Title: Measure What Matters (OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth)

Author: John Doerr

Theme: Non-Fiction

Publisher: Portfolio Penguin

Published: 26th April 2018

Pages:  320

Author Overview:

John Doerr is a world-renowned venture capitalist who has backed some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs & businesses and has spent the last two decades investing in green companies tackling climate change. John Doerr is a member of the Google, Zynga, and Amyris boards of directors. He was a member of US President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



We’ve all been in a position when our desire to accomplish something is high, but it eventually fades owing to a variety of factors. “Measure What Matters” is an excellent book for people who have a strong desire to achieve goals that they believe are out of reach.

You’ve certainly heard a lot about companies failing to capitalize on their finest possibilities because they don’t have a framework in place to manage focus, alignment, and responsibility. “Measure What Matters” outlines how “OKRs” (Objectives and Key Results) might aid in the success of businesses.

The book ‘Measure What Matters’ is interpreted in two ways. The first section of the book illustrates the notion through a variety of success stories ranging from Google to various enterprises, while the second section emphasizes the necessity of change and explains how philosophy needs to adjust to accommodate the new way of thinking.

The Author explains the four Superpowers on which the OKRs model is built upon,

  • The first is to concentrate on a small number of initiatives that can have a significant impact while avoiding the less important ones; this allows executives to commit to those decisions and results in a successful organization.
  • The second is the ability to align and connect. OKRs require that not just goals be freely stated but that they also align with the company’s overall game plan’s objectives.
  • The third superpower of OKRs is that they can be tracked; they are data-driven, with regular check-ins, objective grading, and constant reassessment.
  • The final OKR superpower is the system’s ability to inspire people to achieve greater heights than they previously believed feasible. Setting conservative goals stifles innovation, but setting ambitious ‘stretch’ goals pushes people to venture beyond their comfort zones.

The book demonstrates how the method can be used by teams of any size, how startups must work together, scaling firms must have a common language for execution, and larger organizations must improve alignment. OKRs can aid in each scenario.

The book’s insights mention how, In 1999, John Doerr invested millions in a small startup with incredible technology, entrepreneurial spirit, and sky-high expectations, but no actual business plan. Seeking which John Doerr introduced the founders to his methodology of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), and the startup expanded at an exponential rate with those concepts at the heart of their management and is known for being one of the best places to work (Google)

Few chapters in the book are written by industry leaders, telling the story of how OKRs helped them to reach their companies’ objectives.

‘Measure What Matters’ is a book on facts and case studies, and for the first time, John Doerr provided a wide range of first-person, behind-the-scenes case studies with narrators such as Bono and Bill Gates. Doerr’s introduction of OKRs to tech titans and charities that exceed all expectations are mentioned in the book.

It is a must-read book since it will assist you in rethinking and innovating your company’s strategy and culture. The book advocates for an open and transparent culture that fosters employee involvement and innovation.



Jim Collins: ‘Measure What Matters deserves to be fully embraced by every person responsible for performance in any walk of life.’

Sheryl Sandberg: Measure What Matters shows how any organization or team can aim high, move fast, and excel.’

Gordon Moore: ‘Measure What Matters takes you behind the scenes for the creation of Intel’s powerful OKR system.’

Larry Page: I wish we had this book 19 years ago when we founded Google.

Diane Greene: Measure What Matters is an essential handbook for both small and large organizations; the methods described will definitely drive great execution

Reid Hoffman: Whether you’re a seasoned CEO or a first-time entrepreneur, you’ll find valuable lessons, tools, and inspiration in the pages of Measure What Matters. I’m glad John invested the time to share these ideas with the world

Mellody Hobson: Measure What Matters will transform your approach to setting goals for yourself and your organization.


Title: Work Rules: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

Author: Laszlo Bock

Theme: Non-fiction

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

 Published: 7th April 2015

 Pages:  416

Author Overview:

Laszlo Bock is a Romanian-born American businessman who is co-founder and CEO of Humu. He was formerly the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Inc. Laszlo Bock led Google’s people function, responsible for attracting, developing, retaining, and delighting “Googlers.” Bock’s earlier Experience spans executive roles at the General Electric Company, management consulting at McKinsey & Company, start-ups, non-profits, and acting.

During Bock’s tenure, Google was named the Best Company to Work for more than thirty times around the world and received more than 100 awards as an employer of choice. In 2010, he was named Human Resources Executive of the Year by Human Resources Executive magazine.

Quote: ‘People can exist, without companies, but companies can’t exist without people.’

“We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It’s not right that the Experience of work should be so demotivating and dehumanizing.” So says Laszlo Bock, former head of People Operations at the company that transformed how the world interacts with knowledge.

