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Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life

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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,461 ratings  ·  210 reviews
Named a "must read" by Susan Cain, "endlessly fascinating" by Daniel Pink, and "bursting with practical insights" by Adam Grant.

A former rocket scientist reveals the habits, ideas, and strategies that will empower you to turn the seemingly impossible into the possible.

Rocket science is often celebrated as the ultimate triumph of technology. But it's not. Rather, it's the
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 14th 2020 by PublicAffairs
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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Brandice
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I loved Think Like A Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life, one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read in a long time. Ozan Varol is a former rocket scientist who provides realistic, attainable tips on how to reframe your thinking and employ strategies to obtain different outcomes. The book is divided into three sections: Launch, Accelerate, and Achieve. While I liked all of them, I enjoyed Launch the most, as it was, for me, the most insightfu ...more
Kathleen Marie
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is great in so many ways. Ozan is a great writer, so no boredom encountered while reading this book. And with all the examples from Ozan's career as a rocket scientist when the US was putting people and rovers into the universe, it has both science and history in it.

He then uses these examples to explain how each one of us can make strides to make better decisions and greater leaps in our own lives; leaps that are both far-reaching, yet pragmatic. It is this pragmatism that I find is
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Kriti | Armed with A Book
I love books that offer insights from multiple fields of study and make them applicable to our everyday situations. Think like a Rocket Scientist is one of those books - detailed, easy to read, with examples from numerous professions, it is well researched and represents a wealth of knowledge.

This book is divided into three stages - Launch, Accelerate and Achieve. Launch was definitely my favorite phase because it provided me new ways to think about a situation, confronting the ideas that we ar
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Ell
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life is written by a former “rocket scientist.” Given that scientific thought is simply a goal-directed process, author Ozan Varol shares strategies to approach and solve our life’s complexities. This is an interesting book, for sure, although I suspect I am not enough of a science Geek to truly appreciate much of the science references, which I subsequently found to be a bit distracting. For that reason ...more
Christina Guthier
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ozan Varol took me on a joyful and horizon expanding trip to Mars. His writing is personal, precise, and full of practical advice. If you want to change the world, read this book and start shooting for your stars!
Summer Chu
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Didn't finish. Started to get really cliche after a third of the book... like a elaborated essay with too many examples. ...more
Manuel Antão
Aug 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.



A String of Sorts: "Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life" by Ozan Varol



My biggest takeaway from this book is that we need not to do shit to get on in one’s life. I know, shallow of me...

I like the episodes of big bang where Sheldon is working by thinking. He stares meaningfully into the distance while thinking about string theory. That's what I do but with less of a result...
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Ann Venkat
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book.

Compared to bestselling author, Nassem Taleb's book "Black Swan" is the unlikely event that disrupts industries and bankrupts businesses, like a pandemic or housing bust. This book is the answer to avoid getting hurt badly when such situations, and they will happen at some point or the other.

Whether you are a student, entrepreneur or mid level executive, this book will help you improve your critical thinking skills. You will emerge with new ways to innovate, see patterns and a f
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Kathy
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this read! A captivating playbook. Get ready to level-up!

Ozan has a gift of storytelling. Through story, Ozan translates complex ideas into understandable language while taking the reader on a captivating journey that will leave you spellbound, inspired, and empowered to act. This book is an insightful toolkit, packed with strategies that will enable you to define your ambition, dream bigger, and achieve your moonshot.
Scott Wozniak
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This isn't about rocket science. It's about good ways of thinking. And it's got some interesting nuggets. Mostly it's a lot of ideas listed out and explained, covering this mental model supported by that social study. Consider it a survey of good thinking, from how to be more creative to being more collaborative. ...more
Swaroop
May 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Easy read. A lot of good narratives. Felt good after finishing the book but could have been shorter. Perhaps it is interesting read if you are fresh to concepts like first principles, thought experiments and decision science. Nevertheless it is a good read
Dina Kaplan
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ozan is a great thinker, writer and person. I highly recommend reading and thinking about the principles in this book - they can make each of us a better person .. and thinker.
Alex
I enjoyed quite a lot Ozan's book, it is written in an entertaining way and it has lots of information (with sources, which is rather rare). I knew some of the concepts he describes, but there was plenty of new things and enjoyed all the details about space exploration that he uses to exemplify many of the things he talks about. It was also very interesting to find out how rocket scientists think and approach uncertainty and compare it to other fields who have less consequences if something goes ...more
Misty E.
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an inspiring and engaging book, especially for someone who is interested in science and exploring the challenges we experience in our modern life. Ozan uses his experience and education in science to help us manage uncertainty, break down assumptions that are holding us back, and forge ahead to new adventures feeling prepared for many different outcomes.

