Grow personally. Hone your skills. In just 15 minutes. Are you enticed?
I just illustrated a strategy advocated by the late Steve Jobs as the right way to introduce a product to an audience. Jobs lived by “the rule of three.” He believed that an audience won’t remember more than three things, so you should cast your key message in terms of three ways that your product (aka service, proposal, idea, etc.) will help your audience solve its problem. By way of illustration, in launching the iPhone, Jobs repeatedly said it combines three devices: a touchscreen iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator.
I gained this insight from a book by Carmine Gallo entitled, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. But I have to confess that I didn’t read the whole book. I read “the blinks” from the book.
What’s a “blink?” It’s a key point contained in a summary of a nonfiction book that can be read or listened to in 15 to 20 minutes. The service and related app that compiles the blinks is known as “Blinkist.” Once you subscribe, you have access to a growing list of over 2,000 nonfiction books presented in 15-20 minute summaries accessible as text or audio files.
Some will opine that this is heresy, a great affront to the pleasure and value of reading for its own sake. I acknowledge that sentiment, and, if I had more time and owned many fewer unfinished books, I would agree with you. (See photo of my office bookshelves, below, where the unread stacks act as bookends for the other books). I won’t stop buying books or reading them cover to cover on vacation. (I typically pick up hard copies of the books I’ve enjoyed on Blinkist). I will stop feeling badly in between, however, about not having at my disposal some of the great insights from recognized thought leaders.
The service is guided by bestseller lists in deciding which books to summarize. Already, for example, five books from the September 2017 New York Times Bestsellers List are available on Blinkist.
The available books span 19 subject matter categories, shown below:
There really is an incredible wealth of material at your fingertips.
The Blinkist app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle, and The Web. The “blinks” about books are available as text files (Plus Account, $49.99 per year) or both text and audio (Premium Account, $79.99/year). An added advantage of a Premium Account for Evernote users is that anything you’ve highlighted in the blinks you’ve read is automatically saved to your Blinkist Notebook in Evernote. This feature allows you to go back to the material later and reinforce what you’ve learned. In fact, it’s one of the things I do on my smartphone when I’m forced to wait in line for something. I’ve included a snapshot of a few of my highlights from the blinks of the Carmine Gallo book as they appear in Evernote below.
I’ll leave you with these thoughts. Choose to Improve: (1) Grow personally; (2) Hone your skills; (3) In just 15-minutes. Give Blinkist a try.
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