My name's J - I'm 22, a senior in college, and the founder/co-founder of 2 different startups. I have been reading a lot about strategy and history as of late, and been a reader of your blog for several months now.
I wanted to know - what would you say the top 3 most influential books are that you've read on strategy? What books have allowed you to reach the position you are currently in? Any suggestions would be appreciated (especially ones that you didn't suggest in your recent email to your mailing list - I'm working through those!).
Principles by Ray Dalio (free online, that's #1)
Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa (not strategy, but necessary for your personal development to become more strategic)
I got a lot out of "On War" by Clauswitz. Brilliant guy. Father of modern military science.
Biographies. "Rise of House Rothschild" by Corti and "Titan" by Chernow.
Everything about Sengoku Japan.
More biographies. As many as you can find. Lots of good ones. House Rothschild and Titan (about Rockefeller) damn fine places to start.
Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes is good. Mediocrity Into Millions by Abraham is good. Business books. Ignore the business-business-business advice if you want (though it's good) and just look for the bigger picture about how those dudes think. They think big and systematic.
Questions from a reader - this one's about sleep amounts, vitamins, and books.
I'd like to thank you for writing the blog posts on your website. I just found your blog today, but I see a lot of stuff I think I can use on there.
Thanks, that's nice of you to say and glad you reached out.
I have a few questions about some routine-optimization that you've done, if you'd like to help me out:
I was a pretty good reader as a kid. My mom recounts me sitting in the corner reading in pre-school instead of doing whatever other pre-schoolers did. In Kindergarten, I was praised for reading more books than any other kid. Throughout the elementary school summers, I dominated the summer reading programs in all the neighboring cities.
Eventually, I started to realize that all of these books are the same. Sometime when I was 10, I started to realize every book seemed to be about some derpy kid who eventually overcame his fears and saved the world, or at least his friend group.
I had the intellectual ability to read YA and adult books at the time, but not the emotional maturity. So, I hit a standstill.
Time passes on, I get into Classics (aka: any title whose name being uttered made me sound smart). I got a Kindle and subsequently got into Indie trash, at one point reading one book per day. Then the Kindle broke and I had no clue what to do.
I went through a massive overhaul on how I thought about reading, which leads us to how I read today.