Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Published by
Portfolio (2013-06)
Current material
Final Pages
Original language
Political economy


How to Learn Anything…Fast!

by Kaufman, Josh

A fascinating personal narrative and practitioner’s guide to becoming proficient in any skill in less than seven days, by the acclaimed, bestselling author of The Personal MBA.

Whatever you want to do with your life, you must master new skills. But where can you find the time? You are already busy—much too busy to spend the 10,000 hours authors like Malcolm Gladwell claim you’ll need to master a new skill. Moreover, the early hours of practicing something new are always the most frustrating. If you can’t make it through the first 20 hours, you’ll never get to 10,000.

Josh Kaufman offers a systematic approach for acquiring new skills quickly with a small amount of practice each day. He shows how to deconstruct complex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers, creating a realistic framework for drastically cutting the time it takes to acquire any skill. His methods apply to both business and personal challenges.

Kaufman shows us what happens when he field-tests his approach: learning, for example, how to program a web application, play the ukulele, practice yoga, get the hang of windsurfing, create illustrations, and learn the oldest and most complex board game in history.

Josh Kaufman is an independent business advisor and researcher who specializes in helping people make more money, get more done, and have more fun. Before creating and writing The Personal MBA, he worked as a marketing manager for Procter & Gamble.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Sebastian Ritscher

Available View on Rightsdesk



A blockbuster in the making, The First 20 Hours breaks down the learning process into simple and effective steps with real-life examples that inspire. After reading this book, you'll be ready to take on any number of skills and make progress on that big project you've been putting off for years.


If you're like me, you'll get so inspired that you'll stop reading to apply this approach to your own procrastinated project. After reading the first five chapters, I tried Josh's technique to learn a new programming language, and I'm blown away with how fast I became fluent

Quote: Derek Sivers

In this interview, Josh disproves Malcolm Gladwell’s thesis that it takes 10,000 hours to learn a new skill, he explains why it’s so hard to learn new skills, how to decide which skills to focus on and more.

Quote: Forbes

Interview with author of "The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything... Fast" (plus excerpt)

Quote: Boing Boing

With just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice, you can go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well. That's the message from Josh Kaufman, author of The First 20 Hours. In the video above, he reveals the four steps to learning any new skill, fast.

Quote: Lifehacker

Lots of books promise to change your life. This one actually will.

Quote: Seth Godin

The biggest takeaway of the book is this: Whatever you choose to learn comes down to simply getting out of something what you put into it--whether that time invested is 20 years or just 20 hours.

Review: Huffington Post

Arabic rights to Jarir Bookstore Russian rights to Azbooka-Atticus Complex Chinese rights to Leeds Publishing Simplified Chinese rights to Beijing Huazhang Graphics & Information Korean rights to Sigongsa

Quote: Client

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