Book summaries

In this section I collected a set of books I have read over the past years and condensed the main takeaway and a summary for you. I constantly add more books over time so be sure to check back ever now and then. Besides the summaries I have also written loads of book reviews mostly in the area of tech in the book section of this blog (mostly in German and dated back 10 years). Also check out my condensed list of relevant business books.

Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

My takeaway: A modern strategy must-read guiding you to search for untabbed blue ocean opportunities, rather then deal with the fierce competition in red oceans.

Factfulness – Hans Rosling

My takeaway: The world is better than we think and also often hear in the media. Based on data the author proves that our life is better than ever before and gives a lesson on how to understand the world based on facts and the right data.

Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

My takeaway: Success is a mostly a product of the environment a person is in and also the effort that was put into a particular mastery. The author mentions the famous 10.000 hours to become really skilled.

Start with Why – Simon Sinek

My takeaway: Purpose is the key element that is the core of a company an on based that follows the “what” and “how”. Sinek puts that claim into a model called the golden circle to help putting purpose first in every organization.

Nudge – Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

My takeaway: Small hints and cues can trigger human behaviors in a desired way rather then let everything guide by strict rules. The classic read in the field of behavior science and economics.

Reinventing Organizations – Frederic Laloux

My takeaway: Thinking beyond traditional hierarchical organizations, the author brings the new model of teal organizations in place which emphasizes decentralized, self-guided, autonomous teams with given purpose and a clear goal.

The 4-Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss

My takeaway: A modern hustler’s guide to experience more and work less, through outsourcing repetitive tasks, building passive income machines or live on low expenses.

The Lean Startup – Eric Ries

My takeaway: A must read for every founder or founder to be. The book applies the lean methods like the build-test-learn loop into the startup world. The popular concept of the minimal viable product (MVP) was also introduced by Ries in this book.

Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahnemann

My takeaway: The book gives a deep understanding of human behaviors by introducing 2 systems of thinking and decision-making. Also popular biases like loss aversion are introduced in the book. The foundation for future behavior economic researches.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

My takeaway: 7 personal traits and behaviors are key to have a successful life: being proactive, searching for synergies and for win/win situations, start with the end in mind, be a good listener and put first things first.

Ikigai – Héctor García and Francesc Miralles

My takeaway: The old Japanese concept of Ikigai supports you with a simple thinking model to find your passion and purpose in life. It lies in the intersection of what you love, you are good at, is needed and you can get paid for.

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics – Richard Thaler

My takeaway: The history of the academic field summarized by the author that invented it with the book “Nudge”. Puts a new perspective on economics with insights from psychology. The human behavior is full of biases, also as a economical subject.

New Work New Culture – Frithjof Bergmann

My takeaway: The start of the current new work movement – written alrady years ago. A strong call for a more meaningful work.