Case Interview Secrets Summary

Case Interview Secrets SummaryA Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting

You always wanted to work as a consultant. And now you are invited for an interview. Or, you just went to an interview, and you failed badly.

Then, you are in the right place.

Our summary of “Case Interview Secrets” will give you the questions you can expect in job interviews at consultancies, and hence help you ace your interview, get the job.

So, scroll down and join us for the crash course on landing the job of your dreams.

Who Should Read “Case Interview Secrets”? and Why?

Once you have passed the seemingly hardest part of the job quest and have been asked to an interview at your preferred consultancy, it is time to consider how to become the candidate that they will employ.

Now, a job interview conducted at a consultancy most of the time is not just another job interview, where you will get a bunch of questions about your prior experiences.

Instead, you have to be prepared to answer both qualitative and quantitive questions.

In “Case Interview Secrets”, author Victor Cheng shows you how to ace the process by giving you an overview of the questions you might expect, and how to answer them.

We recommend this book to all readers who are preparing for a job interview and all of those who failed one and want to know what went wrong.

About Victor Cheng

Victor ChengVictor Cheng is a business book author, a public speaker, and a strategic planning consultant. He previously worked at the McKinsey & Company as a management consultant.

“Case Interview Secrets Summary”

Have you ever partook in a job interview at a major consulting firm?

If you have, you already know that it is not a mere conversation about your previous endeavors and qualifications. Instead, you will get a business case to solve.

The questions that you can expect in a case interview usually feature two types of quantitative questions.

First, you will get math questions that involve interpretation of data or arithmetic, percentage calculation.

Honestly, these questions can be daunting, but you need to try to answer them as quickly as possible. Do you know what you need to be able to do that?

Practice.

Just like with everything else in life, practice is the key to mastery.

So, what can you do daily to improve your speed and confidence?

One thing you can do is practice using old interview questions. Of course, keep in mind that the questions are always changing, so practicing like this will only automate your reasoning and make you comfortable with such types of problems.

The second type of quantitative questions that you can expect to get is computational-level estimates.

What are these?

These questions present a problem in which you are given a few pieces of information, with which you will need to work to make estimates.

Answering these types of questions can be hard since you will have to work with large numbers in your head.

To make the task easier, either break up the numbers or round up the numbers.

In fact, in most cases, you will just need to come up with a rough estimate.

If you ever go to a case interview, you will probably be confused because of all the obscure estimations interviewers ask you to do.

However, you need to understand that the interviewer does what the clients will make you do if you become a consultant.

So, case interviews are simulations of your future job.

Key Lessons from “Case Interview Secrets”

1.      Determining a Product’s Market Size
2.      The Need for Interpersonal Skills
3.      General Business Questions

Determining a Product’s Market Size

First, you have to know that the purpose of such questions, if they ever come up, is to observe how you decide to approach them.

Knowing that you will know that coming up with the correct answer is not crucial.

So, the first thing you need to do is to find proxies or factors that can help you get to your answer.

But remember, once you have found proxies, identify and keep in mind their limits, because they are only a rough estimates to guide your predictions.

The Need for Interpersonal Skills

Interviewers do not ask for correct answers to their questions. Yes, they will appreciate your accurate predictions and developed analytical skills, but they will also look for excellent interpersonal skills.

If you become a consultant, you will continuously work with people, so you need to be calm and confident. So, if you are nervous and fidgety, you will most likely fail at getting the job, since the interviewer knows that a client will not trust recommendations that come from a nervous consultant.

General Business Questions

If you successfully answered the two types of quantitative questions, your interviewer might ask you some general business questions as well.

To handle such questions use frameworks.

  • The Profitability Framework will help you conduct a quantitative analysis, by breaking profit based on its components in revenue group and cost group.
  • The Business Situation Framework will help you analyze the client’s business, market, and industry, and determine such things as why the variable costs are so high. It does that by dissecting the business and revealing information of its subsegments: company, competition, customers, and products.

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“Case Interview Secrets” Quotes

If there isn’t any obvious segmentation pattern, avoid stating the segmentation pattern you want to see. Instead, phrase your question such that the interviewer tells you which segmentation pattern is the right one to use. Click To Tweet Just like a scientist devises an experiment to test a working theory about a disease, you need to determine how to test your client’s problem or challenge. Interviewers commonly call this step problem structuring. Click To Tweet A fixed cost doesn’t change as the number of units sold changes. Click To Tweet A variable cost changes, typically linearly, with the number of units sold. Click To Tweet When analyzing costs, it’s often useful to segment them into fixed versus variable costs. You can do this in two ways. One way is to disaggregate your cost per unit into fixed costs per unit and variable costs per unit. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Case Interview Secrets” is an excellent book for beginners that would like to avoid the hurdles. More knowledgeable readers and seasoned campaigners may find many of the content familiar. However, the puzzles and problems that Cheng inserts in the book will make it enjoyable and fun for readers.

Overall, expect to get a good lecture on how to become more confident when going for job interviews in consultancy firms.

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The Rise of Superman Summary

The Rise of Superman SummaryDecoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

Do you wonder how some people, like the extreme athletes, do things that most humans would consider impossible?

That is exactly what we talk about in our summary of Steven Kotler’s “The Rise of Superman.” Moreover, by using the presentation of their experience, you will learn how to get into “flow” and top your performance.

Who Should Read “The Rise of Superman”? and Why?

“The Rise of Superman” is a thrilling book that presents some superhuman achievements, agonizing tragedy and impossible triumphs.

Steven Kotler enters the world of extreme sports and does so by using adventure-novel style. You will feel thrilled and excited as you go through the pages, that will ultimately teach you how to achieve better performance at your job.

We recommend this read to ambitious readers, those interested in adventures and cognitive science.

About Steven Kotler

Steven KotlerSteven Kotler is a best selling author and a co-founder and director of research for the Flow Genome Project.  

“The Rise of Superman Summary”

In the world of extreme sports, athletes need to enter their flow state. Otherwise, they would face grave dangers.

These athletes are the ones that push the known limits of human performance.

Why are we talking about sports?

Well, extreme sports give us insight into the flow, which is absolute concentration and the ability to make correct decisions and execute them in a split second.

The good news is that not only athletes can experience flow, but you can too!

By experiencing it, you will enjoy higher performance and productivity levels.

When you are in the zone, you enter a different form of consciousness. Usually, people get into this type of consciousness when they get into life-threatening situations.

You must have heard that when a person faces great danger, time slows down and your perceptions expand. As a result, you gather all information about you and use it to make the right decision that will save you.

You may not even be aware of it at the time, but when you think back, you will realize that in such moments your performance skyrockets.

Many people that experienced it grew addicted to the feeling of being in the zone.

When you face a crisis, your brain gets energy from thinking processes and uses it for intuition. In other words, it stops all the questioning that may be going on in your head and takes command.

People who have felt this effect feel as if a burden was taken off their shoulders since they do not feel that they need to make decisions themselves.

What does this mean for productivity?

Well, when your guard is down, and doubts are not constraining you, you suddenly feel the freedom you need to create, innovate, imagine, and dare.

The risk is not the only way to get into the flow. In fact, there are 22 gateways that you can use to enter the zone.

