Tips to write your first book 📝- Laughing and staying consistent with Jerry Seinfeld 😄- Massive innovation in clean tech ♻️
It’s very important to know what you don’t like.
Episode #90. Hey Sunday reader 👋🏼
This Sunday, The Timestamp comes again with your weekly dose of summaries from the articles, books, or podcasts you may have missed in tech & culture.
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#1. Writing your first book 📝
I had the chance to discuss with an entrepreneur about his project to write a book about his 25-year company journey from inception to exit. He reached out to me as an old friend lloking for a piece of advice as I have had this experience of publishing my first book back in 2019: “Get Shit Done”🇫🇷 Ed. Alisio/Leduc/Albin Michel. I figured that I have a few tips I can share about becoming a book author and I found this great thread on Twitter that is adding up even more substance to my advice:
Here is a mix of useful tips that I would give to a first-time book writer:
Write it yourself. Don’t hire a ghostwriter. Writing is part of these activities that can bring so much (fulfillment, openness to others, serenity) to you; I would not want anybody else to write it for me. Just think about climbing Mount Everest… on the back of a sherpa. If you are in the physical capacity of climbing it by yourself, does this make any sense?
Nobody has time to write a book, they make time. Writing is all about consistency; write one page of your book every day and you can finish it in 6 months. It actually took me 1 year to finish writing my book with no help and no previous experience. I just made time to write, page after page, chapter after chapter. In the end, the feeling of achievement was paramount… even more, when a professional proofreader (hired by the publishing house that signed me) told me she had very few edits to make.
You can’t edit while you write. Definitely not. Interestingly in my journey as a writer, I took my first writing class… after I published my first book. The #1 lesson I learned was: “write first and edit later”. Having known this before writing my book, I would have spent less time writing the first chapter (I probably rewrote it 3 times).
Know your IRP (Ideal reader profile). In case you want to write a masterpiece targeting a Nobel Prize, the structure and sophistication of your writing will probably be very different from a book targeting startup enthusiasts wanting to know more about your experience as a tech founder.
Your title should be clear, not clever. Books that sell the most have “boring” titles. As an example, just look at the title of the book by Chandler Bolt 👆. You certainly know what to expect; just go and read it for more tips about writing your first book.
#2. Jerry Seinfeld’s survival kit 🤣
Patrick Kervern shares his takeaways from an interview published in The Harvard Business Review called Jerry Seinfeld: Comedian, Innovator, Micromanager.
Legendary stand-up performer, Jerry Seinfeld shares life advice:
It’s very important to know what you don’t like. A big part of innovation is saying, “You know what I’m really sick of?”
Answering a question from the journalist: Could McKinsey or someone have helped you find a better model? The response from Jerry Seinfeld is worth every penny: “Who’s McKinsey? It’s a consulting firm. Are they funny? No. Then I don’t need them. If you’re efficient, you’re doing it the wrong way. The right way is the hard way.”
Being funny is one of the ultimate weapons a person can have in human society. It might even compete with being really good-looking.
How to improve as a live performer?
You have to know how to encourage yourself to be confident and courageous when you’re creating new material and also how to be harshly critical and go, “That’s good, but it’s not good enough—take it out.” I don’t like to be so critical that I get depressed, but I get close.
#3. Raising billions in cleantech ♻️
Every day that passes, we hear about climate change. I found this thread on Twitter sharing 10 pitch decks of cleantech companies that raised billions. Worth a read about the future of cleantech.
Here is my top3 selection of interesting projects in cleantech:
🚌 Arrival (👈 click on the company name to get the deck): Revolutionizing electric vehicles with a focus on commercial vehicles (public transportation, delivery vans…). Very smart as those vehicles are the ones that can create the most pollution (vs private cars) if not running on clean power. Arrival managed to strike strategic deals with UPS and Hyundai to validate its technology. Impressive design and tech.
☀️ Heliogen: “Empower a sustainable civilization with low-cost solar energy that makes clean power more affordable than fossil fuels.” The mission and tech just look very compelling: Heliogen captures sunlight into cost-efficient energy on demand. They developed strategic commercial relationships with key companies like Arcelor Mittal and Rio Tinto.
🔋 QuantumScape: Building the next generation of battery for EVs. Signed a strategic partnership with the Volkswagen group and took part in a series F investment round in the company. Solid-state battery technology is the bet of the company who believes that existing liquid-state batteries using Lithium-Ion are reaching a plateau. If true, the opportunity could just be massive.
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