What are the must read books?

Image from Unsplash (Credit to Alejandro Escamilla)

From the start of 2015, I have set this as a learning year. Thus, reading books is one of the main goals. At first, I focused on books about entrepreneurship. After reading several, I decided to go after some best sellers. Each one will refer to some others, that brings up a mass network of referrals. Out of these, several are really mind-blowing. They resonate with my current situation and desire.


Here are those:

4-hour work week

The title alone is attractive enough. Compared to other books, or courses, Tim Ferriss drives it to more extreme. He talks about his personal experience, struggles in business, and action plans in changing. He emphasizes delegation and recommends hiring virtual assistants for everything. He also talks about setting goals of Having, Being, Doing. Then, works towards those goal every day in small tasks.

For anyone who is interested, Tim has two other books on cooking and body training as well.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The book was first published in 1989, but most of the concepts are still relevant. As Stephen Covey pointed out , the 7 habits form the paradigm of thinking. They served as universal principles which will never change. I started with FREE credit from Audible, listening instead of reading.

A suggestion here is to download the preview version in Kindle and look at the Table of Content. It will help to understand the flow of the book. In these habits, the first 3 relates to personal, grouped as private victory. The next 3 is interpersonal, grouped as public victory. The last one encourages the practice of all the previous habits. I’m especially impressed by Habit 2, “Begin with the end in mind”. It highlights the importance of setting goals. This helps to define the purpose, which is important in inspiring and leading people.

There are a bunch of related books, I recommend the 8th habit. Yet, some others are just extracting one part to create another book with a compelling title. My personal suggestion is to listen / read the original book multiple times. I listened 4, and got the hard copy afterwards. If you have a family with kids, the 7 habits of Highly Effective Families may be your choice of next read.

Think and Grow Rich

I keep going back in time and this one was first published in 1937 by Napoleon Hill. As written on the book cover, the primary goal of the book is to become rich. With the mentorship of Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon laid down the 13 steps to Riches. (Andrew Carnegie was the richest man in his time. He founded Carnegie Mellon University). All these contain only one secret, which is not addressed directly. Instead, it is so obvious throughout the book. There is one word DESIRE that appears in every chapter, so guess what.

Those 13 steps form a guide on how to better prepare for success. Actually, it doesn’t refer to money only. I apply it to set a writing goal and publish a book for my son by the end of 2040. In return for this, I will share my life experience as a blogger every week. I will render the best quality of articles by writing 3 pages every morning.

Napoleon spent more than 20 years. He conducted study on over 25,000 men and women, including 500 richest men in his time. It is truly a classic, and totally worth a few days to read. Seriously, please compare the time spent on reading a book to watching TV.

Besides these books, here is a list of books I read this year, and many other technical books. (Briefly ordered by chronlogical reading order)

My Book List 2015

Value Proposition Design — It is an extension of the Business Model Generation. Good read for startups.

Disciplined Entrepreneurship — While we are all talking about lean startup, this one lays out a full picture of how to start a startup, written by MIT professor.

Blah Blah Blah — Most of us are trained to use words to communicate, thus talking rather that doing. This book suggest the balance of words and pictures.

Design+Code — A hands-on book by Meng To in learning iOS design and programming.

Zero to One — Peter Thiel states the importance of focusing on one big innovation rather than many small trials.

Getting Things Done — Have issue in completing tasks? Check this out, or use our app​

The Hard Thing about Hard Things — A story about an entrepreneur, CEO of public company, husband, and venture capitalist.

The Innovator’s Dilemma — Studies on why people are hesitate to innovate.

The Founder’s Dilemma — Studies on avoiding pitfalls in running a startup

Start with Why — Everything has a purpose, but many of us forget or not bother to clarify. The book shows a model of Why-How-What in achieving success.

Currency Wars — Take a quick look on what’s leading us in the next 10 years.

Flow — The path to happiness is to balance the skills and challenges and flow through it.

The 5 elements of effective thinking — A short read in thinking, asking, and seeing the flow of ideas. In fact, the authors suggest to read the book 3 times in a row.

Elon Musk — Truly amazing biography. Everyone has ups and downs. Elon not only manages to go through but also focus on the big goals that he dreamed about as a kid. He is a genius, true talent, and equipped with all the hard core skills.

Purple Cow — A quick book on making your products remarkable.

Traction — It lists 19 channels to market a product or service. In fact, I think it should include one more. The author did it himself.


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