You might have seen their ads: “Successful CEOs read a thousand books a year!” and wondered what the fuss is about (and where do they find these statistics?) At Topcontent, we care deeply about the written word and are curious about all forms of it. Nothing beats a good book and if there is a way to enjoy more of them – we want to know! When we saw the ad, we wanted to try the service immediately. So that’s exactly what we did!
Blinkist gives you a summary of a book
Popular books are compressed into succinct summaries which are then made into audio recordings. Each recording, containing a few chapters, is between seven and ten minutes long. Books that usually take seven to eleven hours to listen to are compressed to a fraction of their length. The chapters are aptly called “Blinks” – you can practically read them in the blink of an eye! This is highly useful for busy individuals who need to get practical information from insightful books that they want to read.
The bad part – You won’t get all of it
Let’s start with the most obvious downside of the service: you won’t get the entire books. We did some tests and listened to summaries of books we had just read – and oh boy, a lot of interesting stuff was missing. Ten minutes is not enough to get all the important parts. This was no surprise and it didn’t stop us from renewing the service after the first trial month, though, because we quickly fell in love with all the great parts about it!
The great part no. 1 – You will get so much
You won’t get all of one book, but because you listen to many summaries you get so much more! No CEO has time to read five full-length books a week – but you can easily listen to five Blinkist summaries. So what you miss out in detail you gain in volume.
The great part no. 2 – It’s a great conversation starter
It’s like being in a book circle going supersonic. Instead of meeting once a month to discuss a book, you can meet once a week and discuss a summary. This leads to discussions on how to apply the knowledge to your business and everyday life. For example, two members of our sales team listened to a book about different types of customers and it immediately sparked a conversation on how to categorize our current clients. The discussion turned into a list of actions to be taken, all aimed at increasing our sales at Topcontent.
The great part no. 3 – Discover new books and see if they are worth your time
If you liked the summary, you will probably like the book. If you hated the summary – don’t bother with the book. Blinkist won’t change your reading habits; it will add to them. Suddenly the books you buy for your Kindle don’t seem like such a gamble anymore.
The great part no. 4 – The price is awesome!
We think this is the greatest of all the great parts! Blinkist’s accelerated knowledge fund is surprisingly inexpensive. The Blinkist iphone app is completely free, so you can download that and make use of the very convenient 30-day free trial to see whether it’s for you. After that, books will be available for a monthly subscription of €4.40 or – for even better value – €43.20 per year – an absolute snip when you think of all the extra tips you’ll be getting every day.
How to get the most out of Blinkist in your business
We created book circle pairs. Each pair selected a summary to listen to and discuss one week later over lunch. They chose the summaries themselves but they had to be work related. Sales usually choose summaries related to sales, HR about organisational issues and so on. They meet once a week to discuss the book – usually over lunch. These discussions strengthen the knowledge and spark discussions on how to use it in the business.
Insanely good ROI
The Pareto principle says that 80% effect is achieved with 20% effort. You won’t get 80% of a book from a Blinkist summary; it’s more like 25%. But your effort is only 1% of reading the full book. So 25% effect from 1% of the effort is Pareto on steroids.
If every Blinkist read gives just one important insight for an employee, and sparks one discussion on how to improve our business, it’s insanely good ROI for only €4.40. We highly recommend it!