Shaping My Mind

What use is it to read all these books if I remember so little from them? […] Reading and experience train your model of the world. And even if you forget the experience or what you read, its effect on your model of the world persists.

—Paul Graham, How you know

Here's what I choose to shape my mind with.

It's the list of what I've been reading, listening to, watching, learning, trying to understand. It does not mean, I concur with these ideas. I want to expand my mind, learn different points of view, broaden and deepen my understanding of this world.


  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Book about how habits shape our lives and how we can shape our habits.
  • How Not to Be Wrong: the Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg. Book about how math, and the thinking it implies, penetrates our world.
  • Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler. Book about how to structure a sales department, how to organize its processes so that selling becomes more mechanical and less magical.
  • I'm striving to read one summary per day.
  • The 4-hour work week, o book by Tim Ferris.


  1. Rich Dad Poor Dad, a book by Robert Kiyosaki.
  2. Blink (exec summary), a book by Malcolm Gladwell, about the efficiency of the subconscious to arrive at conclusions for which the conscious mind takes forever.
  3. Beyond Performance (exec summary), a book by Scott Keller and Colin Price about how to build a performing and healthy organization. My favorite quote: “Successful senior leaders typically embark on a personal transformation journey of their own. Through their actions, they not only show what the new behavior looks like, but also role model the ability to change.”
  4. Linux (Case Study on Internals), a Youtube video on Linux internals, covering history, architecture, threading, memory management, Virtual Filesystems (VFS).
  5. Becoming a Category of One (executive summary) by Joe Calloway.
  6. A Complaint Free World, a talk on Youtube by Will Bowen. What complaining is, why it's not good for you, how to avoid complainers and become complaint-free. Fantastic video to watch and consider and do, and that's coming from a Berliner—if we can't complain, it kills 50% of our conversations.
  7. A Bias for Action, an exec summary of the book by Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghoshal. Managers are either frenzied, procrastinating, detached or purposeful. If you want to be one of the 10% who fall into the latter category, you need to channel both your focus and energy into goals that you personally commit to, and that align with you as a person. The idea of the book is useful. The summary does not clarify what more the book has to offer, i.e. if it gives specific guide on how to take action. :)
  8. How to speed up Python application startup time, a blog post by @methane about profiling imports in Python 3.7.


