I was off in sunny Spain for the past two weeks, and what better opportunity to catch up on book reading whilst on a sunny beach. I managed to rumble through 2 books, so thought I’d share more on what books I’m reading to further my intellect (hopefully).
Lost and Founder
This book for me was probably one of the fastest books I’ve read. I managed to read all pages in 2 days, and I’m not much of a book reader, so that’s pretty fast for me:
There are so many valuable lessons in this book, where Rand had highlighted all the successes, but crucially, all of the bad times and struggles to get Moz back on its feet again after going through terrific growth. To put it simply, it’s to the point, open and simple. It takes you through the start of the journey of a startup, going all the way to be a successful business that starts to plateau, with all the detail you’d want to know if you were starting your own business from Rand Fishkin – the founder of Moz.
My personal gain from the book that got me really thinking was the contribution and perceived worth an Individual Contributor and a People Manager. Career-wise, it got me really thinking around whether I want to go down the path as an Individual Contributor or as a People Manager. I still don’t know the answer, as personally, I really enjoy creating things, maybe selfishly, myself – and it’s rewarding to the extent to say you’ve done something as an Individual Contributor, but I also find managing a team really rewarding. Ultimately, what it taught me was that ICs can be as valuable as PMs, and it’s not unnormal to think this way – especially if an individual doesn’t want to go down the route of being a People Manager.
There’s so much good reading in this book, that I have to list it first as it is seriously an interesting read into the life of a startup.
Who is Rand Fishkin:
He was formerly co-founder and CEO of Moz, co-founder of Inbound.org, and author of Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he does have a bit of a chip on his shoulder, and is deeply passionate about making SparkToro a great company (at least, by his own peculiar standards). — Read More
Measure What Matters
I read this book pretty quickly too, and it’s just full of awesomeness. It’s written by a guy called John Doerr (Net Worth: $7.9B), and by reading the book you’ll see that he introduced an Objectives and Key Results system to IBM and Google. The book covers a lot more and goes into detail around how Bill Gates has used the “OKR system” at the Gates Foundation to fight disease around the world, and how commercial entities such as YouTube, and Google are using the system in their vast array of teams within the business.
Who is John Doerr:
Venture capitalist John Doerr is best known for being an early backer of Google and Amazon, among many other companies. Doerr, chair of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, has authored “Measure What Matters,” in which he details a management philosophy around setting and achieving audacious goals. In this edited excerpt, Doerr describes injecting his management techniques in Google’s early days. — Read More
That’s all from me. Time to go to bed. Feel free to put your book recommendations in the comments section below or @ me on Twitter @jonny_j_.