We have to note that no matter how much they practice, some people always fall short and do not get into the flow. As you are aware, only a few people rise to the top in their fields.

The extra element we have to take into consideration is the way your brain functions.

The brain has explicit (conscious) and implicit (subconscious) systems.

Most people do not get to the level where they can control each stage and as a result achieve superhuman creativity and innovation.

The lucky few describe that when faced with challenges they hear a “voice” that guides them and is “never wrong.” The problem is that although everyone possesses that inner voice, most of us do not hear it.

The only way to let that voice come to the surface is to silence all the chatter that happens in your brain all day, every day.

Then, you will be able to get in the flow, where you will be free from thinking, and be able to just do.

Key Lessons from “The Rise of Superman”:

1.      Getting to Flow
2.      The Flow Cycle
3.      Degrees of Flow

Getting to Flow

Getting into the flow is remarkably easy once you train yourself.

However, you first need to understand the flow triggers and the flow cycle, which we will cover in the second lesson.

When you are in flow, you do not need external pressure to practice whatever you are set out to practicing. When you are in flow, you want to practice.

You feel that action is fun, and as a result, you learn faster. Feeling fun acts as instant gratification.

To get into the flow, you do not have to do risky things such as extreme sports. Instead, you can engage in intellectual risk as well.

Do what works best for you.

The Flow Cycle

All flow is connected to a four-stage cycle:

  • “Struggle” is the beginning of the flow process, when you need a great effort to practice. Be prepared to feel frustration and need to work hard as you move toward the solution of the problem.
  • “Release” is the stage when you need to take a break from the challenge. Relax and let stress subside. Feeling good is key.
  • “Flow.” You get to the flow because of the previous two stages. After the fight, you release, and then you flow.
  • “Recovery” is the stage after the flow state, in which your body and your mind both need to recover from the use of energy.

Degrees of Flow

You will most certainly induce flow if you look for unusual experiences that break your everyday routine. Set bite-sized, but challenging goals, instead of establishing long-term ones. Act here and now.

By connecting your small goals you will achieve bigger ones, but if you think of the end objective, you will probably get distracted.

Walk step by step, get into the flow, and live in the now.

If you feel that the challenge is too big, you will get stressed, and your performance will plummet. If the challenge is too small, on the other hand, you will lose focus.

Set the right level of challenge, so you keep your mind from wandering or stressing.

To get into your challenge “sweet spot,” increase the task difficulty by 4% every time you do it.

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“The Rise of Superman” Quotes

To really achieve anything, you have to be able to tolerate and enjoy risk. It has to become a challenge to look forward to. In all fields, to make exceptional discoveries you need risk—you’re just never going to have a breakthrough… Click To Tweet The reasons there are so many clichés about universes inside of dewdrops is because there are universes inside of dewdrops. Click To Tweet Most people live in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul’s resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole organism,… Click To Tweet When risk is a challenge, fear becomes a compass—literally pointing people in the direction they need to go next. Click To Tweet As children we are taught not to play with fire, not how to play with fire. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The book is scientifically backed and well written, although at times Kotler does not make entirely convincing comparisons and parallels between extreme sports and work performance.

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The Geography of Genius Summary

The Geography of Genius Summary

A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places From Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley

Are you ready to travel around the world in… well, 400 pages and few days? No? What about in thousand words and merely ten minutes?

Sounds better, we know.

So, without a further ado, the summary of “The Geography of Genius.”

Who Should Read “The Geography of Genius”? And Why?

“The Geography of Genius” is a weird kind of a personal travelogue.

Why?

Because its mission is to answer a strange question. Namely, why do geniuses cluster around specific places at specific moments in history?

However, people who have read Eric Weiner’s previous book, “The Geography of Bliss” – his attempt to discover the world’s happiest places – rather than surprised, will be in rubbing-hands mood.

“The Geography of Genius” is unpretentious and funny, interesting and charming. So, additionally it should be a treat for anyone interested in the interrelation of history and geography.

Or, geniuses, for that matter.

About Eric Weiner

Eric WeinerEric Weiner is a respected journalist and bestselling writer. A former longtime correspondent for the NPR, he has authored three part-memoirs part-travelogues whose overarching mission is a personal quest for answers to some fairly difficult questions.

The Geography of Bliss” tackles an interesting problem: which is the happiest country in the world and why. “Man Seeks God” explores different aspects of many world religions. Finally, “The Geography of Genius,” uncovers how and why is genius related to geography.

“The Geography of Genius Summary”

Our thousands-of-years long and thousands-of-kilometers wide story begins with Keith Simonton, a professor of psychology at the University of California.

One of the topics which interest him the most: geniuses. And one of the concepts he has worked on the longest: genius clusters.

In the past, most people believed that genius is hereditary. Great men beget great man, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

Nowadays, however, people tend to talk about collaboration. Or, even more, about how there’s nothing great in the great men of history, since they were mere products of some circumstances, and any genius could have been the next person.

Genius clusters are some middle ground. It seems that, as a rule, a genius appears not only at the same time with another genius, but also at the same place.

Sometimes, a place goes into genius-overload mode.

That’s a genius cluster.

And after talking to Keith Simonton, Eric Weiner decides to visit few such genius clusters and explore their history. His main goal: to uncover why they had become genius clusters.

And where should one start exploring genius clusters if not in Athens?

The place where Western civilization was born. The birthplace of Socrates and Plato as well. And the place where Aristotle moved in his teenage years. Why?

Well, because Plato’s Academy was there. And the Magnetic Theory of Genius may not be an exact science, but it is a fairly intuitive one for that matter: geniuses go where other geniuses are. Because, how would a misfit find his place if he doesn’t find other misfits?

Athens had another advantage: it was located where the trading routes between Phoenicia, Egypt and Babylonia crossed. So, it got the best of all worlds.

Millennium and a half later, while under the Song dynasty, Chinese Hangzhou became a cultural center.

Its comparative advantage?

Emperor-poets.

Plato believed that cities would prosper under enlightened rulers. Had he lived in the 12th century AD, he would have used Hangzhou as an example.

He wouldn’t have been so bowled over by the next city on our list: Florence.

Not because of a lack of genius, though. But, because Florence proved to the world that while geniuses may magnetically attract other geniuses, they are, in turn, as magnetically attracted by money.

A banking family, the Medicis had an abundance of it and didn’t save a penny when it came to science and art. Why would they? If they paid for a church, the Pope (in time, a Medici member himself) would grant them a safe trip to heaven.

The memorable artworks dedicated to them was a little extra on the side.

Just a few centuries later, an unlikely place, Scotland’s Edinburgh, became the genius’ center of the world. Robert Burns, Adam Smith, David Hume, Dugald Stewart, James Young Simpson – you name a great man of the period and the Scots got him.

They also got two other things which worked towards the blossoming of the Scottish Enlightenment. One was a practical mindset embodied in the motto: “Surely, there must be a better way…” And the other was thinkers’ gatherings.

Because, that’s how ideas spread. After all, about this time, just few hundred kilometers to the south, the French Revolution started in their coffeehouses.

And back in Asia, Calcutta started experiencing what Florence did in the 15th century: the Bengali renaissance. Interestingly enough, it had something to do with both Scotland and thinkers’ gettogethers.

