When it comes to reading content, what and how do you read? I discussed this with Tom Papaspyros, an avid reader, and he proposed a helpful approach that he uses too. So, here are two methods: the one discussed with Tom and the one I currently employ.
- For every problem you face, select 2-3 books and study them in depth.
Tom proposed this approach to reading. If you're unsure which books to choose, reach out to an expert for suggestions. If no expert is available, opt for bestsellers. By reading 2-3 books that focus on your problem, you will gain concentrated knowledge in that area.
Disclaimer: reading three books is not easy, but it will provide rich information about the problem that interests you.
- Choose experts or specific schools of thought and adhere to them.
When you're searching for a solution to a problem, avoid aimless browsing on the web. Instead, select carefully a couple of experts whom you believe offer valuable insights and consider their opinions on your issue.
For instance, when it comes to Google Analytics, I exclusively read Avinash Kaushik's blog (avinash.net). For Tag Manager, I only read Simo Ahava's work. As for marketing strategy, I consume content written by Seth Godin (actually I don’t read anymore about Marketing but I used to read a lot).
The reason is simple.
An expert possesses a comprehensive way of thinking and doing things. His approach is based on processes that he uses for years. The follow their principles and the things they believe. By extracting insights from their minds and adding your thoughts, you can create something more robust compared to just reading the first result from a Google search. However, this requires that the expert shares your fundamental principles, otherwise you will develop something robust but wrong. Hence, choosing the right expert is crucial.
Disclaimer: You can read content from other experts, but I suggest a ratio of 80% from your chosen expert and 20% from different experts.
When it comes to product development, I follow Lenny's newsletter & Shreyas Doshi for regular content reading. These two sources cover almost everything I need. If I require additional insight, I consult other experts too, such as Casey Winters & Brian Balfour.