Books that inspired us this month

04/03/2021

Using World Book Day as an excuse, we decided to share the books that inspire our work and our lives!

We asked everyone on the team to recommend a book and this is the result!

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

This is a book that everyone in the team has read, or listened to, at least once. If you’re building a company, it’s a must-read because, as the title says, it talks about the hard things of running a business, like working with friends, how to sell your company, and how to lead a company during difficult times.

The tone is super light, funny, and extremely honest, and Ben talks from his personal experience, which makes it even more valuable.

Our favorite quote:

"Life is struggle. I believe that within that quote lies the most important lesson in entrepreneurship: Embrace the struggle."

- Ben Horowitz

For all of us building something or those that enjoy doing it again and again, knowing that we’re not the only ones experiencing hard truths and, hopefully, not the last ones.

Get it here.

The Saint, The Surfer, And The CEO by Robin Sharma

Thai, our CTO, recommended this book. He used his free days during the Tet holidays (he lives in Vietnam) to read it and do some self-reflection.

If self-help books are not your cup of tea, at least have this takeaway from one of the quotes there: 

"What men want is not talent, it is purpose; in other words, not the power to achieve, but will to labor. I believe that labor judiciously and continuously applied becomes genius."

- Edward Bulwer-Lytton

For Thai, this was something that stuck with him because as a company that works 100% remotely, and never having met anyone in the team, that constantly puts pressure on everyone to question our true purpose. 

This book made Thai question why is he working at KISSPlatform and whether what we’re building is working or not. 

In the end, he realized that he wants to apply his knowledge to do something useful and he wants to keep learning. KISSPlatform is the place where this purpose is fulfilled.

This book is perfect if you’re wondering if you’re right in following the path you’re following. Who knows, after reading it, you might pivot to another thing!

Get it here.

The Way of The Runner, The Rise of The Ultra Runners, and Running With The Kenyans, all by Adharanand Finn

Adharanand Finn tells stories about running. He does it as a freelance journalist but he also does it through these books.

D’vorah, our CEO, and Carlos, our CMO, love running so these books are right up their alley. These books will transport you to Japan, desserts in Oman, and Kenya, among many, many other places where people enjoy running (spoiler alert, it’s enjoyed even in the most remote places).

Carlos’ favorite quote:

“Running is a brutal and emotional sport. It’s also a simple, primal sport. As humans, on a most basic level, we get hungry, we sleep, we yearn for love, we run.”

- Adharanand Finn, from Running With The Kenyans

The books are amazing because they mix history, interviews, and personal experiences from Adharanand. Be careful, these books will really make you want to go out and run!

Get all of Adharanand's books here.

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Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price

For all of those on the verge of burning out. This book is about how important it is to be lazy and have time to relax. This recommendation comes from Justine, our Marketing Manager, and the person writing this blog post.

Maybe you feel like you have to be hustling (or side hustling) all the time, that if you aren’t busy at all hours, you’re doing something wrong or that if you’re not learning hard enough, you won’t ever be successful. This book is about telling you that you’re not wrong, and that, in fact, doing this can have serious mental and health consequences.

Justine’s favorite quote:

“Psychologists who study creativity are often very interested in these big “aha” moments and have put a lot of effort into studying what a person can do to promote them. It turns out that laziness is one of the most effective steps to getting there.”

- Devon Price

It’s nice to read Laziness Does Not Exist and discover that there are scientifically proven reasons to take a day off (or two!), to fight for that free time from our jobs, and to resist the pressure to always be doing more and more.

Get it here.

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

This book comes as a recommendation from Xavier, our head of patents. It’s another classic for all those that want to launch their own startup.

It’s a great book to start having the right questions when you’re trying to innovate or create something new.

“Customers won’t care about any particular technology unless it solves a particular problem in a superior way. And if you can’t monopolize a unique solution for a small market, you’ll be stuck with vicious competition.”

- Peter Thiel

The book guides you through everything you need to know about building something completely new, like creating something that provides value, and how startups grow. It’s a great starting point if you’re thinking about launching a new startup.

Get it here.

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