How so?

Well, it was a Scottish philanthropist, David Hare, who established the School Book Society which started printed books in both Bengali and English. And these books were later discussed at intellectual Q&A forums, called addas.

OK, not so much “&A”: the addas were all about the questions. Not the goal, but the search for meaning.

 

No list of genius clusters would be fulfilled if there’s no Vienna in it. In Weiner’s list, it’s present twice. Once because of its musical heritage (Mozart, Beethoven, Mozart) and the second time because of the revolution that was psychoanalysis (Freud, Mahler, Klimt, Mach).

In each case, Vienna serves as evidence for one of the oldest theories on geniuses. Interestingly enough, quite often, these people don’t become geniuses in their birthplaces. And where they do become exceptional – they are immigrants, questioned by everybody but themselves.

Last but not least, the Silicon Valley.

It’s certainly the place to be at the moment if you are member of the creative class.

And, that, in itself, explains how its genius cluster was formed.

After all, Elon Musk didn’t want to go anywhere else.

Key Lessons from “The Geography of Genius”

1.      Geniuses Cluster Around Specific Places
2.      Genius Is Not Born in Isolation
3.      It’s Not Nature vs. Nurture: It’s Both

Geniuses Cluster Around Specific Places

Whether it’s Athena of 5th century BC, Vienna at the turn of the century or nowadays, the Silicon Valley, some places seem to have a magnetic grip on geniuses. So, they cluster around them.

It’s not exactly an easy thing to tell always whether it’s because of the geographical environment or because of the people, but, it seems that once the genius count of a certain place reaches a tipping point, an enlightenment flourishes.

Genius Is Not Born in Isolation

OK, some are. But, they are the exception which proves the rule.

And the rule is this. Wherever there’s a genius cluster, there’s also an abundance of profound and meaningful discussion. ( (Or even not so meaningful if you’re in Calcutta.)

In Athens – they had the agora, and in Florence – the bottegas. In India, they have the addas, and in Paris and Vienna – the coffeehouses.

And, today, in Silicon Valley they have… well, the internet.

Genius clusters are going to be all virtual in the future!

It’s Not Nature vs. Nurture: It’s Both

The general wisdom is that geniuses are either born or made.

Eric Weiner’s trip around the world concludes: it’s both. Geniuses are created at the intersections of people and places. Because, creativity itself, is nothing but a relationship.

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“The Geography of Genius” Quotes

Rather than asking “What is creativity?” a better question is “Where is creativity?” Click To Tweet Culture is the enormous yet invisible ocean in which we swim. Or, to put it in modern, digital terms, culture is a shared IT network. Click To Tweet Geniuses do not pop up randomly—one in Siberia, another in Bolivia—but in groupings. Genius clusters. Click To Tweet Creativity is a relationship, one that unfolds at the intersection of person and place. Click To Tweet Genius, like charity, begins at home. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Both a memoir and a personal odyssey, “The Geography of Genius” is, as its author claims himself, “a colossal fools’ experiment.” But, the world needs these kinds of experiments, exactly because the world is shaped by people who do crazy things.

True, other than suggesting the application of the book’s finds in your home, “The Geography of Genius” doesn’t reach some final conclusion. But, just like a Bengali adda, it doesn’t need to. The trip is what matters.

And with such a witty and funny guide as Eric Weiner, it can be nothing short o unforgettable.

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The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth Summary

The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth Summary

Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong anywhere on this planet? Or daydreamed that there are other people like you and that some of them have succeeded? Have you ever wanted to meet them and get some guidance from them?

Well, Chris Brogan is a self-dubbed freak and he has some good news for you. In “The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth,” he explains, in no less than 200 pages, that things, after all, may not be as bleak as they look to you.

And, yes, he gives an encouraging advice or two you’ll cherish.

So, let’s see which are they.

Who Should Read “The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth”? And Why?

Don’t let the childish title fool you: this book is not about children! Well, more or less. Because, if we have to select one group of people who would want to read it, It’s definitely recent graduates. Usually, they don’t know what hits them once they enter the business world.

With this book under their pillows, they may feel that the world belongs to them – instead of working against them. Everyone who feels like the latter and wants to believe the former is welcomed to read this book as well. Especially, if he or she is a freelancer or has some start-up on his/her mind.

About Chris Brogan

Chris BroganChris Brogan is an American author, journalist, and sought-after marketing consultant. In addition, he is the CEO of Owner Media Group.

Recently ranked by “Forbes” magazine as the #1 social media power influencer in the world – ahead of people like Guy Kawasaki – Brogan has consulted everyone who matters in the business, from Disney and Coke, to Microsoft and Google.

He has written nine bestselling books, some of which, like “Social Media 101,” have gained the status of classics.

For anything more, you can reach Brogan at his website: http://chrisbrogan.com/

“The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth Summary”

So, you dye your hair purple.

Or you read comic books and listen to bands who have neither a Facebook profile, nor a Twitter account.

So, you like foreign films more than domestic ones.

So, what?!

The world of today wasn’t created by those who did things the expected way. It was always moved by non-conformists.

A freak, a weirdo, a misfit, whatever you are: the future awaits you! And, better yet, the present is not as bad as it looks like.

How can that be?

Two words: the Internet.

It has not merely radically changed the world as we know it, but it is also more than guaranteed that it will change the ways we’re doing business once and for all.

And it has changed the ways misfits can take participation in it.

Namely, until not that long ago, the only way for a person to become an entrepreneur was by having a lot of money and lots of connections. Now, because of the Internet, nothing can stop you from reaching a wide and – this is the more important part – right audience.

You see, business never works in isolation. And, until recently, freaks had the problem of fitting in. Can you think of anyone you’d describe as a weirdo who’d be happy to work in a cubicle? Anyone you’d label a misfit who might be interested in saying yes to a well-defined routine? An eccentric who’d be a much-admired sales rep?

Best case scenario, he will evolve to become a lone wolf. An unhappy lone wolf in a company which doesn’t cherish his talent and qualities.

But, now, thanks to the Internet, he can be his own boss.

True, great ideas don’t make great business by themselves. And that’s where “The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth” comes in handy. It advices newcomers in the business world how to tackle the reality of the corporate world, by taking all the necessary steps to succeed.

First and foremost, it suggests them that success begins with its definition. You can’t be a successful person if you don’t know what success means to you. Because, if you’re running for money and it’s actually serenity that you like – you are bound to be unhappy in the end.

Secondly, you’ve got to prepare the field before starting your business. Entrepreneurs are people who work a lot, and this doesn’t only include researching and formulating business strategies. It also means eliminating all distractions whatsoever.

You can’t be a successful businessman if you hang up on Facebook all the time!

Of course, as good your strategy is, there are numerous things you’ll be unable to predict. Don’t let this discourage you! Entrepreneurs are what they are because, in addition to a great idea and a good business plan, they also have the courage to risk.

So, overcome your fears and start doing. That’s the only way you’ll learn anything.

Finally, just like you can’t exist in a vacuum, your business can’t grow if not publicized. Once again, the Internet is here to help you. A single successful RTM campaign can do wonders.

Just like you can, you, beautiful misfit, you!

