Alright. Enough reading about manliness for now. Back to some nice psychology classics.
I enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's Blink a few years ago and had his other books on my reading list. I just completed Tipping Point and enjoyed it quite a bit as well.
I like how he explores subjects where we have a knee-jerk response of what should be the obvious answer, but when you dig deep into the evidence, it's not. In this book, he explores a number of phenomena that seem to "come out of nowhere" (the way people understand Pinterest's rise is a perfect Tipping Point story).
My biggest takeaways are that the smallest details can make the biggest differences, and that one thing's or person's rise over others is often much more a matter of circumstance and context than specific traits or actions. I still believe in the importance of one's own actions above the other factors, but this book made me give more weight to the context. In addition, the book reinforced the importance of control of the details of execution (in your product and your work). This point reminded me of the importance of being an expert in your craft and building things the way you think is right, down to the last detail (like Howard Roark of The Fountainhead did). It also reminded me of how Zao Yang of FarmVille told us in a talk on gamification that the size of a character's pupils in a game makes the character's and game's popularity change dramatically (artistic quality and design details can cause things to tip/explode).
Below are the rest of my notes.