Beyond Entrepreneurship. A brilliant blueprint for building a thriving culture and company. An articulation that I haven’t seen yet anywhere else. Out of all of Jim Collins’ books, I would rate this as his best if not top 2.
7 Powers. A highlight of 2020. By far the best book I’ve read on strategy. Helmer doubles down on the idea that strategy starts with invention and then goes on to articulate succinctly how to increase the probability of success and turn a new invention into a valuable business.
High Output Management. A re-read from a few years ago and still so relevant. A timeless guide by Andy Grove on how to create highly productive teams, that lead to peak company performance.
Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital. Another re-read from almost a decade ago. Carlota Perez talks about how new technology and it’s development leads to financial bubbles and how these cycles have repeated historically and will continue to in the foreseeable future.
Mastery. This is another timeless book and one of my favorites. As human beings we’re so geared for instant gratification, which is why we have a desire for magical shortcuts to all our problems. This is what gets in the way of learning something new, whether it may be a new instrument or a skill that we could use at work. Mastery articulates how to ‘learn to learn’. It makes one self-aware to the emotions associated with learning something new, walking into the unknown or climbing a big mountain and how to rise above all of it.
Dirty Genes. We’re so conditioned to think that our genes are responsible for our destiny. Not quite. This book builds upon Epigenetics, the study of changes in gene expression. It turns out that genes can either be “born dirty” or merely “act dirty” in response to your environment, diet, or lifestyle. Change your environment, diet & lifestyle and you can change the expression of your genes. Just imagine the implications of that.
Merchants of Doubt. I’ve been following US politics ever since Trump took office and it’s made me realise how incredibly powerful the media is at shaping the brand of reality for the masses. My curiosity led me to this book that sheds light on how political motives can hijack the process by which information is disseminated to the public (scientific in this case) and shape a narrative to further their agenda.
Holy Science. A highlight of 2020. Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, unknown to most is the guru of Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi). In this (slim) book, he outlines a profound understanding of history, the vast recurring cycles of civilization and the universal path that every human being must travel to enlightenment. In a technical yet astonishingly simple manner, he explains the evolution of consciousness, energy, matter and how everything that we call “life” stems from ‘Divine Magnetism’ → Incredible.
The Yugas. The discovery of the vast and complex ‘Gobekli Tepe’, considered to be one of the world’s most important archeological sites, should make everyone question how little we truly know about the history of human kind. At close to 12,000 years old it predates the oldest known civilizations previously accepted and existed millennia before the Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge in England. There is something that we once knew, that we have since forgotten as a species. Today’s version of history cannot account for such anomalies and also the advanced knowledge contained in ancient Indian scriptures. There appears to be an arc, or a cycle so to speak of the rise and fall of human civilization, one that spans ~24,000 years and it’s called the Yuga Cycle.
Bhagavad Gita. As human beings we are quick to ascribe all of life’s value to the visible world and with that attach our identities to all things material. But, what’s our purpose here on this earth? Why are we here? What does it mean to be human? Who or what is God and what is our relationship to him? If you question the sleep, wake, eat, acquire, repeat cycle of the material world then the Gita is for you. This is the best commentary of the Gita I’ve found so far. I’m amazed at how much wisdom is in books that were written millennia ago. We truly have forgotten something we once knew.