If you’re aspiring to be a wildly successful entrepreneur (or even if you already are one) you should always stay on top of tools that will help boost you to the next level in your career… These book recommendations have inspired and shaped some of the most successful entrepreneurs out there (think Mark Cuban) and are a great way to get into the right mindset to rock your business:
“The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand
Self-made billionaire Mark Cuban tells Business Insider that this book is required reading for every entrepreneur.
It’s also a favorite of Charlie O’Donnell, a partner at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. He says:
I don’t know any book that sums up the entrepreneurial passion and spirit better than “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand: “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
“The Effective Executive” by Peter Drucker
This is one of the three books that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had his senior managers read for a series of all-day book clubs. Drucker helped popularize now commonplace ideas about management. For example, managers and employees should work toward a common set of goals.
“The Effective Executive” explores the time-management and decision-making habits that best equip an executive to be productive and valuable in an organization.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
“The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton Christensen
Bezos also had his executives read “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” one of the all-time most influential business books and a top pick of several other founders and VCs, whose reviews are below.
Steve Blank, a former serial entrepreneur who now teaches at UC Berkeley and other schools, says of the book:
Why do large companies seem and act like dinosaurs? Christensen finally was able to diagnose why and propose solutions. Entrepreneurs should read these books as “how to books” to beat large companies in their own markets.
Chris Dixon, an investor at Andreessen Horowitz and a former cofounder and CEO of Hunch, notes:
“The Innovator’s Dilemma” popularized the (often misused) phrase “disruptive technology,” but there’s a lot more than that one big idea. Great insights into the “dynamics” (changes over time) of markets.
“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.
“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 “Einstein: His Life and Universe.”
“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 Business Insider that Napoleon Hill’s classic business 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?”
“Conscious Capitalism” by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia
Kip Tindell, cofounder and CEO of The Container Store, tells Business Insider 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.