelligence are all types of value that are not financial but still useful.

Business, Economics

Question: How can I build multiple types of value in my day to day life or business?

I could work to build relationships with other people in the industry that could help sustainable supply

Great customer service

try and use our network for something else. try and sell some of our customers everything.


What Would Google Do?
– Jeff Jarvis – 2009

The power of networks is often in the number or quality of people using them and therefore are often more powerful when they are free.

Companies such as social networks can make money in other ways such as having the customer as the product for the advertiser. Having a low barrier of entry gives more people access and thus makes them more useful.
Business, Google, Marketing

Question: What can I provide for free and make money in some other way?

what if Facebook were a marketplace. not face book itself but a zero percent commission (Facebook is free and amazon, eBay take 12 percent). could it work?
The Wisdom of Crowds

– James Surowiecki – 2004

Having a diverse group of people can help bring new ideas to the tables.

A diverse group can help shed light on a verity of ways to tackle or think about a problem. Experts are still useful to have but a variety plus experts can bring an even better outcome.


Question: How can I harness the power of other points of view to make better decisions?

Visit new cultures, ready about different cultures, talk to people from a variety of perspectives, ask people how they solved a problem and see if you can find simmilarities in problems you want to solve

How We Decide
– Jonah Lehrer – 2009
Emotional decisions based on years of evolution may of be better than well thought out decisions.


Question: What decisions are useful to make with emotions and what is useful to use logic?

quick decisions
low importance: you can waist a lot of time trying to use logic when
anything that get a better result with emanational decision making.

How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success
– Shane Snow – 2014

Asking others with the skills we are looking to gain can be an efficient way to learn.

Books, mentors and teachers are all useful ways to help you learn faster. The ability to transfer knowledge is one reason humans have been able to survive so successfully.

Question: What can I learn from others that I am currently trying to learn on my own.

programing, fitness,

The E-Myth Revisited:
Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
– Michael Gerber – 2004

To enjoy running a business you need to enjoy more than the specific industry your business is in.

It may not be a good idea to start a bakery just because you love to bake. You now have to get up every day at 4 am, take care of finances, business taxes, marketing, inventory and manage people. This is different from baking cakes, and if that is really what you love to do owning the bakery may not be the right option.
Business, Psychology, Work

Question? What aspects of my job do I enjoy and how can I do more of that?

design, product design, group problems solving.

The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

– Daniel Pink – 2009

Adding money can change the way people think about a situation

Imagine if, as a favor for your friend, you helped them move for 3 hours. You told them that they did not need to pay but they said that they valued your time and gave you 2 dollars. At first you were doing it to just help but now feel your time is valued at less than 1 dollars an hours.
Business, Psychology, Work

Question? What areas in my life would add money make things weird.

gas money for driving other people kids
paying for friendship

The Personal MBA:
Master the Art of Business
– Josh Kaufman – 2010

Make value for others and you will have a great business.

Make sure you find something people want and will pay for. If you can make other people’s life better and they recognize this you may be able to make a business out of it.

Question: How can I use my unique skill sets to make value for others?

What Technology Wants
– Kevin Kelly – 2010

Networks connect people with ideas that they would not have had without the networks.

Evolution, Tech

Question: How can we more effectively harness networks in day to day life?

connecting buyers and sellers better
connecting people that would make great friends
connecting people that want to work together

Marketing in the Age of Google:
Your Online Strategy IS Your Business Strategy
– Vanessa Fox – 2010

Data from Google can be used to understand your market and not just get customers.

Often times we think of Google as a place to be found but it also a tool that helps us learn what people are looking for and will let us craft our business accordingly.
Business, E commerce, Marketing

Question: What data can we get from Google to help us understand our customers.

use google suggest or auto complete to see what people are looking for
google trends

The Magic of Instant Connections
– Rom Brafman – 2010

When we realize that someone else likes us we often like them in return.

If you want others to like you it is a good idea to generally like people.
Business, Communication

Question: Think of an example where someone clearly thought positive about you. Did you like them in return?

yes, anyone willing to listen to me talk about ethics, AI, Commerce or VR AR is cool to me. ok that is more topic related. not personality related

On Second Thought:
Outsmarting Your Mind’s Hard-Wired Habits
– Wray Herbert – 2011

Unrelated variables often impact how we make decisions.

How hungry your are, the temperature in the room or recent smells can all cause us to make choices on topics that we assume are rational but have nothing to do with what are trying to accomplish.

