Aha! feedback from advisors and reviewers

From Jos: Aha! not well connected. Can get lost in it. Didn’t know how to use it. Need guidance. Structure book in context of self-development. Adopt common chapter format: intro, model, why, so what.

Informal style is good. Book is “pure Jay.” Consider companion workbook.

Maybe collapse cast net and social into one chapter.

CONCLUSION: I need an editor to give structure and clarity to the book.

From Harold: Make it polished or don’t do it. Charge a full price because it’s a niche market. (I don’t agree because I’m in feedback collection and experimentation mode.)

From Curt: Createspace is wonderful. Great service. On demand, a cool looking hard cover can be made. Suggested I tie to my roots, 15 years of blogging and interviewing. Check Lightening Source for distribution.

Ten notes, reflections, comments, praises, suggestions, and items on the Aha! Book:

  1. Quotes from Socrates and Aristotle are amazing. They were people just like us. Learning just like us. Reflecting just like us. Prompts one to think about what people were trying to learn back then and from whom they were actually learning. And whether they discussed their educations and at branded universities like Academos. And just who was competing with Academos…and who was expanding access beyond the elites out there.
  2. Plog—as I said in Skype, keep working on this idea. It could be your key contribution. See final book I recommend below. It relates well to it. You might review that book and add it to your notions on plogging for personal growth and development.
  3. I found the table on pp. 128-129 very useful and related to my own work but it needs a title or label. It might also need a paragraph or two of Jay’s stories or stories you collect after or before it.
  4. Similarly, I really liked the list of noncollege degree holders on page 38. Might you add a story or two of one of these people?
  5. I also resonated with the idea of writing a personal obituary and I plan to use that in the fall instead of having my creativity class write an object obit.
  6. See page 133. I think Ward Cunningham developed the notion of the wiki more than 12 years ago. More like 21 years: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_Cunningham
  7. I would not end with “Get your boss on board.” Seems odd for a book about personal empowerment and taking learning responsibility to not really mention one’s boss anywhere and all of a sudden stick that in and yet not really talking much about the boss in that section (from what I can tell). I suggest you move it or rewrite it or expand it or delete it.
  8. Related to that…the templates for meetings are great…but I would either move them up or place in an appendix. Unless you described or introduced them more or embellished them with the stories that you are to collect.
  9. As you know, scales like the grit scale (or happiness scale) or growth mindset checklists make your book/ideas more interactive for the reader. Might you recap them at the end of the book in an appendix?

Tonight I ended #lrnchat by giving away 25 copies of Aha! to anyone who wrote me. I’ve got six inquiries thus far. I will write them tonight, ask for feedback, suggestions on who to talk with to launch Aha! If you love it, you know where Twitter is and we’d love any publicity you might provide. Tweet. #aha_project

I mention free Review Copies on Facebook and picked up three more reviewers.

Just waiting for feedback, and why ask for it if you’re not going to use it, slows the project down. This should give me time to locate an editor. Things are going forward as planned.

Dick Webster suggests I add this: [Do what your believe is needed,] it’s always easier to ask forgiveness than … to get permission (Grace Murray Hopper, 1906–1992: Rear Admiral, USN, retired. Pioneering computer scientist, first woman Admiral).

Also, mention that you can print it at a copy shop.

  1. “Current edition / version:” From URL <http://www.ahasite.com/>

“The revised printed Aha! will be released in early August. I suggest you wait for it if you like the feel of paper. If you’re impatient, you can purchase the current hardcopy book for $12. It’s edgy beta.”

Useful, as MS is continually updated, to offer print version as “just-in-time” printout of the current edition? Believe some on-line printers offer MS updating with most current version as customer’s order is received.

  1. MS notes
  2. 11 – add “Intelligence” and “Discovery” to contents
  3. 12 – add “science and learning” to contents
  4. 14 – add def. for Plog at first use: “Personal Progress Blog” (p. 17). Same for other initialisms and acronyms throughout. Add all to Glossary.
  5. 16 – blank page. Omit?
  6. 17 – Harvard data repeated – needed? “… subjects for the record.” Useful to say so if those matters are PLOG entries.
  7. 18 – “It’s the seat of reflection, [and the basis for putting your learning to work in your life – on-the-job, building a career, and achieving the goals you have for yourself and your loved ones]”  Useful to add to link “learning” (too often a school requirement) with the real world of knowledge work?

