Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)
Comments: Hackers and Painters was an interesting read. This is unvarnished Paul Graham from before his Y Combinator celebrity days. His writing has been a lot more controversial of late. But, in this book, he shows up as a compelling writer sharing his notes on a wide variety of topics – from education to hacking to design to programming languages.
Top 3 Lessons:
- The least sophisticated users tell you what you need to simplify and clarify while the most sophisticated users tell you what features you need to add.
- School was created as a means to keep kids busy while adults did work. (I’ve thought of this from time to time since I first read it)
- The difference between design and research seems to be a question of new versus good. Design has to be good while research has to be new. These two paths converge at the top – the best design surpasses others by using new ideas and the best research solves problems that are not only new but worth solving.