Key Insights in 15 Minutes

Information InsightsI recently paid full price for an app for the first time. Yes, I know, shocking.

I couldn’t actually believe it myself. It is so unbelievably rare that I find an app that adds enough value to my life that I will pay for it. Even apps that truly do add value, don’t seem worth paying for because I’m used to getting them for free.

So why did I pay for an app? And which one did I pay for?

Blinkist provides insight in small chunks or “blinks”, which anyone can quickly grasp and apply. It creates short summaries of up to 500 of the most popular non-fiction books that can be read in about 15 mins.

Blinkist includes heralded works from Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things to Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow to Clay Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma.

While there is loads of information out there, it’s much harder to find insight: something that makes you think differently and adds a new perspective to your current problems.

While I love the democratized nature of publishing, it does mean that everyone feels pressure to publish (whether its to build your own personal brand or to build SEO for your website). This results in a constant flow of information, much of which is repetitive or not useful. Even if I had time to read all the non-fiction books, free books and self published articles that exist, it’s much harder to extract insight from all the noise.

It’s a shame because as our problems get more complex, we need more insight. We need to learn from those who have gone before us, those who have developed a POV or thesis we can learn from. We also need to constantly learn from different fields and from those with a new perspective. The only way to remain innovative is to constantly seek and find insight that can spark new ideas.

Blinkist allows me to quickly find the insight that is most useful. It also allows me to quickly grasp the core concepts I might need in a particular book, while the full book sits on my shelf waiting to be finished. Or better yet, it allows me to skip the books that are full of fluff so I can spend more time finishing the ones that matter.

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