February 2013 Media Suggestions: Goudin, Duhigg, Chernow, Ferriss, Greene



The 50th Law – Robert Greene

This is my favorite of Robert Greene’s work. If I had to suggest one book of his, I’d suggest this one. He weaves his signature web of prominent figure-biographical information while juxtaposing the times of violence and struggle from the tough life of Curtis Jackson (50-Cent) growing up in South Queens, dealing drugs and perpetrating violence.

This is the best of Greene’s books for those seeking entrepreneur lifestyle.



48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene

I primarily listened to this book while running along the beach during the turmultuous cyclone that hit the Gold Coast this week. The voice of the narrator is diabolical so while listening I felt like a devil was whispering in my ear, contriving to organize something malicious.

Greene uses historical figures from the past 3,000 years as examples to support his 48 Laws of Power. He mentions Genghis Khan, John D. Rockefeller, Cleopatra and a hundred more. It is filled with interesting stories that I’m sure will prove valuable to day-to-day life.

Many of the laws suggest that our economy is fundamentally limited in which the slices of the pie are finite and need to be fought over. Greene mentions in his interview with Chase Jarvis that the 48 Laws of Power is more of a manual to help you realize if someone is making power moves against you, rather than a guide to make power moves on others.

I believe it’s valuable to learn these lessons to help guard oneself from the motivations of others. Perhaps, it isn’t a great guide for thriving in the modern “connection economy.” For a guide on this, I suggest Linchpin


Linchpin – Seth Goudin

I’m subscribed to Seth’s Blog < http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ >. I read it almost every day and it provides daily motivation to create art and act boldly.

This is my favorite of his books it’s a pure motivation and should be read by anyone looking to succeed in this crazy, unprecedented world of ours.

Seth, if you end up reading this. Thank You.

I’ll read more Goudin (Purple CowsPermission MarketingWe are All Weird) next month.


Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. – Ron Chernow

Great story of Rockefeller’s life. It’s a captivating read. When the oil business was developing it was a nightmare of unprecedented economic turmoil. Imagine filthy pioneer oil hustlers moving barrels of crude oil across upstate New York on the backs of donkeys, spilling the stuff everywhere and fighting day and night to stay ahead on where the next oil spot would be found.

Chernow describes Rockefeller as the process builder that slammed the whole system into a scaleable, professional business. I imagine endless stories around the power plays Rockefeller made with railroads, governments and other refiners during his rise. It’s awesome to think about.

I’d love to read more about big magnates of the past. Maybe Carnegie, Vanderbuilt and any others of their class. If you have any suggestions, please send them my way!


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business – Charles Duhigg

This is a good one. I like the stories of Claud Hopkins and how he made brushing teeth go from a traveling-salesperson-hustle to a national habit. Changing the habits of the US during this time helped alleviate the dental hygiene problem that the government was calling a “national security risk” during WWII.

It’s cool to learn how Paul O’Neil changed the ALCOA mining company via implementing a habit of safety. My only previous experience with ALCOA was in the movie Motorcycle Diaries where the company is portrayed as an evil international corporation. O’Neil’s story is inspiring and I hope to bring successful habits to my own organization one day.

The Power of Habit is a great read for anyone seeking to have a greater understanding of leadership and human behavior.




Bryan Callen and Tim Ferriss

Callen does a great podcast though it’s often not worth suggesting here. He had Tim Ferriss on this month and it was one of his best podcasts to date. Listen to it, it’s free – funny & facinating.

Seth Goudin on On Being

More excellence from Seth. Motivation to ship and do something important.

That’s All Folks

I’m currently reading Antifragile by Nassim Taleb. So far, it’s his best that I’ve read (I’ve only read Black Swan.)

If you enjoyed this newsletter and you know anyone who would also benefit, please share by having them head to ianrobinson.net/subscribe.

Thanks very much for your attention.


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