Good Bye, Professor Clayton Christensen

I’ve been a big fan of Clayton Christensen’s works for almost 20 years now, and it’s really sad to learn about the news two days ago. I learnt a lot from his books and his HBX MOOC online course on Disruptive Strategy.

If you’re interested in Disruptive Innovation, Jobs-to-be-done, living a rewarding life, some unreserved recommendations –

“The first thing is to look at disruptive technology as a growth opportunity and not as a threat …”, Clayton Christensen

John Lamparski/Getty Images

Good (or Bad) Habits

There are a few books I highly recommend to those who wants to build a great product and a great self. They are “Hooked”, “The Power of Habit”, “Actionable Gamification” and the latest one – “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones”.

As you can see all 4 books are about how to establish and change habits – habits for your customers to use your product(s) more or habits for yourself to become more healthy, mindful, and productive.

In the book “Atomic Habits”, four “laws” are introduced – Make it Obvious, Make it Attractive, Make it Easy and Make it Satisfying. In addition, dozens of tips and tricks to help anyone to make something good to become habits. For me, I particularly like the “Habit Stacking” trick and now I manage to do 15 minutes meditation every morning because of employing this technique.

Highly recommended (if you have the need to establish or change a habit in the new year).

One Book at a Time – 2019

It’s not easy to squeeze quality time nowadays to finish a book, when we have so many good blog posts, online articles, and research reports available around the Internet. However, to become a better professional and a leader, we all need to invest time to improve ourselves and one of the best ways is still reading – one book at a time, with Kindle (the 10th generation, Paperwhite and Oasis).

Here is a list of my top 10+1 books of year 2019. 

  1. Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries – The author is indeed a gifted storyteller and he explains the idea of how to nurture innovation by way of three rules, with great details and stories. (https://amzn.to/2PNVEvW)
  2. Trillion Dollar Coach – It’s really a good read and I learned a lot about how Bill Campbell coached so many great Silicon Valley companies in the past few decades. (https://amzn.to/36G1mH8)
  3. 13 – 67 – The best detective story by a Hong Kong talented author. Period. (https://www.books.com.tw/products/0010637918)
  4. The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust – Even if you are not interested in Blockchain, read the chapter 1 : A Revolution in Nine Pages. https://amzn.to/2LUWLZm 
  5. Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence – Warning … just the tale in the prelude is already very frightening (well, at least to me). (https://amzn.to/2SlnaDM)
  6. The Heart to Start: Stop Procrastinating & Start Creating – Section 3 of the book “Winning by Beginning” is really a gem – all tips and tricks about start your own projects – The Fortress Fallacy, Inflating the Investment, The Linear Work Distortion, Permission to Suck, Motivational Judo, Crack the Whip. (https://amzn.to/2LXNfF1)
  7. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – It’s a good book and here is my reading guide – read Chapter 1 to 3 slowly (the meat of the book) … and then pick one of the Chapter 4 to 7 that suits you most – Sports, Business, Relationships and Parents. Lastly, skim through Chapter 8. (https://amzn.to/35kns1o)
  8. Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life – It’s like a reunion, a good chat with an old friend. (https://amzn.to/2YPsrEQ)
  9. The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth – So, you’re no longer a Lean Startup, what’s next to do for your bigger company ? (https://amzn.to/38Ag18t)
  10. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Be vulnerable. (https://amzn.to/2PnecnB)
  11. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know – Gladwell introduces three traps that we all need to be aware of – Default to Truth, Transparency, and Coupling. Certainly useful nowadays when we need to talk to strangers all the time. (https://amzn.to/2tmErSL)

In 2020, I will shift the focus of reading … more on Artificial Intelligence and Decentralised Identifier. Stay tuned.

Another Year, Another Book List …

It’s about time to have a wrap up of yet another slow-reading year. However, the Kindle Oasis is great !!

First, the top four that I really enjoyed a lot …

  1. Bad Blood
  2. The Code Book
  3. Measure What Matters
  4. The Three-Body Problem

Then a list of good read as well …

  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
  2. The Startup Way
  3. The Messy Middle
  4. Who Can You Trust
  5. Holacracy
  6. Capitalism without Capital
  7. When Coffee and Kale Compete
  8. Founder’s Pocket Guide
  9. Venture Deals
  10. Factfulness
  11. Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy
  12. Principles : Life and Work

And lastly, those just not my type …

  1. The Secret
  2. Art of the Initial Coin Offering
IMG_5592

Another year, another book list

book-xmas-tree

Unlike previous years, I didn’t complete all the books below cover-to-cover. Instead, for most books I just picked a few chapters to read, and learn as much as possible. There are some good ones though (i.e. I finished the whole book) … and you can tell how the state of my mind changed, along the year, with the reading sequence.

  1. The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
  2. Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes (TED Books)
  3. The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work
  4. The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback
  5. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
  6. Getting There: A Book of Mentors
  7. With Her Eyes (Short Stories by Liu Cixin Book 11)
  8. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
  9. TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking
  10. Magicians of the Gods: Sequel to the International Bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods
  11. The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks
  12. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
  13. Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

And there are a few I have yet to start … hope I can finish those in early 2017.

  1. Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves
  2. The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
  3. The Art of Startup Fundraising: Pitching Investors, Negotiating the Deal, and Everything Else Entrepreneurs Need to Know
  4. Hard Landing: The Epic Contest for Power and Profits That Plunged the Airlines into Chaos
  5. From Big Data to Big Profits: Success with Data and Analytics
  6. Actionable Gamification – Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards
  7. Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within

Pick a few from above to read, and tell me which one(s) you like most.

Have a great Year of Reading ahead !!

My 20 Kindle eBooks of 2014

books

2014 is a tough and rough year.

However it is also a good year, as I kind of picked up reading again (thanks to the Kindle Paperwhite II, my fourth Kindle), even though I am still a slow reader. Managed to only finish 20 Kindle eBooks this year, and my favourite ones are “Stuffocation“, “Lean Startup“, “Service Design” and “Pitch Perfect“.

The 20 books in reading sequence …

  1. Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
  2. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
  3. Data Science for Business: What you need to know about data mining and data-analytic thinking
  4. Chariots of the Gods
  5. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
  6. Stuffocation
  7. Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur
  8. The Fortune Cookie Principle : The 20 Keys to a Great Brand Story and Why Your Business Needs One
  9. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
  10. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
  11. Difference: The one-page method for reimagining your business and reinventing your marketing
  12. Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time
  13. Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works (Lean Series)
  14. Service Design: From Insight to Implementation
  15. Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising
  16. The Giza Power Plant: Technologies of Ancient Egypt
  17. Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain
  18. Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)
  19. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
  20. The Lost Empire of Atlantis: History’s Greatest Mystery Revealed

Still, there are a few books in the Kindle impatiently waiting … shall be good for the next three, four months !!

  1. The Orion Mystery: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pyramids (a reread)
  2. The FastDiet – Revised & Updated: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting
  3. Loyalty 3.0: How to Revolutionize Customer and Employee Engagement with Big Data and Gamification
  4. Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers
  5. The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users
  6. The 7 Day Startup: You Don’t Learn Until You Launch
  7. Flash Boys

Keep reading !!

Kindle Cloud Reader review

Before I shamelessly promote myself as a big fan of Kindle Apps, I better tell you that I am also a big fan of Kindle eBook reader. I really love the Kindle Apps as it works very well in tablets like iPad (I think people just use the term “iPad” instead of tablet anyway). Therefore when I know Amazon released the Kindle Cloud Reader, I have to review it …I set up the Cloud Reader without any problem, but it’s not that intuitive to set up your library for offline reading … anyway, here is the full details (with photos by the end of that blog post) of that new offering from Amazon.

  1. First of all, go to the homepage of Kindle Cloud Reader. Click the “Sign in to get started”, then sign in with your Amazon account credential in the next screen. That step will then kick start the Kindle Cloud Reader web application, and show you all the eBooks you have purchased for your Kindle.
  2. Next step is to increase the local database storage size (up to 50 MBytes) so that the application can save your books to your iPad (or other devices) for offline reading. And here is the tricky part, the application will also try to save the apps for offline use, and you will see that message “Saving app for offline use” in the bottom of the screen.
  3. In many cases, that step will return an error message stating “Error saving app. Tap here to try again“. If you encounter this, go to your iPad setting page and clear the cache of Safari and repeat the steps above again. The saving shall then be successful.
  4. Then add the apps to home screen. Change name to whatever you like and add to home screen
  5. Other than the Book grid view, you can also see the Book list view. You can toggle the views from the lower right corner selection buttons.
  6. Same as the Kindle for iPad apps, you can change the settings like font size, color mode.
  7. Click any book and you can start reading, and it works pretty much like Kindle for iPads.
  8. Now, try exit the apps and start the cloud reader again.
  9. If you have not saved the app for offline use successfully (see step 2 and 3 above), you will be greeted with that error message “Cloud Reader could not be opened because it is not connected to the internet“.
  10. To really read the books offline, you need to press and hold any book cover in your library, then select “Download & Pin Book.”
  11. After the download, you will see the books are “Pinned” with a green color pin icon underneath the downloaded book and ready for offline reading !!
  12. And lastly, there is the Kindle shop such that you can buy books directly within the web apps (if you’re online).

After all these set up, you can read the book as any Kindle apps … with three exceptions:

  • You cannot currently create new notes and highlights using Kindle Cloud Reader – but notes and highlights you create while reading the book on your Kindle or another Kindle app will be displayed.
  • There is no built-in dictionary (I missed it a lot !!).
  • It still feels a bit slower than Kindle reader and Kindle apps.

Hope you find this review useful !!