Cliffs Notes for startup books + resources

#2 Product of the DayNovember 02, 2014
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Discovered this on r/entrepreneur after someone sent me the TL;DR of my own book and really dug where BlockShelf is going with this.
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@alexisohanian Alexis, great find - what are your thoughts on the fact that these are indeed books people generally pay for?
@alexisohanian I've wanted somebody to build this for so long.
@alexisohanian I remember when it used to be called Read Lead Grow :) Such a great site but wish the font was smaller. Also, check out Blinkist (!
@raj_ventures I went around the country on the Without Their Permission tour and told some 80+ university students that if they couldn't afford my book, there were other ways to procure it... Yarrr.... that's how I feel about that. I'd rather see the ideas spread because I know (and even talk about it in WTP) that piracy is not a loss of revenue bc those people probably never would've paid anyway and are another potential fan to spread the word. Plus it'd be super ironic if the guy with a book called "Without Their Permission" was upset about that sort of thing....
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@alexisohanian Wow! Thanks so much Alexis, this means everything to me. I've been a huge fan of your work for a long time. I feel so honored that you posted my site here.
Hey everyone! Thanks for the support, please let me know if I can help answer any questions.
@timfinni Are the lessons direct quotes from the books? Or in your own words? Either way, just found this, great project! I'm doing something similar, so it's interesting to see people like this concept. Keep up the great work!
Love the idea. I'd use this to recap books I've already read. Some of the points aren't too meaningful without the books which is fine but perhaps we could get page numbers for each point also?
@maxwood Hey Max, you make a good point. A lot of the lessons from BlockShelf aren't entirely helpful unless you have examples from the book to illustrate them. I may go back and add page numbers at some point, but for now I'm just trying to keep the site as minimalist and straightforward as possible.
Love it ! I have a notepad with notes from around half of those books :) now they are online... I would personally recommend reading/adding the following books as well - 'Innovators dilemma', 'Monk and the Riddle' & 'What I wish I knew when I was 20'
@nikitahertz Thanks Nick! I'll add those books to my to-read list. I was actually planning on reading 'The Innovator's Dilemma' very soon, heard great things about it.
Excellent.. The grid-view theme looks to be a perfect fit for the site. 1) Are you planning to open this site up for submissions from the community? You could monitor the submissions and add this to the site then. 2) Also, if a book (or) video was referred by an investor / entrepreneur, if you can add those references, it will give a lot of weight to the book (i know this is lot of work) 3) When you mention "quotes", are you referring to those video snippets in the interviews (or) are you referring to tweets / lines from blog-posts??
@girishhari Hi Girish, thanks for the questions and feedback! 1) I like the idea of opening up the site for more submissions. However, I'm also trying to achieve a certain measure of quality and consistency. I don't mind growing kind of slow at this stage, and just making sure I'm focused on effectively breaking down these books for entrepreneurs. I've had some people reach out to me offering to help, and I may take on a few guest writers at some point and see how things develop. 2) Great idea - I agree that it gives a book more credibility if successful people are recommending it. This would be a good feature to add. 3) The lessons from the site are my interpretation of the key points in the book. The block quotes are paraphrased sections that help illustrate those lessons. The videos at the bottom of the posts just involve the various writers discussing their ideas. I thought i might be helpful to have different mediums to help communicate the author's messages.
@tim_finnigan1 Are you planning to introduce "Videos" as a section in your site (or) is this going to be for books alone? For instance, there is tremendous knowledge to be derived out of videos in startupschool (all archived videos) / 'how to start a startup' lessons. The knowledge in these videos may not be available in books :-(
@girishhari That's a good point, there's a lot of great knowledge out there in the videos. But I also don't want to get too scattered with my approach. I like having this straightforward structure for now, so these days I plan to focus on the books/authors. It's funny you mention video though, I just uploaded a video compilation today of 50 different startup founders discussing the genesis of their ideas, it's loosely related to the site:
@tim_finnigan1 thats an excellent compilation.. Would it have helped save your time if you had a product like this --
@girishhari Oh cool! Yeah it would have been helpful to use this app. Thanks for sharing.