  1. <incomplete, because I got lazy>
  2. The Gang of Four is wrong and you don't understand delegation a blog post by Jim Gay about the original meaning of the word “delegation” in a software context, and what it means now, and why the latter is wrong.
  3. Project Include which lays out policies, ideas and approaches to build a company that aims to build a diverse team.
  4. Want diverse applicants? Post your job openings here.
  5. The Best Advice We Overheard at First Round's CTO Unconference a blog post about learnings from said conference. Lots of things to think about or try.
  6. Organizational Debt is like Technical debt – but worse, a blog post by Steve Blank. When a company grows up, from searching a business model, into a focused company, it's a sort of organizational debt that hinders it. Formal onboarding, proper compensation for old employees, figuring out which old employees still make sense, hiring plans, …
  7. Using Docker is not risky. But, there are things to look out for., a blog post by Yoshioka Tsuneo about Docker security.
  8. RITx: CYBER501x Cybersecurity Fundamentals by Jonathan S. Weissman, an edX course on IT security. My notes on CYBER501x.
  9. The Tools We Use To Stay Afloat, a blog post by Colloq on how they organize themselves. I answered Colloqs blog post here.
  10. Writing With Flair: How to become an Exceptional Writer by Shani Raja. A Udemy course about writing better, specifically online / nowadays.
  11. A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink. Book about preparing for a future where empathy and creativity rule.
  12. Can Only the Rich Get Ahead?, a 20 min podcast on the American dream nowadays by Twice Around. I am wondering about the inherent injustice: Obviously not everyone can move up, otherwise moving up becomes meaningless, so is it about the right people moving up? Why not about improving life quality for everyone?
  13. The One-Handed Pianist, a 15 min podcast by Slack Single Servings about Keith Porter-Snell, a pianist who struggled with loosing feeling in his right hand, and became a one-handed pianist.
  14. The battle for India's lucrative mobile market, a tiny podcast by Financial Times News.
  15. How to Vett Django Apps, a video cast by Go Django on how to decide wether to use a Django project. 1. Active development? 2. Decent code base? 3. Easy to use and documented? 4. Who developed it? 5. Prototype something with it!
  16. Your Path through Agile Fluency, an article by Martin Fowler, Diana Larsen and James Shore. Discusses the spectrum of a team on an agility/fluency scale of four stars.
  17. Inside Google's innovation factory, a podcast by FT Tech Tonic.
  18. Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan Leaves NASA, a podcast by Planetary Radio: Space Exploration, Astronomy and Science.
  19. Remote Meets Co-Located: How Batchbook Builds Culture with Blended Work Styles by Zapier/Batchbook. Blog post about Batchbooks approach and techniques to successfully fuse remote and co-located employees.
  20. The Breakthrough Company by Keith R. McFarland. Book about properties of highly successful US companies, derived by studying 9 breakthrough companies out of more than 7000.
  21. Everything You Need to Know about Photogrammetry… I hope by Joseph Azzam. Introductory article on Gamasutra on which software and hardware tools to use for Photogrammetry. Not what it is or how it works, just pointers how to do it.
  22. Emotional Seismograph by Construx' Alistair Sloley. A 2-min video about a retrospective technique to capture happiness over time, and find common patterns.
  23. Keyword Research for SEO: The Definitive Guide. A guide into the topic with nice pointers around.
  24. Niche Site Duel 2.0.1 - Keyword Research and SEO Analysis by Pat Flynn. A Youtube intro to the SEO keyword craft.
  25. How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio. A Youtube intro to the economy.
  26. Understanding The Game We're Playing by Simon Sinek. A CreativeMornings talk on the flaws of the millenials.
  27. Why good leaders make you feel safe by Simon Sinek. A TED Talk video about how great leaders make their team feel safe by putting the team first, their safety and comfort. They get trust and cooperation in return.
  28. The Beginner's Guide to SEO from Moz.
  29. Fasting vs. Slow-Carb Diet, Top $150 Purchases, Balancing Productivity and Relaxation, and More podcast by Tim Ferriss.
  30. 10x Software Engineering 2017 by Earl Beede. An online course from Construx about 8 key principles for creating a professional software development organization. Free until New Year, courtesy of their public Christmas Gift.
  31. Der Letzte seines Standes? Der Mollenhauer. German-language Youtube video about a traditional, soon lost bavarian craft: Axing tubs and bowls in one piece from a tree trunk. (And not just one, just watch this guy, amazing.)


  1. Geography Now! Chile. Short Youtube Video with some facts about Chile.
  2. Brain Chemistry Life Hack by Steve Ilardi. A TEDxKC video about how to improve our brain/life. Experience changes our brain. Exercise. Sunlight. Food, less sugar. Bad thoughts, cured by socializing.
  3. Learning How to Learn by Barbara Oakley. A Google Talks video with five tips on how to learn.
  4. Sleep-Engineering: Improve Your Life By Manipulating Your Sleep by Penny Lewis, In this TEDxGrandRapids video Lewis explains why sleep is important (what sleep deprivation inhibits) and hints at ways to hack our sleep and at ways science might help us to improve it in the future.
  5. Why do we sleep? by Russell Foster. In this TED Talk video, Foster explains why sleep is important (what sleep deprivation inhibits) and how much we need.
  6. The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal. Google Talk video of McGonigal talking about what influences our willpower and how to nudge ourselves into being our better selves.
  7. 5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Win The Day by Tim Ferriss. The podcast has Tim talking about his five morning habits: 1. Making his bed, 2. meditating, 3. Making tea, 4. Hanging, 5. Journaling.
  8. The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington. Google Talk video of Huffington talking about how she manages her sleep and about media revolutions, of course.
  9. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. Book about entrepeneurship and small businesses
  10. Working the System by Sam Carpenter. Book about succeeding in business and life by dividing the world into its subsystems and conquering those with precise documentation.
  11. … and many more. I started this in late December. :)