Decision Making

“One common pitfall for large organizations – one that hurts speed and inventiveness – is ‘one-size-fits-all’ decision making.” – 2016 Letter to Shareholders, Amazon

How many decisions you make, today, have to go to the top management ?

Are they big decisions ? Or small ? Did that make your process faster ? Or slower ?

And then it reminds me the great quote from Sir Ratan N. Tata…

One Book at a Time – 2020

Year 2020 is a year of Work From Home, for me it means less time to commute and therefore less time to read. Unlike what I promised last year, I didn’t read books about Artificial Intelligence and Decentralised Identifier. Instead I read books about product management, history, organisational design and even meditation. Here are my books of year 2020.

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  1. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones – One of the best books about developing good habits. Don’t miss it. (https://amzn.to/3mxPuy8)
  2. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life – Believe it or not, the daily morning 20 minutes meditation helps me getting through this tough year.  (https://amzn.to/2Wrz145)
  3. Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society – One very deep book, but if you’re in the world of IT, don’t miss the “Data as Labour” chapter. (https://amzn.to/3rcMVFA)
  4. The Anticipatory Organization: Turn Disruption and Change into Opportunity and Advantage – If you repeat one idea hundreds of time, you can write a book … you can safely skip that one. (https://amzn.to/3anbfyk)
  5. Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments – We all know it’s important to test our ideas, business models … but how ? Check out this book. (https://amzn.to/3mvFmWW)
  6. Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem – The story behind the 350 years old mathematical puzzle, Fermat’s Last Theorem. One of the best books I read in 2020. (https://amzn.to/2Wu9wiK)
  7. INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love – If you’re a product manager, or want to be one … in a startup or an enterprise, it’s the best book in town. (https://amzn.to/2KzOAEi)
  8. The Unicorn Project: A Novel about Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data – Want to get a good book to read after The Phoenix Project ? This is the one. (https://amzn.to/2K8cQgY)
  9. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World – Lot’s of methods and stories about how to be an “original”, as long as you don’t mind most references are from USA. (https://amzn.to/2LOXwpS)
  10. Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos – I am a big fans of Jeff Bezos’ annual shareholder letters. If you are a fan as well, this book is for you, in his own words. (https://amzn.to/34m8ppl)
  11. No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention –  Talent Density, Candor, and Reduce Controls … these are the three ways Netflix designs their organization. To me, it’s BEST book of the year. (https://amzn.to/3nwqLvJ)
Hotel lobby of Eslite Hotel, Taipei

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.