Check out the full notes for “How to Get Rich: One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets” by Felix Dennis
Using Cold Turkey Micromanager & MarsEdit to try to write in the editor and get something up on the blog without overthinking it.
I just finished reading “How to Get Rich” by Felix Dennis this morning. Thought I’d just write some ramblings about it afterward.
- Building a moat with PSX demo discs (lesson: copy earlier or it might be too late) — These weren’t part of Dennis Publishing (Felix Dennis’s company) but he talks about a competitor that had a novel idea for their Playstation magazine. They went directly to Sony to strike a deal to do their official magazine and each month the magazine would come with a demo disc. Eventually, Dennis Publishing tried to do something similar but the official magazine had exclusive rights to the good games. The free disc in the plastic bag was more important than the magazine. They lost because the games on their discs were worse.This reminded me of The Innovation Stack, which talks about the importance of copying things you can copy to be able to focus some energy on innovating.
Growing up, my parents bought two subscriptions for me and my brother: EGM and Game Players. Reading about how he built a magazine empire reminded me of the joy of getting those magazines in the mail each month. Whoever picked up the mail got first crack at it. I’d jump to the reviews to see what got game of the month, skim the reviews, then jump back to the front to read the mailbag.
- Parallels between lessons in the book and Andrew Wilkinson’s approach to business — I picked this up after hearing about it on the My First Million podcast, either on an episode with Wilkinson or an episode where they mention him and the book. Or I’m misremembering entirely. But he does have a Twitter thread talking about the book. Anyway, while reading the book I did see some links between the book and what Wilkinson is doing—of course, these aren’t ideas unique to this book or anything but it’s what I was reading. (1) Local newspapers make good business (2) Learning lessons through building a successful media company (Wilkinson ran a successful Apple news site for teenagers as a teenager) (3) Actually, that’s a pretty direct parallel itself: Dennis Publishing had many early successes with technology magazines, including one focused on the Mac and personal computing (4) Wilkinson actually did apply those lessons successfully in the startup world, which Felix says was something he missed the boat on as far as paths available to get rich (5) Focusing on execution and hiring talented operators.
Okay gotta run, but some other things I need to post about in the future: Re-purposing content (Dennis and a partner wrote a Bruce Lee biography in the 70s and they were able to use all the interviews and other research for a Kung Fu magazine), understanding the sacrifice required to get rich (and he does mean like helicopter rich, categorizing $1-3 million as “comfortably poor”), and of course, that getting rich won’t make you happy (but that the most effective way to learn this is to get rich).