Key Lessons from “The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth”

1.      Dear Misfits, I Need You. The Future.
2.      Business Is About Belonging
3.      Business is Also About Plans

Dear Misfits, I Need You. The Future.

The word “misfit” speaks volumes about the people who feel that way. They are unable to fit anywhere. Consequently, even if they ever had it, in time they lose their interest to and live an isolated life.

However, their heads are filled with great ideas the beauty of the future world depends upon. In fact, the world has been shaped by non-conformists.

So, all you misfits out there, never conform!

Business Is About Belonging

Now, it’s easy to say that misfits can develop start-ups which will change the world. The more difficult part is that their ideas need to be heard. And since the multitudes don’t care about the misfits, it’s of essential importance that misfits contact each other.

Fortunately, they have the Internet to help them.

Because, business is about belonging. And happiness is about not being an outsider. This applies to both your work, and your family.

Business is Also About Plans

However, don’t make any sudden movements!

The Internet makes it easy for everybody to be an entrepreneur nowadays, but it doesn’t mean that you can use it as a magic stick. You should still develop a sound business strategy and plan ahead.

While not letting fears paralyze you. Because, being an entrepreneur is also about being a risktaker. About falling down and getting up.

Freak or no freak.

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“The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth” Quotes

The people who succeed are the ones who do the work that stands between them and their goal. Click To Tweet Find the people who are the same kind of freak as you and you’ll profit from serving that community in some form or fashion. Click To Tweet Most of what we fear is tied clearly to what we don’t know. If we’re not sure which steps to take, we balk at the process. Click To Tweet The amount of people who will convince you that your idea is wrong usually grows in accordance with how unique the idea is. Click To Tweet My success is built entirely on my ability to fail quickly and then learn and adapt from the results of that failure. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth” is written in a conversational, easy-to-read tone, aimed at all the freaks and misfits in the world. It starts with a “Guardians of the Galaxy” reference and it ends with a call to declare your freakiness. It’s so down-to-earth that, in addition to URls and Twitter links, it even includes Chris Brogan’s personal email address!

(We’re guessing that Inbox is full at a daily basis!)

It is not exactly Chris Brogan at his personal best. But, Brogan at his usual self is still better than most of the so-called business experts at their best.

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The Evolution of Everything Summary

The Evolution of Everything Summary

How New Ideas Emerge, aka How Small Things Transform the World

By now, you already know that evolution is how all life came to be on this planet. What you don’t know is that evolution may be responsible for everything else, whether it’s language or government.

Don’t believe us?

Why don’t we just let Matt Ridley tell you a thing or two.

Who Should Read “The Evolution of Everything”? And Why?

Good ideas don’t just happen in isolation. There are so many things which contribute to their formulation and even more which turn them into theories and trends. Matt Ridley claims that this happens haphazardly, in an unplanned manner.

And you should give heed to his words if you want to know more about how the present world was shaped. It would make an even better read if you like to read about evolution and similar concepts. But, be warned: don’t come unprepared for this trip.

About Matt Ridley

Matt RidleyMatt Ridley is a British biologist and writer, a peer in the House of Lords since 2013. He obtained his Ph.D. in zoology in 1983, before becoming a science editor for “The Economist” and a regular columnist for “The Telegraph.”

He has written several well-received scientific books, including “The Red Queen,” and “The Rational Optimist.”

“The Evolution of Everything Summary”

For the most part of human history, the majority of people genuinely believed that a supreme being created the universe. After all, everything looked so orderly and beautiful that this seemed like a no-brainer.!

In fact, when Isaac Newton formulated the laws of motion and gravitation, he was convinced that he had uncovered the ultimate evidence of intelligent design. If the universe worked like a clockwork mechanism, then it’s only natural that we supposed that someone had built this machine.

His name: God. The Ultimate Watchmaker.

But, about two centuries ago, an unexpected thing happened. Namely, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace uncovered something even more fascinating than God. They found evidence that the natural world, with all its beauty and complexity, created itself, through an ages-long process of “trial and error.”

Its name: Natural Selection. The Blind Watchmaker.

And this changed everything.

Suddenly, we started seeing patterns and realized that the theory of evolution can be applied to many fields of human knowledge.

And Matt Ridley isn’t a kind of person who would argue this. After all, just look at the title of his book! He can’t get enough of evolution. His argument: because that’s the way everything works. Yes, that includes society as well!

We think we have some control over the processes which govern progress – but, no, we don’t! Just like each and every species, everything we see around us evolves in an incremental, unplanned manner.

Everything? Really?

It can’t be!

Yes, it can. A quick glance at the contents of Ridley’s book shows that he intends to stop at nothing! “The Evolution of Everything” comprises of a prologue and an epilogue and sixteen standalone chapters, which cover the evolution of… well, everything.

The universe, the life, genes – OK, that’s physics and biology and pretty much expected! The economy, the education, the government – I see your point, and you can make a case of it. But, leadership, culture, religion – even these?

And what about personality, morality, the mind? Now, you’ve got to be kidding me!

And yes, even technology and the Internet.

Wait a minute, you say?

But, you just mentioned Darwin, Wallace, Newton! You want me to believe that they didn’t do nothing special. You can’t possibly be saying that! After all, they were great men, and, if nothing else, they are responsible for some giant evolutionary leaps!

You’ve got to give me that, at least.

But, Matt Ridley is merciless. As exceptional as they may seem to you – he says triumphantly – they were nothing more but a case of the right person at the right time. In other words, the theories of gravity and evolution would have been formulated by someone else if not by one of these three.

But, how do we know it?

Well, consider something historians of science refer to as “simultaneous invention.” It happens so often that hardly any Nobel Prize (other than the one in literature) is awarded to a single person. Some scientists, however, have gone a step further. They hypothesize that “multiple discoveries” happen not only often, but every time.

Here are some examples for you that are sure to make you wonder!

Have you ever wondered, say, how is it possible that the blast furnace or the crossbow were developed independently in China, Africa, and Europe? Or how did all of Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Joseph Priestley, and Antoine Lavoisier discovered oxygen at around the same time in three different countries? What about evolution, and Darwin and Wallace?

And Ridley has one even better: in the 1870s, no less than 23 people around the globe worked on inventing the light bulb!

You know why?

Because all of the basic elements (glass, electricity, vacuum, and filaments) were there, and because, in Ridley’s opinion, an invention is not exactly a leap, but a recombination. Albert Einstein was the first one to conceptualize the theory of relativity, but had he didn’t, Hendrik Lorentz would have been a name you’d hear much more often.

Because the world was prepared for such a theory.

Now, don’t get us – and Ridley – wrong!

The powerful will always be able to influence the weak. In many cases, they can do just about enough to hurdle things past the tipping point and cause an avalanche of extraordinary events.

However, this doesn’t happen as often as history books – and Malcolm Gladwell – would have us believe.

Quite the opposite: just like God did once, great men receive too much credit. Moreover, we would have been better off without them: just as Lord Acton once wrote, “great men are almost always bad men.”

In other words: they are just interfering with an evolution of everything which tends to make things better.

They are not great suns who lighten up the world. They are much more akin to earthquakes or avalanches.

We’ll adapt either way.

Nobody, but the blind watchmaker knows how.

