What Tech Insiders Are Reading Now — Fall 2018 Edition

11 industry professionals share five of their favorite books that helped them in their professional lives.

In the second season of our “Five Books” program, we reached out to editors, venture capitalists, executives and influencers working in tech to produce a treasure trove of books you might want to add to your Kindle or real-life bookshelf. From business books to fiction and everything in between, these are the books shaping the tech industry right now.


Alex Wilhelm, Editor in Chief, Crunchbase News // “5 books to bring you to new lands”

A quick collection of books that will take you to places you’ve never been that still feel deeply of home.


Blaise Zerega, Editor in Chief, All Turtles // “5 books about the past that predict the future”

To understand the future of technology, I often return to books where authors confront the unrelenting pace of change. Lessons from the past help make sense of the present and what’s next.


Jon Steinberg, CEO, Cheddar // “The best business books for startup folks”

A collection of books on operational tactics and case studies that I feel are essential to operating a modern technology startup.


John Maeda, Global Head of Design + Inclusion, Automattic // “5 books about simplicity: design, technology, business, life”

When I moved to Silicon Valley, I donated all of my books to Designer Fund in San Francisco. It’s freeing to let go of the past. I’ve found that it makes things a lot simpler for yourself — and it forces you to figure out what truly matters. As I wrote in a book on simplicity now over a decade ago: Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.


Katie Jacobs Stanton, Chief Marketing Officer, Color // “5 books that made me a better person”

In Summer 2018, these are the books that made me a better Mother, Citizen, CMO, and Investor.


Sara Mauskopf, CEO, Winnie.com // “5 books that will change the way you parent”

Parenting is a constant learning process. Just as you figure one thing out, your child grows and you enter a new stage full of unknowns. Here are five books recommended to me by the community on Winnie, a platform for modern parents, that truly changed the way I parent and molded me into the parent I am today.


Hunter Walk, Partner, Homebrew // “Product design: 5 books that shaped my thinking (but aren’t about product design)”

Before starting Homebrew, I had the chance to work with amazing teams at several companies. My work at Linden Lab, Google, and YouTube has always been influenced by more than just the power of code — it was the power of people that excited me most and using technology to support their goals. Here are five books that influenced my product design sensibilities.


Sharon Feder, Chief Content Officer, The Muse // “5 career-boosting books written by inspiring women”

I’ve been inspired by so many incredible women in my own career. Here are five great books authored by a few of those women that offer remarkable stories, practical and actionable advice, and lots of wisdom.


Arlan Hamilton, Founder, Backstage Capital // “5 books I recommend often”

When I started learning about venture capital, I wasn’t always able to afford a book I wanted, so I’d often sit for hours at my local Barnes & Noble in Texas and read them, or save up for weeks to buy a particular title. Books continue to play a huge role in my learning and enjoyment. Here are a few I often recommend to people. (Plus one bonus recommendation!)


Ben Parr, Co-founder and president, Octane AI // “5 books every entrepreneur needs to read for sales and fundraising”

I suggest every entrepreneur read these books in order to better sell products and services. These authors won’t just help you increase sales; they’ll help you sell your company better when you’re in the room with a VC.


Brenna Ehrlich, Director of Culture and Content, Indie and Rock, Tidal // “5 books that taught me to be a better storyteller”

Fiction, non-fiction and more than a little true crime: here are 5 books that have helped me become a better storyteller.

And if you to be featured, drop us a note in the comments and we’ll get back to you with details.

Ken Yeung is curating the “Five Books” program.

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