Fast Forward Your Success – SmartCuts book review


It’s been a few years of intense reading so far and I can say I have learned some amazing insights from many books. This one in particular is truly worth sharing with you. I feel like the information in this book could be very useful.


SmartcutsEntrepreneur and journalist Shane Snow (Wired, Fast Company, The New Yorker, and cofounder of Contently) analyzes the lives of people and companies that do incredible things in implausibly short time.

How do some startups go from zero to billions in mere months? How did Alexander the Great, YouTube tycoon Michelle Phan, and Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon climb to the top in less time than it takes most of us to get a promotion? What do high-growth businesses, world-class heart surgeons, and underdog marketers do in common to beat the norm?

One way or another, they do it like computer hackers. They employ what psychologists call “lateral thinking: to rethink convention and break “rules” that aren’t rules.

satellite-693216_640These are not shortcuts, which produce often dubious short-term gains, but ethical “smartcuts” that eliminate unnecessary effort and yield sustainable momentum. In Smartcuts, Snow shatters common wisdom about success, revealing how conventions like “paying dues” prevent progress, why kids shouldn’t learn times tables, and how, paradoxically, it’s easier to build a huge business than a small one.

From SpaceX to The Cuban Revolution, from Ferrari to Skrillex, Smartcuts is a narrative adventure that busts old myths about success and shows how innovators and icons do the incredible by working smarter—and how perhaps the rest of us can, too.

9 Principles of SmartCuts illustrated through D’Wayne Edwards story

  1. pulpit-1418576_640Hack the Ladder Ed built his own ladder – he was far too young to get a real job when he started out and his neighbourhood was not a good place to start a designer career either.  He carved his own unconventional path which eventually got him to the top. Find his full story here.
  2. Train With Masters He had no mentor in the early days, so he stole Magic Johnsons discarded shoes to first draw and then wear them. Ed was a first class noticer. He observed how shoes are put together and how consumers think of them
  3. Rapid Feedback (For months Edward drew at least one shoe sketch every day and asked for feedback by submitting his designs to a company feedback box.
  4. Use Platforms Ed used a variety of those, most of them were brands and famous people. Then he designed his own platform to teach and then place his students in the successful companies.
  5. surfer-1209179_640Catch Waves Edwards rode a sneaker movement, used new materials which quickly evolved and took the world by storm. Shoes became very important and Edwards became the ideal designer as he came from the streets. He was treading in the water before the wave came, just like a surfer has to tread the water to catch a wave.
  6. Find a Super Connector You have to find yourself a super connector. Those people can fast forward your success. Just like D’Waynes built a name for himself and his legacy. He knew everyone in the industry, became famous, he connected his students to the people. Who could take them up – competitive companies, top design schools and so on.)
  7. Momentum Use the momentum just like Ed did. He left Nike when he was a top designer and went ahead to create a design school which became an instant success. Instead of doing it before the end of his career he switched the ladder when he was at the top.
  8. lamp-432247_640Simplicity KISS – is an acronym used in US military and it stands for ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’. Simplicity is the key to making complex things accessible for the rest of the world. Edwards constrained his design class to a few weeks, no conventional busy work but only doing work which  accelerated the creativity and speed of achievement.
  9. Ten X Thinking Have a big idea, not a minor improvement but a huge disruptive one. D’Waynes mission is to change education and alter the industry. It is a much bigger picture, this is what makes Edwards design school special.

Apply these principles to your life & projects and you will have much more chances to succeed in your endeavours.

SmartCuts on Amazon
1 Response
  • daiva Sabaliauskienė
    August 16, 2016

    Your writing becomes smarter 🙂

Leave a Reply