Key Lessons from “The Evolution of Everything”

1.      Positive Trends Are Products of Evolution
2.      All Inventions Were Inevitable
3.      Enough with the Great Men

Positive Trends Are Products of Evolution

You can plan a thing as much as you like to – it won’t happen unless it was meant to be. Or you can just leave evolution do its work – and hope for the best.

Because, in the long run, the best will come. Step-by-step bottom-up progress is Matt Ridley’s vision of the history of everything, whether it’s the Industrial Revolution or the reduction of science and poverty.

It will happen ­– when the time comes.

All Inventions Were Inevitable

You may think of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin as scientists who knew so much more than the rest of the world in their heyday, but – news flash – it isn’t so! Did you know, for example, that Gottfried Leibnitz developed the calculus simultaneously with (or even before) Newton?

And that Darwin received a letter from Alfred Russel Wallace explicating the whole theory of evolution while he was working on the publication of “The Origin of Species”?

These are not isolated cases. Inventions because the time was right. And because of the Zeitgeist. Not because of the great people who we celebrate.

That’s why…

Enough with the Great Men

Just like God did for most of human history, the great men we learn about receive just too much credit.

If anything, most of them were a nuisance, impeding the gradual process of bottom-up evolution which got us to where we are. Our world wouldn’t have been that much different even without Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein. Sooner or later, someone else would have discovered what they did.

But, how much more beautiful it would have been without Alexander the Great or Hitler?

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“The Evolution of Everything” Quotes

Change in human institutions, artefacts and habits is incremental, inexorable and inevitable. Click To Tweet If there is one dominant myth about the world, one huge mistake we all make, one blind spot, it is that we all go around assuming the world is much more of a planned place than it is. Click To Tweet We describe the world as if people and institutions were always in charge, when often they are not. Click To Tweet Today we are still in thrall to Great Man history, if only because we like reading biography. Click To Tweet For far too long we have underestimated the power of spontaneous, organic and constructive change driven from below, in our obsession with designing change from above. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Evolution of Everything” is a modern, more nuanced and better researched version of Herbert Spencer’s theory of social Darwinism. It’s an ambitious undertaking, since it covers everything from the universe to the Internet, from language and the mind to morality and personality.

To say that, even so, it doesn’t disappoint would be an understatement. It’s nothing short of brilliant. It’s, however, intended for analytical, well-read readers with a wide-ranging knowledge and a deep focus, so it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. After all, each chapter of the book begins with a quote by Lucretius.

If you don’t know him – don’t bother. Because he may be the least of your problems.

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So Good They Can’t Ignore You Summary

So Good They Can’t Ignore You SummaryWhy Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

People will not stop telling you to follow your passion.

It is a romantic notion, really, but it is always smart?

In our summary of “So Good, They Can’t Ignore You” we tell you why following your passion is not always a good idea, and how you can find work you love without making rash moves.

Who Should Read “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”? and, Why?

In “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” Cal Newport discredits the contemporary myth that following your passion always leads to happiness and success.

In his theory, he takes the “road less traveled by” and argues that pursuing your passions most of the time will lead to disappointment and an undeveloped skillset. Instead, he suggests that you will be much happier if you develop your skill set and career capital in the job you have. By doing that, you will become better at what you do and start loving it as a result.

Using case studies and stories of successful people to illustrate that success can only come with hard work and refining of the craft.

We recommend this book to all readers who are willing to work hard and find the more realistic way toward career advancement.

About Cal Newport

Cal NewportCal Newport is a writer and a professor in Georgetown University’s computer science department.

“So Good They Can’t Ignore You Summary”

There comes a time in life when most people think about quitting their current job position and start pursuing their passions.

Many writers and contemporary speakers have influenced people to follow their passions, promising them that if they do so, success is an inevitable outcome.

However, such a notion is an illusion. It does not take into consideration hard work and ignores the importance of developing valuable and hardly replaceable skills.

In fact, happiness is not related to passion, but to workplace longevity.

What do we mean by that?

Well, the longer you do a job, the better you become at it. Some theorists argue that to become great at what you do, you need to practice the craft for at least a decade. Hence, you cannot develop skills if can’t hold a job for some period. Moreover, when you become good at something, you start to enjoy doing it.

Furthermore, the longer you work at a particular company, the higher the possibility to develop relationships with your colleagues which will also lead to work-centered satisfaction.

We currently live in a “passion-centric” era where people are blindly following their passions, without understanding precisely what they need to turn their dreams into reality. However, the statements above discredit the theories that to be happy – you have to follow a pre-existing passion.

Instead, you can become passionate about what you currently do, by developing your skill set and creating bonds with the people you work with.

The truth is the reality that you face when you follow your dreams rarely matches the fantasy. Of course, there are exceptions.

But, let’s be honest – not everyone can be an exception.

Key Lessons from “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”

1.      Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You
2.      Turn Down a Promotion
3.      Think Small, Act Big

Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You

People who feel the need to follow their dreams often wish for independence and seek creativity. However, nothing comes at no cost. Thus that level of autonomy requires hard work and many sacrifices.

Job freedom comes at the highest levels and only to those who have shown that they possess crucial skills and an ability to lead.

To achieve such freedom, you have to become so good that those who promote employees cannot ignore you.

You have to be ready, however. Acquiring career capital is not as glamorous as you may think. You will most probably need to make numerous sacrifices.

So, before starting out, recognize that hard work is a fundamental ingredient to success.

Turn Down a Promotion

Sometimes, when you make nontraditional professional decisions, you will face skepticism and advice from people all around you.

Take for example turning down a promotion to go back to classes, or turning down a high-salary position for an internship that gives you valuable skills. People will surely protest!

Be ready to encounter resistance each time you use unorthodox methods.

However, even though people around you will think that you are moving a step back, stay true to yourself and your knowledge that acquiring career capital will lead to success in the long haul.

Think Small, Act Big

Whenever you decide to pursue a career, know the value of your mission. When we said that you should not follow your passion, what we meant was that you should not follow it blindly.

You should always go for the things you love, but not before you ensure that you have the right career capital and possess the right skills. Only then you will be able to thrive.

Beginning with a big picture is a mistake people commonly make. Do not start from scratch. Instead, work on smaller ideas and move step by step towards the big picture.

By doing that you will feel less pressure and let your big idea take shape by itself.

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“So Good They Can’t Ignore You” Quotes

Most jobs don’t offer their employees great creativity, impact or control over what they do and how they do it. Click To Tweet Working right trumps finding the right work. Click To Tweet How can we follow our passions if we don’t have any relevant passions to follow? Click To Tweet Become good at something rare and valuable, and then invest the career capital this generates into the type of traits that make a job great. Click To Tweet When deciding whether to follow an appealing pursuit that will introduce more control into your work life, seek evidence of whether people are willing to pay for it. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Cal Newport gives a different point of view on what are the valuable things when developing a career for yourself. He does a great job at getting his points across, gives recaps of his main ideas for the reader to remember them, and teaches valuable and practical lessons.

Overall, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” is a book with a captivating premise and excellent execution.

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Originals Summary

Originals SummaryHow Non-Conformists Move The World

It is hard to be original when there is so much skepticism surrounding you.

In our summary of “Originals,” we show you how you can “package” your originality so others will see it. We cast a light on how tactical and strategic you have to be to thrive in an organization.

