Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success Review

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.

Title:Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Pouting Always

    I really need to stop reading these self help/productivity books because 90% of the time their ideas can be cut down to fit on an index card. The book was simple and easy to read and so if you need so...

  • Aaron Wolfson

    This is a meticulously researched book that flows with beautiful storytelling. Snow develops nine principles of working smarter, and illustrates each one with a chapter that weaves together several mi...

  • Allison

    This is an easy book. It's easy to read and it was likely easy to write. There's nothing challenging about it, and while it would be difficult to fundamentally disagree with anything it it (beyond som...

  • Suzanne

    Failure and how it's OK to fail repeatedly as long as you learn from it is a mantra these days. Graduation speeches are full of "Fail fast and fail often!" exhortations. While the encouragement to exp...

  • Sue Smith

    I’ve been somewhat remiss on writing a review on this book, but it hasn’t been far from my mind since I finished it a week or so ago.First, let me start with how great this book was. It was clever...

  • Joel Ohman

    This was an easy to read book with a number of very interesting stories. The principles and applications espoused were hard to find anything to disagree with - certainly nothing revolutionary here. Th...

  • Rachel Bayles

    This is a fun book. Easy read. You can tell the writer is a tech journalist, since the writing has the tone of an extended Wired article. But since it is like a Wired article, it's a little short on s...

  • Brian

    (2.5) pure anecdote and oversimplification, with some injection-of-self into the narratives.Didn't much care for it....

  • Tony

    The pace of life is accelerating. Everything happens quicker these days. It took Rockefeller forty-six years to become a billionaire. Andrew Mason did it in two. Clearly you can't do that by tradition...

  • Annie

    The book has some good ideas but the writing style and content are lacking. The chapter starts with an anecdote and stops abruptly with a teaser. There is a slow build-up to the actionable advice but ...