Sunday, May 31, 2015

Book Review: Young Turks

Young Turks: Inspiring Stories of Tech EntrepreneursYoung Turks: Inspiring Stories of Tech Entrepreneurs by Shereen Bhan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The unique selling proposition (USP) of this book is that you get introduced to the founders of flipkart, snapdeal, justdial, druva and more. The book is for someone who knows nothing about these guys. Having read about entrepreneurs before I didn't get a lot of new information.

Secondly, you can see through the book that this is a journalist asking questions. The books doesn't give a detailed account of the founders, nor is it inspiring enough. Shereen Bhan seems to have a predefined set of questions she asks everyone. This starts to get boring beyond a certain point. The stories are not personalized enough. I have read some of Rashmi Bansal books and she does that quite well. In the current book, the stories are quite short and I found the author moving to questionnaires too quickly for me.

Having said that this is a good starting point for reading books on this topic. Go for it if you do not know a lot about these founders already. If you have read a fair bit on this topic, skip this.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Book Review: How I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-Founded A Million Dollar Company

How I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-Founded A Million Dollar CompanyHow I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-Founded A Million Dollar Company by Varun Agarwal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story of Varun Agarwal is quite inspiring. The best part of this book is that you can relate to the central idea. We have all had an Anu Aunty in our lives and though you can see that the story is tweaked at times to make the presentation good, this is something that the author openly accepts in the book. Fare enough, the presentation needs to bind the readers.

Secondly, as a Bangalorean there are tons of places you can relate to and its fun to come across those references. All in all, the book makes some really good points keeping the mood light, cracking jokes along the way. This is one book that got me interested in reading books once again. I would recommend this book to anyone who is in the struggling phase, anyone who has lived in Bangalore and anyone who just wants to read a book for fun. Go for it, its worth a read!

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Book Review: Life is What You Make It

Life is What You Make ItLife is What You Make It by Preeti Shenoy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A good measure of whether you like a book or not, to me, is the feeling you carry soon after finishing the book. And with this book it was NOT a positive feeling for me. The book seems to over-dramatize certain instances.

I read this book between two masterpieces by George Orwell-
Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Perhaps that influenced my opinion on this book too and I can't help compare these books. The current book stands nowhere if you compare with those standards. You can clearly see the difference between the two authors. While on one hand George Orwell paints some beautiful pictures and maintains the tempo throughout the book, Preeti Shenoy fails miserably there in my opinion. There are parts in this book where you just don't feel like continuing. I would't recommend reading this book. There are tons of options out there and though I haven't read a lot of books myself I am sure there are plenty of better books read than this. This book can kill your interest in reading and I almost fell in that trap.

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Book Review: The Start-up of You

The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your CareerThe Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I will divide my review for this book into two parts. One to project what the author conveys and two- to show how this book is different from others.

In our part of the world, we are starting to move from the get a job mentality to start a company and thankfully so. The way we look at the entrepreneurs and people employed by the bigger organizations is completely different. Obviously, not everyone can start a company. Then does it mean that the entrepreneur mentality should be borne by only those few people starting a company? This is where this book fits in.

The author goes on to essay that there is no clear line of distinction between the two sides. The author suggests that entrepreneurship is something pretty central to whatever one does. The author shows how the concepts of entrepreneurship apply to regular jobs.

Moving to the second point of how this book is different- the first thing that I try to find when I come across a book is if it will impact my thinking in some way. Frankly, not many do that. This book, if you follow the exercises definitely does that. Go ahead, read the chapters one by one and follow the exercises. You will see the point behind linkedin and other social networks. You will know how to use first, second and other degrees of connection. Your network will grow and you will learn to use your network in the right way and much more. A must read for everyone!

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Book Review: Connect The Dots

Connect The DotsConnect The Dots by Rashmi Bansal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had been reading a lot on entrepreneurs when I was recommended this book. But before this book, it had only been about massively successful founders like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill gates etc. Reading only about them gets you into thinking big but at the same time you feel a bit intimidated by these personalities. You keep asking yourself if they were born geniuses, if you too could do something etc.

Reading this book opened my horizons. The book covers some lesser known entrepreneurs and goes on to show that its not only limited to software, its not only limited to silicon valley but entrepreneurship is all about seeing things around you and starting whatever you feel for. Its more basic than choosing a field you want to be in and finding a problem there. Its more about finding an opportunity in any field, any scale and any place.

All in all a great piece encompassing a lot of variety. Indeed like the title says it did connect some dots for me. If you are dreaming and not able to find the one thing you would want to do, go for this book. If nothing else it will at least broaden your range so the problem is a touch simpler.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Book Review: Screw It, Let's Do It

Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons In LifeScrew It, Let's Do It: Lessons In Life by Richard Branson

Richard Branson opens up about his life quoting instances to make the points listed in the contents. A short one and a good read especially if you are into reading about entrepreneurs. Richard's story has tons of things that one can learn from.

I read this book after the other one - Losing my virginity and it felt like this is just a shorter version of that book.

If you want to read more into the instances he quotes in Screw it lets do it I would recommend reading the other book. On the other hand, for the same reason I wouldn't recommend reading Screw it lets do it if you have already read the other book.

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