Entrepreneurs I’ve met have read at least two if not all the books on this list. Information is bliss, Here they are ...
1. "Business Adventures" by John Brooks
This collection of New Yorker stories by John Brooks became Bill Gates' all-time favorite business book after Warren Buffett recommended it to him in 1991.
Gates says of the book:
"Business Adventures" is as much about the strengths and weaknesses of leaders in challenging circumstances as it is about the particulars of one business or another. In that sense, it is still relevant not despite its age but because of it.
2. "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell
Paul Jozefak, a managing director at Liquid Labs GmbH and former managing partner at Neuhaus Partners, calls this book "some great advice on how decisions are made."
Gladwell explores the science behind decision-making and intuition, a topic of great importance to any aspiring business leader.
3. "Benjamin Franklin" by Walter Isaacson
Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, says this book is one of his all-time favorites.
"You can see how [Franklin] was an entrepreneur," Musk says in an interview with Foundation. "He was an entrepreneur. He started from nothing. He was just a runaway kid."
Musk has read other books by biographer Walter Isaacson, and he also recommends
4. "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill
Daymond John, cofounder of clothing business FUBU and investor on ABC's hit pitch show "Shark Tank," tells us that Napoleon Hill's classic book, "Think and Grow Rich," changed his life.
"The main takeaway from that was goal-setting," John says. "It was the fact that if you don't set a specific goal, then how can you expect to hit it?"
5. "Conscious Capitalism" by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia
Kip Tindell, cofounder and CEO of The Container Store, tells us that this is a must-read for entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Tindell is close friends with John Mackey, cofounder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, and says that they both believe inConscious Capitalism, "that a win-win is what's most profitable, and that no one has to lose. Business schools have discovered it, studied it, and found that companies that practice it are more successful."
This book is a great primer.
6. "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen
Executive coach Tony Robbins, who's worked with US President Bill Clinton and hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, tells us that he's read "As a Man Thinketh" more than a dozen times.
He often gives the book as a gift because it's concise, easy to read, and profound.
"It's the whole concept of understanding that your thoughts really, truly shape everything in your life that you feel and experience
7. "Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World" by René Girard
Billionaire Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook, loves the work of French philosopher René Girard.
Thiel first read "Things Hidden" when he was an undergraduate at Stanford University, While he calls it "an intimidating book," it deeply affected the way he views the world and business.
Thiel says finds Girard's thinking on these two points especially powerful:
(1) Competitors tend to become obsessed with their rivals at the expense of their substantive goals, and because of that (2) the intensity of competition doesn't tell you anything about underlying value. People will compete fiercely for things that don't matter, and once they're fighting they'll fight harder and harder.
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