David Kramaley, Co-Founder of Chessable: 'Human potential is limitless as long as we apply ourselves'
Chessable uses science-backed techniques, like spaced repetition, to make learning chess easier. The platform has a lot of content for intermediate and advanced chess players.
Traditionally, if you want to improve your chess technique, you’d open up a book and set up a board. Chessable took the chess books that have been written, that teach you why some moves are good and some are bad. Instead of you having to read the book, you practice it live as you go through it, page by page.
David is an advocate for lifelong learning and believes that the best innovations combine ideas from far and wide. He currently resides in the UK, but spent a large part of his life in NYC, where he completed his undergrad in Computer Science. He started a social games company that folded in 2012, and after that took some time off to travel, read, study, and got a detour into psychology.
Find out more about the books that influenced his journey, helped him broaden his mind and balance his worldview, but also why we should re-read some books.
Qual é o seu livro favorito e por quê? Negócios e não-negócios, se possível.
This is a tough question. I have many favourites that can all be answers to this question. I’ll go for A startup enxuta by Eric Ries for the business category. It has helped shape the way I work and build products, by making me a believer in keeping things as lean as possible for as long as possible, while slowly improving and validating your product. Business can be a risky proposition, and by taking this methodological, almost scientific approach, you mitigate risk and maximise your chances of success. For a non-business book, I’d probably choose a non-fiction book again but to be completely radical, I’ll go for fiction. I really enjoyed Down and Out in Paris and London. I think it’s meant to be a semi-autobiographical novel by George Orwell. I liked it because it was one of those books that had a big influence on the way I perceive and think about the world. Highly recommended.
Houve um momento, especificamente, em que algo que você leu em um livro o ajudou? Você pode me falar sobre isso?
There was! “Think and Grow Rich” was recommended by a professor in a Computer Science class I had (random!). This book really convinced me that the human potential is limitless as long as we apply ourselves. I am in control of what I can achieve. If you apply yourself long enough and are willing to put in the hard work, you can literally think yourself to riches, and it’s not only meant in the sense of money, but everything!
Quais livros tiveram o maior impacto em você? (talvez mudou a maneira como você vê as coisas, mudou drasticamente sua carreira)
This will be a curve-ball, but “Quantity and Quality in Social Research by Alan Bryman”. This is a very tough read, but the sections on epistemology really helped me broaden my mind and balance my worldview. It helps you think about what is true, and challenge the notions of “truth”. What is true? Well, it turns out that there is not a single agreed definition, and it can even be said that true is whatever the most of us agree on. Mind-boggling.
Que livros recomendaria a jovens interessados no seu percurso profissional? Por quê? (sem limite de número aqui)
Estou interessado em saber mais sobre seus hábitos de leitura. quantas vezes você leu? Em que formato?
I prefer paper books but will read on Kindle and my phone if I have to. Last year I got up to 27 books for the year, so about 2 a month. To achieve that reading standard I read at least once or twice per week. Sometimes on productive reading weeks, I could read every day for an hour or more for many days in a row.
Como arranja tempo para a leitura?
These days no one has spare time! We make time by prioritising the things we really care about. I simply prioritised reading over everything else (e.g. relaxing, watching tv, going out, etc.). I found a good time for me was either right before I sleep or perhaps easier, while commuting or travelling somewhere.
Você faz anotações ou tem alguma outra técnica para conquistar a torrente de informações?
I believe a book can change you fundamentally from the core. There is no need to try and remember everything. The most important bits will stick with you and for those really special books you can and should re-read them.
Sometimes I do take notes on my phone’s notepad though. I do this when the authors recommend other books I might like, or the reading sparks a really cool idea for work or life.
Como você escolhe quais livros ler a seguir?
I use recommendations from books that I have really enjoyed. I also like to take recommendations from good friends or likeminded people that I know or have read about. Sometimes I’ll pick something really random so as to not polarize my views! Or at least I try to.
Última pergunta: que livro você está lendo atualmente e o que você espera ganhar com isso?
I’m reading The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work. I expect it to reinforce some positive psychology principles I know and help me put them into practice.
Links where you can follow David Kramaley or find out more about his projects:
- Chessable blog
- Photo credit: Swindon Advertiser
- Follow David on Twitter
- How Chessable’s Scientific Teaching Methods Can Help You Improve at Chess
- “He’s a true master” (photo credit)
All books mentioned by David Kramaley in this interview:
- The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor
- Como Fazer Amigos e Influenciar Pessoas de Dale Carnegie
- A Startup Enxuta por Eric Ries
- Pense e Enriqueça de Napoleon Hill
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
- Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
- Quantity and Quality in Social Research by Alan Bryman
- Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston
- Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson