Recommended Reading (and video, podcasts) – January 2018

I’ve come across a lot of great stuff to start the new year.

By constantly learning new ideas and pushing our boundaries of understanding, we grow. And all of that helps us in our practical day to day lives, to meet our challenges more directly and deliberately than if we just muddle through.

All that learning is a great shortcut for how to stay motivated at work.

It’s great to be able to learn so much from so many just by dedicating a little time and energy to learning.

Here are some books, articles, videos and podcasts you might find useful and interesting.

I’d love to know what you find interesting. Leave a note in the comments!


Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio is a great new book of life and work lessons that you can put to use immediately. The first section of the book is all about Ray’s life struggles and accomplishments. He invites you to skip this part, but I’m glad I didn’t. I didn’t know much about Ray prior to reading the book and the first section is a good setup for the rest. The next two sections are what Ray calls “life principles” and “work principles.” Tons of great ideas, insights, and lessons from a really smart and accomplished individual.

Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond  by Chris Burniske (cryptoasset venture firm cofounder) and Jack Tatar (financial services research firm founder). While these guys are definitely pro-crypto, I really liked the generally more sober and sensible presentation of the crazy crypto markets in this book. It helped to put things into historical perspective, compare this emerging market to more established markets, and it offered some models for thinking about and analyzing this new asset class that is emerging. I found this to be much more helpful in trying to get a handle on things. Much better than trying to chase down the daily barrage of articles that lead in countless directions. (though that is fascinating too!)

Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches  by John Hodgman was a fun read this month. John is the “I’m a PC” guy from those old Apple commercials. He’s a humorist and so this was a fun and funny peek into his life and thoughts while vacationing in Western Massachusetts and Maine. I’m glad that fellow Bay Stater Amy Cuddy shared this recommendation so enthusiastically.


There was a great piece in the New York Times Magazine about the larger implications of the blockchain technology that comes with Bitcoin and similar cryptoassets.

Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble. Yes, it’s driven by greed — but the mania for cryptocurrency could wind up building something much more important than wealth. Yes, I have bitcoin on the brain, but it’s largely because the implications are going to be huge. Don’t get lost in the hype or write this stuff off because of the hoopla. Lean in a bit and see for yourself. Change is coming.

You can also get a fantastic sense of things in a nutshell from this 2-minute video segment from a Naval Ravikant interview.


One of the most inspirational and insightful podcasts I’ve heard in a while was delivered this month by Tim Ferriss and Terry Crews.

Terry Crews — How to Have, Do, and Be All You Want

Terry Crews (@terrycrews) is an actor and former NFL player (Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles). His wide-ranging credits include the original viral Old Spice commercials, television series such as The Newsroom, Arrested Development, and Everybody Hates Chris, and films including White Chicks, The Expendables franchise, Bridesmaids, and The Longest Yard.

He now stars on the Golden Globe award-winning Fox sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In 2014, Terry released his autobiography, Manhood: How to Be a Better Man — or Just Live with One.

I’ve already listened to it twice.