Re Plog: useful to discuss privacy and security of Plog site you recommend? Useful to ask the critic team to “take the recommended medicine” and set up their Plogs?

  1. 22 blank. Needed? Or, is each chapter to begin on a right-hand page?
  2. 23, ff. – “Chapter 3” – numbered chapters help show the books organization. Also numbering the 75 DIY resources as they appear. Useful to no. boxed six key points for chapter?
  3. 24 – 10K hours, 10 years is recipe for “excellence.” Does mastery = excellence? Would linking them make sense, e.g., “Take your choice: master or excellence. The point is continual improvement of what makes sense to you.” Good place to introduce the “build on your strengths, strength-finder assessment tool, and related resources? [noted on p. 30]
  4. 25 – Grit score to Plog. Add re repeating the Grit assessment in three / four / six months to see what changes your efforts have made?
  5. 27 – Do “JDI” side headings i.d. the 75 “ideas and tools”?  If so, nos. added for reference will help.
  6. 28 – JDI add? “Or both [Popova and Dweck] if you a gung-ho learner on the trail of “greater grit.”
  7. 29 – Are five “self-analysis exercises” in the 75 DIYs? If so, useful to i.d. and no.
  8. 29 – “… on my Plog.” Links in pdf file do not work. Useful for the critic team if URLs are provided for info., testing, feedback? Author’s self-revelation commendable!
  9. 31 – @ “JDI:” “Reflect on your signature skills.” “Reflect” sounds airy-fairy to some people. Useful to add action def. in Glossary and discuss at first use above, p. __? “Thinking about, considering what you know or believe about a topic, issue, or other matter. Making informed judgements about a situation, after thoughtful assessment of the factors involved.” Or some such link with action learning? Maybe helpful re “human self-reflection:” URL <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_self-reflection>.
  10. 33 – typo “Motivates ….” Are key words also in Glossary? URL for Hagel’s … Manifesto?
  11. 35 – Woops: URL useful even though the Manifesto is shown?
  12. 38 – Is Bobby Fischer not in the alpha order on purpose?
  13. 39 – Useful to expand on need for college if you want to try learning on your own after high school? Makes parents crazy, can also save a ton of $$. One useful URL is <http://www.uncollege.org/>. They encourage a “gap year” after H.S.
  14. 40 – JDI #__?

… more anon.



  1. Glossary in book is short and useful. Many more entries at URL <http://www.jaycross.com/wp/glossary/>. Useful to add items to book MS?
  2. Jay Cross publications: Impressive list at URL <http://www.jaycross.com/wp/12757-2/>. Useful to make reference to pertinent writings in book MS? Add key JC writings to book bibliography?



Notes to Jay, via eMail – because feedback link would not “Send” on my computer. (That is probably because Google advises me that my version of Safari is no longer supported. Computer upgrade in process.)

Re Book cover: “Jay Cross’ collection of resources for “JDI Learning” (Just Do It!) rockets thinking, planning, and action into the future. If you’re up for new views and ideas and tools – get onboard [or] join us on the journey.”

Manuscript (MS) comments:

  1. How about “75 ideas and tools for working smarter.”
  2. Or “75 DIY resources for working smarter.”
  3. Or, if an acronym fits: “… for working BEFFER – Better, Easier, Faster, FunnER.”
  4. Or, BEFFERS: – Better, Easier, Faster, Funner and SmartER.”
  5. Orange on sky blue works for me.
  6. Believe it would be useful to no. ways / tools, 1 – 75, in the Contents and text – for easier reference, discussion, etc.”

-end, i.e., beginning of feedback for “AHA!” manuscript (MS)


I’ve put guidance to an editor here

7/28. A reader is 30 pages into Aha! but didn’t realize he should go to Ahasite for links.

Richard suggests dropping the number from the title. Sounds like schlock.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s