I’ve recently started listening to David Senra’s “Founders” podcast, and it’s fantastic! Every week he reads a biography of someone interesting and then shares his insights from the book in a ~60 minute podcast.
While I’m enjoying listening to it, and I’ll continue to do so, I can’t help think one thing — David is getting way more out of this than I am.
Reading the entire biography is more valuable than listening a summary, for sure. Beyond that, though, David also takes the time to put together the summary, and then read it for all of us. Some of the main insights from each book he’ll probably look at five or six times by the time it’s done, and we’ll simply have heard him mention it once.
It’s kind of like the idea of visiting your notes more frequently; David is touching this content many more times than a listener like me, and he’s getting way more out of it as a result.
The Productivity Game
It’s similar to something else that a friend just shared with me called The Productivity Game. In this case, Nathan Lozeron shares book summaries in the form of PDFs, illustrations, and videos. Like David, Nathan does a fantastic job of assembling his summaries, but I’m again left feeling like Nathan is learning a ton more in building those summaries than I am in reading them.
I know what you’re thinking at this point, and you’re exactly right — to do what David or Nathan is doing takes tremendously more time. Looking at David’s work, for example, I simply can’t fit reading another book every week plus generating, editing and publishing a podcast for each one. Summaries are better than nothing.
I’m still a big fan of Blinkist (as I shared here back in 2020), and it’s similar to the examples given above. I read as many full books as I’m able, but there are only so many hours in a day. Tools like Founders, The Productivity Game, and Blinkist are great ways to get a wider range of insight in a limited amount of time.
Ultimately, that comes back to why I write this blog, and why I’ve added new things like the Sunday Summaries. Taking time to summarize what I’m learning is hopefully of some benefit to you, but is likely a much larger benefit to me. Everybody wins.
I’ll keep using tools like Founders and Blinkist to help cover more ground, but to the extent possible I’ll keep my focus on reading full books and then taking the time to summarize the bits of knowledge that I gain from them so I can learn even more.