951 words — 5 minutes read


I’m back from vacations in egypt. It wasn’t quite the vacation we planned, and due to various illnesses, I got to spend more time than I would have liked in an egyptian hospital, caring for my 7 year old daughter.

But we made it back, and caught a lot of sun-rays.

I have been reading extensively during the vacation, and I’d like to share some of the books I read and my thoughts on them:

The tipping point

A book I had read about and that finally piqued my interest enough to actually buy and read it. The author outlines an explanation for how “things/fads/disesases” go viral. Some interesting case studies on everything from crime prevention to shoe fashion. He presents certain “ingredients” that should help in actually getting something go viral. (There’s still this top secret web 2.0 thing that I’m brewing - it might be a possible benefactor).

The book evolved out of an article, and I think it shows. There doesn’t seem to be just enough meat to fill an entire book, and some of the cases presented seem to be “made to fit” the idea. Still, to me this book has proven very valuable in refining some ideas, and giving new perspectives on who and what I am, and what traits someone like me needs to improve upon or find to pass the “tipping point”.


The ecology of commerce

I don’t remember what triggered the buying of this book, but I’m so glad I read it. Paul Hawken has written a couple of other books and founded a couple of businesses. “The ecology of commerce” is a last century book (dating from 1993), but nonetheless still very relevant. Hawken describes a lot of “what is wrong” with the current way of doing business. The descriptions of how corporations are bending the rules and regulations (all in their best interest of course) is chilling and depressing. He proposes that the very fabric of how commerce is done is changed in a way to make it financially interesting to become a “green” company. Green taxes could replace income taxes, etc. A lot has happened in the 15 years this book has been written, and some steps towards a more ecological form of commerce are being seen. However, looking at things like trading of CO2 emission rights that certainly aren’t helping as much as would be possible.

Interesting, thought provoking - go read it!

Der Schwarm

I picked up this book from somebody we met in egypt. It’s an eco-thriller that nicely plays on the things that are alluded to in the previous two books: What happens, when another species (that inhabits the oceans) sees humanity as a polluter of it’s natural habitat and decides to fight back?

Of course there are better written thrillers out there, but “the swarm” captures a lot of the things that are going wrong with out ecology at the moment. The author explains a lot about whales, oil-drilling, deep sea exploration, geology and a dozen other subjects. All of this woven into a thrilling story, with quite a few catastrophes coming human-kinds way (exploding lobsters, anyone?)

Good holiday reading, and a lot of thought provoking ways of how our careless behaviour could kill the world.

Growing a business

Another book by Paul Hawken, this time on how to grow a business. Paul is the founder of several successful business, and his descriptions of how he has slowly and carefully grown his business (organic growth, not the wild growth of the dot-com years) and what his philosophy is, make very good reading. If you are at all into founding a business, or working as your own boss, then I really recommend this book. It made me stop and think about where I want my company to go, and how to grow it.

The 4-Hour Work Week

And then there’s the new book on the block. This is where the buzz is right now, and I read the book straight in 3 hours yesterday. Tim describes a totally different way of working and living: Not working to create or help, but work (just enough) to finance a life style he calls the “nouveau riche”. Find out how much you need to earn each day, do something so that this income comes in automatically every day, and the go on “retirement” every couple of months, enjoying life.

Some of things Tim says and writes about make a lot of sense: Cutting back on your daily news intake, setting email to manual and just check it twice a day, living life in order to enjoy it (not to work 9-5 or more). On the other hand, his recipies smell of “get rich”. Setting up a company that sells stuff to people via the web (using PPC (pay per click) advertising), doing it all virtually, hiring an indian personal virtual assistant don’t jibe with me. I think, that he is into something, but I’m not sure I agree with the conclusions he makes. Still - some of the recommendations make so much sense (turning of email notifications, focusing on a single task, live to live and not to work, …) that I have begun to implement some of them.

So - recommended, as a great kick to get you started thinking about your life.

And in order to get paid without doing any work, I invite you to buy all the books I just mentioned, by clicking on the nice images below. They go to Amazon, and I get a few percent of the purchase price.

Amazon DE

[![](21F2112RDGL._AA_.jpg)](https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/3442127807?ie=UTF8&tag=invisiblech-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1638&creative=6742&creativeASIN=3442127807)![](https://www.assoc-amazon.de/e/ir?t=invisiblech-21&l=as2&o=3&a=3442127807) [![](21J94DD7Z0L._AA_.jpg)](https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/0671671642?ie=UTF8&tag=invisiblech-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1638&creative=6742&creativeASIN=0671671642)![](https://www.assoc-amazon.de/e/ir?t=invisiblech-21&l=as2&o=3&a=0671671642) [![](21QP6Z840JL._AA_.jpg)](https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/0887307043?ie=UTF8&tag=invisiblech-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1638&creative=6742&creativeASIN=0887307043)![](https://www.assoc-amazon.de/e/ir?t=invisiblech-21&l=as2&o=3&a=0887307043) [![](21NffZ4UHwL._AA_.jpg)](https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/0307353133?ie=UTF8&tag=invisiblech-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1638&creative=6742&creativeASIN=0307353133)![](https://www.assoc-amazon.de/e/ir?t=invisiblech-21&l=as2&o=3&a=0307353133) [![](11EETS8P3VL._AA_.jpg)](https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/3462033743?ie=UTF8&tag=invisiblech-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1638&creative=6742&creativeASIN=3462033743)![](https://www.assoc-amazon.de/e/ir?t=invisiblech-21&l=as2&o=3&a=3462033743)

Amazon US


[![](21QP6Z840JL._AA_.jpg)](https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0887307043?ie=UTF8&tag=invisiblech-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0887307043)![](https://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=invisiblech-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0887307043) [![](21NffZ4UHwL._AA_.jpg)](https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307353133?ie=UTF8&tag=invisiblech-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0307353133)![](https://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=invisiblech-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0307353133)

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Jens-Christian Fischer

Maker. Musician