Question: How can I make sure to make important decisions or have important conversations when I am in the right frame of mind?

Work to be aware of our cycles and try to use rationality to overcome the types of decisions when you are in the wrong from of mind


Small is the New Big:
And 183 Other Riffs, Rants and Remarkable Business Ideas

– Seth Godin – 2007
If you really want people to remember you make it personal.

In the new world we need to be more personal to be remarkable. Do not waste people’s time with generic marketing.

Business, Marketing

Question: What can I do to make my marketing more personal to the target audience?

remarking with a phone call (scott)
email marketing with a name, product they purchased

The Happiness Hypothesis:
Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
– Jonathan Haidt – 2006

It is easier to see faults in others than ourselves.

It is not hard to see other people’s flaws and point them out or judge them but we may have the same flaws. Even if it is hard to do, we should try to take an outside look at ourselves and others.
Questions: What do I complain about others doing that I also do?

I need to be constant, i have to be forgiving,

Buying In:
What We Buy and Who We Are
– Rob Walker – 2008

What we buy is often impacted by our identity.

Organic, Adidas, BMW. They all say something about us.
Commerce, Economics, Psychology

Question: What do I buy that is part of my identity. Can I get that part of my identity some other way?

adidas shoes. apple products, some weird food products, books

100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing
– Roger Dooley – 2014

Eliminate the pain of purchasing and people will buy more.

The easier you make it to buy or at least not have negative associations for paying money the more you will sell.

Business, Marketing, Psychology

Question: What are some purchasing pain points that companies have eliminated in the past? What else can we eliminate?
The Mind of the Market:
How Biology and Psychology Shape Our Economic Lives
– Michael Shermer – 2017

The Satisfaction with the amount of money we earn is impacted by what those around us earn.
Business, Economics, Psychology

Question: How can I change my ideas on money so I am happy with what I have?
How to Use More Than 100 Secrets of Ad-agency Psychology to Make Big Money
– Whitman Drew Eric – 2012

Social proof in advertising can be very effective in helping people feel the made a smart decisions

Business, Marketing, Psychology

Question: Where do I see social proof in my day-to-day life?

podcast product recommendations. websites that show other clients. product reviews. most popular web searches “” i had never heard of. now i play.

Situations Matter:
Understanding how Context Transforms Your World

– Sam Sommers – 2011
The situation we are in has a large impact on how we make decisions and interact with the world.

It is important to understand what impacts us and in what ways so we can make better decisions about our life.

Optimize, psychology

Question: How can I make sure I am in the right frame of mind when making important decisions?
Above the Fold:
Understanding the Principles of Successful Website Design
– Brian Miller – 2011

Keep you website header consistent and people will feel grounded and safe navigating your site.

Design, e-commerce, UX, design
Question: Do I have the right content in my header to make navigation feel safe?
Conversion Optimization:
The Art and Science of Converting Prospects to Customers

– Khalid Saleh, Ayat Shukairy – 2010
Social proof is a mental shortcut that helps people make decisions on whether or not to purchase your product.

Adding things such as 100 shares, loved by thousands, 1000’s of happy customers or most popular banners help people decide what to buy because they feel they made the smart choice. social proof is a mental shortcut we take when we do not have all of the information we would like.

Design, e-commerce, Marketing

Question: What social proof can I add to help others make the decisions I want?

Free marketing :
101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business, Online and Off
– Jim Cockrum – 2011

Influence the influencers
If you can get someone well-connected to recommend your product or service you may get a great ROI because you are spending the influencers social capital. This is why celerity or expert endorsements are so valuable.

Business, e-commerce Marketing

Question: How can I find someone who has a lot of influence to promote my product or service?

who influences different type of shopping purchases?
– if a medicine is recommended by a doctor it will sell more
– a trusted source
– a celebrity
– we can use the influencer. can we also be the influencer. Eyewash direct is the influencer.

design websites to increase traffic and conversions

– Ben Hunt – 2011

Make sure each web page has a clear purpose and call to action

Make it clear what the page is about and what next steps are that the user should take.
Design, e-commerce, Marketing

Question: Do my top pages have a clear call to action?

can i do a better job on mobile? not something i think about to much.
Too Big to Know:
Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room
– David Weinberger – 2014

In the past it was important to know information and now it is important to understand how to access it.
In many cases knowledge has moved onto networks. There is more knowledge than ever. Even the idea of what it means to be smart has changed.
Question: How can I make it easier to access information?

curations, curations of curtain, so much info is available that i have not experienced.
timing, i want diffrent music on in a car with a 3 year old than when i am biking to work.

at sustainable supply what information do our customers want that we can gather for them. reviews, guides, videos, help them solve a problem?
What’s the Right Thing to Do?
– Michael Sandel – 2010

We put a price on life.

When we increase the speed limit we decide that it is OK for more people to die if we can get places faster. It ends up saving us time and the amount of time per person working is about 1.6 million dollars (if I remember correctly).

Question: What do we say we can not put a price on but still do?

The First 20 Hours:
How to Learn Anything… Fast!

Breaking thing you want to learn into chunks can help you learn faster.

By breaking things into chunks it is often easier to learn otherwise complex subject. We can get a better idea of what aspects are important and do not feel as overwhelmed.


Question: how can I break apart what I want to learn into manageable chunks
i can just start doing a very small amount at a time. do not think about the entire project. just start putting on paper ideas. they need to start and ideas build on ideas.

try and learn one new micro skill a day. after a year they add up. a new keyboard shortcut or program feature. a way to save i minute a day.

In The Plex:
How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
– Steven Levy

Speed, openness, experimentation, and wiliness to take risks are core principles behind Google’s success.
Business, Google

Question: How can I use some of these values in my life to help me reach new goals.

speed: the faster the feedback cycle the faster i can learn
openness: can i share ideas and goals with others and get feedback?
experimentation: run experiments on sustainable shopping cart and PDP page template.
risk: find a risk with a low downside and small potential of high upside. or even if a fail something good happens.


The New Industrial Revolution
– Chris Anderson

Bits are easily transferable at a very low cost but soon we may be able to do this with atoms.

The maker movement is being catapulted by 3D printing, services such as kickstarter and the access to more sensors and components because of cell phone manufactures.

Future, Tech

Question: What will be able to make at a much lower cost in the future?

physical decretive objects. (AR will fill our life with many items we payed for. We will download many things that are decretive, and atoms armor expensive than bites

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead
What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History

– Brian Halligan and David L Scott – 2010

Make your loyal fans feel special.

Give them free tickets a better deal and make sure they feel as if they are part of the tribe.


Question: what would make our best customers feel important and want to shop with us?

scott is finding out! 🙂

A Brief History of Humankind

– Yuval Noah Harari – 2011

Having common myths, even if they are not true, can be useful.

Ideas such as rights, money and capitalism are something we all believe in but are not real, just myths we use that help society run.

History, Evolution, Culture
Question: What do I believe that is not “true” but is useful.

I may be overly optimistic about the direction of the world
I may see the world with rose colored glasses

Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty That Keeps Your Business Thriving
– Noah Fleming
Most people can only remember a few things about your company.

Choose one or two message you want people to associate with your brand and make these very clear.

Business, Marketing

Question: What one or two things do we want people to think about when they think about your business?

options for sustainable supply
– customer service
– reliable fast delivery
– expert advice
– best price

Where Good Ideas Come From:
The Natural History of Innovation
– Steve Johnson – 2010

Using a broad set of influences can be useful in generating new ideas.

Reading books on different topics, talking to different people or visiting a verity of cultures can help you gain new ways of approaching a problem. Working on multiple subjects and having a larger network can all be useful for connecting the dots and coming up with great ideas.

Question: What can I do to gain new perspectives about a problem?

ask 3 friends
brainstorm 10 ideas or 100 ideas on how to solve the problem

Age of Context:
Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy

– Robert Scoble – 2013

Cheap sensors will continue to grow in number and capability allowing us to create a lot more data.
Many new sensors and recording devises are coming. The mobile phone is just the beginning and it already has the ability to collect a lot of data that is being used in interesting ways.

Question: What new type of data could it be possible to collect and how will the new data help or hurt society.


anything we can measure that, when on its own or combined with something else that can be measured, the data can be used to help us make better decisions at something we care about.

interesting part of this:
– we need to be able to measure. what can get measured has increased in is increasing.
– as more things can be measured the signals may not be good on their own but when combined they may bring new useful info
– combined with data about you but also coronations and causations from larger data sets.
– only useful if data can be delivered in a way that could help us
– and a way that we care about and know about

The Logic of Human Destiny
– Robert Wright

Nonzero sum gains are one of the reasons we are so well off.
Often people think of

philosophy, Psychology
Question: How can we build more non zero gains instead of zero sum gains?

set up better networks
set up better incentives
set up better information about the transactions
learn about all consequences and take them into account
build better norms

How Not to Die:
Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease

– Gene Stone and Michael Greger – 2015

Most people are not even close to eating enough vegetables.

Adding just a few servings of veggies to our meals will make a big difference in the health of our society.


Question: How can I sneak more veggies in my diet?

green smoothies.

The Compound Effect:
Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
– by Darren Hardy – 2015
Design the life you want first and the career you want second.

It is important for your business to job to fit in the lifestyle you want. What we are doing day-to-day has such a big impact on our happiness and fulfillment.


Question: What would make me happy to be doing on a day-to-day basis?

i like creating things. i like working in teams of people i like. i like to do something innovative. Solve new problems. I like walking dogs too.

Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs

– Carmine Gallo – 2011

Say no to a 1,000 things.

By being very deliberate on what you are working on and keeping focused on what is important you will be able to do a few things great instead of a lot of things sub par.

Book, Business, Design

Question: What can I say no too that would give me more time for what is important?

anything i can outsource.

Naked Statistics:
Stripping the Dread from the Data

– Charles Wheelan – 2013

Correlation and causation are not the same, but they both can be useful

It is important to remember Correlation and causation but that does not mean that we should ignore correlation as it can still be useful in making decisions.
Business, Economics, Psychology
Question: What are some examples where Correlation and causation get confused?

the economy went up or down and so and so was president.

Why Things Catch On

– Jonah Berger – 2013
We share things that will make us look good.

We share things that show we are smart, caring or other positive traits on social media. We care about social curacy.

Business, Psychology

Question: How can I increase shares by making others look good for sharing?

Marketing to women:
how to increase your share of the world’s largest market
– Marti Barletta – 2003

Woman make many of the household buying decisions and they often look for different attributes than men do.

Traditionally marketing “rules” have been set up by men but men may not be the target audience. When women are the target audience we need to take this into consideration.
Business, Marketing, Psychology


Love in the Time of Algorithms:
What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating
– Dan Slater – 2013

We are not stuck to the few people we could have dated that lived near us as we were for most of history.

Now we have so many more options and ability to meet new people. It is changing what we expect out of relationships.
Psychology, Relationships

Question: How has having such a wide range of potential mates changed what we look for in a partner.
How Pleasure Works:
The New Science of Why We Like What We Like
– Paul Bloom – 2010

We have evolved to not pay attention to most things around us.

If we did not do this we would be bombarded by stimuli. This is useful and probably necessary for us but we can miss some basic things. this is an example of the brain taking a shortcut. We do focus on things that help us pass on our genetics. What can we eat, mate with or stop from killing us.

Question: What can a eliminate from my focus to be more productive?

The 4-Hour Workweek
Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
– Tim Ferriss – 2007

We can 80/20 most area of our life.

the 80/20 principle is great for work or projects but can be used in just about all aspects of day-to-day life.

Business, Design, Optimize

Question: What can I eliminate to make room to do more of the important stuff?

what parts of my day am i not maximizing?

The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
– Daniel H. Pink

People are driven by many things but some of the better

Some of these include having control, getting better at what they do and being part of something bigger than they are. This can be useful in thinking about trying to motivate people at work or in other areas. It is not just rewards such as money or threats such as firing that get people motivated.

Question: What are some thing that motivate me other than money
Wealth of Nations
– Adam Smith – 1776
Specialization can help create wealth.

Adam smith has a story about a pin factory and how many pins can be created if the workers specialize. He demonstrates that specialization (and in turn trade) are one way we are able to become better off.


Question: How can I do more of what I am good at and have others do more of what they are good at so it is a win win situations?
The 4-Hour Body:
An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
– Tim Ferriss – 2010

Look for the minimum effective dose

This the minimum needed effort to accomplish your goal. We may not need to do more and in many case doing more can hinder us at achieving our goal. Strive for the minimum dose to get what we want. Not the max we can get away with.


Question: what can I do a minimum effective dose on that I am not doing now. what am I over doing?
Stoicism For Beginners:
Transform Your Life With Stoic Philosophy, Habits & Knowledge From Marcus Aurelius & Seneca
– Gregory Moto
If you want to change something from good to bad you can change your situation or change how your feel about it.

Focus less on outside situation and more on inside situations.

If you want to change if something from good to bad you can change your situation or change how your feel about it. It is often easier to change your mind and not the real situation?


Question: how can I change my inner voice so that I am happy with a situation?

