reading list

Highlights from my Reading List – Week 39


  1. Some More Reflections On Silicon Valley – Sar Haribhakti
    Excellent insight into the SV mindset courtesy Sar. Talks about the SV mono-culture, competitive nature, network effects, social-proof and what it means to have a prepared mindset. 

  2. Try an Internal Press Release before starting new Products – Andre Faria
    There is an approach called “working backwards” that is widely used at Amazon, according to Ian McAllister (@ianmcall), General Manager at Amazon.
    “We work backwards from the customer, rather than starting with an idea for a product and trying to bolt customers onto it.”

  3. I’m joining Weekend Fund – Vedika Jain
    This is an excellent example of the briefcase technique and its subsequent result. Vedika worked as a fantasy angel investor on weekends and nights to practice for her future role at the Weekend fund.  

  4. “I, too, am Contrarian”: my last Snippets, April 14, 2019 – Alex Danco
    The last article is probably not the best place to start reading someone’s work but this snippet blew my mind. Worth reading for the recommendations section alone. 

  5. The Turpentine Effect – Venkatesh Rao
    An excerpt: 

    When you practice a craft you become skilled and knowledgeable in two areas: the stuff the craft produces, and the processes used to create it. And the second kind of expertise accumulates much faster. I call this the turpentine effect. Under normal circumstances, the turpentine effect only has minor consequences. At best, you become a more thoughtful practitioner of your craft, and at worst, you procrastinate a little, shopping for turpentine rather than painting. But there are trades where tool-making and tool-use involve exactly the same skills, which has interesting consequences. Programming, teaching, writing and mechanical engineering are all such trades.

  6. The Secret to Ant Efficiency Is Idleness – NYT
    How idleness as a response is programmed into ants and makes for an efficient digging operation. 

  7. Lyft vs Uber: A Tale of Two S-1’s – Benjamin Tseng
    Great breakdown on the unit economics of Lyft and Uber. 
  8. 13 Big Ideas from Spotify Engineering Culture – Andre Faria
    Quick read on what makes for a good engineering culture at Spotify. 
  9. Motivation: How and Why to Startup – Marco Trombetti
    Lessons from Paul Graham.



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