Let My People Go Surfing

Outstanding book. I knew about Patagonia and Yvon Chouinard before, from watching documentary 180° South. However, this book is much more detailed than that.

Here is a list of things that draw my attention.

Invent game

There is no need to play established games. You can create your own. The ones that appeal to your values and use your strengths.

Ask questions

This is the big one. I think it can be applied to any industry and very applicable to tech. A lot of people tend to not ask questions about decisions/ideas that are coming from the top of the company or even about surroundings. Yvon refers to Zen and Toyota five whys model a lot. I do believe in it. Questions are a useful tool for cultivating curiosity and awareness, conscientiousness, and knowledge.

Do whatever you care about

Always try to do in life what appeals to you, your values, and your causes. Not something that is popular. Opposite of this is happening all the time when people choose professions based on what is popular now. Maybe the thing you care about is just ahead of the time. And that is good, do not be afraid to be unconventional.

Educating customers

This is great advice on how to work with customers. Educating them. I believe that this is very powerful.

No marketing tricks

Do not use marketing tricks. The ones that appeal to emotions. Stick to the facts and your philosophy.

Actions are important

I agree with this one as it’s one of my core beliefs.

The solution to climate change

I was surprised to read that Yvon does believe that there is one solution to climate change. He thinks that the modern agriculture industry has lots of problems and ones of them is releasing extra carbon. Changing methods of farming and going back to regenerative agriculture will reduce carbon in the air through carbon sequestration. That was inspiring to read.

P.S. I was surprised to read that to Yvon, modern industrial agriculture in the US is called “conventional farming,” and the “unconventional” one is the organic regenerative farming. To someone who came from Eastern Europe, this terminology wasn’t intuitive and even a bit funny. Because in Eastern Europe, “conventional farming” would be a traditional one - the one that was used by previous generations and still used nowadays - traditional farming with all the common-sense tricks.