Primal Endurance
Escape Chronic Cardio and Carbohydrate Dependency, and Become a Fat-Burning Beast!
– Mark Sisson – 2016
Rest is necessary if we want to be more fit or stay healthy.

Rest is when your body does the work to rebuild itself and get stronger after the stress of a workout. This includes post workout rest, rest at night and one month or so a year that you take it easy and not work out to hard.
Health, Optimize
Question: Am I getting enough rest. Nightly, after workouts or on an anual basis?
From Good to Great to Unstoppable
– Tim S. Grover – 2013

To be GREAT comes with sacrifices and a different mindset.

Many of the people we think of as the best at what they do need to have a completely different mindset and are willing to sacrifice things most of us think are to important.


Question: What am I willing to give up to archive my goals?
The Primal Blueprint
– Mark Sisson – 2009
Do most workouts at a low heart rate but occasionally raise it for short periods of time.

Sprinting or lifting heavier weights are a great way to stay healthy by lifting your heart rate for short period of time. They recommend doing lots of activity at a slower pace but only small amounts of sprinting or weightlifting at high intensity and not much in the middle.
Health, Optimize
Question: How can I do a fw of the simple things better to get the results I want?
Live a Meaningful Life

– The Minimalists – 2011

Some items we own make us worse off because we have to care for or worry about them.

The cost of something is not just the price paid for it initially but the upkeep, worry, space and mental energy the item ocupies .


Question: What can I eliminate in my life that takes up mental or physical space but does not give back?
The Undercover Economist
– Tim Harford – 2005

Trade is one reason we are so well off.

Items such as a pencil or espresso would be impossible with other specialization and trade.

the division of labor allows a person that is great at logo design to spend 8 hours a day making logos and not have to worry about where they will get their food. They will get really good at making logos and in exchange a farmer that is really good at making food will do this all day but never have to build a house.


Question: What are some areas where I am better off because of specialization?
The Signal and the Noise:
Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t

– by Nate Silver – 2012

Some things are really difficult to make predictions about because so many things influencing the outcome.

Economics factors around the world such as wars or natural disasters can have a large and unpredictable impact on many things.

Optimize, psychology
Question: how can I update my predictions to be more accurate?
Everything is Obvious
How Common Sense Fails Us
– Duncan J. Watts – 2011

Common sense is different between different cultures or groups of people.

What people think is fair, moral or the right way to act may seem clear to one person, and thus common sense, but completely foreign to a different person in a different society. Even in cultures the ideas behind common sense often break down as so many other things impact our judgment. So many psychological factors influence our decisions making that what we think of as common sense may differ based on time of day, place or mood.


Question: What do I think is common sense that others do not? and vise versa?
– Sophia Amoruso – 2015

Think about the experience from the customer’s point of view.

When designing an e-commerce store or any type of business it is a good idea to look at user experience by putting yourself in the users shoes. Understand what they care about and how they interact with your business.
Business, E-Commerce

Question: How can I make sure to look at things from the customer point of view. What do they care about?
Duct Tape Marketing
– John Jantsch – 2007

Solving a problem for people that they already know they have..

Show your target audience you really understand their issues and have a solution. This is easier then trying to convince them they need your product if they do not understand the problem it is trying to solve.
Business, Marketing

Question: What problem am I solving for a customer that is not solved some other place?

The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
– Guy Kawasaki – 2011

sharing an interest or passion is a great way to bond with others and get them to like you.

One of the easiest ways to encourage others to like you is to show passion in an area they are also interested in. This puts you in the same tribe and will make them look at you in a more positive light.

Business, Marketing

Question: How can I find similar interests with others?

David and Goliath:
Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
– Malcolm Gladwell – 2013
We often compare ourselves to those around us.

If we are around brilliant talented people all day we may end up feeling we are not very smart. A student may shine at an average school but end up dropping out or feeling like a failure at an elite school because the perceived average is much higher.

Question: How can I put myself in situations where I compare my self to others that helps me archive my goals?
How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World

– Peter Diamandis, Steven Kotler – 2015
Exponential gains are powerful and not always intuitive
Kodak invented the digital camera but was not worried about it taking business from film cameras because the photos, in 1976, were so low quality that they could never replace print. Following mores law the quality doubled each year or two. Just 30 years later these are now the main type of camera and Kodak is out of business.
Question: What impacts will exponential gains have on things I am interested in?

Code Halos:
How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business
– Malcolm Frank – 2014
Information such as credit score or product reviews can follow a person or object around.

