In 2018, I made an effort to listen to audiobooks with Audible. This post is all about the key books that impacted me this year. Reading Bill Gates' similar post reminded me to share some of my own favorites as well.
First some background... why audiobooks? One of my goals for the year was to read more. I realized finding solid blocks of time was difficult. There was fruitless time throughout the day absently spent listening to music or the radio that could be better spent listening to audiobooks. So here are my top picks:
The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch - The 80/20 principle is a popularization of the Pareto principle. This book provides some great practical applications of the principle that can be applied to both work and personal life. With so many demands on our time, this book is a great reminder to me of how the 20 percent of how I spend my time and energy can contribute to the majority of my results.
Measure What Matters by John Doerr - This book was my introduction to OKRs, the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results. Released this year, Measure What Matters has had an impact in the tech industry, especially among product managers. After the book was released, OKRs became somewhat of a buzzword in the industry. They are a great tool when defining product roadmaps and strategy.
The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level by John Beeson - Despite the title, this book is not only for those looking to get promoted to the executive level. The core "selection factors" described in this book are applicable at all levels of the organization. The factors that stood out to me were exhibiting the capacity for innovation, handling change and projecting executive presence.
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou - Documenting the collapse of Theranos, Bad Blood is a vivid portrayal of a not-so-pleasant side of Silicon Valley. To me, it shows how high expectations and sunk costs led the company down a slippery slope that eventually led to the company's demise.
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler, Cass Sunstein - Ever since reading "Thinking Fast and Slow" a couple years ago, I've been drawn to the area of behavioral economics. Nudge shows how our decisions can be guided one way or another by how choices are framed and designed. It is an insightful, provocative book that opens your eyes to how "choice architecture" can influence personal and societal issues.
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard Thaler - In Misbehaving, Richard gives his account of how behavioral economics branched from more traditional economics into what it is today. This book is a great introduction to behavioral economics. It gives context to the discipline then dives into how to use it to make smarter decisions. For me, Misbehaving filled in the gaps I didn't know I had after reading both "Thinking Fast and Slow" and "Nudge".
As 2019 approaches, what books would you recommend?