Best Books to Read: Loonshots (Safi Bachall)

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Loonshots by Safi Bahcall is a book about how to create and nurture ideas that could eventually change the world. Safi Bahcall is a former Mckinsey Consultant who left to go start a biotech company that eventually went public.

I found this book interesting because it demonstrated why certain companies consistently create game-changing products (which start as loonshots), while other companies tend to get stagnant.

Throughout the book, Bahcall argues that as companies get bigger and bigger, the incentives for employees and those running the company change. When a company starts as a small startup, everyone is trying to come up with the next big thing for the company because that will be what provides the majority of the revenue for the company; however, once a company has created multiple products with large revenue streams, each new individual product will only account for a small proportion of the company’s total revenue. Therefore, in many cases larger companies will try to protect their existing business model (which hinders innovation).

Bahcall uses a lot of case studies of companies that had the opportunity to jump on an emerging trend, but missed it because they tried to protect their core business instead of expanding into new fields. Companies like Pan-Am and Kodak are some of the main examples of this problem.

Loonshots is also a useful book because Bahcall talks about how you can change incentive structures to foster an environment where even large companies are being adaptive and dynamic to avoid getting passed by up and coming companies. Overall, Loonshots was an interesting read and it brought up some really useful ideas.

Books Learning Non-Fiction

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This is a blog for myself (and hopefully others) to keep track of all of the places, restaurants, books, movies, etc. that I do not want to forget. I am a college student who has lived in the US, Asia, and Europe for extended periods of time; I am very lucky to have had these experiences, and I want to share my recommendations with people interested in any of these locations.

NONE of these posts are advertisements. I do not have any discount codes or promotions for anything I write about; however, this should be considered a positive because it means that everything I write about reflects my true feelings. In order to keep this blog positive, my posts will only be recommendations for the things I enjoy the most in life. The topics will vary between whatever subjects I am interested in at a certain time, and I will have 1-2 new posts per day.

I wish I could have started this project earlier while some of my memories were fresher in my mind, but it is better late than never. I hope that other people will have the chance to visit or experience things that I write about, and I hope that people will have a similar taste in life to myself!

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