Happy Birthday, Startmate!

10 years ago, Niki Scevak and 25 first believers launched Startmate in a coffee shop in Surry Hills with not much more than a ‘strayan name, skin in the game and conviction that Aussies have a shot on the global stage they can claim.

In the first year, Startmate invested in five founders. When one of the startups exited before the year was over and the founder returned as a mentor for the next cohort, we knew we had discovered something magical.

When we started in 2010, there was almost no venture capital left in Australia. Paradoxically…


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1 paragraph summary:

A refreshing read with humour which explains complex systems in a simple and engaging way. I loved the concepts of asymmetry, rationality and the need for skin in the game to share the downside as well as upside.

Chapter 1 — Introduction

Skin in the game is about 4 topics:

  1. Uncertainty and Reliability of Knowledge = bullshit detection
  2. Symmetry in human affairs = fairness, justice, responsibility, reciprocity
  3. Information sharing in transactions
  4. Rationality in complex systems in the real world.

That these four can’t be disentangled is obvious when one has skin in…


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1 paragraph summary:

Bob Iger’s biography about how he became Disney’s CEO. At first you get an insight into his leadership lessons, but then you stay for his amazing career leading to Disney and acquiring Pixar, Marvel, Fox and Lucasfilms.

In your work, in your life, you’ll be more respected and trusted by the people around you if you honestly own up to your mistakes. It’s impossible not to make them, but it is possible to acknowledge them, learn from them, and set an example that it’s okay to get things…


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1 paragraph summary:

Simon Sinek breaking down what makes leaders and what brings and holds groups together. Leaders are there to protect the group and provide a Circle of Safety for everyone to live their best lives.

Leaders are the ones who run headfirst into the unknown.
They rush toward the danger.
They put their own interests aside to protect us or to pull us into the future.
Leaders would sooner sacrifice what is theirs to save what is ours.
And they would never sacrifice what is ours to save what is theirs.
This is what…


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1 paragraph summary:

Picked up the prequel to the main book unfortunately. Assassin’s Blade comes in 5 short stories which build on each other but are slightly disjointed without a clear storyline. I can see how the next book could be gripping, but this one unfortunately wasn’t. It’s probably a book you’d want to read at the end — after the main Throne of Glass series.

If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it- to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger.

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1 paragraph summary:

Funny fatansy book tying real life to greek/roman mythodology. I loved the greek legends, gods and creatures which are straight from old school mythodology. One of the key characters also adds a fun and sarcastic element to the story itself. The storytelling and character development is unfortunately lacking. Towards the end I left disconnected from the characters and without a gripping story unfortunately.

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1 paragraph summary:

Average Fantasy book. It started out with a promising storyline of the half-king. The middle section was a good adventure story with good character development, but it ended abruptly without much promise of an exciting continuation imo. The very last pages of the book did have a fun twist ending.

If life has taught me one thing, it’s that there are no villains. Only people, doing their best.

The wise wait for their moment, but never let it pass.

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Create Your Own Business Culture.

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1 paragraph summary:

Excellent book on all things Culture and how culture is not what you write on a wall or tell people, but about what you do on a day to day basis.

When I was CEO of LoudCloud, I figured that our company culture would be just a reflection of my values, behaviours, and personality. So I focused all my energy on “leading by example”. To my bewilderment and horror, that method did not scale as the company grew and diversified. …


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1 paragraph summary:

Everything about Patagonia, an outdoor gear product-company with environmental sustainability at its core. The book provides insights into the early beginnings and philosophies guiding the company principles to be product and environment-first.

Intro

My company, Patagonia, is an experiment. It exists to put into action those recommendations that all the doomsday books on the health of our home planet say we must do immediately to avoid the certain destruction of nature and collapse of our civilisation.

Quality Control

Quality control was always foremost in our minds, because if a tool failed…


A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success

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1 paragraph summary:

Conscious leadership is binary. It’s about a commitment to curiosity, learning, integrity, feelings and responsibility. The book flips the view that leadership is about “practices” and puts the emphasis on living your best life through conscious energy management.

Culture is the secret sauce — or lethal bacteria — of all teams.

A simple black line is the best model for conscious leadership. It’s a binary model — you either lead consciously or you don’t.

ABOVE — Open curious committed to learning
BELOW — Closed defensive committed to being…

Michael Batko

Learning Enthusiast

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