Flaviu Simihaian's Blog - Entrepreneur and Developer

Why Blinkist Doesn't Work With Ben Horowitz's 'Game of Throes'

Ben Horrowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a great book I highly recommend. Blinkist is a startup that summarizes non-fiction in a 15 minute read.

A friend recommended Blinkist so I “read” a couple of books in the time it would take me to peruse the WSJ cover. But before I could pay for it, I wanted to try it on a book I had read. So, for Ben’s book the key message was:

“Running a business is a very tough, lonely task. This is The Struggle. Happily, though, The Struggle also spawns greatness.”

Aww. Startups. So hard. But, you could be a billionaire. Ba-Dum Tshh…

Wait. The book is a series of stories from Ben’s experience with advice in between the lines of each story. Stripping the details of the story and extracting the advice has 10% of the effect. There is value in the details. Summarizing pales in comparison. The lesson isn’t ever learned.

Blinkist Actionable Advice: **Find the right investor.**

It’s like eating a donut when you’re hungry. You feel satisfied but for a much shorter period of time. Blinkist is a bunch of donuts for the brain.

Criticizing is easier than building, so I want to say that the Blinkist product looks great and they seem to have a solid team of quality writers. Summarizing well is a tough job and for the most part their writers succeed.

Also, Blinkist works much better for books like Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, which only has a few key messages with a plethora of repeating examples. Blinkist gives you one of those examples, the summary of the lesson to be learned, and you can move on.

In other words, the fewer key messages and less meaning in a book, the better Blinkist is at trimming the fat.

But if you have a block of lard, what’s the point of trimming fat?

P.S.: I was very hungry when I wrote this post.

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