A successful businessman: richness does not automatically bring happiness

Most books written by and about successful businesspeople and business gurus deal with the “How” part of the success equation.

Jacob Burak’s Hebrew language “Do Chimpanzees Dream of Retirement” (© 2007 by Jacob Burak and published by Kinneret, Zmora-Beitan, Dvir – Publishing House Ltd.) starts with a short autobiography, and then courageously dives into the “Why” part of the subject matter.

Jacob Burak is an Israeli businessman, who was one of the founders of the Evergreen Venture Partners, an Israeli venture capital investment house.

After exploring the relationship between richness and happiness, Burak discusses the “result test” and the value of cautious risk taking.

Another section of the book deals with the motivations of successful entrepreneurs. This subject is covered also by the English language article “How would you want to be eulogised?” written by the same author.

The second half of the book deals with the various traps and pitfalls, which cause wise people to make unwise decisions. One of the subjects dealt with is the economic value of trust, about which Burak also lectured in the TechIA Forum (lecture summary in English).

A combined book review and author interview can be found in “How to make money – or at least be happy”.

The refreshing, no-bullshit point of view of Burak’s book reminded me of Freakonomics.

Author: Omer Zak

I am deaf since birth. I played with big computers which eat punched cards and spew out printouts since age 12. Ever since they became available, I work and play with desktop size computers which eat keyboard keypresses and spew out display pixels. Among other things, I developed software which helped the deaf in Israel use the telephone network, by means of home computers equipped with modems. Several years later, I developed Hebrew localizations for some cellular phones, which helped the deaf in Israel utilize the cellular phone networks. I am interested in entrepreneurship, Science Fiction and making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.

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