The research and facts presented in this book were nothing short of mind-blowing:

  • All animals, specifically mammals, scale such that when you double the amount of cells, the larger organism only uses 75% more energy. 
  • Cities scale such that when you double the size of a city within the same country, the larger one only uses 85% more energy but has 115% more productivity.
  • The way ALL companies scale also exhibits similar underlying simplicity.

While the ideas of these facts may not be all that surprising, the author has clearly taken great pains, and has dedicated a good portion of his life, to prove this mathematically. He provides very specific examples to back his argument, both mathematically, as well as qualitatively. The author's examples and explanations were great. He was very careful not to mention an advanced concept without first explaining it to the reader. His explanations were not at all condescending. Rather they were informative and helpful. However, this is, in part, what made the book much longer than it needed to be, as the explanations and anecdotes were often repeated. 

The book was way too long. Just over 19 hours on audio. In my opinion, it was very repetitive and could have been at least half as long, if not a quarter or even less. If you're interested in getting all of the author's findings, but not listening to (or reading) 19 hours worth of material, join Sam Harris's pod cast and listen to the one where Geoffrey West is a guest. The author talks about all of the interesting points in this book in just over an hour.

Unfortunately, as much as I want to support the author, I can't recommend buying this book. The information contained is fantastic, but it's much, much longer than it should be.