Smartcuts Book Summary - Smartcuts Book explained in key points
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Smartcuts summary

Shane Snow

How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success

4 (45 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Smartcuts by Shane Snow is a guide to outsmarting the system and achieving success quickly. It argues that by taking unconventional paths, working smarter rather than harder, and using lateral thinking, anyone can achieve their goals in record time.

Table of Contents

    Smartcuts
    Summary of 9 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 9

    Don't climb the career ladder from the bottom up – hack into it instead.

    A lot of people assume that climbing the career ladder step by step is the best route to success. That's rarely the case, however, because success isn't just about working hard – it's about working smart.

    That's where lateral thinking comes in. Lateral thinking is about making unseen connections between ideas and searching for smart solutions outside the box. It allows you to uncover possibilities you might not otherwise notice.

    Lateral thinking helps you find smartcuts, the most efficient and sustainable means to success. Don't be turned off by the term's similarity to “shortcut," which has a negative connotation and implies that quality might be skimped. Smartcuts get you to where you want to be in the smartest way possible. Remember: there's nothing wrong with taking the quickest path to success. In fact, that's the best way to use your time and resources.

    A lot of successful people have made good use of smartcuts, even several US presidents.

    About one-third of US presidents didn't follow the traditional route of serving in Congress for a considerable period before running for the presidency, instead spending only about seven years in an elected office. They gained relevant experience in other fields, then managed to “hack” into the presidential ladder at just the right time.

    Consider that Woodrow Wilson was the head of a university and Dwight Eisenhower, who went on to defeat Hitler, had never held an elected office before he became president. These men didn't climb their way straight up the political hierarchy – they moved across it diagonally. This is what you too need to aim for as an entrepreneur.

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    What is Smartcuts about?

    Smartcuts (2014) is about the secrets used by innovative companies and bright minds to achieve big successes in the shortest possible time. It outlines the reasons why unconventional methods are much more powerful than traditional ones in today's business world, and what you can do to take advantage of them.

    Smartcuts Review

    Smartcuts (2014) by Shane Snow is a book that explores unconventional ways to achieve success. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • With insightful anecdotes and case studies, it offers practical strategies that allow us to attain our goals faster and more effectively.
    • The book provides a fresh perspective on innovation and creativity, challenging traditional notions of success and offering new pathways to achieve it.
    • Through its examination of the shortcuts taken by successful individuals, the book challenges our assumptions about hard work and reveals the power of strategic thinking.

    Best quote from Smartcuts

    Traditional paths are not just slow; theyre no longer viable if we want to compete and innovate.

    —Shane Snow
    example alt text

    Who should read Smartcuts?

    • Entrepreneurs
    • Anyone interested in productivity or innovation

    About the Author

    Shane Snow is an award-winning journalist whose work has been featured in Wired, Fast Company and the New Yorker. He co-founded the company Contently and serves on the Contently Foundation Board for Investigative Journalism.

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    Smartcuts FAQs 

    What is the main message of Smartcuts?

    Smartcuts explores how to achieve success faster through unconventional shortcuts.

    How long does it take to read Smartcuts?

    Reading Smartcuts takes several hours, while the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Smartcuts a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Smartcuts is worth reading for its practical strategies to accelerate success.

    Who is the author of Smartcuts?

    The author of Smartcuts is Shane Snow.

    What to read after Smartcuts?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Smartcuts, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Art of Laziness by Library Mindset
    • Personality by Daniel Nettle
    • The Daily Laws by Robert Greene
    • Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky
    • Leading with Light by Jennifer Mulholland
    • The Idea Is the Easy Part by Brian Dovey
    • Start at the End by Matt Wallaert
    • The Greatest Capitalist Who Ever Lived by Ralph Watson McElvenny & Marc Wortman
    • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
    • The First Rule of Mastery by Michael Gervais