Famously, Ben Franklin dedicated one hour each weekday to deliberate learning, popularizing what is commonly known as “the five hour rule”. He posited that the long term benefits of this constant knowledge seeking far outweighed the short term loss of “work productivity” in that one hour. I’m a big believer that taking the time to think, read, write, listen or watch in a targeted (but unrestricted) manner is incredibly important.
Here is a list of sources that I have woven into my routine; this list will evolve over time and is not comprehensive; there is way too much out there, and to list it all wouldn’t be that useful.
If there is something particularly great that I’m missing, please let me know!
I generally try to set aside the first hour of my day to reading through a subset of these
Above the Crowd – Bill Gurley of Benchmark, often the voice of doom, gloom, and tech bubbles
Term Sheet – Dan Primack’s daily blast; good thing to read every morning
Benedict Evans’ Newsletter – Great weekly Sunday read of all things tech
Notation Capital’s Origins podcast – unique insight into the world of LPs
SaaStr– Jason Lemkin’s creation, encompassing all things SaaS
Tomasz Tunguz – the Redpoint Partner tirelessly pumps out excellent thoughts on SaaS
Both Sides of the Table – run by Mark Suster, entrepreneur turned VC at Upfront Ventures
First Round Review – FRC’s blogging platform
AVC – Fred Wilson’s blog; he treats it more as a diary and writes daily
Homebrew Blog – I have a huge amount of respect for Homebrew, an early stage venture fund run by Satya Patel and Hunter Walk; this is their blog.
Stratechery – Run by Ben Thompson, with excellent tech analysis
Recode – Breaking tech news, founded by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg
TechCrunch – Best way to stay up to date on what’s going on in tech
Gigaom – Founded by Om Malik, now owned by Knowingly Corp.
On the train, in the car, on a run, or just wandering around Chicago/SF, these fill a lot of my idle time
Recode Decode – one of my favorites, from Kara Swisher
SaaStr – SaaS focused, hosted by Harry Stebbings
The Twenty Minute VC – very popular and lots of episodes to sift through
a16z – consistently excellent stream of topics and guests
The Full Ratchet – hosted by Nick Moran (New Stack Ventures) with high quality content, super relevant to those interested in the Chicago ecosystem
Revisionist History – By Malcolm Gladwell; I find some episodes fascinating and some very forgettable, but overall worth a listen
The Pitch – Really good way for those trying to understand how pitches are delivered and evaluated at a high level
Traction – Great stuff from NextView out of NYC and Boston
I’m much less focused with books – you can see my Goodreads page for a rundown, though it’s rarely up to date and generally filled with history. Here are some keepers:
The Second Machine Age – Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee discuss the implications of the coming tech wave
Originals – Wharton professor Adam Grant discusses creativity and originality – absolute must read
The Innovators – Great read from Walter Isaacson on history of innovation
The Industries of the Future – Great global perspective on the evolution of technology by Alec Ross, former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
The Inevitable – Kevin Kelly on the framework in which technology will evolve in the coming decades
The Hard Thing about Hard Things – Ben Horowitz’s management book that doesn’t read like a management book
Venture Deals – Written by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson of Foundry. If you want to understand how venture deals are structured, read this. Then read it again.
Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg’s big hit. Everyone should probably read this.
Zero to One – Peter Thiel’s views on how to build a business
The Lean Startup – Agree or not, good to understand how Eric Ries thinks about building companies and developing products
Here is a good list of recommendations that I came across – lot of overlap with the above, and plenty more