I saw some Twitter jokes about VC's writing book lists for the year. Snark aside – I really enjoy book lists. If you have one, tweet me @bwagy If you haven't seen it I keep an ongoing updated list of my favourite books too. This year in reading, I ...

2019 Book List and more | bwagy

2019 Book List

I saw some Twitter jokes about VC’s writing book lists for the year. Snark aside – I really enjoy book lists. If you have one, tweet me @bwagy

If you haven’t seen it I keep an ongoing updated list of my favourite books too.

This year in reading, I have been purposeful around doing the best format for a book, i.e. this is a good book for audio, so schedule it that way vs one I want to digest via paperback. I also wanted to tend towards reading older books, i.e. not just reading the latest/newest out the gate.

Here are my favorites from this year:

Ritz Escofier, caught this tweeted by Rafat, and really enjoyed it. Read the story of the Ritz Hotel came from its enigmatic founder.

Intelligent Investor, my absolute top read of the year. Nice to read a well written book, it’s oft recommended seldom read. For me, it just helped improve my thinking, particularly around personal vs business affairs.

Conspiracy, the story of the Peter Thiel and Gawker lawsuit. But weaved through with philosophy. A big takeaway from me, was the barriers to entry to ‘test’ the legal system in the US are so high that it isn’t tested enough.

Capitalism without Capital, exploring and breaking apart some of the things we have begun to take for granted, digital businesses, assets, our wealth in bits and bytes.

Miracle at Midway, a balanced view of the build up, the actual action and then post events. A deep dive in to the lens and view of each side of the conflict, told as the events unravel.

Titan [in progress] enjoying this, the biography of John D Rockefeller. I got the paper copy which is meaty, so grab the ebook if you like to read in bed. Reminds me of the Buffett one in a way – but with way more depth in the background.

Arsenal of Democracy, walking through how Ford (and other manufacturers) drove production during WWII. Analogous in so many ways to anyone building something audacious.

Effective Executive, another oft recommended seldom read, this I got on audiobook. A good synposis for any executive, at any stage of their career.

How about light reading? I have (and do) enjoy Clive Cusslers each year, whatever has been released. Explorers Journal is a new find for me and really enjoyable.

This time last year I also enjoyed this audiobook (or audio performance) of the Christmas Eve, Truce of 1914.

If you’re looking for something to read over the break, just buy a few. It’s rare that I have regretted the $10-$20 I’ve spent on a book.


Dopamine Fasting

The NY Times has a piece on this, reducing the stimulation we get from technology.

Of course, it helps to have a trendy term for it, mashing up fasting with dopamine hits. Hence…

This makes me think of my grandad, who retired, just to go fishing. Solitude. Time to think. To not rush. Be in nature.

What are you doing to reduce the negative impacts of technology in your life? Reply or Tweet me any thoughts.


Quarterly reports and Jonah Lomu

As a kid in New Zealand, Lomu was to Rugby as Jordan was to Basketball. Everyone wanted to do a side step, where you run at the other team then sidestep around them. You did not want to be on the opposing team against him.

I’m reviewing quarterly reports right now – and you see the sidestep or in our industry, the pivots. We were full steam ahead at this, then this happened, so we changed. Quickly. AND still got the ball across the line.

What’s most important is the fact that it happened, the team saw the landscape change – adjusted and closed out strong. Game over. Review/reflect/re-energise. Next quarter, next game.

If you haven’t seen any of Lomus play, see this highlight reel from the RugbyWorldCup.



Logging every decision

I’ve found it immensely valuable of recent relying on my notes.

You never know, what in the future, will be important.

Of course you need to trade that off with practicality.

A couple I have found super helpful is, what decisions were made and the WHY. It’s the why that is the thing that likely changes in the future. And it’s the why that gives a decision directionality.

For example

We agreed to price it this way BECAUSE of X.


We agreed to price it this way.

Yes this is obvious but it’s things that are in plain sight that can be overlooked.

In a way, this is a note, to future Ben. Please keep this up.



Consider yourself notified

Apple watch notifications.

iPhone Notifications.

Desktop notifications.

Tv notifications (?)

Email notifications.

Uber during-ride, in-app notifications.

Waze notifications.

Consumers can consider themselves notified.

It’s about now that brands are refining how they tell stories through this journey. From start to finish. Morning to evening. Home to work.

In some respects it’s frustrating, in others it’s an opportunity to continue the great work you’ve always done. But in personalized smart ways.

And if you’re not smart about it, people will opt out.

But for those that do, you’ll be duly rewarded.


More Recent Articles

You Might Like

Safely Unsubscribe ArchivesPreferencesContactSubscribePrivacy