Who Should Read “Originals”? and Why?

In “Originals”, bestselling author, consultant and Wharton School professor Adam Grant raises the question of originality in the workplace. He explores the subject through a presentation of business histories, anecdotes and studies, that show how an original can thrive in an organization.

The truth is, even the most future-oriented companies are prone to resisting originality. Such is the case because the idea is not the only thing that is important – a good presentation is essential as well.

Grant motivates readers by giving them numerous examples of originals who somehow managed to turn their ideas into reality.

We recommend this book to all creative thinkers who still haven’t found a way to express their originality.

About Adam Grant

Adam Grant

Adam Grant is the Wharton School’s highest-rated professor and the youngest tenured faculty member. He is a former advertising director and a junior Olympian.

“Originals Summary”

Grant starts “Originals” by referring to the remarkable accomplishments of online eyeglass creator Warby Parker.

He shows his respect of the inventiveness of the organization’s founders, which were all Wharton students. The founders offered Grant an opportunity to contribute, before their launch.

However, he turned them down because Luxottica controlled over 80% of the eyeglass market. Hence, he did not feel that a group of students just starting out could profit.

Warby Parker, however, took a unique path. He allowed customers to buy glasses on the web and, if they did not like them, send them back.

Its launch was a great success.

The founders primarily thought they would offer three sets per day, yet they sold a year’s worth in less than a month and needed to create a 20,000 person waiting list.

Grant is genuine about his failure to invest. He observes it as his “worst financial decision” ever.

This book sprang from his wish to fathom his failure to grasp inventiveness when it was right in front of his nose.

Grant presents the delicacy of coalitions and shows that allied enemies can persevere through longer than one of the friendly back-stabbers, or how he calls them “frenemies.”

He furthermore utilizes the historical backdrop of the suffragette development as a significant example of the way adversaries concede their ill will but are willing to participate in common purposes.

Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was the first American woman to hold her original last name after marriage, the first Massachusetts woman to get a professional education and the first American that became a full-time speaker on women’s rights.

She published Woman’s Journal, which survived for half a century. Starting in 1853, Stone worked for 15 years with well known early women’s activists, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

However, in 1869, Stone experienced a severe split from Anthony and Stanton.

They opened rival associations and published rival newspapers. After some time, Anthony and Stanton “wrote Stone out” of their coverage of the historical backdrop of women’s journey for the vote.

Grant reports that the issue that sundered Anthony and Stanton from Stone was African-American suffrage.

Anthony and Stanton figured it is out of line to give dark men a chance to vote when white women could not, so they did not accept suffrage for colored men. Furthermore, Anthony regarded Stone’s support for giving dark men the right to vote as a disloyalty to the women’s cause.

They never got together again and fought until the very end.

Grant utilizes their story to indicate why you should know your partners and maybe even believe them less than your adversaries, who, at least will show consistent behavior.

He cautions readers that in a partnership, particularly in a business one, shared objectives are not sufficient to keep the partners together.

Shared values are great to have, but you additionally should concur on procedures and strategies.

Key Lessons from “Originals”

1.      Get Prepared for Skepticism
2.      Two Roads to Success
3.      Embrace Your Flaws

Get Prepared for Skepticism

Being original in the business world is difficult.

Many original people present themselves and the ideas they come up with in a way that undermines their position in the eyes of others. They do not understand that most of the people they contact will be a skeptic.

Original thinkers must be prepared to encounter skepticism and be ready to defeat it.

Two Roads to Success

Simply put, you can take two routes to success: originality or conformity.

Conformity is being like everyone else.

Originality, on the other hand, is not merely having fresh ideas. That is only the beginning. To be original, you have to fight to bring those ideas into life.

Embrace Your Flaws

As we already discussed, people will regard you with skepticism and cynism. Most of the time the listeners to your pitchers will stand ready to attack. You will not get much encouragement from them. On the contrary, they will try to beat you down using every flaw they can find.

Originals are aware of it. So, to stay protected, embrace your flaws and explain to them to anyone else can. Mentioning only positive sides to people raises their skepticism.

Because, in the end, we all know that nothing is perfect, don’t we?

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“Originals” Quotes

In the deepest sense of the word, a friend is someone who sees more potential in you than you see in yourself, someone who helps you become the best version of yourself. Click To Tweet Argue like you’re right and listen like you’re wrong. Click To Tweet Practice makes perfect, but it doesn’t make new. Click To Tweet Being original doesn’t require being first. It just means being different and better. Click To Tweet To become original, you have to try something new, which means accepting some measure of risk. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Most of the business authors usually provide exercises and workbooks at the end of each chapter, or they offer summarized steps that readers can take to practice what they learned.

However, Grant takes a fresh, original approach to giving readers the needed tools, by giving direct and workable guidance at the end of his captivating book “Originals”.

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A Matter of Taste Summary

A Matter of Taste SummaryHow Names, Fashions, and Culture Change

It’s quite paradoxical, when you think about it!

In a world which has acknowledged Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” as its unofficial anthem, it’s getting harder to be unique! Fashion styles seem to come and go incessantly: blink, and you’ll miss the last one.

A Matter of Taste” teaches you a thing or two about the reasons which make some things fashionable and render others outdated.

And we’ll summarize the key points here.

Who Should Read “A Matter of Taste”? And Why?

“A Matter of Taste” is not exactly your typical book about fashion. After all, its author, by the looks of his portfolio, seems much more likely to watch NatGeo over FashionTV any day of the year.

With that being said, “A Matter of Taste” may be still interesting to fad followers and fashion designers. The reason? It tries to uncover the secret ways, “the pure mechanisms” by which fashion operates. To do this, the book studies carefully how first name popularities change over time and why.

Consequently, even if you are simply in the process of choosing your child’s name, you might get an interesting insight from Lieberson’s research.

About Stanley Lieberson

Stanley LiebersonStanley Lieberson is a Montreal-born sociologist whose focus is mostly the American society. He obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago and currently works as Research Professor at Harvard.

He has written books on numerous subjects, the most important among them “A Piece of the Pie,” and “From Many Strands.” Lieberson is one of the most eminent currently active sociologists.

“A Matter of Taste Summary”

De gustibus non disputandum est.

These are probably the only few words in Latin you remember. Their meaning? You know that full well too: “In matter of taste, there can be no disputes.”

Lieberson says: “Oh, really?”

And that’s how the dispute commences.

To begin with, it seems that it’s hard to define taste and fashion. We know the two are related, but it’s hard to really pinpoint how. What is that which dictates fashion? And how something becomes fashionable? Finally, why is it that sometimes having a taste means going against the grain?

Lieberson doesn’t really study fashion per se. Clothing, makeup, hairstyle, etc. are merely afterthoughts here. His interest lies somewhere else entirely. Namely, in the changing fashions of first names. By studying them, he thinks, he can learn more about fashion in general.

Why?

Well, firstly, because, unlike other fashion practices which are less tangible and measurable, first names are always carefully recorded. Data about them is readily available at all times. And secondly, because first names are rarely influenced by economic factors.

After all, who would benefit from launching a campaign to name your son Charlie? And is anyone restricted by his class or upbringing when choosing a name?

