Garry Tan

Garry Tan

Founder @Initialized—PM/designer/eng turned Forbes Midas List Top 100 VC in startups worth over $40B, before product market fit—YouTube creator—IG DMs open

6 Book Recommendations by Garry Tan

  • Newly updated and revised, How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck is a quick and easy guide that will make your video better instantly—whether you read it cover to cover or just skim a few chapters. It’s about the language of video and how to think like a director, regardless of equipment (amateurs think about the camera, pros think about communication). It’s about the rules developed over a century of movie-making—which work just as well when shooting a two-year-old’s birthday party on your phone. Written by Steve Stockman, the director of the award-winning feature Two Weeks, plus TV shows, music videos, and hundreds of commercials, How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck explains in 74 short, pithy, insightful chapters how to tell a story and entertain your audience. In other words, how to shoot video people will want to watch. Here’s how to think in shots—how to move-point-shoot-stop-repeat, instead of planting yourself in one spot and pressing “Record” for five minutes. Why never to shoot until you see the whites of your subject’s eyes. Why to “zoom” with your feet and not the lens. How to create intrigue on camera. The book covers the basics of video production: framing, lighting, sound (use an external mic), editing, special effects (turn them off!), and gives advice on shooting a variety of specific situations: sporting events, parties and family gatherings, graduations and performances. Plus, how to make instructional and promotional videos, how to make a music video, how to capture stunts, and much more. At the end of every chapter is a suggestion of how to immediately put what you’ve learned into practice, so the next time you’re shooting you’ll have begun to master the skill. Steve’s website ( provides video examples to illustrate different production ideas, techniques, and situations, and his latest thoughts on all things video.

    Focus on intent, not a result. Intent is action and starts with a verb. A result is an adjective you want applied to yourself. Intent is actionable. Results are not. 👇 Excerpt from a good book “How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck”

  • "The bestselling self-published phenomenon that sold over 300,000 copies addresses our urgent need for self-love in the world today-now expanded with new reader oriented lessons, and a powerful and transformative personal story of the practice in action"--

    This is a powerful idea. Our brain runs in familiar loops and patterns. But we can have some choice in what programs to run. Thanks @kamalravikant From his book “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on it”

  • Well known technology executive and angel investor Elad Gil has worked with high growth tech companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Google, Instacart, Coinbase, Stripe, and Square as they've grown from small companies into global brands. Across all of these break-out companies, a set of common patterns has evolved into a repeatable playbook that Gil has codified in High Growth Handbook. Covering key topics including the role of the CEO, managing your board, recruiting and managing an executive team, M&A, IPOs and late stage funding rounds, and interspersed with over a dozen interviews with some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley including Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Marc Andreessen (Andreessen Horowitz), and Aaron Levie (Box), High Growth Handbook presents crystal clear guidance for navigating the most complex challenges that confront leaders and operators in high-growth startups. In what Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn and co-author of the #1 NYT bestsellers The Alliance and The Startup of You calls "a trenchant guide," High Growth Handbook is the playbook for turning a startup into a unicorn.

    Managers need to write README files so everyone can work better together 👌 First read about this in @eladgil’s High Growth Handbook

  • The Body Keeps the Score

    Bessel A. Van der Kolk

    Originally published by Viking Penguin, 2014.

    The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma (Book Summary) Groundbreaking book any student of psychology, behavior, and their own psyche should pay attention to

  • Innovating Out of Crisis

    Shigetaka Komori

    "Japanese edition published in 2013 as Tamashii no Keiei by Toyo Keizai Shinposha, Tokyo, Japan."

    A CEO’s duty— “Unless something was done, Fujifilm would cease to exist. The technology and business would all come to nothing. The lives of more than 70K employees, and their families, were on the line.”