Jan 30, 2019

Stop Reading Blogs

Okay I know this sounds crazy but before you dismiss me as a know-it-all millenial who’s trying to be provocative and get some buzz, bare with me — there’s a method to my madness.

First, for all of this to make sense I need to give you some background and how I came to write this. I’m a founder at an awesome company called Pisano, we help companies become more customer centric — check us out.

To keep up with all the smart people that we have at the company, I need to learn a lot and about many disparate subjects from marketing(that’s my current hustle) to building great culture and many other things. That’s why, for the past 4 years I’ve been reading lots of blog posts.

And here’s what I’ve started to notice about myself on blogs.

Problems with blogs

Instant gratification

Most blog posts are short and tailored to take me on an emotional journey that starts with a question or problem and ends with some bite-sized todo items. I feel good that I have some todo’s that I can add to trello and get productive right away! The pitfall with this is:

Real solutions to real challenges can’t be boiled down to simple todo’s.

You need to get in the trenches and explore all angles of your specific situation. So I’ve started feeling that I’m being tricked into not thinking deeper into things and just occupying myself with clever todo’s.


In todays #GrowthHacking™ landscape, most blogs are written by companies that are trying to sell me something or get me to scroll down and see more ads. Hey look, I’m not a Marxist or anything, profits and all are fine and good, but when I’m trying to learn something, an article that’s a $50 upwork gig doesn’t get me too far.

Engineered content

SEO is in the DNA of blogs. All the blogs I read — if not many — were engineered to be read.

Providing value and great content isn’t what these are made for.

A huge portion of this engineering is around hype, and that means we get exposed to a lot of shallow content not tailored to our brains but to our emotions.

As always, there are exceptions to the rule. But more and more, I feel blogs are becoming consumer products that are not what they’re are advertised to be.

So what’s my solution? Books!

Why I started investing in actually reading books

Historically, I’ve been terrible with books but lately I’ve pushed myself into reading more (a good trick I’ve found is not trying to finish books and moving on to other books if I get bored) and paying for content.

And yeah, it’s great! My teachers turned out to be right, books are useful.

But that got me thinking — why or how are books still the best way to learn new things?

Writing a book is hard

Well for me, gathering my thoughts into a 1000 word article is hard, I can’t even start to imagine how difficult it might be to write a book — let alone getting it published!

It requires years of research and work.

No conflict of interest

Books don’t have ad revenue and companies don’t write books for advertising — well, I guess sometimes they do.

So generally speaking, when you get a book about a certain subject you can trust that the author isn’t trying to sell you something. And is actually trying to provide value.

Dive deep into ideas

When exploring deep and complicated ideas, I’ve found that a longer form factor is better than a short one. With books, sometimes, it takes me a few chapters to actually understand some subjects. And get me really thinking about the nuances and details of seemingly simple ideas.

This, I find is really similar to movies, teasers give you a glimpse, but you need to see the whole thing for the actual experience.

I hope you’ll join me on my adventure of reading books that actually help. And rely less on growth hacked, search engine optimized blog posts for learning and improving.


— Mike