Work Rules outlines what drives Google’s incredible success and why they do what they do. The author provides an insider’s view of what makes Google tick, as well as how you and your firm might replicate some of their effective strategies.


  • Google’s operating assumption is “Anything we are doing; we can do better.”
  • The most talented and creative people cannot be forced to work.
  • Google’s greatest constraint on growth has always been their ability to find great people. People that can solve today’s problems and unknown problems in the future.

The book discusses how Google has created such a vibrant culture, attracted top worldwide talent, and achieved exceptional results.

The book includes research insights, behavioral economics, and a thorough understanding of human psychology, as well as a slew of examples from a variety of industries, including well-known companies that also happen to be dreadful places to work, as well as lesser-known businesses that achieve spectacular results by valuing and listening to their employees.

Work Is Everything! Shows how to achieve a healthy balance between creativity and structure, resulting in success that can be measured both in terms of quality of life and market share. Read it to learn how to develop a stronger company from within rather than from the above and rediscover your passion for what you do.

The book is jam-packed with anecdotes and examples that will help us better grasp Google’s beliefs and why it does what it does.



Kirkus Reviews: “An intriguing profile of an innovative company that continues to shake up the world.”

Library Journal: “Good guidance from the head of Google’s innovative People Operations, who wants to show companies how to attract and keep the best managers. Love the read-it-two-ways title.”

Publishers Weekly: “Anecdotes about Google’s founding and history mingle with discussions of management theory, psychology, and behavioral economics to create a fascinating and accessible read.”

Ram Charan: “WORK RULES! is an exceptional book aimed at any manager who wants great ideas for encouraging success from their team an instant classic for the management shelf.”

Indra K. Nooyi: “With a clear-eyed, data-driven look into today’s workplace, Bock reveals the non-traditional practices that can fundamentally transform businesses of all kinds.”

Title: The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

Author: Walter Isaacson

Theme: Non-Fiction

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Published: 9th March 2021

Pages:  560

Author Overview:

Walter Isaacson is a businessman and journalist from the United States. He was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CNN in 2001. Isaacson is best known for his magisterial biographies in literary circles, which are erudite and meticulously researched while also being highly entertaining.

He has also served as the editor-in-chief of Time Magazine. Isaacson is known for his written biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Henry Kissinger.


The Code Breaker breathlessly follows Jennifer Doudna from a childhood spent trekking through the wilds of Hawaii to her pioneering work harnessing a bacterial defense system to rewrite the code of life and the bitter patent battle that ensued and ultimately winning the ultimate credit, the Nobel Prize.

Jennifer Doudna, who grew up being, told that women can’t involve themselves with science, would become one of America’s greatest thinkers and kindest genetic researchers.

It all began when Doudna, then in sixth grade, discovered a book her father had left  titled “The Double Helix, by James Watson,” and as she flipped through the pages, she got intrigued by the dramatic drama surrounding the competition to discover the code of life.

The book describes how Doudna and her collaborators, driven by passion, transformed a natural curiosity into an invention that changed the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Isaacson uncovers and demystifies the stigma around high-level thinking and biologic research in “The Code Breaker.”

In a very elegant approach, the book covers the parallel storylines evolving beside one another: the life and work of Jennifer Doudna and the emergence and popularity gained by CRISPR. The author brings to the light the other unknown scientists and shed light on them, making it clear that no scientific discovery is made by a single scientist.

The book talks about how the world needs to make more room for women and others to enter scientific fields of study; also, greater diversity leads to amazing outcomes.

THE “Code Breakers” is an examination of how life as we know it is about to change and a brilliant portrayal of the woman leading the way. This book will shed light on the term why scientists are known as true heroes.



Oprah Magazine.com: “Isaacson’s vivid account is a page-turning detective story and an indelible portrait of a revolutionary thinker who, as an adolescent in Hawai’i, was told that girls don’t do science. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

The Washington Post: “Isaacson lays everything out with his usual lucid prose; it’s brisk and compelling and even funny throughout. You’ll walk away with a deeper understanding of both the science itself and how science gets done — including plenty of mischief.”

The Guardian: “This story was always guaranteed to be a page-turner in [Isaacson’s] hands.”

The New York Times: “The Code Breaker is in some respects a journal of our 2020 plague year.”

New York Journal of Books: “A riveting expedition through biochemistry, structural biology, and academic politics that transcends the traditional scientific detective story and captures the raw, magical enthusiasm of living pioneers like Doudna and her colleagues.”

Title: I came upon a Lighthouse – Shantanu Naidu: A Short Memoir of Life With Ratan Tata.

Author: Shantanu Naidu

Theme: Non-Fiction

Publisher: HarperCollins India

Published: 11th January 2021

Pages:  232

Author overview:

From composing music videos for social causes during his engineering days, Shantanu Naidu established him in animal welfare. He founded Motopaws, a start-up to place reflective collars on India’s stray dogs to prevent nighttime traffic accidents while working as an automobile design engineer at Tata Elxsi. Mr. Ratan Tata joined the venture as a major investor.

Do you believe in fairy tales? Do you believe in lifelong friendships?

Do you think friendship is a meeting of minds, even if they are radically opposed? ‘I came upon a lighthouse’ is a story shared by a millennial and an octogenarian (Ratan Tata).

Aside from economic milestones, the book illuminates Ratan Tata’s personal life, revealing hidden facets of his nature.

Ratan Tata (renowned for his concern for stray dogs) invested in the venture because of his passion for dogs and protecting local stray canines from being struck by rushing vehicles.

The book also discusses Ratan Tata’s similarities in how he handles everyone, regardless of whether they are acquaintances, friends, or even bosses.

I Came Upon a Lighthouse is both a frank and compassionate picture of a beloved Indian legend.


Ratan Tata’s Note in the book: “A shared concern for the welfare of the homeless, hungry, ill-treated and abandoned dogs and cats brought Shantanu and me together. He and his young friends had been bootstrapping a small start-up in Pune to feed, care for and find homes for these poor animals,”

The book is an illustrated memoir of Naidu’s candid interaction with Ratan Tata. People are known to have great respect for Ratan Tata, and ‘I came upon a lighthouse’ shows why!



The Week: Shantanu has given the world a real treat—by showing readers the most endearing side of a man who is seen as a superhero by millions.

Hindustan Times: Getting candid with Mr. Tata: A book by a millennial that sheds the tycoon’s serious tag.

The Economic Times: The Ratan behind the Tata Vault

Bachi Karkaria: A unique, transcultural, age obliterating friendship between a millennial and a multinational business icon.’

Pritish Nandy: ‘A millennial’s tribute to his octogenarian friend with whom he shares a love for homeless dogs,…a very charming book.’

Freddy Birdy: ‘A riveting, easy and effortless and very gentle and lovely read, a close up of views of one of India’s most revered public figures living today.’

The Tribune: ‘The book can serve as a guide to those who want to know the lesser-known facts about the doyen of Indian industry. One gets to know a side of Tata that’s goofy and witty.’


Writing good emails appears to be easier said than done. It has been observed that people commonly make missteps while writing to apply for a job, normally by asking a lot.  Your email acts as a translator, explaining why you’re a good fit for the job; here’s how to start-off:


1. Be direct in your subject line:

Being precise in your message boosts your chances of receiving a response. A good subject line gives your readers a reason to open your email.

Tip: view your recent subject line performance, or use an A/B test to see if different subject lines affect your open rates. Learning about company culture or asking for introductions to the hiring team are great reasons to reach out to a recruiter.


2. Make decision-making easy:

Keep in mind that the purpose of the initial email is to acquire a yes to the introduction and a minor request, not a job offer. Start with simple inquiries because there are likely to be few emails shared. And yes, the standard salutation is no longer effective, therefore make every effort to tailor your email to a recruiter. Perform preliminary research on the recruiter’s name, role, and other relevant information.


3. Keep it brief:

Recruiters want to communicate with candidates in a transparent manner. Because it’s probable that your recipient may read your email on a mobile device, keeping it short is always a good idea. To be exact, your application should state the aim of your outreach, avoid a long series of questions, and include a ‘call to action’ that prompts a response at the end.

For instance, please let me know when you are available; I’d want to set a time to chat, etc.


4. The tone-be respectful:

Understand the purpose of your email: you’re applying for a job. As a result, the tone you employ must be courteous, as the tone you use will determine the recruiter’s view of you and can make or break your job offer. Begin small and always give the recruiter the last say. Being polished and professional can help you build a more positive relationship with a recruiter.


5. Time it right & wait for a reply:

Because a recruiter may receive a thousand emails for a single vacancy, make sure your communication is well-timed. Assuming that the person begins the day by checking emails, make sure yours is among the first to be read. The optimum times to send an email are between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. or 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.

It’s normal to feel compelled to receive an answer immediately wait for the employer to respond before sending follow-ups. Work on developing rapport before requesting them to spare time to view your application.


Summary: A potential recruiter receives a large number of emails each day; find a way to stand out by being precise, respectful, and being clear about your goal.