My First Book Report of the Year!

January 25, 2018

 

 

 Last Days of Night by Graham Moore Click here to Purchase!

 

From the winner of the Oscar for the Best Screenplay for The Imitation Game in 2015 comes a superb historical legal thriller based on the famous 'War of the Currents' fought between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse.

 

*Soon to be a major film starring Eddie Redmayne*

 

After 2 great Steve Jobs and Bill gates quotes, the book starts out with pretty dramatic event of a city worker while installing an electric pole gets cooked alive by electricity on Broadway, witnessed by an Attorney who was summoned to see Edison.

 

It is an amazing book that takes you back in time when 99% of electricity of America was existent only on a few streets in NY! Wall Street, Madison ave and 34th street, that’s it! Every day these blocks grow a shade lighter as an other building was wired for current.

 

The tale continues with Paul, an attorney who was summoned (not knowing why) just to find out that Edison wants to sue Westinghouse because Edison invented the light bulb, not Westinghouse. That’s one the Attorney says that i am glad you invited me over so I don’t have to make an appointment because we are suing you, Westinghouse and I for our patents on the light bulb. Except that Edison had filed 312 lawsuits against Westinghouse and everyone they had done business with just before this meeting. Edison knew that he has the deepest pockets with backers like JP Morgan. So he didn’t even need to win these lawsuits.

 

And just like that the book and Edison’s life is full of twists and turns and gets deep into the a billion dollar lawsuit between these 2 giants. Keep in mind that at that time a decent salary was 25 dollars per week! You can learn a lot as a business owner from Edison, Westinghouse, Tesla and many more throughout the eye of this young attorney Paul who was in the middle of all this!

 

One of my favorite quotes from this book is by Edison when he says the attorney “If you want to stop me go ahead and try, but you’re going to have to do it in the dark.” :) get it ?

 

This book was very entertaining and the main points you can learn are:

 

  • it’s necessary to be slightly underemployed to do something significant!

  • People always want what you have but they come up with self justification on how lucky you are to have everything you have worked your ass off for.

  • Learn how to find and hire a man/women of honor who will not be afraid to tell you difficult truths

  • It’s not about the right answer, it’s about trying every answer until we find one that isn’t wrong

  • It is impossible to speak in such a way can not be misunderstood. There will be some who will be misunderstanding

  • Could happiness be purchased by money? Of course not, it isn’t free either!  

 

AND MUCH MUCH MORE! Amazing read!

 

Play Bigger by Al Ramadan, Christopher Lochhead, Dave Peterson, Kevin Maney  → Click here to Purchase!

 

This book is written by an amazing team of 4! They all have their own stories, successes, and failures. Then they came together to create something great!

 

I always say that before you read a book or hire a mentor or take someone’s advice you should see where that advice is coming from! That free advice you are getting is so dangerous, so always do your homework! I am so happy and excited to say that the authors of this book have tons of experience running and building companies from all all eras of the past.

 

They explain how you cannot build a legendary company without building a legendary category! Just like Elvis wasn’t just the King, but a category king! It’s not about disruption anymore, its about creation! Category kings are the explosive and enduring companies that create value over time by opening up a category with vast potential and setting themselves up to control the majority of it! Category kings take 70-80% of the category economics! Category kings become famous brands because they become the symbol of the whole new category. Like-> Xerox, Google, Uber.

 

This book is really great and really points out what i always talk about- even how in the movie business that the #1 movie always takes 70-80% of the whole market share of the industry! And the other companies, movies etc., are sharing the remaining of 20-30%! So if the total revenue of the industry was 1 million the #1 company will take about $700,000-800,000 of it and the #2 #3 #4 #5 share the remaining $200,000-300,000 dollars. The point is that #1 is the #1 by big time! I believe the book called Dip by Seth Godin explains the same and there is so much data supporting this. And you can do a fast check by looking at the box office at the movie theatre #1 has around 100 million in sales #2 has $30M, #3 $15M currently ,#4 $12M and so on.

 

Look at in the ride sharing industry: Uber was valued at $51 Billion in 2015 while Lyft who is #2 was valued at $2 Billion! That’s a freaking huge difference!

 

The authors collected data on thousands of public and private companies that started between 2000-2015 and sorted for valuation and market domination trends. During this time there were 35 giant category kings created. They really analyzed these 35 and broke down the details and patterns to teach you how to become a category king.

 

Here are 10 reasons why why you shouldn’t read this book: and at the same time you must!

  • You think the company with the best product wins.

  • You believe that there is room for a lots of winners in a market, that a rising tide lifts all boats, and all that other feel good hippy garbage.

  • You are okay with being good enough.

  • You are afraid of leaning forward on your skies while you are already going 80 miles per hour downhill.

  • You are an engineer who thinks marketing is what you do when you have a bush league product.

  • You are a classically trained marketer who thinks reach and frequency win the game.

  • You believe heady competition is the ideal.

  • You think an IPO is just a financial event.

  • You think you are not in the technology business and never will be, so you don’t think tech industry dynamic apply-> you know the way the Taxi industry used to think.

