Jimmy Soni is an award-winning author. His book, A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age, won the 2017 Neumann Prize, awarded by the British Society for the History of Mathematics for the best book on the history of mathematics for a general audience, and the Middleton Prize by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. His book, Jane’s Carousel, completed with the late Jane Walentas, captured one woman’s remarkable twenty-five-year journey to restore a beloved carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Jimmy’s most recent book is called, The Founders – The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley.
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- “Your life will be shaped by the things you create, and the people you make them with. We tend to sweat the former. We don’t worry enough about the latter.”
- The founders and earliest employees of PayPal pushed and prodded and demanded better of one another.
- Instead of “Acknowledgements” to end his book, Jimmy titled the section “Debts”
- “A debt is deeper than an Acknowledgement.”
- Envy the optimist, not the genius. There’s real power in optimism. The world is built by optimists. Look for the silver linings. Have belief. Be the type of person that believes in themselves and others… Optimism builds confidence in yourself and others. Be an optimist.
- Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan – The fact that Phil told the best player in the world… “We aren’t going to win a championship if you keep playing that way. You have to buy into the triangle offense.” It shows the value of a friend (or a coach) telling you the truth in order to help you (and the team) get better.
- “Walter Isaacson made me believe in its (the book) importance and potential. At the very end, he provided the kind of advice that can only come from someone who has spent years laboring in the same fields.
- Peter Thiel refined Max Levchin’s thinking… He made him better.
- Ask, “Have you thought about it this way?”
- Watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi
- Kobe Bryant was an incredible learning machine. His insatiable curiosity made him better.
- You can become curious about anything.
- Mr. Beast spent hours every day on Skype with his friends talking about how to grow a YouTube channel.
- We live in a moment were you can connect with others who are passionate about the same topics you are. With the internet, you can connect with anyone.
- Qualities of the leaders who created PayPal:
- It was so hard. They all experienced failure and bounced back.
- Highly intelligent.
- They worked 7 days a week. There was no work-life balance.
- They weren’t just resilient, they were fast-moving.
- Life Advice:
- What looks like expertise on the outside is generally messiness on the inside.
- Leadership in Solitude. There are benefits to spending some time by yourself.
- Ask – The people who make things happen are willing to ASK. Steve Jobs to Bill Hewlitt. Elon Musk to Dr. Peter Nicholson. Those “asks” changed the trajectory of their lives. Who knows, maybe your next ASK will change yours…
- Claude Shannon, Bell Laboratories, renowned as an incredible hub of innovation… whose work in the 1930s and ’40s earned him the title of “father of the information age.” Geniuses have a unique way of engaging with the world, and if you spend enough time examining their habits, you discover the behaviors behind their brilliance.
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