Consequently, Lieberson may have a point! Studying the changing fashions of first names is a good way to study the “pure mechanisms” of fashion itself.

We can rephrase this even better! We’ll just need few questions.

If you can name your child any way you like, then what makes you choose a certain name? Is it your parents and religion? Or is it the fashion of today? Or, something else entirely?

In general, the exhausting process of choosing the right name for a child is a modern practice.

It was much simpler before the advent of modern societies. A name was all but chosen before the birth of a child, dictated by traditions and religion. That’s why almost every second Roman male in your history books was called Gaius. Possibly Lucius or Marcus.

Now, compare and contrast with a modern fact.

Ready?

In the 1980s in France, almost 3 of the ten most popular girl’s names dropped out of the list on a yearly basis!

Naming became a matter of taste once education became free and ubiquitous. It was only then that religion and traditions made way for individuality and uniqueness.

Even so, it was a practice still affected by many external events!

For example, there are many American Franklins born in the 1930s! Why? Because of the popularity of Franklin Roosevelt after he started tackling the Great Depression. If his name had been Peter, Lieberson says, your grandfather’s name would probably have been Peter. Of course, if his name is Franklin now.

However, external forces shape name fashions only to a certain extent. That’s because they are regulated by some internal mechanisms.

How does that work?

Well, even when disruptive, external events usually can’t change naming practices radically. Unless they are appended to some existing custom and further develop it in the same direction. That’s why it’s hard to think of a newborn girl named Barbra! Streisand is so 1960s!

Barbra itself was a name which caught up because Barbara was there before it. This is another of fashion’s regulating internal mechanisms. It’s called the logic of incremental change. The name Tonya comes to mind when you hear the name Latonya. That’s why Latonya is a possibility. But no name can act as the basis for some future Jabberwockies!

A plant flourishes only on a fertile ground. You must be a real optimist if you expect a banana to grow in Siberia!

In fact, this is why immigrants choose names which will help them better assimilate. Have you thought about that? They can just import their heritage with them, but they don’t.

Of course, internal mechanisms still regulate the process. That’s why Mexican-Americans don’t name their children Joshua. You see, in Spanish, the “a” ending is reserved for girls.

This is also why popular culture only marginally influences naming practices. According to Lieberson, even movie stars rarely disrupt the naming practices. Even in that case, there has to be some precedent for an influence on work.

For example, Marylin gained in popularity after Marylin Monroe. However, Humphrey Bogart did nothing for the popularity of his name despite his stellar status.

The reason?

Humphrey was an unpopular name, to begin with.

Key Lessons from “A Matter of Taste”

1.      Naming Practices Are a Great Way to Study Fashion
2.      External Events Influence Fashion; Internal Mechanisms Regulate It
3.      Even so, Sometimes, an External Event Is Just Too Disruptive

Naming Practices Are a Great Way to Study Fashion

You’d never associate naming practices with catwalks, but Lieberson does! And he proves that by studying what’s fashionable and what’s not in the world of first names, we can discern how fashion evolves.

Names are better than clothes. First of all, because there is much more readily available data about them. Secondly, because the demands of the market do not influenced their changes. Finally, because everyone is free to name his children any way he likes. Regardless of how much money he or she has.

External Events Influence Fashion; Internal Mechanisms Regulate It

Fashion is not immune to external events. As many other things, it’s merely adaptive. And even though, usually, an external event doesn’t disrupt fashion radically, it may influence it in such a manner that it’s both visible and measurable.

Don’t believe us? Then ask yourself: how many black children were named Barack during Obama’s presidency?

However, it’s important to note that not many were afterward. It’s because Barack is an unusual name and because internal mechanisms regulate naming practices. The most important among them: the logic of incremental change.

In laymen’s terms: even though some things may seem alien in the world of fashion, they are almost definitely a product of some evolution. If, however, they really are disruptions – they won’t last.

Believe us.

Even so, Sometimes, an External Event Is Just Too Disruptive

OK, there are some exceptions to this rule. But, they are few and really, really exceptional! Because, of course, very few Germans and almost no French people would name their firstborn son Adolf!

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“A Matter of Taste” Quotes

The social order matters, but more is going on. Click To Tweet People in the United States do very well in guessing the gender of children who are given an invented name. Click To Tweet The influence of collective processes on tastes becomes powerful, and ignorance about choices being made will generate highly volatile shifts. Click To Tweet The analysis of a cultural surface involves the initial occurrence and growth of each element; its continuation in the likely event that the initial causes no longer operate; and the forces that cause other earlier elements to decline or… Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Make no mistake: “A Matter of Taste” lives up to its subtitle! It is a fascinating study in how names, fashions, and culture change and what dictates these changes. Its writing, however, is dry and erudite, and it’s not exactly an easy read. And its conclusions, ultimately, are too obvious to begin with.

Read the book if you’re a fan of sociology. Read our summary if you merely want to learn what it is about.

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The End of Jobs Summary

The End of Jobs SummaryMoney, Meaning, and Freedom Without the 9-to-5

Globalization destroys and rebuilds everything that is being done up to now.

In this book summary, we sympathize with Taylor and share his thoughts on this intriguing, unresolved question.

Who Should Read “The End of Jobs”? And Why?

Sometimes we fail to identify the reason that causes economic downfall. We as a society have come to an understanding that the economy is not developed on “facts” but predictions.

If you are more of a passionate knowledge seeker, “The End of Jobs” will not suit your thinking patterns, but if you are more on the risky side, get ready for a bumpy ride.

About Taylor Pearson

Taylor PearsonTaylor Pearson is young and eager “job” expert, who held meetings with entrepreneurs from all around the world.

He displays the same techniques, not paying too much attention to the industry or size of the company.

“The End of Jobs Summary”

Perhaps, there is not a single soul on this planet, that hasn’t been told that school is the only route to getting a job. As far as Taylor Pearson is concerned, these criteria must not be taken for granted – as we will expand on this, later on.

Regardless of the reasons, the proper education act as a beacon of hope in the “harsh” society.

But what has inflicted change?

Under the feet of globalization, everything trembles. Don’t get your hopes up, because even though the digital age offers bigger and better possibilities, this often comes at a high price. We can forget about financial security since the days of working half a century for a single company are also long gone.

From an economic standpoint, it’s relevant whether we are prosperous or not. The recession has been an integral part of growth, ever since we felt the destructive power of the Great Depression.

If you lack the expertise to contribute to this never-ending debate, no worries – listening to Goldratt is just as good as reading a book in order to understand every system. Think of it this way, whatsoever built is designed for some purpose, but it also draws the strings of restriction.

A huge part of the human evolvement is being put in several highly-effective systems, pick one, analyze it and you’ll have a clue of what’s been discussed.

In the middle of the expanding agricultural revolution when English landlords including the King protested against the Pope, they subconsciously marked the beginning of a new way of life.

How did the Vatican lose all the power in Britain?

Whosoever controlled the lands, controlled the economy. When King Henry VIII deprived Rome of the lands and pointed himself as the head of the church, the Pope lost its reign.

Three centuries afterward, European bankers, started growing in both numbers and domination. Even the kings, couldn’t go to war or implement reforms without their approval. As you can see; the limits are prone to change.  

