Book Review: Better and Faster
I remember being given this book by someone and setting it aside on my bookshelf for 5 years. Man, I wish I had read this one sooner. From a business standpoint, this has changed my perspective on how I see businesses, marketing and opportunities.
Heck, because of this book, on my camping trip I came up with a bunch of new ideas and was able to view them from different perspectives. Although this book would say, “throw those out Bee and start again.” I’ll share one of them below, and you let me know if I’m onto something.
Initially, I thought this book was going to be about
- failing quickly
- learning fast
- hiring the right people
Well, I’m glad to say I was wrong. Instead it was about
- Farmer and hunter mentality
- Seeing the 6 patterns of opportunity
- And plenty of stories to support
On top of it all, it had tips on how to come up with your next business idea. Let’s dig into some of this.
Farmer vs Hunter Mindset:
A farmer is someone who sticks to what they know. Their traits are complacency, repetition, and protectiveness. This for me connected to someone who would be closed minded and afraid of change. The world moves so fast that this likely only works in very few industries now.
For example, if you don’t have a digital presence today as a business, or you are struggling to hold onto old beliefs while the world changes around you… I’m sorry but you are a farmer.
*Note: I am not talking about actual farmers, and I have a great respect for them! Please visit your local farmer’s market and delete the email you are about to send to me. Hunter vs Farmer is just a metaphor!
A hunter is one that looks to grow and hunts for new ideas from all aspects of life. The book explains the traits of someone who is insatiable, curious and willing to destroy.
The role of a hunter is to always be striving to be better and to adapt. It is when we get too comfortable with the way things work and don’t adapt to the way the world is changing that we fall behind. Examples: blockbuster, hotel industry, and etc.
When I think about myself, I’d say I’m about 70% hunter and 30% farmer. These are legit numbers, done with real science! But no seriously, I find I’m always looking to try new ideas and change as much as I can with the times. But there are many areas where I stay a farmer because I don’t have the attention or time to grow my hunter instinct in those areas.
Which is okay.
Identifying the 6 patterns of opportunity:
A large remainder of the book speaks around how to identify opportunities for business. As you read, you start thinking about businesses and which opportunities they exploit. Let’s go through them quickly.
Combining and mixing products into one.
E.g. Airbnb taking all homes, reviews, payments, and etc into one platform.
Breaking free from the mainstream and going against the grain.
E.g.Redbull and its ability to take a product that tastes terrible, and add a sense of extremism and rebellion to stand out.
Trends that repeat over a certain period of time.
E.g. This could be anything from seasonal, generational, and retro trends that are bound to repeat.
Identifying a specific trend and enhancing it.
E.g. The trend of people wanting caffeine in different ways, such as 5 hour energy, coffee pills, coffee chocolates, etc. Marijuana is a more recent example and soon, it’ll be hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Channeling the power of a trend.
E.g. Though I hope it’s not just a trend, sustainability is one happening now.
Simplifying a business concept.
E.g. Stripe payments: all they do is make payments easier for small businesses.
When you look at businesses or new ideas from these perspectives, you can start spotting patterns. For example, on my camping trip, I thought of ideas like creating a camping website for people who are looking for comfort. Then using the convergence pattern to combine different comfort products like pillows, blankets, inflatable mattress into one package. And doing the same for toiletries, etc. This could also play on the acceleration trend of people wanting to be outside more.
I definitely recommend this book to people who want to get a better perspective on how to think about new business ideas, or evaluating current ones. Definitely worth a read. If you want to grab it, do it via my affiliate link here.
Let me know what you think below in the comments. If you find my blog useful, share with your friends and network.