Reading List

Keith Rabois
3 min readMar 22, 2015

I am often asked by entrepreneurs for my list of the best books to read. Over the years, I have responded via email, on Quora, and on Twitter, but now collate them in one place. Italics highlights books that are most highly recommended.

History of Silicon Valley:

Swimming Across: A Memoir by Andy Grove

Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American by Richard S. Tedlow

Architects of the Web: 1,000 Days that Built the Future of Business by Robert H. Reid

Googled: The End of the World As We Know It by Ken Auletta

GoTo: The Story of the Math Majors, Bridge Players, Engineers, Chess Wizards, Maverick Scientists, and Iconoclasts — the Programmers Who Created the Software Revolution by Steve Lohr

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Disease and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall

Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs and the Creation of Apple by Michael Moritz

Steve Jobs & The NeXT Big Thing by Randall Stross

Troublemakers: Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age by Leslie Berlin

The Intel Trinity: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove Built the World’s Most Important Company by Michael S. Malone

World War 3.0: Microsoft, the US Government, and the Battle for the New Economy by Ken Auletta

Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made by Andy Hertzfeld

The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce by Thomas Wolfe

Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves by Adam L. Penenberg

The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture by John Battelle

Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success by Ken Segall

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli

Advice for Entrepreneurs:

Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry by Marc Benioff

Cultural Strategy: Using Innovative Ideologies to Build Breakthrough Brands by Douglas Holt

Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age by Paul Graham

High Output Management by Andy Grove

How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth by Clayton M. Christensen, particularly chapter 2

The Method Method: Seven Obsessions That Helped Our Scrappy Start-up Turn an Industry Upside Down by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry

The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh and Steve Jamison

The 7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy by Hamilton Helmer

The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing by Michael J. Mauboussin

Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don’t by Kevin Maney

Zero To One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

In the Company of Giants: Candid Conversations with the Visionaries of the Digital World by Rama Dev Jager and Rafael Ortiz (Chapter 1 interview w Steve Jobs)

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch

The Pmarca Blog Archives (select posts from 2007–2009) by Marc Andreessen

Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data by Charles Wheelan

General Greatness:

The City In History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects by Lewis Mumford

Drawing Life: Surviving the Unabomber by David Gelernter

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman

On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

The Curse of the Mogul: What’s Wrong with the World’s Leading Media Companies by Jonathan A. Knee, Bruce C. Greenwald and Ava Seave

The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It by Kelly McGonigal