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Book Review: Principles by Ray Dalio

The book Principles by Ray Dalio has been quite hyped lately. Among others by Michael Trautmann & Christoph Magnussen and their guests in the podcast. So I had to take a look.

Unfortunately I have to admit that I can’t fully share the enthusiasm. It’s nicely written, but it kills you with almost 500 pages. And it offers relatively little added value.

In a nutshell: Ray Dalio founded an investment company 40 years ago and tried from the very beginning to abstract and automate his decisions. That is, by principles that he has established. These principles he then set up for his private life and for the management of the company as well. The book is in principle his Bible – his life’s work.

The aim of the book is that the reader does not copy Ray’s principles, but sets up his own principles (inspired by those of the author).

Who is anyway strongly self-reflecting in his daily work and already knows the “standards” like Deep Work / 7 Habits, for him such a book offers little new. In the end, the guides all help you to reflect a bit more on what is going on in the chaos around you and how to use your resources correctly in the end.

I liked the metaphor that you look at everything like a “machine”. You can work in the machine or design it. You have to do the latter on a regular basis to make sure that the desired results happen.

Anyone who is a founder or manager of a company and sees constantly repeating (pathological) patterns that they want to address – the book could offer some new inspiration and more concrete recommendations for action than other previous guides.

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this article. If you buy a book about it, I make money from it. So please do that!


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