As I've mentioned briefly before, I'm finishing up a book called Superhuman Social Skills. I think that this is going to be the best and most impactful book I've written, so I'm really trying to make it great. I'd like to ask for your help with that, and to give you the book for free as a thank you.
I've spent the last few days talking with three guys who are absolute experts on launching books: Noah Kagan, Charlie Hoehn, and Taylor Pearson. One thing they all stressed with me was that I should involve my readers from the beginning, and make sure that the book is tailored towards them. Ideally I would have done that before I started, but it's a bit too late for that.
I've put together a really short survey, just six questions. If you could take a few minute to answer them, it would mean a lot to me. Whether you have great social skills, poor social skills, or anywhere in the middle, your responses will help shape the book. I'll personally read every answer.
I'm also creating a Thunderclap campaign. It's a cool service that will synchronize one tweet/facebook post across everyone's accounts. So if you help me out by joining in, Thunderclap will post one message about my book to your twitter or facebook on launch day.
Giving away the book on launch day works because when you switch it to be a paid book the next day, it keeps a lot of the momentum from the first day. I'm a little bit terrified to do this, as my books do really well on their first days and I'm giving up a bunch of money up front by making it free. However, I do like the idea that idea that all of my readers can get the book for free, and that's what pushed me over the edge to try it out.
So, to recap:
1. I'm putting out my best book yet, Superhuman Social Skills, and I'm giving it away for free on the first day.
2. I'd love your input into the book by taking this survey.
3. I'd also love your help getting the word out by joining this Thunderclap campaign
Photo is a cool sculpture in Dublin
Two weeks left on Libertad Apparel's Wool Shirt Kickstarter. I have one and love it. I wore mine to a wedding a couple weeks ago because it has a really nice formal look.
If you haven't done the free money thing, you should! I've already sent $37.50 to a bunch of readers. For those still waiting, I send the $37.50 as soon as your bitcoins show up in your account, which sometimes takes a few days.
Tynan, it's great that you're giving out your book for free, but to ask people to keep checking your site or Twitter daily is a bit weird, isn't it? Wouldn't it be better to give people who take the survey a link to a mailing list or something? And wow, those guys sent you a shirt for review and you just put a little link and no proper impressions? That's not really cool! Doesn't help them or us.
My pleasure to tweet out your book, Tynan - just sent you a *reach* of +15k ... but ofc we all know the average lifespan of a tweet it only 30 minutes. Anyway, I'm a fan from way back and it's the least I can do.
Thanks for the link to the Libertad shirt - I'd like to ask your opinion:
How does it compare to the Wool & Prince shirts? I recently got one of those because I wanted a nice looking wool travel shirt. It's nice, but I would prefer a non-button-down shirt, and it could be quite a bit slimmer. I see that Libertad offers a tapered cut.
(Last time I travelled for longer, I had the icebreaker seeker - which was better than T-shirts, but looks pretty much the least formal/dressy a single color shirt can look.)
Just completed the survey -- I think. It's showing the loading animation after answering question 6. No confirmation screen.
Edit: nevermind. It was my internet connection. VPN crapped out. I reloaded it and it (thankfully) remembered all my answers, and then submitted.
Interested in being interviewed on Simple Programmer (http://simpleprogrammer.com) to promote your book?
I am the author of the book, "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual" (http://simpleprogrammer.com/softskills), so my audience is very interested in learning soft skills and social skills.
I've got about 15k email subscribers and get about 150k page views a month on my site.
Been following you for a long time and I've recommended you "Super Human by Habit" book in quite a few of my blog posts.
Wow. Over six hundred people responded to my social skills survey and gave really thoughtful and in-depth answers. In retrospect, I really wish that I had done this survey before I had written the book. I think it would have made the outline a lot easier, and I wouldn't be making last-minute additions right before the book comes out.
But better late than never. I've skimmed all of the answers and ready many of them in detail. My main goal was to find patterns. I found some, but I was also struck by just how the diverse the set of goals, strengths, and weaknesses that we have is.
Just under 30% of people were satisfied or very satisfied with their social lives. The largest group was "Somewhat satisfied", followed closely by "Somewhat unsatisfied". That sounds about right to me. Social skills are difficult, but so important that we tend to push until we get right up to that "acceptable" level.
Before I jumped into social skills, sparked by my involvement in pickup, I think I would have answered either unsatisfied or somewhat unsatisfied, depending on how optimistic I was feeling. I was very satisfied with my friends, but not satisfied with myself. It felt like many people moved with a certain level of social ease that I couldn't understand, let alone replicate.
I've been saying that college is obsolete for a very long time. I dropped out in 2000, because even back then I could see that it was a really poor value proposition. I didn't predict this because I'm some crazy genius, but because I'm willing to discard emotional attachment and stare plainly at the facts.
School is outrageously expensive, leaving graduates with a debt (or net expenditure) of tens of thousands of dollars-- sometimes even one or two hundred thousand. There are some things that are worth that amount of money, but for many people school isn't one of them. In fact, apart from very specific cases, I think that school is a bad thing, not worth doing even if it was free.
That's not to say that school has no benefits whatsoever. It does, and although I left with zero additional skills after my three semesters there, I had a good time and benefited from the social aspect. The problem is that you can't just compare college to doing nothing at all. You have to compare it to what you COULD have done.
Let's say that when you turn eighteen, it's a good idea to take four years to develop yourself. College is one way to do that. If we were to construct an alternative way to do that, what could it look like? One of the biggest weaknesses of school is how inflexible it is, so one of the greatest benefits of designing your own curriculum is that you could come up with one that uniquely suits you. That said, here's a plan that I think would benefit many people MORE than school would. Let's call it the Hustler's MBA.