Reading List: Smartcuts

“Traditional paths [to success] are not just slow; they’re no longer viable if we want to compete and innovate,” writes journalist and entrepreneur Shane Snow. What today’s entrepreneurs and innovators need are unconventional approaches, the titular “smartcuts.”

In Snow’s lexicon, a shortcut is a rapid, short-term gain, whereas a smartcut is a sustainable success achieved quickly through clever work. Snow identifies 10 smartcuts, including training with masters (finding a mentor) and superconnecting (using your network to bring others together). He devotes a chapter to each smartcut and illustrates through anecdotes why it works.

Snow analyzes successful people and high-growth businesses that achieve great things in extremely short timeframes. In the chapter on training with masters, he recounts how Jimmy Fallon’s agent/mentor helped him hone his skills to achieve his then-dream job on Saturday Night Live in two years. Fallon’s story is the best. The other case histories don’t work as well.

Smartcuts is a clever title with some fresh ideas. Unfortunately, beyond the 10 smartcuts, the book never quite jells.

by Shane Snow

September
Harper Business; $26.99

Articles

Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for SUCCESS.com. A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.

Leave a Comment