Entrepreneur & investor. Ex-CPO, Tinder. Architect of the top grossing app. Investor @SpaceX @Lyft @AngelList @NotionHQ @Airtable & many more...
4 Book Recommendations by Norgard
- At the age of twenty-six, John Roa founded KTA, a Chicago-based tech-consulting and design firm that became one of the fastest-growing companies in America, which he sold in 2015 for a fortune to the largest tech company in San Francisco, Salesforce. His account of his rise from a self-described below-average student, to becoming a poster boy for the ambitious, successful young entrepreneur, to nearly destroying himself in the process is the subject of A Practical Way to Get Rich . . . and Die Trying. Roa's twenty-year-long journey from being dead-broke to wealth he never imagined is an absurd and often comical story of talent, luck, risk, rapidly changing technology, larger-than-life personalities, sex, gambling, and excessive alcohol and drug consumption. Roa's intention for his memoir is not to present a glamorous rags-to-riches saga, but, instead, to serve as a cautionary tale of the toll that entrepreneurship can take on ambitious young people unprepared for the peril, responsibility, long hours, relentless pressure to grow and be profitable, and the physical and mental costs that "making it" can take. Those pitfalls are seldom acknowledged in the romanticism that pervades the tech scene, and they eventually took their toll on Roa, who, in the face of round-the-clock pressure and risk taking, ultimately suffered a psychotic breakdown from which he almost didn't walk away. As he healed in the aftermath, he began to question the ethos that had brought him to that dark place, and he learned from other entrepreneurs that they, too, had experienced similar debilitating issues that they felt unable to admit, let alone discuss. A Practical Way to Get Rich . . . and Die Trying is a compelling memoir and the foundation for a strong and important campaign of honesty and vulnerability in an industry that currently allows neither. Roa aims to be the bridge to helping young leaders confront mental health issues and abuse that too often accompany the tech startup that so many have embraced as their salvation for their future.
The Monk and the Riddle
Randy KomisarWhat would you be willing to do for the rest of your life...' It's a question most of us consider only hypothetically-opting instead to "do what we have to do" to earn a living. But in the critically acclaimed bestseller "The Monk and the Riddle", entrepreneurial sage Randy Komisar asks us to answer it for real. The book's timeless advice - to make work pay not just in cash, but in experience, satisfaction, and joy - will be embraced by anyone who wants success to come not just from what they do, but from who they are.At once a fictional tale of Komisar's encounters with a would-be entrepreneur and a personal account of how Komisar found meaning not in work's rewards but in work itself, the book illustrates what's wrong with the mainstream thinking that we should sacrifice our lives to make a living. Described by Fortune.com as "part personal essay, part fictional narrative and part meditation on the nature of work and life," "The Monk and the Riddle" is essential reading on the art of creating a life while making a living. 'Belongs in a category by itself...The best thing I've read all year' - "San Francisco Examiner". 'A timely book' - "USA Today". 'A self-help manual and business fable rolled into one' - "The Times, London".
Alex KerrOnce Japan was a place of primeval forest and pristine mountains. In recent decades, this ancient world has almost been destroyed. Alex Kerr's evocative, prize-winning Lost Japanranges over Kabuki theatre, tea ceremonies, art, landscape, financial bubbles and his own childhood in Japan to explore a vanishing culture. 'Alex Kerr's book carries a powerful message applicable to all cultures. He is on a life-long quest for beauty.' Issey Miyake 'This deeply personal witness to Japan's wilful loss of its traditional culture is at the same time an immensely valuable evaluation of just what that culture was.' Donald Richie, author of The Japanese Film 'Alex Kerr loves Japan as much as anyone, but he knows more about it than most.' Stephen Hesse, Japan Times