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Felipe Memoria is a designer and founding partner at the digital product development firm, Work & Co.

Felipe Memoria Shares The Most Influential Books Of His Career

I can not agree more to the fact that studying design and business history is necessary in order to shape the future of digital products. Learning from the great thinkers of the past is the key to success, claims Felipe Memoria, an award-winning designer and bestselling author.

Felipe Memoria is a designer and founding partner at the digital product development firm, Work & Co. He was born in Brazil, where he published “Design for the Internet: Designing the Perfect Experience”, a widely regarded book on creating digital products.

Felipe shared some of the books that had been the most influential in his exceptionally successful career.

Vignelli A to Z by Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli is my favorite designer and a major source of inspiration. This book is based on Massimo’s summer classes at Harvard. It’s a great summary of his design philosophy, with tons of examples of the work he did in partnership with his wife Lella.

Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography by Franz Schulze

“Every architect should kiss the feet of Mies Van Der Rohe.” — Robert Venturi. Mies is my favorite architect. The purest of the pure, the man who coined “less is more.” The book provides great detail on his career and life, his masters, peers, inspiration and how he turned into a modernist.

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Unimark International: The Design of Business and the Business Design by Jan Conradi

As a co-founder of Work & Co, a design and technology company, it was extremely interesting to read the rise and fall of Unimark, the design shop founded by six design legends. Unimark quickly grew to become the most important design firm in the world. Years later, it ultimately went bankrupt after shifting its focus to advertising. That shift upset Massimo Vignelli and the rest of their best designers, who ultimately left, triggering a talent exodus that destroyed the company (a cautionary tale for agencies that wish to create digital products and services).

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin

While Outliers, a more popular book, talks about luck, “Talent is Overrated” focuses on “deliberate practice” to prove the point that God-given talent is almost pointless. I’m a fanatic of excellence, so the book is extremely inspiring. It’s a book that, to me, ultimately provides a very special sentiment: hope. If you want to be great at something, you just need to be willing to sacrifice.

Dream Big (Sonho Grande): How the Brazilian Trio behind 3G Capital — Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Beto Sicupira Acquired Anheuser-Busch, Burger King and Heinz by Cristiane Correa

I really got hooked on this story. It’s about Brazilian entrepreneurs who applied principles not unlike what I try to embrace, but on a much larger scale. Meritocracy, simplicity, and partnership. No room for mediocre performers, and the possibility of becoming a partner for people who achieve great things.

What are you reading now?

I’ve already added all of the books Felipe recommended to my reading list and can’t wait to read them. I’m curious to find out what is on your reading list?

If you want to discover more books, make sure to check out my previous interviews with Alice Mourou and Joakim Norman.

Share your favorite books in the comments or tweet me at @tomaslau.

Originally published at on June 9, 2016.

Written by

Lithuanian entrepreneur, marketer, and blogger. Founder of and, personal blog:, content services:

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