Books to read this year – 2015

Here’s the list of books I will be reading this year [If you’re curious, here’s the full list of my goals this year – Link].

The list has been compiled mostly from a self-help perspective rather than just reading-for-fun perspective. I have also added the purchase links of the books in case you want to read them as well. I might also put my thoughts on these books in separate blog posts once I am done reading them. 🙂

  1. The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses – by Eric Ries – Link
  2. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – by David Allen – Link
  3. One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work – by Stephen Key – Link
  4. The $100 Startup: Fire your Boss, Do what you Love and Work Better to Live More – by Chris Guillebeau – Link
  5. Steve Jobs – by Walter Isaacson – Link
  6. Delivering Happiness – by Tony Hsieh – Link
  7. Losing My Virginity – by Richard Branson – Link
  8. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work – by Mason Currey – Link
  9. Secrets of Power Negotiating – by Roger Dawson – Link
  10. The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation – by Ron Adner – Link
  11. Permission Marketing: The Marketing Classic for the Internet Age – by Seth Godin – Link
  12. Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious – by Gerd Gigerenzer – Link

Hope I finish what I started. Fingers crossed 😉

Happy reading!

 

Patrick Abbattista, co-founder of Design42day – On what success feels like, career suggestions, traveling while working and much more

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Who are you and what you do? (where you come from, where you currently live, age, what is your current job….etc.)

My name is Patrick Abbattista, I am 30 years old and live in Milan, Italy, where I was born and grew up.  After several work experiences, I now run the Sales & Marketing office of Design42Day, a company that I co-founded in 2010.

How you reached here, to this point of success?

I don’t know. I just kept doing what I believed in. Success, whatever it is or you say about it, comes day after day, with hard working and the ability to never give up. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and realize that your dreams are taking a clearer and real shape.

Given a chance to change one thing in this world, you will change…..? And why?

I would change the way people perceive the differences. There are too many stereotypes and prejudices. I wish adults had the same enthusiastic curiosity that children have towards the new and the different. So doing, it would be easier for anyone participating to the innovation process, giving ideas, sharing knowledge and playing a part to make this world a better place. A pure and uncontaminated glance on reality allows you to see things for what they are, so to do the right thing.

The best thing you noticed about the design world? Any example(s)?

The best Designers are excellent problem solvers. There are many examples of good Design around, which is not always visible. I could say machinery for health more sophisticated and accurate, smart appliances that optimize the use of energy, etc..

The worst thing you noticed about the design world? Any example(s)?

Often the creative talent is not accompanied by the same ability to do business and impose a vision, which could change the world for better. It is difficult to make a specific example, but I have met many excellent designers who didn’t have the ability to promote themselves, gaining visibility, get a chance to demonstrate their qualities. Sometimes it is a problem of skills, but most of the times it deals with the mental attitude. Designers should learn how to develop their ideas not only in terms of design project, but also as a business.

What you do in your free time?

I meet friends, travel, read, reason about what I am doing to understand if I can do it better. Generally, I take advantage of any minute to learn something new.

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What and how you are planning to do for the next 5 years?

I want to consolidate my company through new projects, partners, and a commercial expansion toward new markets. Also, I want to build a team of highly motivated people who really love Design and are willing to change this world. On a personal level, I wish to constantly improve my skills, knowledge and consciousness. I think that the best way to help others is to be at their service as better people. If we grow, they grow. If we lead by example, they will learn faster. Obviously, I have chosen my mentors, too.

Suggestions for young lads?

Learn to dispel the fog that limits your actions and start to pursuit your dreams, if you have not already done so. Step by step, you will realize that it was not that difficult if you do all that must be done. Often, the limits are only mental. With patience, curiosity and determination, you will find all the necessary resources.

How billion dollar ideas die and how you can save them.

Do you know that we come across around 70,000 ideas (big and small) in a single day? That includes interrogative pronouns like What, Why, Who, Where, When, etc. Why ideas come is a bit technical (as suggested everywhere on the internet and elsewhere), but here’s what I understood: When we are involved in a creative process which uses the creative side of the brain like exercising, driving, or say taking a shower, a drug called dopamine is released which acts as a catalyst for thinking process. But there are many other activities which aren’t creative, but we need to do them anyway. So in those cases ‘distraction’ is the key to get creative as “a distraction may provide the break we need to disengage from a fixation on the ineffective solution.” says Harvard researcher Carson.

But as we have those ideas flashing in front of us every day, have you ever wondered what happens to them? Most of them never see the light of the day. Few are taken to the next logical steps but aren’t executed. The remaining ones are taken, executed, re-thought, and a few months/years later, they really change us and the world.

Why we are afraid to put ideas into actions have various reasons. Here are few:

  1. We think too much about the execution process.
  2. We are not willing to take risks.
  3. We don’t want to leave our comfort zone.
  4. We try to control the outcome.
  5. Most importantly, we are afraid to fail.

So what’s the solution to put ideas into action?

  1. Stop calculating the risks too much.
  2. Take the first step right away.
  3. Live and work in an environment where your family members and peers encourage you.
  4. Be ready to taste failure. (chances are always there)
  5. Learn from your mistakes and try again.

By taking those important steps towards execution one will increase his/her chances towards success. Who knows what it can turn up into? The possible rewards after executing an idea can be: owning a good business of our own interest, money to ensure a decent standard of living, fame, peace of mind or an amazing level of confidence. But an education about how to execute ideas is the best one can get.

For those who might be thinking that “Okay! But what if the money involved in an idea is huge, then what?” The answer is again somewhat similar; if you believe in your idea and feel positive about it, then it is worth spending your time, energy and money into it. You don’t need an Einstein’s equation to get a solution. Trust me, I am following the same motto since I launched this website. Now-a-days, I don’t think much about the success or failure of a project. Once I am excited about a project, I just wave it a go-go flag. The rest what I get are rewards/lessons only.

Also, the key of having a successful business or career is to do as many projects as you can, so that you learn from trial and error method. After all, you don’t need to spend 1000 hours on a single piece of paper to get the right Mona Lisa; you just need to spend 1000 hours on more than 10 paintings to get a better Mona Lisa.

I hope you will talk less and do more with your ideas. I will leave you with one of the best quotes about executing ideas I know, quoted by Swami Vivekananda:

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, and live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”

Are you getting ideas again? Close this blog right and take a step towards it.