It's true.

Portland, Maine is awesome.

And we've got the startups to prove it.

Startup Book Club: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Posted on 29 Oct 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

By Liz Trice

This month’s meetup was attended by Patrick K, Patrick R, JT, Ray T, Raffi, Zeke, Liz T. and had wine compliments of ThinkTank.

Why Patrick Kenney started the book club:
As an incentive to read more books.
To socialize more in a genuine way with people in a similar world: technology, business, maker world.
To cultivate an ecosystem of entrepreneurship- shared understanding and reference points.
To create a common language and context we can refer back to in our relationships over the next several years of life in Portland.

Next Books: 11/20 Unlabel: Selling you without selling out by Marc Ecko. Initial reviews are excellent: how close can you get your brand to what you actually provide? Free copies first come first serve at ThinkTank and PelotonLabs
12/18 Zero to One: Notes on Startups OR How to build the future by Peter Thiel (cofounder of Paypal)

Contact Pat Kenney at to get on the list for the group.

Group Comments on Andrew Carnegie’s Book

Carnegie wrote his book in 1937 after reading every book on psychology and leader’s biography available, and decades of teaching courses on dealing with people.  One attendee said he felt embarrassed to read this book in public and got harassed by one of his friends as if it was about manipulation. We all agreed that sincerity is emphasized again and again, and that these techniques don’t work if you really don’t care about people. One attendee added “All anyone wants on this planet is to feel good. Why is it disingenuous to put a little extra effort into making life a little nicer?”

We were humbled by stories of other presumably very busy people writing many personal notes and otherwise taking the time to make people around them feel important. It’s easy to get caught up the in pace of today’s life and technology. If we can remember it’s all about humans connecting, it makes us stronger as a society. “How many of our societal woes could be alleviated by just hearing people out? When people get validation they can be turned around.”

We also spoke about how technology can be a facilitator of relationships, but not a replacement. Since we had two coworking space owners there, we spoke about how coworking spaces provide a physical space for humans to connect, and how in our day of so many online interactions, handshakes, eye contact, and personal conversations are needed to create alliances. As our society become more tech-oriented, we need even more tangible spaces where people can connect. With self-employment, we aren’t even likely to have coworkers or bosses!

What resonated the loudest with a few of us was to give full attention to the people we deal with in our daily lives. Remembering their names. Making them feel like they are the only person in the world while you’re talking to them. We feel too busy to do this sometimes, so hearing stories of the President of the United States taking the time to hand write thank you notes was humbling!

Carnegie’s Summary of his book:

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People:
Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
Give honest appreciation.
Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Six Ways to Make People Like You:
Become genuinely interested in other people.
Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
Make the other person feel important- and do it sincerely.

Win People to Your Way of Thinking:
The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “You’re wrong”
If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
Begin in friendly way.
Get the other person saying, “Yes, Yes” immediately.
Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

A leader’s job often includes changing your people’s attitudes and behavior. Some suggestions to accomplish this:
Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
Let the other person save face.
Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

One comment

  1. Sonya Durney / January 8th, 2015 17:04

    When is the next book club meeting? This is a great idea!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *