Think Like A Rocket Scientist : Book Review and Book Summary

I usually have low expectations from books with unabashedly click-baity titles, however, Ozan Varol’s Think Like A Rocket Scientist is, surprisingly, a decent read. 

We live in a complex world and are expected to solve unfamiliar problems with no clear guidelines and with a clock ticking. Not unlike rocket scientists, who are at the frontiers of human exploration and who ‘imagine the unimaginable and solve the unsolvable’. Hence, thinking like rocket scientists, will confer you great advantage, argues Ozan.

In a no-so-oblique reference to a rocket launch, Think Like A Rocket Scientist is split into three ‘stages’; launch, accelerate and achieve and filled with anecdotes from business, history, politics and of course, rocket science.

The greatest hurdles to taking moonshots are not financial or practical, but a mental one. Ozan asks us to embrace uncertainty and self-doubt, use first-principles thinking and conduct thought experiments for breakthrough ideas and more. And he offers simple tips and techniques, throughout the book.

The book says, a world that encourages ‘Fail fast, fail often’ and celebrates failure is as dangerous as a world that demonizes failure, because Ozan reminds us, the goal isn’t to fail fast but to learn fast.

But Think Like A Rocket Scientist’s greatest lesson is in its underscoring the importance of self-awareness and critical thinking for break-through innovations. ‘The eye sees what the mind is prepared to comprehend.’  And in its exhortation to treat our work – and ourselves – as permanent works in progress.

Read the Book Summary here.