In each episode of Gweek, Dean Putney and I invite a guest to join us in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. Our guest this time was James Altucher. He's an entrepreneur, chess master, investor, and writer. I am a huge fan of his his writing, which he posts on on his blog.

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Show Notes:

Dean Putney is now the co-host of Gweek! I'm excited that he'll be joining me each week to have conversations with our guests. In addition to being Boing Boing’s software developer Dean is the author and publisher of a a book of his great-grandfather’s World War I photos.

We talked about James's latest book called Choose Yourself! I read it over the holiday break, and found it to be a wonderful guidebook for a balanced life, with practical advice for a daily practice for achieving mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. The title comes from Jame's advice to avoid depending on large organizations to provide you with a living in exchange for work. Those days are over. Instead, you have to operate as a free agent, even if you are working for someone else. James has made a fortune and then lost it all more than once, and has experienced some pretty extreme highs and lows in his life. He's learned a lot from his experiences, and shares them in a way that is captivating and inspiring.

We also talked about Michael Wolff's 1998 book Burn Rate, which is about his attempt to take his Web 1.0 era business public, and how it failed spectacularly. The book is still fresh and valid today, even though the names of the companies are long forgotten: Magellan, Excite, @Home, etc. Wolff didn't bother spearing anyone's feelings, and wrote a very gossipy, juicy book that reveals some atrocious behavior of rich and powerful people. James said he enjoyed the book, but felt that Wolff expected too much of others, and was too bitter about his experience. Fair points!