PROFIL

Mikhail Romanov

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Likely useless for you

Gesamt
1 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
1 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 07.02.2020

Author builds the book on top of a few assumptions:
1. The reader is disagreeable and needs to become more agreeable, listening and caring. Obviously false, as there are leaders of all kinds.
2. Removing minor annoyances that hurt how people perceive you would help your career and launch you forward. Obviously false for anyone who worked in big companies - no matter what you do someone would dislike you. Working on how you are perceived (instead of focusing on building professional relationships and delivering results) is just pointless.
3. Being a jerk will hurt your career. This is very intuitively obvious, but false in reality. If you are high performer, nobody cares that you are a jerk. You can scream and humiliate people, cry in meetings, ignore other people's opinions, fire them if you dislike them, and still be considered the best leader in the world. Don't believe me? Don't know who I mean? Read the biography of Steve Jobs.

Author admits that he only works with people where his methods would cause big success. He seems to be finding people who are oblivious to major flaws and uses 360 feedback to point those flaws out and turn the person "around". Then he pretends that every leader in the world has this issue and write a book with that assumption. Funny thing is, such people don't read such books.

Food for thought

Gesamt
5 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 26.01.2020

Fascinating read. I especially liked how Ben reasons about multiple ideas that were very counter-intuitive in their day and age (like that owning slaves is diminishing for the slave owner, not only for the slave) came out of the Bible and were unlikely to have spread without it. How religion pushed people to stay in monasteries and study the world in God's name, what became the foundation of knowledge gathering and eventually science. How the theory of evolution was a turning point when people collectively tried to find their place in the world "without God" and implications of that.

The book ties together religion, works of great writers, scientists, philosophers, and thinkers. It's a must-read for anyone who likes to think about a variety of subjects because it shows that there are structure and connection between seemingly contrary ideas.

Advertisement for the school, rather than advice

Gesamt
3 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
3 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
3 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 26.01.2020

The book is about how the author created the Summit school with a very different approach to education. And it's a good story! I would give the book 5 stars if it would be called "History of the Summit school". 90% of the book is about that, sprinkled with personal stories of encounters with students having complex situations. But I guess few would buy the book "History of the Summit school"? Right, so they needed a better name. How about "What kids need for a fulfilled life"? Wow, much better. Every parent wants a fulfilled life for their kids. But then it needs a different content? Kids don't need the history of the summit school for a fulfilled life.

There is advice in this book on parenting and educating, but it's rare and buried deep in long stories. You really need to sit with a pen and write it down, because there is no structure to when the advice comes, no summary, no takeaway. You need to re-read multiple times and distill it down. And then you find that much of the advice is something that you need years to make right, and you need people to apply it daily at your child's school. I think it would be much better to write two books - one for teachers, and one for parents. And focus specifically on what each can do.

This book won't help you talk to strangers

Gesamt
1 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
3 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
1 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 26.01.2020

Unless you are a CIA officer on the way to talk to an intelligence agent.

Despite the title and description, the book is about how bad people are at detecting lies during interrogation, crime investigations, and so on. There's nothing about a normal person trying to talk to strangers.

The author also gets to some ridiculous conclusions:
- On average, AI is better than judges on deciding bails. That means for him you shouldn't interview for jobs face-to-face. Just scan the resume.
- Many high-profile criminals were avoiding prosecution for years. He thinks it's not because they used their power and money, but because everyone around them was naively blind, since "people are just bad at detecting lies".

90% of the book are famous stories of police injustice, intelligence screw-ups and so on. I guess author just picked a bunch of stories that fit his ideas and packaged them as "new" work.

Just guru talk and buzzwords

Gesamt
1 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
3 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
1 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 14.01.2020

This book is a real guru talk, vague metaphors and buzzwords all thrown together to sound smart but avoid any concrete advice that can be tested and verified. And yes, like a guru, author goes on about the quantum world and how this "new science" (???) is changing how we should look at managing companies.

"Information is like salmon. Free the streams and it will flow" - and other similarly vague advice that can be interpreted in a million ways, and the one you try and doesn't work can always be attributed to you using the wrong interpretation. But the most important part is to sound smart, right?

The book is filled with factual errors (for example about particles showing both field/particle properties) and things author simply doesn't understand deeply enough to write a book about, like chaos vs order. If you want to understand the latter, works of Jordan Petersen are a great way to go about it.

100% praise, no lessons

Gesamt
1 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
1 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 23.12.2019

This book tries to be both a biography, and a eulogy, but unfortunately fails at both. The main problem with it is the amount of sugar-coating of Bill. "Everything he did was great", "he was always supportive", "he LOVED the people", etc. It's all "good" and "great", he never did anything wrong. We all know that no person is that simple. But I guess when you have half of silicon valley CEOs as friends you can rewrite the history!

The funny part is how phrases that "he LOVED the people and put them first" are backed up by stories like when a person who was important to the company and did a good job decided to quit and Bill goes "He betrayed us. F**k him." Yeah, talk about love for people. To me a lot of examples sounded like he cared for the company results, and was nice to people only as long as they played along.

Another funny example was when the author was highlighting Bill's commitment to "the team". So Bill was hobby-coaching a kids' team in his free time. And the commitment example is he was preparing plays the team should execute during board meetings in one of the companies. Seriously? And for the author it's a great thing, showing how he values the kids. And the company he's on the board of? I guess it's not important. And only in the previous chapter author was telling about Bill berating a player on his team for having "other commitments" and that "you have to be 100% focused on one thing"; right before saying Bill himself was doing random stuff in meetings. But no, he's a perfect man.

To be useful, the book needs to tell the truth. To draw lessons, you need to see both sides. Blindly praising Bill doesn't do anyone any good.

Such hype turned to be a disaster

Gesamt
1 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
1 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
1 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 31.07.2019

I've read so many recommendations of this book that I've been very surprised when in the first hour I wanted to get a refund at least twice.

What's so bad about it? Well, ideas itself are good and some advice is even useful, but boy how it is written. The amount of water in this book is incredible. It's 99% fluff 1% substance.

Worse yet, the author is just so full of himself. He tells a story about an imaginary client who he consults, and she (of course) just can't get enough of his speeches. He goes endlessly about random stuff going far away from the topic, and her answer is? "Oh, please, GO ON!!!" And then he tells her the story about a hero, who abandoned his family and went for some "epic" journey. Did you already guess who the hero is? Yep, it's him. He's telling the story to an imaginary about him being a hero. And the client wants more. Wow. Just wow...

Good idea, but what to do with it?

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 31.07.2019

The book has great ideas, but nothing on how to actually implement them. I've read a blog post about it, and the book itself was just trying to prove over and over again the same idea. Ok, I got it. How do I implement it? Nothing on that, sorry. Still highly rated as it can give a very good push to many people by showing them that what they feel is "normal" and "fine".

A must-read for engineering and product managers

Gesamt
5 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 31.07.2019

This book is just amazing. There's literally no water in it. The author describes common complex issues and step-by-step guides on how to approach them. Extremely useful for anyone involved in leading engineering teams. I've bought a few hardcover copies to spread in my network.

Hugo award nominee? Really?

Gesamt
1 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
1 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 31.07.2019

I've bought this book because it was nominated for the Hugo award. Boy was that a mistake.

Without any spoilers, I can tell you that if you take away the gender/race inequality topics, there's almost nothing left in this book. There's for sure zero science fiction in it. So why would such a book be nominated for the Hugo award? Well, because those topics are pretty hot right now and anything about them is a big hit. I guess the author decided to profit from it. And it worked!