With new technology we are now able to share and store vast amounts of information we would not have been able to in the past. This new information

Economics, Future

Question: what code halos are around me and how can I better utilise them?

The Inevitable:
Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
– Kevin Kelly – 2016

Even if we do not know what specific companies or exact time frame we can predict some future technology trends.
We do not know exactly when, who or how things such as AI, or VR and are clearly coming and coming fast.

Future, Tech

Question: What are some actions that I can take that will get me ready for the inevitable future?


Lean In:
Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

We treat women differently in many ways that may not be negative are because of our culture, are. people in power are often men and that can reinforce itself.

One story from the book that struck me is the idea of a male boss having drinks after work to talk business with a younger female employee. This could be looked at as scandalous for the both but if it was a young male it is fine. Because men are often in power the boss is often a man and it could be a cycle that continues. The same could be said of working late or working in a coworkers hotel room all night.


Question: How can I be more aware of the places in my life that I am biased?

Anything You Want

40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur
– Derek Sivers – 2011
Develop a small group of loyal fans. You can not please everyone.

Make sure that what you do in your business is geared towards pleasing this small group of fans.


Question: How can I find a small group of fans that can not live without my products?

Less Doing, More Living
Make Everything in Life Easier
– Ari Meisel – 2014
Optimize, automate and outsource

You always want to do the minimum to get the most impact. Do not do all the fluff that makes no difference. (80/20) Next if you can have it done automatically that is even better. That way it stays out of your head. Once you set up the system, you do not have to worry about it. After elimination and automation see if someone else can do it.

Question: What can I outsource?
How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success
– Shane Snow – 2014

work smart, not hard.

Some ways of working are much better than others. unlike shortcuts, smart cuts get you to where you want in the smartest way possible. look for things such as mentors or experts to get ahead. Learn from failure from useful feedback (and this could be negative feedback). Stand on the shoulders of giants by using platforms and networks. Do not use liner thinking but use smart actions to help turbo boost your success.

Business, Optimize, Work

Question: What have I learned from failure?

Jony Ive:
The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
– Leander Kahney – 2013

Keep your work space minimal to make it easy to focus.
Business, Design, Minimalism
Question: What can I eliminate from my desk or work environment that is not helpful?
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

– Michael Starbird, Edward Burger – 2014
Understand the basics before trying to break them.

First know the rules before you break them. By understanding the deep core of a situation and all of the main elements it will be easier to think and make decisions about how to do something new.

Business, Optimize

Question: What are some rules I know that I am willing to break?

The Power of Less:
The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential … in Business and in Life
– Leo Babauta – 2008
Do what is essential.

We all spend a lot of time doing nonessential things and it makes us feel busy and useful but it is not helpful. By limiting ourselves we allow ourselves to have energy to do more of the really important things.

Minimalism, Optimize
Question: What essential thing should I be doing that I am not right now.

spend time with family, say more positive things

The Everything Store:
Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
– Brad Stone – 2013

Focused on the customer but use data to make the decisions.

The amazon mission is to be the most customer centric company on earth. In order to do this you must use data as a driving force for decision making.

Business, e-commerce

Question: How can I use data to make sure my customers are happy?

watch the checkout process and catch problems or confusion early.
know the price of the competition.

Waking Up:
A Guide to Spirituality without Religion
– Sam Harris – 2014
Spiritual experience exist but we do not have to give them a supernatural explication .

Spiritual experiences can come from all sorts of brain states including mediation or taking drugs. The feeling can include a supernatural type experience but that does not mean it is. Many non believers dismiss these experiences but they are real, just not necessarily supernatural.

Question: What are some mystical experiences that people have and how may they be explained?

The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking:
How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane
– Matt Hutson – 2012

Even as we strive to be rational many ideas in mystical thinking are part of our daily lives.

Rationally we know that magical thinking is not real but we still hold these beliefs even if we consider ourselves rational.

Question: What mystical beliefs do I have?

Cognitive Surplus:
How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators
– Clay Shirky – 2010

We now have more free time and can use it in a lot of new ways.

We now can spend more of our time creating content for others to consume because we have more free time and lower barrier to create and share media.
Business, Future, Tech, Wealth

Question: What surpluses are coming around the corner that are not here now?

data gathered with permission (or without) with little to know extra effort from us. (location data if we turn on geo tracking but is still useful) this type of things plus sharing it with others to get much smarter about signals that impact us. We may do little work but we are still sending or sharing data to make the world better.

lower barrier of entry. only millions, not billions have added to wikipedia.

