The Algebra of Happiness

Scott Gollaway is an entrepreneur and professor of marketing at NYU Stern Business School. The Algebra of Happiness contains his ramblings and life advice on success, love and happiness.

  • On success:
    • The trait most common among CEOs is that they exercise regularly.
    • The definition of “rich” is having passive income greater than your burn.
    • Big cities are Wimbledon, even if you aren’t Rafael Nadal, your game will improve by being on the court with him.
  • On happiness:
    • Being “in the zone” is happiness.
    • On a balanced scorecard, the happiest people are those in monogamous relationships who have children.
  • On love:
    • The most important decision you’ll make is not where you work or who you party with, but who you choose to partner with for the rest of your life.
    • Like someone who likes you.
    • Male monkeys have higher ranks and more mating success if they have more social bonds, rather than being bigger or stronger.
    • Love and relationships are the ends, everything else is just the means. In the end, relationships are all that matters.

What resonated with me was the overwhelming importance of relationships in our happiness. This 10 minute video is a good summary of the main points in the book and will get you 80% there.

March 1, 2020


Shoe Dog

Shoe Dog tells the story of Nike from 1962 to 1980. It’s a memoir about early days of Nike by its founder Phil Knight. The book is such a page turner, the moment I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down before finishing. It’s very well written, and the story is exciting as well. The betrayals and attempts for hostile takeovers while doing business described in the book were scary, it reminded me the importance of making things, creating value and not depending on other companies.

A few pieces of advice from the man himself:

  • Think long and hard about how you want to spend your time, and with whom you want to spend it for the next forty years.
  • Seek a calling, don’t settle for a job or a profession or a career.

This book is highly recommended if you’re interested in memoirs!

July 16, 2019


Digital Minimalism

This is one of those could have been a blog post type of book. It can be summarized as:

  • Spend alone time
    • Take long walks without your phone to think
    • Write down your thoughts as letters to yourself
  • Messaging doesn’t reduce loneliness, you need face to face or verbal communication
    • Don’t write comments on social media
    • Hold conversation office hours (Ex: You can call me at 17:30 any day or have a regular coffee shop schedule)
  • Reclaim leisure time
    • Prefer demanding activities over passive consumption like watching TV or playing video games
    • Create things in the physical world
    • Do activities that involve social interactions (board games, crossfit, volunteering)
July 12, 2019


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sarp centel

Sarp is a software developer. He writes about technology, books and software.
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