Book Review: Invisibles – David Zweig #1

This is the third book-related post!

Before plowing through this post, can you try to answer two questions below?

Can you tell me five singers whose songs you currently listen to?

Can you tell me five musicians who wrote those songs above?

There is no skirting the fact that it is easy for you to answer the first question. However, it is impossible that you will answer immediately the second one. Because of that, I want to share one of the must-read books in 2018 – “Invisibles – David Zweig”

My thoughts

There is no doubt that the more often you show up, the more attention you earn. By interviewing top experts in unusual fields to reveal the quiet workers behind public successes, the author illustrates the contrast that the better people do their jobs, the less they will be recognized.

In my opinion, this is the great book about the power of anonymous work. This book may suit someone who is passionate about engineering, music, computer science and a part of doing business. There are seven values out of this book I have learned:

  • Do not pay attention to the result, focus on the process itself.
  • Be meticulous and responsible.
  • Flow and the power of expertise with effort.
  • Do not believe the hype.
  • The branded self.
  • The singular vision and the art of collaboration.
  • The view of cultures.

I rate this book 4.3/5.


  • Don’t pay attention to the result, FOCUS ON the PROCESS of the work itself.

I would like to say that nothing will happen if you just look at the result and accept it. For example, the different solutions will be generated once you try to solve the same problem. Not only that, there is no doubt that people commonly focus on the candidates who stand on the first, second and third spot of the competition. Meanwhile, a few of them pay attention to how those candidates could reach where they are. That is why the process is extremely important, and you need to spend a huge amount of time on crush it. In addition to that, the process of the work itself is a vital thing that keeps you going on.

  • Be meticulous and responsible.

You are living in the age of information, so meticulousness is literally significant when you want to gather data. If you are doing engineering, you need to calculate extremely carefully before moving forward. Besides that, if you are a business analyst or a data scientist, you should analyze data accurately by utilizing the business intelligence (BI) tools before making the decision. There is up to 70% of the projects failed because of a little mistake of the analyst. So, meticulousness is one of the powerful traits of anonymous work in an age of relentless self-promotion.

Aside from being precise, you also need to be responsible for what you are doing. In this book, David Zweig cited that responsibility came along with experience – which means people are allowed to be more responsible for what they are doing when they have enough experiences. For instance, once you are set to face a lot of challenge in your job, you should cherish and work your way through instead of turning your back away from them.

  • Flow and the power of expertise with effort.

Once you have too much experience but you still want to become an expert or to work professionally. That is your flow of doing things but you cannot realize it before you actually become an expert. In this book, David Zweig gives the example of the interpreters who do not think that they perform well until they’ve been the professionals for ten years. However, time is the subject to be treated as relative. When you have put in your time and heart into something, anything can be done within an unpredictable timeframe. So, my piece of advice is that you should not stop your flow, even though the result is pleasing enough.

“Interpreters are made, not born, although there are basic aptitudes that a successful interpreter must have, beyond just speaking two or more languages” – Barry Olsen (cited by David Zewig).

What’s next?

To make it short, I will separate the content into two posts. This is the first post of “Invisibles – David Zweig”. Hopefully, you enjoy it!

If you would like to buy this book, let’s click on the image below.


Zweig, D 2014, Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Regardless Self-Promotion, Penguin Group, New York.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Invisibles – David Zweig #1

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