Identity Economics:
How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being

– George Akerlof and Rachel E. Kranton – 2010
Our identify placed on us by our culture has a large impact on what we find valuable.

This can have a large impact on how we act in ways that are not often thought about in economic terms.

Different societies give different roles to different groups of people. In the USA, traditionally men brought home the income and women kept the house. This type of thinking has an impact on our well being. If a woman has a dirty house she may feel like she is not doing what is expected while a man that is unemployed may feel the same way. Switch the roles and they may both be fine.
Economics, Psychology, Behavioral Economics

Question: How can I work to understand others identify to make sure I act appropriately around them?
getting a better idea of what categories of things impact them in a negative or positive way,

Brain Bugs:
How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives
– Dean Buonomano – 2011

Evolution did not “design” brains to thrive in the modern world.

The way that our brain has been designed by evolution still leaves a lot of room for us to make errors, especially in the modern world where the shortcuts it evolved are not as useful to modern situations.
Evolution, Psychology

Question: What is an example of a brain bug I have and how can I “fix” it?

I like to eat to much. – i need to make “rules” that are absolute and i can eat healthier.

The Upside of Irrationality:
The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home –
Dan Ariely – 2010

Questioning our decisions can help us understand if we are doing things for the right reason or just following the way they have always been done.

It is not always clear why we make the choices we do. By taking a deep dive into what impacts out choices we can better understand the underline causes of or day-to-day choices.


Question: What are some actions I take for the wrong reason?
The Laws of Simplicity
– John Maeda – 2006

Taking stuff away may be better than adding more bells and whistles.

Anything extra we add will take time or attention away from something else. Eliminating or hiding things that are never or seldom used we can be better than adding new features.

Design, Optimisation

Question: What can I take away from a design that will make the important aspects stand out?

extra words
navigations that is seldom used, not a “fire extinguisher” and having it is not a signal. these are three uses for navigation. getting ride of the items that ar not part of this.

Religion for Atheists:
A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion
– Alain de Botton – 2011
Many cultural aspects of religion can be useful for non believers.

Religion brings more than just a set of beliefs based on faith. Other things that are useful come with religion such as sense of belonging and a social safety net.

Religion, Optimisation
Question: What aspects of traditional religions can I incorporate into my life to make it better?
Predictably Irrational:
The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

-Dan Ariely – 2008
It is useful to understanding some of the ways humans constantly act irrationally

This can be helpful for understanding others and ourselves. We can use this understanding in business, self improvment or just understanding why people act the way they do.

Psychology, Marketing

Question: What are some ways that I see people act irrationally that marketers take advantage of.
The Moral Animal:
Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology.
– Robert Wright – 1994
What we desire, how we think and what we believe is moral evolve in a similar way that biology does.
Ethics, Philosophy, Psychology

Question: What ethical idea may have been useful at one point but no longer is?

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty
How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves
– Dan Ariely – 2012

We are dishonest in a lot of our day-to-day interactions in some way but we still think of ourselves as good people.


Question: Where am I dishonest to myself and others and how can I be more forgiving when I see others being dishonest?

The New Rules of Marketing & PR
How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
– David Meerman Scott – 2007

To go viral create contnet that people will want to share.

It has to inspire, entertain, be thought-provoking or fascinate the audience. People must look good if they share your content and it must be easy to share. It is not easy to make something go viral but knowing these thing things can help make it more likely.

Business, Marketing, Media

Question: How can I make something that people will want to share?

The Obstacle is the Way:
The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph
– Ryan Holiday – 2014

Do not worry about the things that you can not impact.

This is useless worrying. In many cases we can not change our external world or circumstance but we can change how we think about these things. We can change how we react to a person or situation even when the situation or person is not something we can change. We can have everything we want if we change one of two things. what we have or what we want. Either one will get us closer to having what we want.

Optimize, Philosophy
Question: What do I worry about that I can not impact?

Are You Indispensable?
– Seth Godin – 2010
If you want to be valuable at you job make yourself indispensable.

Anything that involves following instructions will get automated eventually. Try and be a linchpin or person that does not use exact instructions to solves problems.
Business, Economics, Work

Question: What can I do to make ny self indispensable at work?

All Marketers Are Liars
– Seth Godin – 2005

Marketing is about telling a story to people who are open to that story.

Make sure to target people who are open to what you have to say (much easier than changing their minds) and tell them a story about your product that fits their world view. If you want to sell health food to a vegan or palio person you may tell different stories about health.
Business, Marketing
Question: What do the people who I market to already believe?

