What MeetMe is reading this month…


jobsSteve Jobs

by Walter Isaacson (available on Audible)

“Steve Jobs is an incredible genius, more influential than I’d imagined any technologist could be. The author was specifically commissioned by Jobs to do this biography, but pulls no punches. Sure, Jobs was an enigmatic, arrogant, billionaire hippy jerk visionary, but his biography is also a lesson in what you, as a human, can actually do. I like watching video game speed runs, because, over the years, people master the routine parts and find glitches that they exploit to shave off time. Steve’s life is a speed run in human achievement. He’s able to spot holes in industries, vulnerabilities in personalities, the core aspects of design and desire, and shortcuts in shaping technology and building teams. The story also has an amazing supporting cast of Bill Gates, Bono, Larry Ellison, and John Lasseter, to name of few of Steve’s friends, and the main character has enough quirks to feel fictional. I didn’t expect to get many takeaways from this biography, but there are a lot of lessons about building quality products and meaningful coworker relationships.”

Brian Herbert



dockerThe Docker Book: Containerization is the new virtualization [Kindle Edition]

“Deep dive into Docker and how to configure it. Gives great examples on how to get started as well as techniques and suggestions for best practices.”

Jeremy Stinson


startwithwhyStart With Why

by Simon Sinek (available on Audible)

“Start With Why is about the importance of focusing your vision, and connecting with your customers, on a much deeper level than just what your final product does.  The book suggests that the “why” of your business: why you do what you do and why your customers should care, are much more important than just providing your customers with a laundry list of features.

Most businesses start with what they do and how it sets them apart, then some go further to explain how they do what they do, and finally some go further to the why of it all.  Simon Sinek suggests that this is backward, and the most successful companies start with the latter.  Using Apple as an example (very, very frequently throughout the book), Sinek posits that they are successful because they have a clearly defined mission of “challenging the status quo” and that all of their decisions originate from that mission.  Because Apple has relentlessly and successfully upheld this vision their customers (who also desire to challenge the status quo) feel a strong loyalty to Apple and its products.

Overall, I like the theory set forth by the book, but it tends to get repetitive after a while.  Sinek’s TED talk is a better place to start before jumping into the book: http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action

Matt Kemmerer


All Tomorrow’s Partiestomorrow

by William Gibson (available on Audible)

“The final book in the Bridge trilogy (including Virtual Light and Idoru), ATP wraps up Gibson’s series about the commoditization of counterculture and exploration of interstitial communities.  While the Bridge trilogy isn’t quite as famous or beloved as his other works, ATP is considered the best out of the trilogy as Gibson wraps up the plotlines and ideas presented in the previous two books.  Though written in 1999, the world is more of an alternate future rather than a possible future since the way Big Data, emergent AI, and 3D printing are presented makes it sound like it could be something that would happen if our recent past had proceeded differently.”

John Spivak

onesummerOne Summer: America, 1927

by Bill Bryson (available on Audible)

“When I read Bill Bryson, I feel like all my history classes were broken. He’s able to zoom in on these interesting vignettes, giving the real people their real foibles and eccentricities, then zoom out on the broad landscape of history and show where you just were as a patchwork in a complex quilt of events. I always disliked history books, with their lists of names and numbers, one dimensional characters, episodes with little context, and, above all, the ability to make even the craziest wars incredibly boring affairs. One Summer focuses somewhat on Charles Lindbergh, but also seamlessly weaves in the stories of Al Capone, Babe Ruth, the emergence of “talkies”, the foundations of the stock market crash, Herbert Hoover’s ruthless work ethic, and a hundred other relevant bits of history, rendered with entertaining context, full of hilarity and interesting facts that force you to go find someone and read the passage to them. It gets a tad long-winded, particularly when discussing the New York Yankees, but read this, even if you don’t like historical books. Especially if you don’t like historical books.”

Brian Herbert

Waking Up: A Guide To Spirituality Without Religion

by Sam Harris (available on Audible)

“I found it to be an interesting book. A point brought up early is what does spirituality really mean? It’s something people say but there doesn’t seem to be a clear definition for it. Harris’ position falls in line with more Eastern philosophies that the goal in spirituality is to dispel the illusion that the self is separate from everything else. Another question is “who are you?” The argument in the book is that you are not the sum of your thoughts; thoughts and feelings are something you have rather than something that defines you. You can watch your thoughts passively and not be ruled by them. To do this in a deliberate way is meditation. In a meditative state where your mind is still, you become more aware and have the opportunity for direct spiritual insights. Whatever it is that is “behind” the thoughts, the person that is observing the thoughts, that’s the “real you”.

Most people move through life chasing pleasure and avoiding pain, but the teachings embraced in this book are that nothing is permanent and any pleasure will end and no pain can be avoided forever. Therefore real happiness is achieved by embracing the present moment, for its goods and its bads, and changing your perception rather than constantly changing the external forces around you and pinning your happiness to that.”

Bobby Fiorentino






by Dale Carnegie (available on Audible)

This is a classic for a reason. Really changes the way you perceive daily interactions with others. I think no one wants to admit to loving hearing their name spoken or enjoying the sound of their own voice, but it is a fundamental part of human nature. Basically, everyone wants to feel important. If you can genuinely make someone feel that way, you will have lots of friends.”

Diana Shkolnikov

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