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chrisross

chrisross

Currently reading

Into the Kill Zone: A Cop's Eye View of Deadly Force
David Klinger
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Jared Diamond

Kayak owner Paul M. English sells to Priceline and makes millions

A Truck Full of Money: One Man's Quest to Recover from Great Success - Tracy Kidder

I listened to the audio book and it is pretty good.  The story is interesting though jumps around chronologically and sometimes takes sharp turns in times from present to past and vice versa.

 

The story is incredibly interesting and i had no idea who Paul M. English was before listening to this book.  I listened to this just after reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh of Zappos and he and Paul M. English have in common is that both started VC incubator sites to nurture businesses, both eventually focused on only one business, both are programmers and probably pretty good ones, both sold companies for lots and lots of money, both seem like nice people and buck the trend of making a lot of money creating an aura of superiority to other human beings, and both are involved with charities and giving away most or all of their wealth though Tony is quite a bit younger than Paul M. English.

 

The book details English' Bipolar disorder and hypomania and some of his struggles to deal with them by experimenting with different medications. The book does a pretty good job of explaining to the listener/reader some of the thoughts pin-balling around in English' brain.

 

The business lessons from this book are: 1) find a need and fill it 2) look for or create a blue ocean to avoid competition 3) hire the best people and let them do what they do best even if that means working remotely, e.g. Carl 4) fire those that do not fit the culture and fire them quickly 5) determine quickly what your company culture is and guard it 6) fail fast and pivot 7) get to profitability within 18 months and stay there.

 

This was a better book than I expected and I'm glad I listened to it.  

 

I highly recommend it.