2572 books total
Laurențiu-Victor Bălașa, from Underline, is a Romanian serial entrepreneur.
In his entrepreneurial life, he’s started 8 companies, sold 3 of them and now he does some angel investment as well. His biggest company to date was T-Me Studios, a company that had, at some point, 750 million installs of their apps.
I actually know Laurențiu personally and we’ve met from time to time during our respective entrepreneur journeys. I still remember playing some poker together and, more than that, I remember “losing” some potential hires to his company. I also remember that he reads a lot.
Underline helps you remember what you read. In his words, “Underline makes it easy to create book notes from any type of book. You just take a photo of a book page, extract the text, add your thoughts and quickly create a book note”.
You can also use Underline to read the book notes of other users and that might help you decide what you need to read next. Of course, you can also do this by going through The CEO Library’s database, right? 😆
Joking aside, you should go and test Underline. Everything that helps you read with more purpose, that helps you read more, is good.
Laurențiu reads lots of books, so I expected some good suggestions. And I have to tell you, even if I know him personally, the answer to the first question took me by surprise.
The Ending of Time by Jiddu Krishnamurti and David Bohm. The book is the transcript of a lengthy discussion on the Divine between (probably) the greatest spiritual teacher of the previous century, Krishnamurti, and the great quantum physicist, David Bohm.
The first time I read it I was young and loved the back-n-forth between the two. It’s a difficult but very rewarding book. It really helped shape my views on life and reality. Defined me as an individual.
Besides that one, my favorite fiction book is actually a collection of books: The Foundation series by Asimov. I love his writing style. And I love science fiction too.
Ben Horowitz wrote The Hard Thing About Hard Things. There’s a paragraph there in which he talks about hiring managers. I can’t remember the exact passage (Underline didn’t exist at the time) but it was something about the criteria for hiring good managers.
That really came in handy in my previous startup, T-Me Studios, when I was hiring project managers. I remember applying some of those principles in different interviews.
Everything Robert Anton Wilson wrote really impacted me as a teenager. His books, together with everything I read from Richard Bandler, the founder of NLP, really shaped my perspective on how my brain works and helped me as an entrepreneur tremendously. As a founder, you’re constantly selling. I think everything I read from these two guys taught me how to sell from a very young age.
I read physical and digital books. Physical books during the weekend and digital before going to sleep. I have a spot in my house, with a designated chair for reading 🙂
I think I’m reading once every other week. More than 2 books per month for sure.
I don’t feel like I need to make time. I love reading, and it’s now a habit, so it’s just part of my life.
I use Underline, the app I’m working on now, to remember what I read. I take notes there and revisit them. Sometimes I shared those book notes with friends/colleagues who are also using Underline.
Friend recommendations, recommendations from people I admire, shared book notes.
Platform Revolution by Geoffrey Parker, Marshall Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Choudary. I’m looking to understand how to scale a 2-sided marketplace.
Working on small problems must be the #1 thing. It’s so easy nowadays to address global markets, why not focus on that?
Another one would be not bringing on mentors/advisors with industry-specific knowledge.
The third – stopping after they’ve achieved a certain level of success.
Entrepreneurship is a gift, with a huge palpable impact on society. It’s the cornerstone of our capitalist system. Entrepreneurs have a social responsability to create past their level of personal comfort, with an eye towards the greater good.Entrepreneurship is a gift, with a huge palpable impact on society. It's the cornerstone of our capitalist system. Entrepreneurs have a social responsability to create past their level of personal comfort, with an eye towards the… Click To Tweet
Look for what you are drawn to organically. What do you do on a Sunday afternoon, when you have nothing do to? Turn that into a business.
The number one myth must be “it’s easy to create an app”. Creating a mobile business is extremely difficult, and requires a large, knowledgable team.
I think absolutely any business can work. It’s a question of finding the right market. Consumption of goods and services is now so wide, I think markets are created and can be created anytime.
If you’re good enough, you can find or create a market for your product/service. You don’t need to find the new, hot emerging market to build a big business.
You might see certain trends/telltale signs that a market can emerge in a sector. But if you can see the emerging market, it’s too late. What you want is to just create that new market.
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If you want to know more about Underline watch the video below:
All books mentioned by Laurențiu in our interview: