3 Good Books in 8-mins

3 Good Books in 8-mins


3 Good books in 8 minutes. Need I say more.

The books are: 

1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins — Get it on Amazon here.

2. Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston — Get it on Amazon here.

3. Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less by Greg McKeown — Get it on Amazon here.


Transcript / MP3

Hey, what's up everyone, Sam Ovens here, and this week I am doing something a little bit different. So I usually upload a video every Tuesday, and these videos typically go from 20 minutes to an hour. And I usually cover a lot of stuff, and I go quite deep. And to do that, it requires a lot of time. And this week, I found myself quite busy running my business, which is actually the main thing I do. I have a company, and my main goal and intention is to grow that and look after that, and make sure everything's going well there. And then I share my insights that I learn from practical application inside my own business on YouTube. And it always kind of tears me from the practical world to talking about it, right? And it's quite jarring going from doing it, and it's kind of like a pure practice, to talking about it kind of in an abstract sense. And this week I found myself busy running my company, and I didn't upload a video yesterday because I just didn't have enough time. And then I thought, "I'll do it on Wednesday." And then it's Wednesday, so I woke up, and I was like, "I'll do it." And then I started thinking, "Well, shit, I don't have enough time to do it." So then I thought, "Screw it. I will provide some value to you guys," because that's the main reason why you're here, not to just listen to me speak for an hour or whatever, going deep on some topics, but to provide value and help you improve your life, improve your business, and achieve whatever it is you're trying to achieve. So I'm going to recommend three books that are good that I've read recently, that I highly recommend. I've read hundreds, and these are in the top 10, top 15 kind of books, right? So it's just going to be real short, and we're going to get straight to it. So first up is Good to Great by Jim Collins. Amazing book. So, real quick overview of it. I'll put the links to all of these books beneath this video. You can just click that, go get it on Amazon. So, Good to Great, Jim Collins and a team of about 10 people researched for five years, and they spent about 30,000 hours researching actual companies that had not been doing very well. They were not market leaders, and they were actually declining. So these companies were going bad, right? And then something happened and they turned around, and then they went good. And then they became the market leader in their respective fields, and they maintained that market leadership for at least 15 years, right? So those were the parameters for this research project. And that's quite interesting. So they identified a bunch of these companies that fit those parameters. And then they researched them in depth for 30,000 hours with a team of 10, and they looked for common patterns between these companies. What common patterns did these companies have in common that were once going down, to turning around and sustaining market leadership as number one for at least 15 years, right? What they found was really interesting. These companies, they weren't all doing different things. They were all implementing a lot of the same things. And Jim Collins shares those things in his book, Good to Great. It's amazing. There's concepts like the flywheel, which I've talked to about on my YouTube channel. I mean, Jim Collins was the guy who came up with that. Jeff Bezos got Jim Collins, he read Good to Great by Jim Collins, and then he got Jim Collins to come and speak to the Amazon executives for a full day. He paid Collins to do that. That's how influential Collins has been on Amazon and their success. And Amazon's flywheel, I mean, Bezos got that from Collins. It's an amazing book. If you're in business, it would be irresponsible not to read it. And another awesome insight from that book is that, from the outside, most spectators think that successful people and successful companies just explode out of nowhere, like one day they're average, and then all of a sudden they're just amazing. But that's not what happens at all. But that's the perception from the outside. But the perception from the inside, when interviewing people from these great companies, was that nothing really miraculous was going on inside. It was just slow chipping away at a big goal, just one foot in front of the other, one foot in front of the other, just slow chipping, that over time amounted to something great, right? Now, the perception from the outside is one minute they weren't great, now they are. It must've happened with one miraculous event. Not true. Companies and people that expect miracle overnight, like success, never get it. And the people that just focus on slow and steady improvement, like one foot in front of the other, and they're the ones that actually achieve it. And go read that book, it's awesome. Second one is Founders at Work. So this is a book which is a collection of stories, actual interviews from actual founders. So I forget the authors, but I'll put the name ... I'll put the link beneath the video to this book. So the author basically interviewed 20 or more founders of successful companies. So there's Adobe, there's the founders of Gmail, there's some early employees from Google. What else is in there? They talked about the founders of Hotmail and Yahoo, right? So they interviewed a lot of the founders of a lot of successful technology companies. And they did a Q&A in person, they would just interview them and ask a question and get the answer. And then they transcribed those Q&As, and then they turned it into this book, which is just a collection of actual interviews. So it flows. It's really easy to read. It's not theoretical. It's actually very practical and very real. It's a mixture of practice, and story, and reality, and intertwined into this. So you'll learn a lot from that, and it's very entertaining as well. So that's a great book, Founders at Work, to know what it's like to be a founder and starting a successful company. This is a great book to know what traits and values and principles great companies have in common, right? And this book, Essentialism, this is one of my favorites. And this book tells you how to basically achieve more with less. It explains why greatness in anything in life comes from, not just adding more things to your plate like a starving dog at an all-you-can-eat buffet, right? It's actually about removing things from the plate and just having some core elements there that you focus on. So it's about achieving more with less. And it's about focus, and discipline, and really knowing the few things that are important, and being able to differentiate those from the vast sea of trivial things that are not important, that drown most people and occupy them until the end of their days. So those are three great books, Good to Great, Founders at Work, and Essentialism. If you read those books, it will change your life. It will make you better at business. It will make you a better human. So that's it for today's video. I've got to get back to work, got to go and do some things. So thanks for watching. If you liked it, click like. If you want more videos like this, I release one every Tuesday, sometimes on a Wednesday, and if you want to ... If you liked this one, you will probably like the other ones, so click that subscribe button. Also, let me know what you thought in the comments section. If you've read one of these books, let me know. Or if you've got a suggestion for a future video that you want me to talk about, let me know in the comments, because I read the comments myself personally, and your feedback shapes the future content that I release on this channel. So thanks for watching. See you soon.