Seth Louey, Co-Founder of BotList, on Books, Tech Trends and Lessons Learned Reading
BotList is helping people discover bots that can make their life easier, while also growing, educating, and driving the entire bot ecosystem to the mainstream.
Seth comes from a background in design, front-end development, and always loved creating products. He designed community products for a variety of large video game and entertainment companies, such as Riot Games, Epic Games, Warner Bros, etc.
He founded BotList in 2016, together with Mubashar Iqbal (Mubs) and Ben Tossell. In the same year, Seth was nominated for Product Hunt’s Maker of the Year award (it was actually won by his business partner, Mubashar).
From our book-talk you’ll find out what books had an impact on him, what he learned from them, how he’s applying that knowledge into building BotList, his first startup, and the books he’d recommend to the younger generation.
What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.
I love the book, “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. It’s one of the most influential books that has changed how I perceive business and selling products. I recently picked up “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries which I’m hoping to apply some of the tactics to my startup, BotList.
A non-business book that I always read at least once every few years is “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. It’s truly helped me to become a better person mentally and spiritually.
Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?
There have been many moments. I can’t really pick just one, but collectively over the years, the lessons that I learned have helped me with my career. From looking at products with a different perspective to being patient and looking at the signs. Books and the knowledge in them are extremely powerful if you know how to apply it.
What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)
Start with Why probably had the biggest impact on me. I don’t want to just create an app store for bots with BotList and I need to convey that with the “Why”. I want to BotList to be the future of automated computing and making lives easier for everyday users. There are so many wasted hours with social media and current technology. If we can provide a way for users to find bots that help them break away from technology and live in the moment… then that’s why we build BotList.
What books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why? (no number limit here)
Great question. I believe that younger generations should focus on what they are passionate about. We are seeing a trend in tech where working remote, using your personal brand to grow your products, and funding through blockchain technology is the new way of creating startups. So I would read up on The Lean Startup, anything by Gary Vee, Artificial Intelligence, and biography/philosophy of Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, and Steve Jobs.
I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?
I’ve reduced my reading as of late, but starting to realize that compounding education on a daily basis is key to success. Warren Buffet reads 5-6 hours per day and that education/knowledge compounds over time. I actually use audiobooks when I’m commuting, digital during the night or in bed, and physical during the day.
How do you make time for reading?
It’s very difficult to do when running a startup, but there is always time during the day. You just have to prioritize. Most people end up watching Netflix or play video games, but that content never benefits you. I try to consume content that is going to benefit me in the long term. Education and reading is content that pays off.
Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?
If it is digital, I take notes via my iPad or iPhone, but physical books get the highlighter. 🙂
How do you choose what books to read next?
Do you prioritize those recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?
Not really. I think that everyone has their own priorities when consuming knowledge. So I try to be as broad as I can with the recommendations.
Last question: what book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?
Links where you can follow Seth Louey or find out more about his projects:
All books mentioned by Seth in this interview: