Best Non-Fiction 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.

Loonshots Recommendation Rating: 3

1: Something worth checking out if you have time

2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone

3: Something worth prioritizing if interested

4: Something worth making time to check out

5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for


One response to “Best Non-Fiction Books to Read: Loonshots (Safi Bachall)”

  1. […] Loonshots (Learn how to create and foster ideas within companies that will change the world, and how to not get stagnant in a large company) […]


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