150-WORD BOOK REVIEW: Bold by Peter Diamandis and Stephen Kotler

Bold cover

Bold cover

‘Go big, create wealth and impact the world.’ Bold’s subheading is quite a boast, and for two thirds of the book, it will certainly inspire most readers to think they can do exactly that. The book starts by giving examples and case studies of businesses engaged in disruptive/exponential technologies like 3D printing, biotech, AI, robotics and more.

The second part of the book explores how people can get into the ‘bold’ mindset – looking at some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and their moonshots as well as digging into psychological theories like flow and others.

As with their previous book, Abundance, the authors are at their best when they’re broadening the reader’s horizons and talking about those technological leaps we’re likely to make over the next 10 to 20 years. Sadly the final third of this book gets slightly lost with what felt like digressions into creating communities, crowdfunding and more.

Read it. Be inspired. Skip chapter 8 on.

150-WORD BOOK REVIEW – The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

The hard thing about hard things coverIf you’re forced to eat shit, don’t nibble.

In a perfect world, that would have been the title of this book, but we live in an imperfect world. We also work in imperfect businesses, where things can, and frequently do, go very wrong. Things going wrong is the basis of this book.

Part memoir and part how-to guide for people in business or people who own their own business, Horowitz covers a whole raft of topics that don’t get the airtime they deserve – how to fire people, how to integrate big company people into startups, how to deal with hiring someone from a friend’s company – and much more besides.

The good days are the ones we all shout about. Sadly, they can be all too infrequent. The bad days are inevitable and they are grim. Read this and they might get a tiny, tiny bit easier. Also, if you do end up being forced to eat shit, you know what to do…


Arabreneur puts $500,000 into four Palestinian startups

arabreneur_palestineArabreneur has made its first investment of more than $500,000 in four high-growth Palestinian companies as part of its pledge to invest in 10 to 12 Palestinian companies per year.

The programme is a recently launched acceleration program in partnership with USAID that is expected to create 50-100 new jobs every year. Arabreneur also works in Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. Continue reading

150 WORD BOOK REVIEW: Without Their Permission by Alexis Ohanian

Without their permission book cover

Without their permission book cover

Reddit is incredible. In biological terms, it’s one of the Internet’s arteries. It has humour, character, seriousness and solemnity – and much more besides.

It should come as no surprise that the site’s co-founder, Alexis Ohanian has written a book with the same characteristics. Without their permission is at once funny, informative and touching. Writing conversationally is a difficult trick to pull off, but in Ohanian’s case, he does it with aplomb.

Expect lots of brilliant advice, interesting anecdotes and nods to pop culture in a book that is both a memoir of his time at Y Combinator, Reddit and Hipmunk and a how-to guide for startups.

If you’re have a passing interest in where the Internet is going, you’re going to want to read this. The best books are the ones where I’m left with notes after reading. This generated pages of them.  Enjoy.

Rocket Lawyer aims to disrupt the legal industry

Getting a good lawyer isn's about getting your leg over

Getting a good lawyer isn’t just about getting your leg over

The UK launch of Rocket Lawyer in London’s Tech City is an effort to disrupt the expensive and customer-unfriendly legal industry, news that will interest entrepreneurs, startups an SMEs.

The company has introduced straightforward and affordable legal services across the UK plus free legal services for three days in a bid to simplify the law, cut out the jargon and reduce the costs of legal matters.

Its subscription service of £25 per month may make it an attractive alternative to the current model. For this £25 fee, customers gain access to unlimited legal documents, one free 30-minute consultation with an On Call lawyer per month and a pre-negotiated discount of up to 33% off all additional legal fees. Continue reading