David Senra

Learn from history's greatest founders. Every week I read a biography of an entrepreneur and tell you what I learned on Founders podcast
July 15, 2024

The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce: How The Sun Rose On Silicon Valley

My top 10 highlights from The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce: How The Sun Rose On Silicon Valley by Tom Wolfe. 1. The revolution didn't just happen; it was engineered by a small number of people. Collectively they engineered tomorrow. Foremost among them is Robert Noyce. 2. Noyce had a passion for the scientific grind. 3. He had a profound...
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July 5, 2024

The House of Arnault

My top 10 highlights from The House of Arnault: 1. He made a bunch of comments that were very, very detail-oriented. Things that you wouldn’t typically notice, but once you’ve seen tens of thousands of stores over the years, it’s what comes to your mind immediately. 2. Arnault spots any incongruities that might disrupt the aura of opul...
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June 30, 2024

Sam Walton: The Inside Story of America's Richest Man

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. His tactics prompted them to describe Sam as a modern-day combination of Vince Lombardi (insisting on solid execution of the basics) and General George S. Patton. (A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.) 2. Nothing in the world is cheaper than a good idea wit...
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June 24, 2024

How to Be Rich: J. Paul Getty

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. The line that divides majority opinion from mass hysteria is often so fine as to be virtually invisible. 2. I studied the lives of great men and women and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy, and enthusi...
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June 17, 2024

The Autobiography of J. Paul Getty

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. A hatred of failure has always been part of my nature and one of the more pronounced motivating forces in my life. 2. Once I have committed myself to any undertaking a powerful inner drive cuts in and I become intent on seeing it through to a satisfactory conclusion. 3. My own nature is such that ...
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June 9, 2024

Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Words are powerful, but more words are not more powerful—they’re often just confusing. 2. The further you get away from one, the more complicated things get. 3. Rather than seeing less choice, customers see less confusion. 4. Clarity propels an organization. Not occasional clarity but pervasive, t...
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May 10, 2024

2 NEW Founders Events!

Someone called the first Founders conference "sleep away camp for business nerds" and that made me laugh. The first event went so well that I'm hosting two more events this year: July 29th-31st in Scotts Valley, California September 27th-29th in Austin, Texas These events exist for one reason: to help you build relationships with other...
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April 27, 2024

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Walt Disney seldom dabbled. Everyone who knew him remarked on his intensity; when something intrigued him, he focused himself entirely as if it were the only thing that mattered. 2. He had the drive and ambition of ten million men. 3. Part of Walt’s secret was that in insisting on quality from ind...
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April 19, 2024

George Lucas: A Life

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. George Lucas unapologetically invested in what he believed in the most: himself. 2. As soon as I made my first film I thought, Hey, I’m good at this. I know how to do this. From then on I’ve never questioned it. 3. When I discovered film I fell madly in love with it. I ate it. I slept it. 24 hours...
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April 1, 2024

Quentin Tarantino's Cinema Speculation

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Tarantino is possibly the most joyously infectious movie lover alive. 2. On the ride home, even if I didn't have questions, my parents would talk about the movie we had just seen. These are some of my fondest memories. 3. I was watching the most challenging movies of the greatest movie-making era ...
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March 26, 2024

The Eternal Pursuit of Unhappiness: Being Very Good Is No Good, You Have to Be Very, Very, Very, Very, Very Good

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Those who live by their wits go to work on roller coasters. The ride is exhilarating, but one has to have a stomach of titanium. 2. Bureaucracy has no place in an ideas company. 3. Discovery consists of seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. 4. Rule #1: There are no ru...
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March 19, 2024

The Lessons of History

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. In the end superior ability has its way. 2. History reports that the men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all. 3. Every advance in the complexity of the economy puts an added premium upon superior ability. 4. All technological ad...
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March 3, 2024

Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Everyone wanted to be like Mike. Mike did not want to be like anyone else. 2. Stop adding. Start deleting. Winning demands total focus. 3. Their minds were stronger than their feelings. 4. You can't buy a map to the top. 5. Motivation is entry level. 6. Every great creation and invention started w...
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March 2, 2024

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. You can't excel at anything before you train your mind. Mental dominance is what ultimately makes you unstoppable. 2. If one thing separated Michael from every other player, it was his stunning ability to block out everything and everyone else. He was able to shut out everything except his mission...
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February 22, 2024

Joseph Duveen: Robber Baron Art Dealer

My top 10 highlights from The Days of Duveen by S.N. Behrman. 1. He repeated his cardinal dictum: "When you pay high for the priceless, you're getting it cheap." 2. Duveen noticed that Europe had plenty of art and America had plenty of money, and his entire astonishing career was the product of that simple observation. 3. Monopoly was ...
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February 14, 2024

