The other lesson that I would like to draw from history concerns what is called the optimal fragmentation principle. Namely, if you've got a human group, whether the human group is the staff of this museum, or your business, or the German beer industry, or Route 128, is that group best organized as a single large unit, or is it best organized as a number of small units, or is it best fragmented into a lot of small units? What's the most effective organization of the groups?
What’s more, it’s time to get those list-making muscles in working order. Without face-to-face communication, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks, so you’ll need to find ways to be as organized as possible. You might find that you like to write things down in a notebook, or perhaps you prefer calendar notifications. Find what works best for you to keep you organized and on task.
Your next goal should be to invest in yourself; you are the best resource you have to accumulate wealth. Investing in yourself means spending more time on your education, refining your own skill sets, and branching out to meet new people who might help you achieve your goals. The more educated, skilled, experienced, and connected you are, the more valuable opportunities you're going to get, which means higher salaries and more options for you down the road, both of which will help you build a stronger financial foundation.
There are lots of ways of becoming or being rich which he outlines in the book, but the most powerful points he feels are: to clear your mind, set your feet firmly with determinism to get rich, laugh at your fears that only hold you back and then simply ACT -- you have to act! Oh, there's more to it than that of course, but you'll have to read for yourself.
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Most of that book, was concerned with comparing the peoples of different continents, but I knew that I couldn't publish a book comparing the histories of different continents and considering Eurasia as a unit without saying something about the fascinating problem of the differences of history within Eurasia. Why, within Eurasia, was it Europeans who conquered the world and colonized other people, rather than the Chinese or the people of India or the Middle East? I devoted seven pages to that subject at the end of Guns, Germs, and Steel, and I think I arrived at the correct solution. Nevertheless, since the publication of Guns, Germs, and Steel, I've received a lot of feedback, and the most interesting feedback has been about the implications of that comparative analysis of the histories of China, Europe, India, and the Middle East.
This is an awesome book. It isn't a step by step book to riches but more of a common sense guide. Sometimes a little preachy but I loved how it covers a great deal of in depth details. My husband read the book years ago and kept recommending it to me. I'm an entrepreneur but my business seems to move slowly. This book helps you figure out for yourself where your weaknesses are. Maybe a little tough to read if you feel like you already know everything, but essential read if you expect to be successful.
Essentially the same thing happened in China with clocks: one emperor's decision abolished clocks over China. China was also on the verge of building powerful water-powered machinery before the Industrial Revolution in Britain, but the emperor said "Stop," and so that was the end of the water-powered machinery in China. In contrast, in Europe there were princes who said no to electric lighting, or to printing, or to guns. And, yes, in certain principalities for a while printing was suppressed. But because Europe in the Renaissance was divided among 2,000 principalities, it was never the case that there was one idiot in command of all Europe who could abolish a whole technology. Inventors had lots of chances, there was always competition between different states, and when one state tried something out that proved valuable, the other states saw the opportunity and adopted it. So the real question is, why was China chronically unified, and why was Europe chronically disunified? Why is Europe disunified to this day?