  • You work at SAP.

 

Starting a company to become an entrepreneur is like getting a tattoo just because it’s cool and everyone is doing it. I see many entrepreneurs operating very backwards today, just wanting to start a company instead of focusing on THE PROBLEM that needs to be solved!

 

Find a reason first! Making a company successful is extremely difficult and also painful and if you don’t love what you do there is no motivation behind it and you will quit when you face the first heartaches. Elon Musk and Patrick Bet-David, Steve Jobs, went through hell but they followed through because they truly believe in and wholeheartedly love what they do!

 

If you are starting a “me too” company instead of creating something new you might have a chance to carve out a little corner for your company and sell your company to Google or Facebook for what the most of the working universe would seem like a winning lottery ticket. You walk away with a million dollars your company disappears in the make of some giant and no one really remembers what you have done. If that’s you, you should grab a 🍺 from the fridge and go out there, buy a Mustang and enjoy life. We can respect that! But if you want to create something extraordinary against all odds you must be all in and put in the work every single day! You are either all in or you are out on this journey! 🥂 #2018  Make it your Best!



 

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton → Click here to Purchase!

 

A true story of money, power, friendship and betrayal! The author of this book did an amazing job collecting the most accurate information for this book. He has reviewed 1000s of documents, tweets, employee emails, confidential emails and he interviewed everyone he can past/present and future members of the team and he always made sure that he fact checked any interview. If he interviewed 10 people about the same thing and none of their stories matched up he would leave it out of the book since its unreliable. Which i liked a lot!

 

He describes locations and events in great detail! This book is great and I recommend it! You will definitely learn about friendship, leadership, betrayal, company politics and so much more and you’ll definitely think twice about your board member and investors!

 

I like how the book introduces the 3 main people, 1 by 1 in detail with the right timeline. Ev Williams, Jack Dorsey and Noah Glass, three very characteristic people with some crazy stories and backgrounds. This is the story of the Blogger and how they started the first online blogs and how it eventually evolved to Twitter.  Then through this evolution we go through multiple startup and leadership stories that i have learned a lot about what to do and what not to do.

 

Then we get into Biz Stone who was also one of the Co-Founders of Twitter who worked at Google at the time. He turned down Google and $2M with that in stock options to go work with Ev, Jack and Noah in a new startup. And no he was not rich by any means. He just paid off $50K of credit card debt and lived month to month in a small apartment with his wife and yet somehow he still convinced his wife and himself that he needs to join Ev on this adventure. His unlimited free meals, drinks, rides and all the benefits at Google was replaced with this dark, crappy startup office with homeless people sleeping on the stairs.

 

I highly recommend this book to anyone and to especially to people who are starting a new company with their friends or with anyone at all! This book will teach you how money, politics, power can ruin friendships and companies and you will learn the importance of leadership and holding people accountable!


 

Tesla vs. Edison- The Life-Long Feud that Electrified the World by Nigel Cawthorne Click here to Purchase!

 

I got this amazing book from my wife Nina for Christmas and i read it that day! It is a great book about these two amazing people who have crossed paths and worked together many times. However their story tells otherwise especially about their first encounter.

 

Edison was an amazing businessman and entrepreneur and Tesla was a great visionary. He had many inventions and he was the most undervalued and credited person in history compared to all his accomplishments today! That is one of the reasons why Elon Musk names his supercars Tesla!

 

Tesla was credited for most of his patents and inventions after his death while Edison was a very successful business man even today- his brand and name is used on light bulbs today! We can definitely learn a lot about this two men! Tesla was introduced by Tivadar Puskas from Budapest, Hungary where they worked and installed the first telephone exchange together. Tivadar wrote to Edison: “I know two great men and you are one of them, the other is this young man”.

 

Edison was famous for his work ethics. He put in 18 hour work days. Real work days. Not like today when you are on facebook half the time. He even had set up a sleeping area in his lab to take naps and get back to work instead of going home to sleep. He had no hobbies, sports teams to cheer for or anything. He was truly obsessed and loved what he did!

 

Tesla shared similar work ethics and he made sure he would show up to work for Edison for over a year at 10:30 am every day- whether weekends and holidays and stay and work till 5 am the next day!  Now that is dedication!

 

Edison at age 14 already had his own newspaper and printing company on a moving train. With the Civil War raging the demand for newspapers soared! Edison even bribed the telegraph operator to wire fresh news to him about the battle! He then, still in his teens, worked for US Military Telegraph Corps, then to Western Union where he earned his first patent NO. 90,646. It was a device that counted the votes in the House of Representatives.

 

Then he automated the telegraph which allowed people to send two messages on a single telegraph at the same time doubling the traffic. Along the years he racked up patents and saved up enough money to open Menlo Park, the world’s first industrial research lab.

 

This book is so amazing and full of amazing people, inventors. There are so many it is not just Edison and Tesla! It’s all the amazing inventors and people they encountered on their journey and fight. Changing the world forever.

 

 

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