What is a good summary?

First of, there is not a single way to make summaries. There are varieties of summaries adapted to different goals and contexts.

A summary, by definition, is to keep only what’s important from a text.

But what is important?

It depends on the reader, his current knowledge, and his goals.

For a long-time expert, a first-year college book in his field could be summarized in a single word: fundamentals.

On the contrary, for someone who doesn’t know anything about that field, the super-short summary “fundamentals” won’t help him understand that field better, and won’t help him decide which of the “fundamentals” books he should read first.

Same if the book is only a descriptive summary of what is inside every chapter. Without an expert opinion evaluating the book, it’s impossible to know if this book is better than all the other first-year books.

So, ideally, any summary should start by explicitly stating to which audience it’s intended, and to help them achieve which goal exactly.

All the summaries on this website are intended for people with analytical minds (ex: software engineers like me, but not limited to), who are new to entrepreneurship and/or value investing, and would like to achieve, through investing and entrepreneurship, this kind of life:

  • Building and accumulating value-generating assets.
  • Working 95% of their time on tasks that fully use their biggest competitive advantages – their strengths – like intense learning, analysis, strategy, complex problem solving, etc..
  • Working only with people they respect and admire, who share the same values as them (role models, peers, coworkers, customers, competitors, providers).
  • Working anywhere around the globe, even full time from home.
  • On their own schedule, and asynchronously with the rest of the world.
  • Fans of automation, with software and/or humans following processes.
  • Hating misleading/abusive marketing/sales practices.

My summaries are intended to help this audience identify which books will have the biggest impact in helping them toward that goal, based on my own trials and errors over the last 20 years on that path.