Thinking, Fast and Slow
– Daniel Kahneman – 2011

Our brain has evolved to uses shortcuts to make decisions.

We have too much information coming in to evaluate all of it so we use short cuts to help our brain deal with the all of the data.This is definitely a good thing but can have a bad outcome in some situation. One shortcut we use is the halo effect. If we see a good aspect of a person we think all aspects of that person are good. We may think good-looking people are nicer or harder working.



Question: Where else do we use shortcuts for better or for worse.

Trust Me, I’m Lying

– Ryan Holiday – 2012
New media as different incentives and this can change the type of news we get.

One example is that many blog writers have incentives to create many posts a day and do not have time to fact check.

Business, Economics, Marketing
Question: How is the news I get influenced by the new media incentives

The Lean Startup
How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses
– Eric Ries – 2014

Make a product your customers want by using feedback to improve.

Your company will be more valuable the more value it delivers to the customer but we must know what the customer really wants and are able to pay money for. Find this out as quickly as possible. Do not worry about all the bells and whistles and instead come out with the minimum viable product and get feedback. Build, measure, learn, repeat.

Business, Marketing

Question: How can I use analytics programs to better serve our customers?

The Paradox of Choice
Why More Is Less
– Barry Schwartz – 2004

We now have more options and choices in many areas of our life and this puts a new level of responsibility on us to make the right decisions.

Because of this new responsibility we may be less satisfied with our decisions. Traditionally people think more options make us better off but this may not be the case in the real world. If we end up choosing the option that is not perfectly optimal we may feel bad and blame ourselves.
Marketing, Psychology, Behaverial Economics

Question: What choices can I limit to help make me happier with my decisions?

Don’t Make Me Think
A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
– Steve Krug – 2000

Do not stray a way from convention when it hurts customer experience.

It can be fun to experiment with new interfaces design and to get creative but people may be used to navigating a site in a specific way. They now the logo links to home page, the left or top is where navigation is and so on. It can be fun to try to get creative but if it is not advantageous to the user it may not be worth doing. Always put the user first.

Design, Marketing, UX, Design

Question: What are some design concepts that may be outdated but stick with us because that is what we’re used to?
Sam Walton:
Made in America: My Story
– Sam Walton – 1992

Pay attention to the competition and use their good ideas.

He also watched as people came to town to shop and went to lots of different stores so he put all the products in one store and stayed open longer.

Question: What ideas can we borrow from other companies.
Growth Hacker Marketing:
A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising
– Ryan Holiday – 2013

Growth hackers build a product with marketing in mind.

traditionally people build a product and then figure out how to market it. Growth hackers build marketing into the product. Some examples apple use are having white headphones and “sent from an iPhone” in mail.

Business, Design, Marketing
Question: How can I change my product to make marketing part of it?
A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being
– Martin Seligman – 2011
We can use positive psychology to go from average to great.

When many people talk about psychological improvement they think about going from bad to average but we can also go from average to great.

Question: what are of my mental health can I go from good to great?

The Smarter Screen:
What Your Business Can Learn from the Way Consumers Think Online
– Shlomo Benartzi – 2015

Information was a scarce resources but now our attention is the scares resource.

We now have more information available then ever before. Because if this our screen must curate the information. We must do a better job of giving people what they want and not everything they could want. Better product recommendation, and only showing people the info that is useful and not everything they could want.
Business, Design, Tech, UX, Design
Question: How can we creat thing that deserve people’s attention.
The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

– Greg McKeown – 2014

We can not do everything and that is ok.

We can not have every experience, skill, or material item. If we think we need all of them then we will never be happy. Focus on what is important.

Business, Design, Minimalism, Optimize, Philosophy

Question: What area of my life do I spend too much time on being good at that pays little dividend.

Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
– Steven Levitt – 2009

Some things we worry about now may not be an issue in the future because of technology or cultural change.
People worried about horse manure in cities before cars became popular. It was a problem that many people were worried about because as the population got larger more people had horses. Horse manure in our city streets is no longer a problem.

Economics, Psychology

Question: What will change in the future and how will that impact how we try to solve current problems.

Why We Buy:
The Science of Shopping
– Paco Underhill – 1999

Make it easy for customers to buy more item from you.
If grocery stores had a few shopping carts around the store you would not see people walking around with hands full of items and no way to buy more.

Commerce, Business, Marketing
Question: How can we make it easier for customers to buy?


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