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Books We Pretend To Read

Books We Pretend To Read

By Gunnar Berger & Chuck Hirstius
Those that work in Silicon Valley know that there are some books that everyone is all but required to read: The Lean Startup, The Innovators Dilemma & The 4-hour Work Week are a few. The books change with the seasons, yet somehow CEOs chug through 60 books a year, while you're just trying to get your product shipped on time. That's where we come in! Chuck and Gunnar work in the tech world but in different areas (Engineering vs Product). We read each book & bring our own views/background to the conversation. Joining us each episode is a subject matter expert on each topic we cover.
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Company of One (with guest Dane Young)
In the final episode of 2019. We find a recording of a podcast we recorded back in July. On this episode is Dane Young, Founder/CEO of YoungTech, a "company of one" who recommended the book "Company of One". 
January 01, 2020
Books We Pretend To Read Update
Not a normal episode, just an update for our listeners. We are still alive, lots of things going on in our lives right now, which we share in this episode.
October 10, 2019
Monetizing Innovation (with Brett Waldman)
Have you ever wondered why soda at a movie theatre is $6 for a small and $7 for a large. Both are insane prices to pay for a coke, but marketers use the comparison to make us feel that $7 is a good deal. Tiny tricks like this are all around us and explored in Monetizing Innovation by Madhavan Ramanujam & Georg Tacke. This book looks at the tips and tricks of how we can innovate simply by changing the way we present features in our products and adjusting pricing to match a customers willingness to pay. It's a fascinating world and an eye opening read. Joining us this episode is guest co-host Jim Flannery and Director of Pricing and Packaging at Citrix, Brett Waldman. 
August 01, 2019
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
The anti-self-help book that's sold over 6 million copies and holds the world record for most F-bombs in a single book (okay not sure if that last part is true). The Subtle Art of Not Giving a is a book that covers how we should live our lives verses how many of us including our hosts actually do. Measuring success by the things that matter, saying no to the things that don't, living with suffering, and taking responsibility for everything. So many concepts in this book are counter to the culture we all live in, its a breath of fresh air for two hosts that give way to many fu*ks. Enjoy.
June 01, 2019
PART2: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz (with guest Kevin Goodman)
In episode 7 of Books We Pretend to Read Podcast our hosts continue our conversation with industry veteran: Kevin Goodman. Kevin is a founder of multiple companies that went on to be acquired. RTO Software, acquired by VMware, and most recently FSLogix acquired by Microsoft. In this episode, we conclude our discussion on "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" by Ben Horowitz which is a book written by a CEO written to CEOs. We figured a book this good deserves a second podcast. Hope you enjoy. 
April 17, 2019
PART1: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz (with guest Kevin Goodman)
In episode 6 of Books We Pretend to Read Podcast our hosts bring in industry veteran: Kevin Goodman. Kevin is a founder of multiple companies that went on to be acquired. RTO Software, acquired by VMware, and most recently FXLogix acquired by Microsoft. In this episode, we discuss "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" by Ben Horowitz which is a book written by a CEO written to CEOs. As much as Chuck and Gunnar like to chat about startups, it's hard to talk about a CEOs perspective without actually being a CEO, which is where Kevin brings in his expertise. Join us as we deep dive into one of the most popular books in the valley and learn that sometimes there are no easy answers, just hard work. 
March 22, 2019
1984 by George Orwell
Continuing with our theme of non-business books about technology we dial the clock back to 1948, the year George Orwell wrote the prophetic book: 1984. Who hasn't heard that "Big Brother Is Watching" or that we live in a Orwellian Society. Yet these common phrases are taken from a book that many of us haven't read. So this month Chuck and Gunnar dive into the depths of 1984, where we learn the meaning to these words that are already in our lexicon. What we learn while reading this is a bit scary in how close Orwell was to predicting (and warning us about) the society we live in today.
February 14, 2019
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
In our first non-business management book, we cover Bad Blood, the story of how one of Silicon Valley's biggest unicorns was built on a web of lies. Soon to become what's sure to be an Oscar nominated film staring Jennifer Lawrence, get up to speed and get upset about how truth doesn't matter, only money and what people are willing to believe.
January 08, 2019
The 4-hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss (with guest Maria Abernathy)
Escape the 9-5, live anywhere and join the new rich so says the author of this month's book "The 4-hour Workweek". A book rich in borrowed wisdom, that quotes the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and any other name that will grab a headline, but does the author's message land? Many of us have heard of the 4-hour work week, but have you read it? Many wise words are shared, but also, as our hosts share, are numerous points shared that don't land. Join us this week as hosts Chuck and Gunnar are joined by Maria Abernathy (VP of Operations at PatientCo), as they discuss eliminating waste in your life, planning for "retirement", and seeking happiness.
December 01, 2018
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries (with guest Jim Flannery)
In this episode we cover the book that changed how software companies build product, interact with customers and measure success: The Lean Startup. A staple of MBA students, product managers and every startup company trying to build the next big thing. The Lean Startup, has built a new lexicon of terms you must know to work in the high tech industry: MVP, Pivots, Innovation Accounting. Join us as your co-hosts Chuck and Gunnar bring their unique views of Product vs. Engineering, as they cover this book. Also, joining the podcast is guest Jim Flannery, founder of Four Athen's a startup accelerator in Athens, GA, who has also worked as an Startup Catalyst at Atlanta's famous ATDC startup accelerator and currently teaches Entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. This conversation get's interesting as Jim drops the mic with the question: "Can entrepreneurship be taught?"
November 01, 2018
Future Crimes by Marc Goodman (with guest Christian Hyatt)
Who's watching you right now? Future Crimes, by Mark Goodman, digs deep into the dark areas of the Internet, where crime is rampant and criminals are using the newest techniques to thwart companies and governments. Privacy is dead. Nothing is secure. And there isn't much we can do about it, or is there? Today's podcast includes guest speaker Christian Hyatt, Founder of a risk management firms that specializes in securing corporate data.
October 01, 2018