So you know that books can lead you to think differently about life, perhaps improve your life, maybe even change your life.
Today, I’m writing about a book that will quite literally save lives. Indeed, that’s why it was created.
The book is called End Malaria: Bold Innovation, Limitless Generosity, and the Opportunity to Save a Life. It’s the brainchild of a writer and editor named Michael Bungay Stanier, and you can buy it here. End Malaria is published by The Domino Project, a Seth Godin book publishing venture with which I am loosely affiliated.*
End Malaria is a collection of 62 essays–some inspirational, others practical–from a wide range of business thinkers and doers. They include personal-finance guru Dave Ramsey, productivity guru David Allen, Premal Shah of Kiva [See my blogpost, Kiva: pushing the envelope on green), wine guy and social-media maven Gary Vaynerchuk, Wired magazine founder and author Kevin Kelly, pursuer of excellence Tom Peters, and authors Patrick Lencioni, Dan Pink and Tony Schwartz. An impressive group, to be sure.
Like most compilations, this one is a mixed bag. There’s a bit too much breahtless inspiration for me, but I’m someone for whom a little inspiration goes a long way. Dream big dreams! Pursue your passion! Believe in yourself! Speak out! Just do it! (Some of the contributors might want to think about switching to decaf.) Having said that, even as someone who’s not a bigtime reader of self-help writing or business advice, I found lots to value here–ideas that were worth well more than the $20 price tag of the Kindle edition or $25 cost of the paperback.
A few of my favorite nuggets:
To tackle something most productively, you must begin in clear space. Physically, you need all your tools in order, plus an open table for spreading your raw elements and assembling structures. Psychically, you meed an empty head, clear of distractions and unfinished business, holding your attention hostage. – David Allen, The Strategic Value of Clear Space
Researchers have found a surprising link between daydreaming and creativity–people who daydream more are also better at generating new ideas. – Jonah Lehrer, Don’t Pay Attention
There are countless hours scheduled for operations, sales, reporting, finance, efficiency gains and human resources–yet very few people actually schedule time to think, create and invent. — Josh Linkner, What’s Your Idea Schedule?
There’s a major cultural shift happening. Because people are more connected than ever on the Web, we’re going back in time and living under small-town rules….This is a monumental shift–we’re now in a marketplace where every whisper about your business gets heard. – Gary Vaynerchuk, The Best Marketing Strategy Ever
These are just my own favorites; you’ll discover others. The real genius of this book is the generosity behind it, and a business model that delivers the overwhelming majority of the revenues–that’s revenues, not profits– to charity.
Michael Bungay Stanier, the editor, says $20 from every sale will go to Malaria No More. ** That’s 100% of the Kindle price, and 80% of the print copy. (The remaining $5 covers production costs.) All the writers wrote for free, to their credit. The Domino Project isn’t taking any money from sales, either. Michael isn’t taking any money, and Amazon is a supporter, too, which is one reason why End Malaria is only available through Amazon.
“It’s an amazing business model,” Michael said, on a call yesterday, one that couldn’t have been arranged with a conventional publisher. He took on the job without pay, he explained, in order to live up to the message of his last book, which was called Do More Great Work.
Michael has also raised about $100,000 from corporate sponsors, including Ashley Sleep and HubSpot, all of which goes directly to Malaria No More. Media sponsors ranging from Huffington Post to The Onion have agreed to promote the book. So have the authors.
* I don’t get paid to be park of what The Domino Project calls its “street team.” The publisher sends me a free book, and when I am so inclined, as I was here, I help spread the word about the books.
** Another member of The Domino Project “street team” checked out Malaria No More on www.givewell.org, a website that assesses charities, and they are not rated. I emailed them and they told me that 84.7% of the money they raise actually goes to fighting malaria. That satisfies me.