Monty Moncrief Texas Oil Billionaire

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Optimism is the personal quality that nurtures luck. 2. No guts, no blue chips, has always been a wildcatter's expression of faith. 3. What they needed was a company that had a single man running it; no committees, no group decisions, no hierarchy of managers, no professional deal-killers or pessi...
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February 6, 2024

Napoleon's Maxims

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Hesitation and half measures lose all in war. 2. It is profitable to study the campaigns of the great masters. 3. A rapid march augments the morale of an army, and increases its means of victory. 4. Ten people who yell make more noise than ten thousand who keep silent. 5. Long orders, which requir...
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January 29, 2024

The 38 Letters From J.D. Rockefeller to His Son

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Visionary businessmen are always good at finding opportunities in every disaster. 2. The greatest reward for our hard work is not what we get, but what we become. 3. People who climb up in any industry are fully committed to what they are doing and are dedicated. Sincerely love the work you do; yo...
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January 2, 2024

The NEW Poor Charlie's Almanack

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Scale and fanaticism combined is very powerful. 2. The most important rule in management is get the incentives right. 3. You want to maximize the playing time of your top players. 4. There is an old two-part rule that often works wonders in business, science, and elsewhere: 1) Take a simple, basic...
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October 30, 2023

Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. No carrier knows its niche as well as Southwest. 2. While other carriers have been lured by the temptation to step outside their niche, Southwest has maintained the discipline to stay focused on its fundamental reason for being. 3. Southwest is obsessed with keeping costs low to maximize profitabi...
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October 7, 2023

Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Jeff had one simple rule: "It has to be perfect." He'd remind his team that one bad customer experience would undo the goodwill of hundreds of perfect ones. 2. Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. 3. Leaders have relentlessly high standards—many people may think these standards are ...
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September 27, 2023

Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. History likes winners. 2. At the heart of his story is an irrepressible spirit. 3. Little men let events take their course. I like things to happen, and if they don't happen I like to make them happen 4. While other politicians were content to get their information from a scattering of newspapers,...
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September 25, 2023

Hero of the Empire: The Making of Winston Churchill

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Always more audacity. (A maxim Churchill repeated to himself.) 2. The first time you meet Winston you see all his faults and the rest of your life you spend discovering his virtues. 3. "I have faith in my star. I am intended to do something in the world." 4. Beyond the vaguest of outlines, he didn...
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September 20, 2023

The Forgotten Highlander

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Invaders are always organized. 2. Every morning I would tell myself over and over: Survive this day. Survive this day. Survive this day. 3. On countless occasions I've seen two men with the same symptoms and same physical state and one will die and one will make it. I can only put that down to she...
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September 13, 2023

Creativity, Inc.

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better. 2. Everything associated with our name needs to be good. Quality is the best business plan. 3. Every time ...
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September 4, 2023

Bugatti

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. A human life, by its very nature, has to be devoted to something or other, to a glorious or humble enterprise, an illustrious or obscure destiny. This is a strange but inexorable condition of things. 2. His starting point was always to create the most extraordinary things. 3. You get the feeling o...
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August 27, 2023

Balenciaga

My top 10 highlights from Balenciaga and Dior (Chapter 13 of Creators) 1. Dior dressed the rich, Balenciaga the very rich. 2. Of all the creative people I have come across, Cristóbal Balenciaga was easily the most dedicated to the business of making beautiful things. 3. From the age of three to his mid-twenties he learned every aspect ...
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August 6, 2023

Paul Graham (How to Do Great Work)

My top 10 highlights from the essay: 1. If you asked an oracle the secret to doing great work and the oracle replied with a single word, my bet would be on "curiosity." 2. Being prolific is underrated. 3. Seek out the best colleagues. 4. If you're interested you're not astray. 5. If you don't try to be the best you won't even be good. ...
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August 1, 2023

Christopher Nolan

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Nolan does not have an email account or a cell phone. 2. He dreams with his eyes open. 3. Memento was borne into the world on the back of obsession. 4. Nolan made it because he had to. 5. Minds don't wander on a Chris Nolan set. 6. Every film I do I have to believe that I'm making the best film th...
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July 23, 2023

Mark Twain

My top 10 highlights from the book: 1. Doors open at 7 o’clock. The trouble will begin at 8. 2. The ad itself became legendary: “Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.” 3. His death would not have lengthened the life of the Confederacy or the Union b...
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