Smartcuts Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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Smartcuts Summary

About Smartcuts Book

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.

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Smartcuts by Shane Snow

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Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators and Icons Accelerate Success

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators and Icons Accelerate Success

Smartcuts (smart shortcuts) are tools to shorten the path to success. There are several basic categories of smartcuts.

First, you can find ways to shorten the job, cutting out unnecessary steps, people and processes. Once you’ve abridged the task at hand, you can use your energy more efficiently and maximize your effort. Finally, use your momentum to soar, gaining momentum so that you never stop.


Bigger And Better: Trading Up To Hack The Game

College students play a game called ‘Bigger and Better’, where they start trading small objects(like a toothpick or a snack bar) and eventually trade up to bigger stuff like a stereo in their hands.

Playing the game and paying your dues is really a trap that results in you getting stuck. This is a new day, and the old paradigms don’t work anymore. We need to be college students continuously trading up, trading bigger and better. We need to jump sideways like cheetahs. We need to think like entrepreneurs. We need to hack the ladder.


Don’t Wait For A Mentor

Waiting for a mentor is like waiting for a charming prince. Pursue your goal, and if you happen to find a good mentor, cool. If not, cool.

Study the people who went before you. You can’t always get a mentor, but you can always learn from history. 

Jimmy Fallon’s manager was his personal mentor, but Fallon also looked for inspiration from comedians who came before him, even though he didn’t know them. Louis C.K. struggled and eventually, he did find a mentor in George Carlin, and consciously studied and mimicked Carlin’s delivery. After he adopted this strategy he quickly rose to stardom. 


Shorten The Path

1. There are more than many ways to convey that you have the quality needed for a position you desire. The U.S presidents often have a proven record of leadership through business, defense jobs etc.

2. Pick your mentors out from anywhere. Use books and other forms of media.

3. The only important thing that matters for success is feedback of the party that is going to be end consumer of whatever it is that you bring to table. Feedback is paramount. Find ways to get it.

4. Two ways to rapidify your learning curve- learn from experts and everyone else's failure.


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