David Kadavy is a creative entrepreneur and author of Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty (which debuted in the top 20 on all of Amazon) and The Heart to Start. David Kadavy is also the host of a podcast called Love Your Work, where he has interviewed entrepreneurs and creators such as Jason Fried, Dan Ariely, James Altucher, Seth Godin, Ryan Holiday, Laura Roeder, Noah Kagan, and many more. David Kadavy used to be a product designer in Silicon Valley but dropped it to pursue his love for writing, after becoming an author. His writing has been featured in Observer, The Huffington Post, Inc.com, Quartz, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Upworthy, and Lifehacker. Please enjoy my interview with David Kadavy.
How do you describe your occupation?
I usually say I’m an author. Sometimes I say I’m an author and podcaster.
What is something about you that people might find surprising?
I’m an American who has been living in Colombia for more than two years now.
What are you reading at the moment and what made you want to read it?
Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, because I love to hear how one-of-a-kind creators found their voices.
What was your favourite book as a child and why?
I really loved the Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol. I think the mystery aspect of it was less compelling to me than the idea of being a human encyclopedia of knowledge.
Can you remember your first demonstration of entrepreneurial ability?
I used to go door to door selling golf balls that I found in the nearby creek.
What was the last book you purchased, and why did you buy it?
Lost City of the Incas by Hiram Bingham, because I’m planning a trip to Machu Picchu and I want to learn about it beforehand.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. It completely changed my understanding of effort vs. output, and how to build the life that works for you.
What’s the most obscure book you own; how did you discover it?
Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz. It’s an extremely dense copywriting book that sells for as much as $400. A friend of mine who is a very successful marketer gave it to me as a gift!
What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 6 months?
What is your proudest achievement?
Launching my first book, Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty, into the top twenty on all of Amazon.
When you think of success in the business world, who is the first person that comes to mind?
If you were trying to impress a visitor, which book that you own would you leave on the coffee table?
Haha, I hope I wouldn’t be so deliberate about trying to impress someone! Probably Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, because it represents how I design my own life, but it also has short snippets that can be read quickly – good for a coffee table.
What two pieces of advice would you give a young aspiring entrepreneur?
Only become an entrepreneur if you can’t help it. Find your own truth.
If an alien landed in your garden; which three books would you gift them to showcase humanity in the best possible way?
Are there any books you haven’t mentioned that you feel would make your reading list?
Which book sat on your shelf are you most excited about reading next and why?
I don’t read books one at a time, so I never delay in beginning to read a book. If I want to read it, I read it!