I am more an e-reader than a paper reader. However, I own a decent number of hardcover books as few were gifted and a very few I bought myself. Here is the list of 10 most interesting and intellectual books that I have read and would wish to refer them again ahead in my entrepreneur journey.
1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries– Have been into startups all through my career, I could relate to this book just like – ‘bang on’! The book talks about how a 'startup' is an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. Everyone, whether a common man or a high-earning career man, has one thing in common and that is to clear the path of uncertainty and reach the goal of having a sustainable, successful and steady company.
2. How Google Works by Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg– I was inspired to read this book with a general tendency to know – ‘How google works?’ But as I started reading, the book passed a very clear message in each chapter that the best way for businesses to succeed in an era when everything is speeding upis to attract smart-creative people and give them an environment where they can thrive at scale.
3. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – Steve Jobs is an inspiration for millions & to a great extend the riveting story of his roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality as a creative entrepreneur has been depicted in various forms across world. However, this book throws light on his passion for perfection and ferocious drive that revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Truly remarkable, & a must read.
4. Marketplace 3.0 by Hiroshi Mikitani– This book is of a close resemblance to the industry I am catering to. Rejecting the zero-sum, vending-machine model of ecommerce practiced by other leading internet retailers, who view the Internet purely as a facilitator of speed and profit, Hiroshi Mikitani argues for an alternate model that benefits merchants, consumers, and communities alike by empowering players at every step in the process and will define the 3.0 era. Marketplace 3.0is an exciting new vision for global commerce, from a company that's challenging all the accepted wisdom.
5. The hard things about hard things by Ben Horowitz– “While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one.” This one sentence on the cover of the book was enough to create the urge to read complete book. Business lessons about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in, have been perfectly nailed.
6. Winning - Jack Welch– This requires a bit of technical flare to understand how businesses & markets behave. Winning is devoted to the real “stuff” of work, looking both inside the company, from leadership to picking winners to making change happen, and outside the company, at competition, strategy and mergers. It also focuses on managing your career – from finding the right job to achieving work-life balance.
7. Things A little bird told me – Biz Stone -
This was quite simple & straight right in its introduction: In Biz's world:
- Opportunity can be manufactured
- Great work comes from abandoning a linear way of thinking
- Creativity never runs out
- Asking questions is free
- Empathy is core to personal and global success
A few more which I am yet to read but sounds very inspiring as they have been suggested by ‘Guy Kawasaki’, are–
8. If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit by Brenda Ueland - As I have mentioned above, I am yet to read this & for that matter even write one ! But the reviews say - the book is for writers, but if you substitute ”program,“ ”market,“ ”evangelize,“ or ”start“ for the word ”write,“ you’ll see why its concepts are widely applicable.
9. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen - This book explains why it’s so hard to come up with a second hit and why startups often have the advantage when creating curve-jumping innovation.
10. Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds by Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini - According to Guy Kawasaki, “this book should have been called,How Entrepreneurs Think because it explains how entrepreneurs confuse themselves. I salute the people who can read this book and not find a mistake of reasoning that they’ve made.” I really look forward to read this one.
I hope you find these books as useful as I have. Read long and prosper!