What I appreciate most about Ozan's writing is his approach does not only apply to science and scientists. He is incredibly empathetic
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Kristen Stone
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
FUCKING INCREDIBLE to read Ozan's book. It is a masterpiece that will help the world grow. No matter the "outcome" this book, it changed the way I choose to approach the world.

This book utilizes stories, real-life experience, and humor to help reframe the common ways humans think. It offers new tools to help you see the world in a new light and learn to live outside the prison of your mind.
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Bonnie Irwin
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! It is highly readable and has allowed me to get through some mental logjams in thinking about big issues. While the core principles may be derived from rocket science, Varol gives examples from many other professions, which allows almost any reader to engage with his writing.
Raz Pirata
“We prefer the seeming stability of stories to the messy reality of uncertainty.”

I had a math teacher in high school, who, every time I asked a question, would say to me, “y’know, it ain’t rocket science.” Which led me to postulate that, if I think math is hard, then rocket science must be impossibly hard.

Turns out that I was kind of right. Rocket science is hard, but according to Ozan Varol, former rocket scientist, and current author and speaker, thinking like a rocket scientist is not. His bo
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Devika
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
The formula for a compelling book usually is a well-explained contrarian idea. Given the gamut of business/management/behavioural science books there are, this book doesn’t seem path breaking.

So why read this? Well, it’s good to have some reinforcement of what you already know. Also, the examples used by Varol are very new (unless you’re a space buff) and interesting.

Varol explains that many of our invisible rules were developed in response to problems that no longer exist. But the immune respo
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Daniel
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you don't recognize the flaws in your own thinking, sooner or later those flaws will come to haunt you.

Scientific thinking can greatly improve how we perceive, analyze, and act in this uncertain, chaotic, and complex world.

I love to improve my thinking. Because the better I think, the wiser I will be. The wiser I am, the better my decisions will be. And the better my decisions, the better the results I get. And the better the results, ultimately the wealthier, influential, and happier I beco
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JP
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Varol excels at challenging how we think and then how we can use a more strategic, scientific approach to every problem-solving scenario we encounter. His rocket science background provides the underpinnings for every concept, complete with true case studies, but the science is understandable and even enjoyable. He extends the application of each concept to business and personal scenarios. The result is a thought-provoking, practical guide for improving how we make decisions both large and small ...more
Annie
Nov 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's about problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision making with examples from the NASA space program as cautionary tales. Much of the advice isn't new but are good practices to apply continuously. Especially in situations where safety is critical, we need to be open-minded about what can go wrong. So often, "we conduct tests—not to prove ourselves wrong, but to confirm what we believe is true. We tweak the testing conditions or interpret ambiguous outcomes to confirm our preconceptions." ...more
Pravesh
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Ozan Varol is a former rocket scientist. He shares his experiences to show that mistakes made during past rocket launches were usually humane in nature(and not technical). He draws comparison across different fields, identifies the root-cause of such blunders and shares strategies on how one can prevent such mistakes from happening.

Enjoyed the anecdotes and learnings throughout the book. Strategies shared by Ozan are broad and can be implemented in any field.
Rachael | Booklist Queen
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Great ideas with a side of shameless self-promotion

You can achieve any goal if you just think like a rocket scientist. Former rocket scientist turned law professor, Ozan Varol shares his habits and strategies to make the impossible actually doable. With fascinating anecdotes from the history of science and NASA, Varol makes keen observations about how you can change your mindset and approach problems in new ways.

Just don’t expect too much self-help advice in this one. The book fails to bring th
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Toni Tassani
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
Thinking tools that people in NASA use to solve complex problems: creating thought experiments, test as you fly, using first principles, reframing problems... The author participated in the Mars Exploration Rovers project in 2003.
It's a good read and starts with the inspiring story from the author since his origins in Turkey. Contains a lot of references to books, stories and anecdotes but I was missing some final message and a clear connection with "thinking like a rocket scientist".
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Agnieszka
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Nice read with interesting stories about NASA, SpaceX. Overall, not new advices but a great reminder to stay open-minded, apply critical moonshot thinking and avoid complacency once you have achieved your success.
Panashe M.
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was ok
DNF, got 30% of the way through the audio book.

Like much of the self help literature, heavily reliant on anecdotes (not even interesting ones - the common ones like Jobs, Musk, etc) without accounting for survivorship bias.

I did see some interesting ideas about redundancy and reliability that overlap with my own field (software), but I think I'd better off just reading about those topics directly, instead of a watered-down popular treatment.

The best idea I'll take away from this book is the conc
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Flopperstein (Shajeela)
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would recommend everyone to read this book.
Vasilena D
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blinklist
"The best to innovate is to stop conforming".
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David
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Did this one on audible and already ordered a hard copy so I can use it for reference. Cannot recommend this book enough.
Ainee Ansaari
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
This book really turns the gears of your brain machine and put them to work. I have learnt some great ideas to innovate and lead myself and others around me.
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