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This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A vision for building a society that looks beyond money and toward maximizing the values that make life worth living, from the cofounder of Kickstarter

Western society is trapped by three assumptions: 1) That the point of life is to maximize your self-interest and wealth, 2) That we're individuals trapped in an adversarial world, and 3) That this is natural and inevitable.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 29th 2019 by Viking
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Kressel Housman
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Yancey Strickler, the author of this book, is also the co-founder of Kickstarter, and he unabashedly calls his book a manifesto for a new economy. As democratic socialism and a universal basic income are now being seriously discussed in the U.S., I figured his manifesto would be along the same lines, except with a bend toward supporting people’s creativity, which is definitely the kind of economy I’d like to live under. When I was traveling in Israel in the 90’s, I met a young man from the ...more
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
He oversimplifies, conflates individual and corporate mindsets, and has a woefully incomplete understanding of economics, but Strickler’s call for us to reject a focus on money as the only measure of value in our society is a message we need.
Oana Filip
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
In a world dominated by big yet meaningless words like ''disrupt'', ''innovate'', ''hustle'', ''go big'', this book is a relief. It brings a new perspective on how we can build a better future, one that makes far more sense than financial maximization.

Generosity should stay at the core of everything we do if we want better businesses, better relationships, better teams, better communities. We need to question our values and search for the ones that help us become the best version of ourselves.

Michael Payne
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
On the measure of GDP in 1968 Robert Kennedy said,

Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for
Ben Graham
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal book - a powerful call for positive change and a road map to giving our lives real meaning.

This Could Be Our Future offers a range of invaluable insights from varying examples to prove why the current system of value maximisation is not just counter-productive, it's counterintuitive. From Bentoism to the 3-point shot to the value helix, this book offers an alternative to our 'progress at any costs' mentality.

The life lessons he learned from his time as CEO of Kickstarter have
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
It pains me slightly to give this book a negative review because I think his diagnosis is basically correct. He argues that, since the late 1970s (basically in response to Milton Friedman's 1970 New York Times article about maximizing shareholder value) American life has had only a single value: "financial maximization", to the detriment of all of us. He argues that, though it won't be easy or quick, we can and should start working to change that.

The book is broken into two parts: first he tries
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A badly needed dose of practical optimism from one of the cofounders of the successful tech company Kickstarter. Strickler’s manifesto for expanding our definition of value creation beyond the primitively narrow current paradigm of simple “financial maximization” is both timely and urgent. His “Bentoism” tool is simple and thought provoking. A great read for fans of Yuval Noah Harari, Malcolm Gladwell, or Adam Grant.
Andrea McDowell
I guess if you're among the 80% on the surveys he quotes who list becoming very wealthy as one's main life goal, this might be revolutionary and groundbreaking for you. If the idea of making money your main life goal already strikes you as fairly horrifying or alarming, you will probably not get much out of a book that encourages people to look beyond short term financial maximization and include other values in your decisions.

It's a fine book. I guess the need for it says more about society
Dennis Leong
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has some great forward-thinking ideas on how we can improve our long-term survival and happiness as individuals and as a society. There isn't much in the way of hard statistics to back up what the author is saying, but it feels right and makes a case for a hopeful future for the next generations.

It took me a couple of chapters to get over the writing style. The sound-bite, marketing style of writing with numerous sentence fragments and paragraphs consisting of a few sentence fragments
Philip Maher
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fi, humans, to-buy
Heard about this book from Mr Money Mustache. In it, the author (Kickstarter founder) discusses the pervasive value of financial maximization and how it causes me to be disgruntled with the world. Further, to fight against financial maximization as the ONLY thing we value, how we should structure our lives and companies to increasingly consider other values (environmentalism, equity, learning, etc) in decision making. Doing so will make us more forward thinking and generous which would lead to a ...more
Matt Hutson
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Why not move away from a complete focus on financial maximization to value based maximization? Think about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs:
1. Physiological needs (food, water, shelter)
2. Safety (health, physical, financial)
3. Love (family, friends, belonging)
4. Esteem (the drive to achieve)
5. Self-actualization (to become everything one is capable of becoming)

Money as the basis of life and society sets a ceiling on what we can be. It doesn't aim for the peak of the pyramid.
How to have a
Jamie Nami
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The rare book that offers both bold ideas and practical advice how to use them.

It connects why the world around us is what it is with the deeper forces making it happen.
It was like seeing The Matrix!

This is all done in a way that's surprisingly entertaining (Mullet Economy, the no left turn rule, "The Trap" chapter) and that gets the point across.

Honestly, I didn't know someone could write an optimistic book about the future in 2019. Reading this made me feel excited about the future and what
Luke Leighfield
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favourite books of 2019. Strickler lays out some ideas on how we can escape the current culture of ‘financial maximisation’ for one that’s more generous, fair and kind. I constantly had to stop reading to underline yet another passage. It’s excellent.

‘Change creates compound interest: some people changing means more people will change. A growing movement can seem to tip overnight in favour of a new idea. On a long enough timeline, anything is possible.’
Mitch Olson
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Strickler pitches is on the need for society to adopt an approach to valuing and decision making that takes into account the broader context of “who” and “when”. In other words we are all invisibly embedded in the largely invisible context of time and community and when we fail to take these into account we limit the intelligence of our actions. His Bento box model is a simple tool to help with this. Easy to read
Alex Abboud
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thought-provoking argument about what’s really valuable in life, and how we’ve gotten off track (and the downside of that). I enjoyed his values matrix and way of prioritizing and thinking differently.
Shaun Russell
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
A book of two halves.

Loved the first half, unravelling the artificial structures of society that are simply replaceable.

Struggled with the second half, where his manifesto became a little too much to absorb.

But well worth reading.
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." African proverb

Yancey's book is a great, optimistic approach to the world we find ourselves in. If we all follow its advice, the world will be a far better place for our children and grandchildren.
Rhys Lindmark
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Concise synthesis of our hidden default of financial maximization, and how to escape it with a new values framework—the Bento box. Highly recommended if you're interested in the transition away from late-stage capitalism.
Ashley Aguilar
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a great book with great ideas on how we can quantify value. Highly recommend!
Kyle McCormick
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great ideas for rethinking how we view economic health and ideas for reshaping American politics
Mike Andres
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
A good, maybe great, idea but not a worthy book. Mostly rehashed text and ideas from other authors. Most interesting part to me was the idea and the appendix.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much from this!
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-the-best
One of the best books I read this year. I have purchased multiple copies to share with friends. That is how important and meaningful I think this book is.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You HAVE to read this! Part Malcom Gladwell, part pyschology, and part manifesto, this book is very well researched with some incredible tie-ins. You will love it.
Adriel Lubarsky
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thoughtful questions, big ideas, hopeful outlook, some examples a bit simplistic or ontological
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“Education, government, health care, and science are increasingly driven by the philosophies of financial maximization. Institutions that had previously been focused on a range of outcomes—knowledge, service, care, discovery—are increasingly measured by just one: money.” 0 likes
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