October Book Reviews

Creativity Inc main takeaways:

  • Good ideas always take revision
  • Feedback systems with candor improve ideas
  • Postmortems are beneficial even when things go well - important for everyone to learn
  • Creativity and mistakes come hand in hand - a culture of learning from mistakes breeds creativity and improvement

Read this book if you're interested in how they made Pixar movies. Also if you lead any teams.








Scrum main takeaways

  • Effective teams are core to doing significant work
  • Prioritization and focus are key
  • "Done" needs to be defined
  • Collect feedback early
  • Regular retrospectives ensure that the team is constantly learning and improving
  • Working long hours and the ethos of busyness is counterproductive
  • Planning over a long term is hard - better to have overall vision recognizing 

Read this book if you use Scrum at work. It really explains what certain practices are for.

Street Smart main takeaways:

  • Bad commutes are psychologically stressful
  • Walking has benefits in addition to physical exercise
  • Cars create artificial worlds
  • Congestion pricing could alleviate traffic but is politically contentious
  • Transportation can perpetuate inequality

Read this book if you're interested in urban transit









The Soul of an Octopus main takeaways

  • Octopuses have personalities as varied as people
  • People tend to discount the intelligence of animals, but they're often manifested in different ways
  • Octopuses have insane sensory perceptions and might be able to see through their skin
  • They exude emotion through changing skin colors

Read this book if you want a good read about something unusual.