Smart Stuff I Like


Leadership Strategy and Tactics by Jocko Willink. The how-to guide to being a good leader. You can find actionable solutions to most leadership problems in this book. See also Extreme Ownership and Dichotomy of Leadership for more of the high-level picture of good leadership.

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. What can the FBI teach us about being a better listener? This book has phrases and patterns you can use to listen with more empathy today. 

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. Where does creativity come from? Take two seemingly disparate elements and combine them in new ways. An inspiring read for those of us who don’t think we’re creative.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. What holds us back from reaching our true potential? The Resistance, the fear. Steve brings awareness to what causes us to get in our own way and in doing so makes it a little bit easier to fight it. See also Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit for learning the meta behind storytelling.

Brag! By Peggy Klaus. How can we talk about ourselves and what makes us interesting and unique, but also with tact? If you won’t sell yourself and your abilities, who will? Answers to these questions and example scripts can be found in this book.

The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch. How can we use the Pareto Principle to get results? This book teaches a mindset to find priorities that will get the most impact for minimum effort.

The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle. How can we create winning team cultures? When team culture and chemistry work, teams can be exponentially more productive. It all starts with trust and safety and builds from there. 

Atomic Habits by James Clear. The personal development tactics of the 80/20 Principle. Our habits make us what we are. Drip by drip, day by day. This book talks about how we form habits and what we can do to make new good ones or abandon bad ones.

The Art of Possibility by Ben and Rosamund Zander. How can we reframe our mindsets to one that looks for positive opportunities? This book teaches us indirectly how to get away from a zero-sum mentality and move towards an infinite game one.


Jocko Podcast – Along the same lines as Jocko’s books, his podcast explores leadership and human nature through the lens of war and the military.

Tim Ferriss – Tim is the original Lifehacker and a great interviewer. There’s always something to learn from his guests either a new tool, or mindset, or phrase.

Akimbo – Seth Godin’s podcast. Given Seth’s background in marketing, it appears a lot here, but so do business, culture, and leadership.

The Knowledge Project – The podcast version of Farnam Street. 

Lenny’s Podcast – Lenny’s interviews with guests in the Product Management space. 

Lex Fridman Podcast – Lex interviews a diverse series of guests across science, tech, business, and culture. 


Seth’s Blog – The best. His blog was one of the first and Seth’s insights are always valuable and inspiring.

Tim Ferriss 5-bullet Friday – Tim’s newsletter is as much a leader as his other work. There’s always something new, interesting, and “esoteric.”

Austin Kleon – As might be expected from the author of Steal Like an Artist, Austin’s newsletter is a weekly dose of inspiration and creativity.

David Perell – David’s work on online writing, branding, and presence building was a major inspiration for the setup of this site.

James Clear – James’ newsletter is a weekly reminder of the concepts from Atomic Habits along with quotes and questions for reflection.

Farnam Street – Starting with their series on mental models, FS is a great resource on how to think better.

Marginal Revolution – Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok post multiple times a day with articles and links that encourage thinking like an economist.

Lenny’s Newsletter – The Product guy. Lessons and stories in product management.

Khe Hy – The $10k guy. His content focuses on applying the 80/20 principle to being productive and living your best life. 

Not Boring – The optimism guy. Packy’s newsletter focuses on all the ways tech and science are making the future now. 

Milk Road – The crypto roundup. A lighthearted daily take on the state of crypto and simple explainers of how it all works. But always do your own research!

Daily Stoic and Daily Dad – Ryan Holiday’s two newsletters. How to be more stoic every day and less hijacked by emotion. Then how to be a better dad every day. 

Ben’s Bites – The AI roundup. A daily take on the latest AI startups and products.