This trend continued before during and after the devastating WWII. The economic boom, which started after the defeat of Nazi Germany, set the foundations for a new system. In such regards, the economy established a new group of job-seekers and caused an unpredictable turn of events.

People born in the U.S. somewhere between the 50s and 60s can give you their thoughts on the vast economic expansion and upside potential in those days. They even received a nickname – the baby boomers.

It was like, a job awaited you behind every corner – literally. No period in history was as prosperous and beneficial for the citizens as that one. According to many statistical factors, the demand for qualified workers and intellectuals grew almost twice the population in the second half of the 20th century.

The market growth followed by a competent workforce created the previously mentioned baby boomers. From today’s standpoint, people remember the era of –  get a college degree and wait for a call.

The next day you are at your desk. Such an example, serve as an illustration and reflects how easy it was to get the desired job with the right credentials.

When the medieval nobles and lords, demanded from the people to work on their lands in order to receive their fair share of the outcome, they obeyed. Their mindset was fixed on survival. As soon as someone created a new system, an entrepreneurial spirit emerged, and innovation took place, all shifted.

The economy has always been at the mercy of creativity and ingenuity. In the 21st century, each entrepreneur lacking the “aha-moment” is more prone to failure than the one who always thinks of an improvement.

Even the employers have a broader range of information, including the ability to hire experts from various industries for lower wage expectations. It’s beneficial both ways. 

Key Lessons from “The End of Jobs

1.      The era of having a secure job position is over.
2.      The thing of the future
3.      Ever-lasting improvements and enhancement

The era of having a secure job position is over.

If you don’t understand the market fluctuations and believe that your job is 100% secure, you are doomed to failure.

The economy doesn’t provide extra space for people who are not aware of its inconsistency and modified essence.  

The thing of the future

For instance, if you plan to hire a programmer, it will cost you around 70 – 90, 000 $ a year. However, with the help of technology, you can now consider lowering your costs by hiring experts from other countries who can do the same amount of work for a third of the price.  

Ever-lasting improvements and enhancement

Costless communication via Skype or other devices can sidestep all geographical boundaries. Talented people are no longer stuck to work and operate in their area since the age of possibilities knocks at our doors.

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“The End of Jobs” Quotes

While our first instinct is usually attempting to push harder, it’s more valuable to figure out where to push. Click To Tweet Because of the qualitative and structural changes to the economy, it’s getting harder to find jobs, they’re riskier, and they’re less profitable. Click To Tweet If you do things that are safe but feel risky, you gain a significant advantage in the marketplace. Click To Tweet A few major opportunities, clearly recognizable as such, will usually come to one who continuously searches and waits, with a curious mind loving diagnosis involving multiple variables. And then all that is required is a willingness to… Click To Tweet Happiness is a condition which can be prepared for and cultivated. It’s that ability to control our own inner experience that will determine the quality of our lives. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Despite your current standings and progress, we firmly believe that “The End of Jobs” is a book that opposes the necessary machinery for reaching success.

If you are open to grasp the intention of an unbiased investigation, then don’t hesitate.

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Where Good Ideas Come From Summary

Where Good Ideas Come From SummaryHow many times have you said to yourself that one day you would have that “Eureka” moment and come up with a great, unheard-of idea?

Well, let us tell you that according to entrepreneur and author Steven Johnson, the “Eureka” moments you are waiting for are just a myth.

Ideas do not merely happen in isolation.

Then, where can you find them?

In the following summary of Stephen Johnson’s TED Talk: “Where Good Ideas Come From”, we show you the way.

About Steven Johnson

Steven JohnsonSteven Johnson is an author, speaker, and the founder of the online magazine FEED.

“Where Good Ideas Come From Summary”

Do you know why the English coffeehouse was essential to the Enlightenment?

Well, first because the rise of the coffeehouse had a significant influence in creating popular drinking habits.

Before it existed, everyone drunk alcohol as a daylong refreshment. In other words, people were practically drunk all the time.

The meaning of the coffeehouse was immense. With its appearance, it helped the world in many ways.

People moved from drinking alcohol, which is a primary depressant, to drinking stimulating teas and coffees. The new drinking habits brought considerable improvements in the public’s critical thinking skills. People started thinking more and engaged themselves in philosophical movements.

Second, “the architecture of the space” affected people as well.

In other words, the coffeehouses allowed people with different backgrounds to gather in one place, and share their ideas, change them, merge them, and develop new ones.

This meant that different innovations became possible.

Different environments that allow and enable innovation, regardless of whether they are virtual, physical or biological, share similar patterns.

However, to understand these patterns, you need to clear your head from traditional images and concepts that present innovation and creation as a lightbulb flash. What we mean to say is that the conventional ways of thinking see discovery as a dramatic appearance of an entirely new, breakthrough idea.

However, this is a wrong way of reasoning.

You must have heard so many times before that everything that could be thought of was already thought of.  Indeed there are no entirely new ideas, but there are limitless possibilities of reconnecting old ideas in a new way.

Even on the most basic level, in the human brain, a new idea consists of a new configuration of existing neurons.

The problem is that most people are not capable of pinpointing the exact origin of their ideas. Most of the time they believe that the ideas and concepts appear when they are alone.

Again, if you think the same, you are wrong.

Video evidence collected from a global study suggests the complete opposite.

Researchers concluded that most of the fresh ideas and discoveries happen at the conference table, where colleagues can share their thoughts, their work, their mistakes, and their challenges.

So, the next time you have to push yourself and think of something fresh and new, go out and seek loud places like the early coffee houses we already mentioned. We like to call these places “liquid network.”

Another misconception that people have is that ideas are developed in a single burst of inspiration.

However, the opposite is true. Many ideas incubate for an extended period of time, they linger in the back of one’s mind for months, years, even decades, and present themselves as exciting but never resolved questions.

Take Charles Darwin for example. When he talked about his discovery of natural selection, he described it as a “Eureka” moment. However, if you look at his notebooks, you will notice that they tell a very different story.

His annotations in it show that he had thought about his idea for many months, he has worked on it a long time, only the details did not connect to a larger picture in his mind yet.

Creating an environment that inspires innovation means that you need to create space and time for people to develop their hunches. Furthermore, they need to have enough opportunities for interaction.

Key Lessons from “Where Good Ideas Come From”:

1.      Fresh Ideas are Old Ideas Redeveloped in a New Way
2.      Isolation is Not Your Friend
3.      A Need for a Shift of Priorities

Fresh Ideas are Old Ideas Redeveloped in a New Way

Breakthroughs are a creative reconnection and redevelopment of already existing concepts.

Isolation is Not Your Friend

Isolating yourself or finding your silent place will not bring you that “great idea.” On the contrary, brainstorming in a group is what creates the most innovative results.

A Need for a Shift of Priorities

Nowadays, a vast number of companies concentrate on secrecy and try every way they can to protect their intellectual property. However, a focus on communication, networking and sharing ideas would certainly create more breakthroughs in the world.

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Our Critical Review

Johnson talks about ideas and where you could find them in a simple and entertaining lecture. He uses the crowded English coffeehouses and the pages of Charles Darwin’s journals as the materials to back his theory.

We recommend this TED talk for anyone who is interested in innovation and creativity and the way the human mind works.

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