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The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Entrepreneur and journalist Shane Snow (Wired, Fast Company, The New Yorker, and cofounder of Contently) analyzes the lives of people and companies that do incredible things in implausibly short time.

How do some startups go from zero to billions in mere months? How did Alexander the Great, YouTube tycoon Michelle Phan, and Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon climb to the top in less time than it takes most of us to get a promotion? What do high-growth businesses, world-class heart surgeons, and underdog marketers do in common to beat the norm?

One way or another, they do it like computer hackers. They employ what psychologists call "lateral thinking: to rethink convention and break "rules" that aren't rules.

These are not shortcuts, which produce often dubious short-term gains, but ethical "smartcuts" that eliminate unnecessary effort and yield sustainable momentum. In Smartcuts, Snow shatters common wisdom about success, revealing how conventions like "paying dues" prevent progress, why kids shouldn't learn times tables, and how, paradoxically, it's easier to build a huge business than a small one.

From SpaceX to The Cuban Revolution, from Ferrari to Skrillex, Smartcuts is a narrative adventure that busts old myths about success and shows how innovators and icons do the incredible by working smarter—and how perhaps the rest of us can, too.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 11, 2014 – Journalist and Contently cofounder Snow is chomping at the bit to see even more radical changes in an already fast-moving world: "By the end of this book, I'd like to convince you that serendipity can be engineered, that luck can be manufactured, convention can be defied, and that the best paths to success no matter how you define it are different today from what they were yesterday." Snow's big idea is that we need to break away from traditional business practices, which allowed decades for big changes to come to fruition. The key, according to Snow, is learning to think like a hacker. He traces the book's genesis to an article he worked on for Fast Company during the tech boom, and subsequent research into the behavior patterns of successful tech companies. Here, he discusses the ways in which rapid success has happened throughout history, with examples ranging from U.S. presidents to Jimmy Fallon. Snow also stresses the importance of masters (read: mentors) and the kind of iterative innovation computer programmers learn to do as a matter of course. Getting "rapid feedback" is essential and is how Upworthy learned the most infuriatingly effective ways to get readers to click. Snow's points are interesting, and his writing both earnest and engaging; readers are sure to find this book both inspiring and helpful.

Customer Reviews

Killer content. Journalist-style writing.

I absolutely loved the content, and well curated stories that show the author has been around the bush. Really good. I kept getting caught up on the writing style. It's dramatic, and very journalistic -no duh considering the author. Just a little overkill to be read chapter after chapter. It's so cosmetic though, I couldn't take off a star for it.

A must read for all entrepreneurs.

One of the best books I've ver read. Highly recommended. Is one of those books that you read it once and keep reading over and over again. And every time you come back to it you find something completely new that changes the course of your life as business owner and entrepreneur

View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Management & Leadership
  • Published: Sep 09, 2014
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings