Billionaires and the Books that Changed their Lives

There are many entrepreneurs who credit their success to novels and books written by great authors.

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Books have the power to change perspectives. For entrepreneurs, books help them figure out their start-up journey and many a times, be it through a kindle or a hard copy, prove to be mentors. Therefore, entrepreneurs are always noted to be voracious readers. As reading always helps an individual understand the history behind revolutionary events, there are many entrepreneurs who credit their success to novels and books written by great authors.


Entrepreneur India lists the books that have changed the life of world's most well-known billionaires and entrepreneurs.

"The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand

For the serial entrepreneur, investor and Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban reading is about self-improvement. In a media interview, Cuban named a yacht after Rand's objectivist classic loved by libertarians and many college students. Cuban has also been noted to have said that he has read "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand "three complete times and an untold number of little snippets and segments."

It encouraged him to think as an entrepreneur and enhanced his risk-taking ability to reach goals.

"The Idea Factory" by Jon Gertner

The co-founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg loves reading so much that every year he sets up a challenge to read a particular number of books. Among a bunch of books that Zuckerberg credits his success to, "The Idea Factory" by journalist and author Jon Gertner is one that he recommends to everyone.

The book follows the history of Bell Labs, the famed research operation founded by Alexander Graham Bell which functioned, for many years, as part of AT&T and is now owned by Nokia. Several researchers have earned the Nobel Prize for the work produced at Bell Labs.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Though the Tesla's founder, Elon Musk has read a lot of text books about rocket science and physics in his lifetime, but two fictional books that have played a significant role in his success is Golding's classic novel "Lord of the Flies" and "Foundation" by Isaac Asimov.

Golding's stupendous writing on survival and competition gave him a new perspective to fight challenges in life. On the other hand, from Asimov's sci-fi trilogy "Foundation" he learnt more about humanity amid science, technology and art. Two of the very strong characters of both the books inspired him to set off on a mission to save mankind.

The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama

In a media interview the CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner mentioned that books have had played a significant role in his life. The two books that have had the biggest influence on him was "The Art of Happiness" by the Dalai Lama and Nicholas Negroponte's "Being Digital". In the interview, Weiner confessed that he learnt the difference between empathy and compassion from the Dalai Lama's "The Art of Happiness." Jeff read the "Being Digital" while he was working at Warner Bros and he realized that the key points in the book about business are very important for any company to grow.