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Entrepreneur as Habitual Reader [Entrepreneurship
Posted on October 25, 2015 @ 08:20:00 AM by Paul Meagher

Andrew Ng is a researcher, teacher and entrepreneur to keep an eye on. He is still under 40 and has had some major accomplishments in academics and business.

Most people are probably familiar with Andrew as a teacher as his online Machine Learning course is one of the most heavily enrolled courses at Coursera, a company he co-founded thanks in part to the popularity of this course. The next session of his Standford Machine Learning course is coming up soon (Nov 2) so you can experience for yourself his dazzling ability to make the technically sophisticated ideas and algorithms of machine learning understandable to the masses.

Your can read about Andrew's life and accomplishments in the Huffington Post article Inside The Mind That Built Google Brain: On Life, Creativity, And Failure.

One of the main lessons I took away from this article was the importance of a regular reading habit. What do you do with all of your money when you achieve success? Well you might just keep doing what you've always done, satisfying a reading habit as much as you can so you can keep your brain working well and thinking up new ideas. It appears as though reading is one of Andrew's greatest pleasures in life and the time that he can set aside on a saturday afternoon for reading research articles is what he ascribes much of his success in and enjoyment of life to.

I should also point out another successful entrepreneur who has a serious reading habit. Check out Bill Gates' list of books and the reviews he has written on many of them at the Books section of his website. He has a nice selection of books to look over if you are looking for ideas on books you might want to read.

Sam Altman, CEO at Y-Combinator, did a recent question and answer session and at the end you can find a list of books he recommends reading.

I'll end this blog by suggesting that there is a big gaping hole in the research on entrepreneurship and its relationship to habitual reading. We are all aware of people who apparently don't read much and are successful, but how true is this in general? Conversely, if you do read alot perhaps there is a point at which you are reading too much or too randomly for it to lead to financial success. The importance of reading depends on what it is you are doing with your life and the role that reading plays in determining success. We have anecdotal evidence that some very successful entrepreneurs are habitual readers (see above). If I find some good empirical research on the relationship between reading and financial/life success that is worth discussing it will be the subject of a future blog.

There are also relationships to explore between reading and investing success. Investors obviously need to read alot of different types of documents and evaluate them. What types of cognitive processes take place in the mind of successful investors versus a new investor when reading the same set of documents? What types of reading exploration does the successful investor do compared to the novice investor? How much time does an investor spend reading different types of documents in any given week? Maybe there is research on these topics and if I find some that too might be the subject of a future blog. I have come accross research suggesting investors spend very little time screening out proposals but I have not explored this any deeper than the infographic stage.

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