Niklas Jansen is the co-founder of Blinkist, an app that distills the core insights from non-fiction books into 15-minute summaries that you can access from your smartphone or tablet in written or audio form.
If you're someone who wonders about how to apply what you read in everyday life, then the app is worth checking out, because the short summaries or "blinks" cut away the excess and drive you to take action.
Niklas founded Blinkist with three friends in 2012 and the business has since gone on to raise Series A funding and acquire over a million users.
In this conversation we discuss a range of interesting topics including:
- How Niklas started the business and learned the skills of entrepreneurship
- How to apply what you read and use Blinkist to learn more in less time
- How Niklas and his co-founders create a learning environment at the business
So whether you're looking to build your own business, remember more of what you read or learn better from your coworkers, this episode will give you actionable strategies that you can apply today.
Jordan Poulton is the co-founder of Makers Academy, London's leading Web Developer Bootcamp which teaches you how to code in just 12 Weeks. He is a former president of Oxford Entrepreneurs and previously appeared on the BBC’s hit show The Apprentice in 2013.
Coding is arguably the skill with the fastest growing demand in the modern economy and more people are looking to acquire the skill every year. But coding is a challenging skill to learn and people are often unsure where to start.
Jordan went through the first Makers Academy cohort and by the end of the process, he was asked to join the Makers Team as a Co-Founder. As a result, he's got both a student's and an educator's perspective on the topic, which makes him uniquely placed to give advice on the subject.
In this episode we discuss a range of topics including:
- The fundamental skills and mental models a good programmer needs to develop
- The blend of theory and practice that’s best for learning entrepreneurship
- The changing educational landscape of the 21st century
So whether you're learning to code, building a business or curious about the way technology is shaping education, this episode will give you all that and more.
Rob Fitzpatrick is a serial entrepreneur who teaches early-stage entrepreneurship in Europe via his company Founder Centric. Rob is a Y Combinator alum and is the author of The Mom Test, a handbook on customer development that teaches you how to learn from customers even when they’re lying to you.
One of the most crucial parts of building a successful business is developing a rounded skillset that allows you to build products that solve problems and forge relationships with customers and partners to sell those solutions effectively.
Rob teaches people to do this and is great at awesome at distilling his entrepreneurial experience into practical advice. He's also taught at Oxford and UCL as well as designing education programs for accelerators and the UN, so if you want someone to teach you entrepreneurship you can’t get much better.
In this episode we discuss a real whirlwind of topics including:
- The core skills and mental models every entrepreneur needs to learn
- How to talk to customers effectively and get the results you want
- Rob’s own approach to learning new skills from chess to programming to repairing sailing boats and reading up on diesel engines.
So whether you're starting out as an entrepreneur and are looking to build a new business or learn from the customers you already have in an existing one, this episode will give you that and much more.
Will Reynolds and Erin Potter are the founders of the New Work Order, a close-knit network of ambitious people, building careers on their own terms.
I met Will at a workshop he was running on entrepreneurship and the vision he’s crafted with Erin to help people take control of their own careers resonated with me as it’s something I’ve been trying to do since graduating from university.
The important thing about community is that it allows people to learn from each other and to get a objective view of how they're progressing over time. Will and Erin have done this in the area of career so I decided to get them on for a chat.
In this episode we discuss a range of topics including:
- Build a learning community around you so that taking action becomes a habit
- Manage your work and learning so that it stays fun rather
- Practical strategies to learn a range of skills from web design to writing
So whether you’re looking to pick up skills to build your own career or thinking about how to optimise your work/life balance, you’ll leave this conversation with plenty of actionable ideas to start applying to your life immediately.
Greta Rossi and Mark Spokes co-founders of Akasha Innovation, a not for profit social enterprise which gives social entrepreneurs the mindsets and skill sets and they need to succeed on their journey as change makers.
Greta is a social entrepreneur, transformative coach and the acting CEO of Akasha, while Mark is the academic director of the organisation and designed their learning program using a decade of experience in transformative learning and mentoring in higher education and social enterprise.
Having a clear purpose and developing self awareness are both crucial components of learning anything, but they're rarely discussed in any depth in most environments because they're complex and hard to define.
Greta and Mark have spent years helping young people from all over the world to develop these skills, so I reached out to them to get the inside story.
In this conversation we dive deeply into:
- The importance of having a purpose and how to find it
- Accessing multiple intelligences, including emotional and spiritual intelligence
- The process of developing self-awareness on your learning journey
So whether you're looking to find more meaning in what you're learning or want to become more aware of what works for you and what doesn't this episode give you the principles and techniques needed to succeed.