What I’m Reading (January 2014)

Books I’ve read over the last month, in order of impact descending:

  1. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams
  2. The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann
  3. Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki
  4. So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Newport, Cal
  5. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

3 General Principles

From the book HTML5 Game Development with GameMaker, there are 3 keys to increasing the perceived quality of your game:

Consistency

Readability

Polish

Like many other things in life, it’s the extra attention to detail that makes your game standout.

Book Notes: No te devores el marshmallow…¡nunca!­

In English this book is called Don’t Gobble the Marshmallow…Ever! And in English it probably reads a lot better. Unfortunately a lot of the phrasing is awkward and a lot of the jokes get lost in translation in the Spanish version, but nonetheless the core point still comes across and it’s a quick enough read that I can forgive the rough translation.

The book covers the concept of “marshmallow theory” which is based on a study done at Stanford where kids were given a marshmallow they could eat now, or if they waited they could get an extra marshmallow later. In short, the concept of deferred gratification. Joachim de Posada does this through a parable of a recent college graduate moving into the real world and struggling to apply the same concepts he used to succeed in college to succeed in life. At the end of the story, Posada provides his analysis of the parable and surprisingly the last 30 or so pages of the book are more effective than the rest of the book combined.

Here are my key takeaways:

– Re-evaluate your values and plans when major life changes occur (graduation, marriage, new job, etc.)

– Don’t advise those who do not wish to be advised. If someone is seeking your advice against their will, it will be just as ineffective.

– Accumulating is not the same as saving. Don’t “gobble” the marshmallow, but do enjoy the benefits of deferred gratification.

– It doesn’t matter if everything around you changes, what’s important is how you react to the changes

– Surround yourself with people who will support you

– Face your fears

– Kill your worries before they kill you.

– You need vision to see your destiny, but you need action to reach it.

– Pursue what you really want, not just what is easy or convenient.

– If you want success or anything else, ask for it.

Like most self-help books, most of these things seem obvious when you read them, but what matters is if they’re conveyed in a way that you will remember them and feel empowered by them and I think this book succeeds in that aspect. My only recommendation if you decide to pick up the book is that you get the English version 🙂

Amazon Link:

No te devores el marshmallow…¡nunca!­