There is not much to disagree with here, and that is one of the intriguing things about the genre this book belongs to. Not dozens or hundreds but thousands of titles like Smarter Faster Better are published every year, and they account for a disproportionate percentage of total book sales. Yet they mainly reiterate common sense. Does anybody think it’s unwise to be lean, nimble, and innovative? Who needs a book to know that rote behavior and fear of uncertainty are not going to take us very far?
Duhigg is a pleasure to read. Unlike a lot of contributors to this genre, he’s a journalist, not a professor, and it shows in his prose...But it’s not clear that his book lives up to its subtitle, 'The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.' Many of Duhigg’s conclusions seem less like secrets and more like common sense.
Charles Duhigg, the author, elevates the life-hacking genre...His writing is smart, measured, and fun. In Smarter Faster there are even little cartoons to illustrate some of his ideas. He uses the Malcolm Gladwell model of shaping academic studies into hacks but applies a less excitable tone and a more cinematic style.
It’s unlikely that all of Duhigg’s eight concepts will resonate with any one reader; moreover, some of them have a familiar feel. Still, Duhigg has turned them into engaging reading by dramatizing each one, Malcolm Gladwell style, with stories that illustrate his larger point.