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Nicolae Andronic, Founder of Echoz, on the Books that Inspire and Motivate Him

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Nicolae Andronic is an entrepreneur with experience in project management and Java development.

He’s the founder of Echoz, an affiliate headhunting Romanian startup. Echoz allows companies to use external referrals in order to promote their IT related job openings, and pay a commission when hiring successfully. Through this “pay-per-success” job platform, affiliates can make money by sharing jobs that are relevant to their communities. Echoz is currently focused on increasing its customer base and expanding internationally.

Aside from his startup, Nicolae is involved in software development, with Sergentro Software – a company specialized in developing custom web applications for clients worldwide, supporting full-cycle software development process (from requirements definition, specs, architecture design, coding, testing and validation, to product maintenance and support).

In our interview, Nicolae talks about the books that inspired him, changed his “profit first” business mindset, sparked his entrepreneurial spirit, and the ones he’d recommend for a transition from the technical to the business world.

After you finish reading our book-talk, I recommend that you also take a look over Nicolae’s article on why the open-space office is a bad idea – I’m on the same page with him. This recent trend in organizations, of moving to an open-space format, seems to have the opposite effects over workers and actually leads to lower productivity.

What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.

Business: “Freedom, Inc.” by Isaac Getz. It’s a management/leadership book about “liberated” organizations. Liberated organizations are the ones that no longer rely on the traditional “chain of command”, but instead give empowerment to the employees and rely on their self-judgment. By doing so, they provide meaningfulness and work satisfaction to their employees, which in turn leads to great decisions and business results. I liked it because it changed my “profit first” mindset when it comes to business.

PS: Harley Davidson it’s one example of a liberated company. How cool is that? 🙂

Non-business: “Open” by Andre Agassi. It’s the autobiography of tennis champion Andre Agassi. The alert and human way, almost brutal, in which this book is written makes for a very entertaining reading. Although it’s full of insights from the tennis world, it’s a great and inspiring read, even if you’re not a fan of the sport.

Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?

There’s no specific moment, quote or story from a book that comes to mind. For me, getting help from a book is an ongoing and mostly unconscious process. When trying to discover new ideas or approaches, I just pick up a book from that field and let it inspire me, without making a conscious effort.

Nicolae Andronic: 'For me, getting help from a book is an ongoing and mostly unconscious process. When trying to discover new ideas or approaches, I just pick up a book from that field and let it inspire me.' Click To Tweet

Currently, as I’m focused on marketing for my startup, I’m using “Startup Evolution Curve” by Dr. Donatas Jonikas, which is a marketing study full with real-world examples of startups and how they tackled specific marketing issues. I’m using this book as an inspiration, as five minutes into reading from it, I’m full of new ideas and committed to trying them.
PS: Proud to say that my startup, Echoz, it’s also featured in the book.

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What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)

Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. It was a great introduction to the personal finance and business world, and I credit it for sparking my entrepreneurial spirit. It’s for sure the first book I would recommend to young people.
It’s not the kind of book that I would read now, because of its “soap opera” stories and over-motivational style, but I certainly recognize its role on “opening my eyes” and dramatically changing the way I think about money.

Another book that influenced the way I think is the classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. I only wish that I’ve read it sooner. If you know any 17-18 years old, give this book to them as a present!

What five books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why?

I’m a technical guy. I studied the IT field and did software development for a long time until I discovered the business world. So the path for me is to slowly adapt from the clear, technical world, to the fuzzy, way more complex, business world. All the books that I recommend help this transition.

  • Don’t Make Me Think” – Steve Krug: for seeing software with the eyes of the user.
  • The Lean Startup” – Eric Ries: for learning how to build a product and keeping the customer always in sight.
  • Succeeding with Agile” – Mike Cohn: for approaching the process involved into building a product in an organized manner.
  • How Google Works” – Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg: for understanding a product, a team and a company and their interactions.
  • The Sales Bible” – Jeffrey Gitomer: for learning how to sell your product, whatever this product may be.

  • I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format? How do you make time for reading?

    These days I don’t read a lot as “beer with friends” is way more attractive in the summer 🙂
    Probably every two days, for one hour in the evening, before going to bed. Also, during the day, for 30 minutes tops, but only when I’m stuck and looking for inspiration.
    I love paper, so I prefer this format. However, I don’t find as easily (and fast) all the titles on paper, so my Kindle is an acceptable alternative. I try to mix it: one paper, one e-ink. Never audiobooks.

    Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?

    No. Never. No notes, no other technique. I didn’t even try to figure out why before seeing this question. 🙂

    I guess I don’t see reading books as doing a conscious effort for learning. Whatever sticks, sticks.

    I also don’t rely just on one single book to get the absolute truth about a specific topic. The unstructured ideas in my mind, taken from various books and real-life experiences help in finding my own patterns and explanations on specific topics.

    How do you choose what books to read next? Do you prioritize the books recommended by certain people?

    I always rely on recommendations. The no. 1 source is books referenced in the books I already love. No. 2 source is books recommended by people I already admire (thanks The CEO Library for being great at this!). No. 3 source is automatic systems recommendations based on books I’ve already read.

    I have a queue of books waiting to be read, but I change their order depending on new recommendations I receive.

    Last question: what book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?

    I’m currently reading “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss. It’s an ongoing long read for more than three months, as I usually read only one-two chapters (interviews) per week. I really think this is the way that this book is meant to be read.

    It’s amazing that so many people I admire give their hard-gained life lessons in this book. I admire Tim Ferriss for his ability to see patterns in these people’s behavior and thoughts. “Mindfulness meditation” is something I picked up from this book and started to practice.

    Links where you can follow Nicolae Andronic or find out more about his projects:

    All books mentioned by Nicolae Andronic in our interview:

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