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Video Interview with Sam Carpenter of Work the System

By | 9 comments

Asian Efficiency Work the System Interview

Hey everyone,

Thanh and I recently attended a software conference in Santa Barbara, CA. We met a ton of really cool people in different industries and spaces and had an awesome time.

It was especially cool for me because I got to meet Sam Carpenter, who wrote Work the System which is one of my favorite books of all time (yeah, I’m a systems geek). We got to talking about both business and personal systems and how it changes the way you view the world and your productivity and decided to shoot an interview.

Be sure to check out Sam’s website (where he gives away the book for FREE) at: and


– Aaron
p.s. If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below and I’ll answer as best I can.

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Posted by Alwyn Smit  | October 22, 2013 at 1:46PM | Reply

Definitely the most practical resource on systems I have come across.

I found the many small distinctions invaluable.

What other resources have you used to better understand, design and implement the systems methodology in your business?

Posted by Thanh Pham  | October 23, 2013 at 1:15PM

There aren’t that many. Having a good understanding of systems is of course key, and a good book for that is “Thinking in Systems”by Donella Meadows.

Posted by Tamara Breytenbach  | October 14, 2013 at 9:52AM | Reply

Great interview (definitely picking up a copy of Sam’s book). We are currently doing a similar exercise at our company. We have just developed 8 overarching company “Guidebooks” – then each book is broken down further into departmental guidebooks, documenting processes and ensuring that all departments are on the same page & performing or managing their various tasks & processes in the same manner. Pity you guys are not in South Africa, would love to have you visit our company and give a talk. :)

Posted by Thanh Pham  | October 14, 2013 at 12:49PM

That sounds really exciting! Documenting everything is so important. I don’t see enough people and businesses doing this.

I’m sure we’ll be in SA at some point :)

Posted by Eric  | October 19, 2013 at 4:23PM


Very intriguing idea about the guidebooks. Our company needs to do something similar but the project seems overwhelming. Would you be willing to share more?

Posted by Amit  | October 14, 2013 at 2:15AM | Reply

Great interview. I won’t even start how much of a “mish-mash” my life and businesses are right now…and this has come to me at the right time in my life. Truly life changing stuff….You guys are doing a great job. From a premium posts buyer – big fan.

Posted by Thanh Pham  | October 14, 2013 at 12:48PM

Thanks! Glad the timing was good :)

Posted by Josh  | October 13, 2013 at 1:26PM | Reply

That was time well spent watching this interview! Really excellent video/audio quality, in addition to the topic. I especially like the Systems (1, 2, 3, 4) = Results equation that Sam talked about. The 100 hour to 60 hour to 40 hour to 2 hour optimization over time was an excellent real-world example. Gonna check out more from Work The System..thank you.

Posted by Thanh Pham  | October 13, 2013 at 2:26PM

Glad you liked it Josh! Definitely grab the book – it’s a great read and we use material from that book all the time for AE.

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