I’ve learned in my career as an entrepreneur and investor that the more I read, the better I think, which leads to better decisions and better outcomes. On Read and Think I talk about the lessons I’m learning from the books I’m reading and how I’m applying them to my life.
The Death of Expertise - 016
Tom Nichols book The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters might seem like a preachy/complainy rant by a professor who wishes his students took him more seriously on the surface. But if you give it a chance, it very clearly explains many of the biggest issues at the heart of events in the US in recent years. It's a shockingly important book that I would recommend to anyone interested in current events and in understanding why people behave the ways they do. This episode talks about my favorite insights from the book.
Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement - 015
Behavioral economics is one of the most fascinating and useful subjects to study in my opinion. The authors of Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement are some of most celebrated researchers in that arena. This book however deals with a different problem in systems created by humans. Noise is more statistical in some ways than behavioral, but it creates all kinds of problems whenever there is a human being making judgements. What happens when teachers grade papers or judges make rulings that aren't always consistent, and how can we stop that? Listen to this episode to find out!
A Promised Land - 014
I don't agree with a lot of the policies that Barack Obama championed when he was President of the United States, but I have an tremendous amount of respect for him and learned a lot by reading this first of a two part memoir series. I found his early story very interesting and impressive, as he climbed up from his unique childhood to the highest office in the free world. The stories he shares of his first few years in office provide a new lens on some of the biggest issues that faced the world during a global financial crisis, and also insight into the process of passing his controversial healthcare reform law without bipartisan support, which immediately became a rallying cry for Republicans.
Amazon Unbound - 013
Amazon is the defining company of a generation maybe more than any other. Amazon Unbound, the second on the company by Brad Stone, covers their rise from a small eCommerce company in the early 2010's to the dominant conglomerate they are today. It talks about the strategies Amazon used to dominate everything from home voice recognition to international eCommerce to Hollywood, and it even covers some of the drama around Jeff Bezos' personal life. In this episode I talk about everything I learned from this book and what I'm applying from it to my own Amazon businesses.
William Borah - 012
William Borah, the Lion of Idaho, is probably Idaho's most well known and important historic figure. He was a United States Senator for 33 years, and was involved in many of the most important discussions of the United States during the early 1900s. He was a noted isolationist, playing a big role is shutting down the League of Nations. He was known as a progressive Republican, and was a friend of Theodore Roosevelt, but also struck out on his own and took principled stances that often weren't popular. I read a biography about him written almost 90 years ago. This episode is a discussion of his life and what he did both for the people of Idaho and the United States as a whole.
Capitalism in America: A History - 011
Capitalism in America: A History, by Alan Greenspan and Adrian Woolridge, is exactly what it sounds like: an in depth look at the history of America's economy from the former chairman of the Federal Reserve and an acclaimed historian. This book is fantastic for learning about how our economy was built over the years, what missteps the government took at different times, and getting historical perspective on current issues. This episode covers the lessons learned from reading the book.