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Hi, one of the makers here. Pleasantly surprised and honored to be featured on Product Hunt. I was instructed to share why we build this and give a preview of future plans. So here it goes: What is this about? See everyone has their own super heros or people that they aspire to be. When such a person recommends something to you, you are more likely to pay attention and you know it is more likely to be useful to you. When that person also says "why they recommend something" - it just becomes way more useful to you. In your mind, you already know who to seek guidance from, for various topics, be is startups or tech or even buying a car. For eg startups, I want to get advice from @pmarca(among others), but he is super busy, he is not going to respond every time someone tries asking him a question. So if there was some way to asynchronize this information, then I can learn from the best of people and from the people who I think is relevant to me. So what we are trying to do is to create a "People first review engine". If you notice on the landing page, you will see a list of people, not a list of book recommendations. The reason is because, we feel the most important entity here is people, not the book. Basically we were trying to see how we can accelerate our learning process. On the internet, we are in an information abundant economy. The hard part is picking the right content/information. Our hypothesis is that recommendations from people that you respect will help narrow down on what to read. We are doing books for now. We would like to cover other learning material later. Upcoming: We are in the very early stages of building this product. Couple of things we are working on are building a post login experience & a bookmarking feature. Obviously, we look forward to and would be absolutely delighted to get feedback.
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@alexjv89 Great stuff, Alex! I'm always on the hunt for the best books on business and life. Btw, I think you misspelled Mr. Spolsky's first name.
@tomstocklein - Thanks for pointing out the error. Fixed. Also awesome that you liked it..
@alexjv89 @pmarca great idea, one I've been walking around with for a large amount of time. Nicholas Nassim Taleb says books are the most scaleable way of spreading information, and I've learned a great deal about building a company by distilling what A players have shared in books & blogs. Too early to tell whether it will truly work out well for our company, but I see some positive change for sure. I'm sure that these A players have learned from the best as well, so knowing where they all draw their information from I believe will surely help in building a better world. Would be great to see some patterns I now see more explicitly displayed as "truisms" backed by smart people so that people know it's a strong theory that hasn't been falsified yet. Too often the world is giving the microphone to people spraying the wrong information, all because the busy A players are too busy actually doing it. Keep it up!
@alexjv89 Awesome idea! it will be great there was a list of top books in the empty space on the right . From there one can click on the book to see who are the personalities that have recommended it. That's my feedback.
I love that on Highly Reco the recommendations are not limited to contemporary, newly released novels, but rather (from my understanding) is a hub for everyone to coalesce over their favourite books of all time. Are you looking into developing a database of novels in the future including a brief synopsis, cover, author, publisher, etc or will you continue to link directly to Amazon?
@aleyadwivedi - You are right about the first part. About the second part of your question, we think we might stick with just linking to Amazon. Our understanding is that the value to users is in the review of the person that you care about. Once a review catches your attention, you can go to amazon and get the description of the book. When you read a review of a person that you know/respect/care about, its like that person is right next to you and telling you why you should pick up that book. That is what we think makes the most sense.
The most comprehensive list is definitely @pmarca here with 85 recommendations! If I find the maker, we have some awesome book collections here on Product Hunt that can help fuel some more :)
@bentossell looks like @alexjv89 is the maker
@bentossell - thanks for adding highlyreco. Looking at the booking collections on Product Hunt right now... How do you suggest we go about finding "why" each of these book were recommended by the respective person? Will try digging up their review context online..
Very similar to ParrotRead which sources recommendations from Twitter.
@rrhoover - more or less. For now we crawl(manually) the web too .. People dont always tweet book recommendations. @pmaca was an exception. He had a ton of awesome book recommendations on his twitter feed.
@rrhoover Agree on the fundamental functionality. This project is basically scratching our own itch. Sourcing recommendation from Twitter is a good start. Personally from what we have observed, there are a few people you follow on Twitter whom you are eager to learn from and follow them religiously. It is this few people who are important to you and gives immense value to you. We are experimenting with this concept we call people first review engine where people recommend products that they love. To give you an idea, you go to google.com and enter Nathan Bashaw, and you get a list of all the products he has recommended (sorted by categories of course). And if you enter: "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!", you'll get a list of all the people whom you follow and their reviews of the book. The project is in its infancy stage. It has just been few weeks since we went from ideation to 0.1 version MVP. We are fortunate to have been featured on Product Hunt and this opens up a chance for us to talk to lots of relevant and interested people and get feedback. Thank you
Hey Alex, where are you pulling these recommendations? I love being included, but I haven't read a couple of the books I am supposedly recommending. Meanwhile, I've recommended hundreds if not thousands of others books not mentioned.
@ryanholiday - Woooo! This is like a major selfie moment. Super kicked to be replying to this. To be honest, I had only finished exhaustively curating book recommendations by @pmarca. And then all this happened. I listen to Tim Ferris podcast once in while. Listened to the episode with you on it and then wanted to list down the books that you recommended. Made a quick note about the books mentioned here - http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014... . I kind of know that you have a full reading list. Sorry about that. Will make the necessary changes.
@ryanholiday Honoured to have you checking out our project. Me and Alex manually researched our heroes and found out information from the internet. We were in the process of adding more people, organizing and fact checking information we collected when our project got featured on Product Hunt (Thank you Ben!). If there are errors, we apologize. We were not prepared for getting hunted! To give you a bit of a context, this project is in the earliest of the earliest stages (for example, there is no functionality implemented except listing people and books by us for us). We started this project weeks back with the hypothesis that people would love to learn from masters of respective fields and recommendations are one of the best forms of getting insights in improving your craft and yourself. Organized this information well, it is of immense value for people looking to learn from yourself and others. What we were going to do in the next 2 weeks was to reach out to yourself and other people in the list we prepared to get perspective. To be honest, I'd like to take this opportunity to ask if it is ok to reach out to you. My email id is aj@abyjames.com. And in all sincerity, I'd love to get the thousands of books that you have recommended. If it requires, we are prepared to meet you where you are! It is 2:15 AM in India, and Alex went to get some rest half an hour back. I tried calling him, but I can't reach him. P.S: Hopefully this is not misinterpreted in this conversation context, but I have read Trust Me, I'm Lying 9 times and I absolutely love it!
@alexjv89 Keep it up. Good luck