By @SimonCocking

Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

Four Minute Books is aimed at doing one thing: Make you smarter in 4 minutes or less. I publish a book summary a day for every single day of 2016

How are you different?

No other website offers free book summaries with the same frequency that you can continuously access for free. My summaries have a strict 3-lesson format with a basic introduction, which is perfect to get the naked core of a book, learn just one new thing or pre-screen books for their actual value. Nowhere else can people learn this much from non-fiction books for free in such a short time.

Why will the company / product do well?

The site’s been growing slowly, but steadily since day one. I think daily content + consistency + basic SEO is a formula that works well. Traffic sources have flipped completely from being 80-90% social/referral in the first few months to being 90% SEO based, which is a much more sustainable model. I always put my readers first and try to connect with as many of them as I can on a 1-on-1 basis – ironically, doing things that don’t scale scales.

Where are you based?

Munich, Germany

When was the company launched?

January 11th, 2016

What have been your biggest wins to date?

Growing to over 10,000 unique monthly visitors, managing to consistently steer towards 365 summaries by the end of 2016 (29 left to go!) and launching my first email course, which takes the education of my readers to the next level by helping them build a daily reading habit. It’s called Time 2 Read.

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

The majority of my audience is 25-35 years old, mostly male, tech-savvy, and of course, strapped for time – but anyone is welcome, especially if they feel they don’t have as much time for reading as they’d like to! My fellow book nerds love reading and learning, but feel like they’ve somehow fallen off the reading wagon, because life just gets too busy and too distracted in our modern world. My summaries can be a gateway to find back to reading again slowly, all while fitting learning into their busy schedule as it is.

Tell us about your team?

I’m a one-man band and proud of it!

What are you long term plans for your product / company?

I want to start building reading-related products in 2017, like writing books, creating courses about reading as a technical skill and helping people learn from a great variety of books in an actionable format that gets them to instantly put their new knowledge to good use, as it’s really what you do with the information that counts.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

Not many, to be honest. I couldn’t live without my 15” Macbook Pro Retina from 2013, of course, and I use my iPhone a lot to document my story on Instagram (@ngoeke), read book summaries, etc. Of course, some software really makes my business go round, such as WordPress, Blinkist, Google Docs, Mailchimp, Leadpages, Slack, Google Analytics and a few more. Personally, I’m a huge fan of my Garmin Vivosmart activity tracker, it’s helped tons in getting me to 10,000 steps a day.

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

I’d really like to experiment with Clickfunnels, but it’s too expensive at this point. Otherwise something that takes care of formatting issues, especially when transferring posts between different outlets (like from WordPress to Medium or GDocs to WordPress) would make my life a lot easier!

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?

I respect anyone who’s trying to do more than they’re told and not settle for what others have told them life has in store for them – by committing to learning from books, people do just that, that’s why I want to try and help them as much as I can. I love connecting with new readers personally and I try to answer as many emails as I can for this exact reason – so sign up and give it a try, I’d love to meet you 🙂

How do people get in touch with you?

By far the best way is to hop on the Four Minute Books newsletter and just reply to the weekly Saturday emails I send out there!


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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