Three books about break-through entrepreneurs

3rd March 2017

Cheery Friday greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Books of the week

This week, we’d like to contrast three books about break-through entrepreneurs.  Reading these books can help you think more boldly about your own life and what you would like to accomplish, whether you want to start a global business or simply have a happy family life. Here’s our lineup:

  • Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, by Duncan Clark. We loved learning that Jack Ma, unlike many other brilliant entrepreneurs, is an enormous success despite his lack of math skills! Clark’s book focuses more on how Alibaba helped establish the internet sales market in China, than on Jack Ma himself. But the very different nature of internet sales in China versus the sales in the Western hemisphere makes this a worthwhile read.  Audible version narrated by Jim Meskimen.
  • The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, by Brad Stone. This book provides insight both on how Amazon emerged and on Bezos himself. Like all three of the breakthrough leaders of these books, Bezos has a relentless work ethic as well as a broad vision that others initially thought was crazy. The Everything Store was selected as a best book of the year by the Washington Post, Forbes, the New Republic, The Economist, Bloomberg, and Gizmodo, and as one of the top 10 investigative journalism book by Nieman Reports. The Audible version of this book, narrated by Pete Larkin, was an Audie Award Finalist.
  • Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance. Musk, like Bezos and Ma, is pioneering a whole new entrepreneurial vision–but at least at present, Musk is in a class by himself in broadly expanding the scope of what humanity may achieve.  This book has won copious awards and was named our Learning How to Learn “Book of the Year” for 2016. The Audible version, narrated by Fred Sanders, was an Audible Best Book of the Year.

A great interview with Nasos Papadopoulos of MetaLearn

Sometimes podcasts can be a challenge for Barb, because the interviewers routinely ask the same sorts of questions.  Nasos Papadopoulos (with his elegant British accent), breaks the mold, going far beyond the usual questions in this in-depth podcast to explore areas that Barb hasn’t spoken of before. This interview is worth listening to, especially if you want to learn more of the future of online education, Barb’s upcoming book, or her past in the US Army. 😉

5 Reasons Why You Are Not Speaking English Fluently

Here’s a worthwhile article on why you aren’t speaking English the way you might want to.  (Hat tip, technical support engineer Irina Petrova.)

10 MOOCs That Support Lifelong Learning

Senior Mentor (and Amharic Language Lead) Marta Pulley recommends this article by Marianne Stenger on 10 MOOCs That Support Lifelong Learning. Marianne missed Learning How to Learn, :P, but the other MOOCs look great!

Taking scientific studies with caution

We’re obviously keen proponents of science here at Learning How to Learn, but it’s important to remember that there can be severe challenges with science as it is currently conducted. The problems aren’t just with social sciencethey’re also found in “hard,” clinical science. As John Ioannidis notes:  “Empirical efforts of reproducibility checks performed by industry investigators on a number of top-cited publications from leading academic institutions have shown reproducibility rates of 11% to 25%.”

Here are two not-to-be-missed articles and studies that describe why we should use caution with seemingly solid scientific results:



That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team
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