What are top honchos reading?

8 books recommended by business leaders

Mark Twain once said, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read”. We couldn’t agree more — most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders are voracious readers.

So this Book Lover’s Day, we peeked into the bookshelves of the high and mighty to see what they were reading. Here’s a list of 8 books to get you started.

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Zero to One

This book comes highly recommended by John Sculley, former president of Pepsi and ex-CEO of Apple. It focuses on how one can harness technology to build a better business, and emphasizes the importance of knowing what you’re doing before you dive into a startup.

The author believes that imitating other businesses will only take the world from 1 to n. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1.

Read this book if you’re looking for inspiration for your own startup or business. Learn how the most valuable businesses in the world are the ones that solve problems in new ways instead of competing on well-trodden paths.

Business Adventures by John Brooks

Business Adventures

Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates picks Business Adventures by John Brooks as his go-to book of business lessons. Interestingly, he became a fan of the book once he received it as a gift from none other than Warren Buffet.

The book goes into the details of 12 lessons learnt from critical moments in America’s business history and how people act, what makes them flourish and what would they deliver, with technology, in these moments.

Read to gain insights into corporate and financial life in the US.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup

Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana, says about the book, “We’ve been lucky to benefit from Eric’s advice; this book will enable him to help many more entrepreneurs answer the tough questions about their business”. The book focuses on how you can work on your innovative concepts as a businessman through moments of anxiety and dilemma. It is a handy guide for entrepreneurs as they go about making plans and working towards building solutions.

Read the book to learn about entrepreneurship and the importance of adapting to circumstances.

Elon Musk: How the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our future by Ashlee Vance

Elon Musk

Highly recommended by Bhavin Turakhia, founder and CEO of Flock, this book focuses on the creation and growth of the two companies mentioned in the title.

It delves into the ups and downs of Elon Musk’s journey and how he managed all the adversities along the way by leveraging his inter personal skills.

Read this book to gain valuable insights into Elon Musk’s life, including how to cultivate the drive to succeed no matter what.

The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman

The Design of Everyday Things

Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer swears by this bestseller as she says that she often thinks about design and products, and how these two must work together.

The Design of Everyday Things, written by cognitive scientist Donald Norman, talks about how design serves as the communication between object and user, and the ways in which one can optimize this to make the experience of using the object pleasurable.

Read this book to understand why some products fail to impress us and others go beyond our expectations.

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg

Option B

Option B is recommended and co-authored by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. The book was written in the aftermath of the unexpected death of Sandberg’s husband in Mexico.

The book is a memoir and talks about dealing with grief and anger and finding happiness again. Sandberg recommends this book as a study of resilience — how we build it for ourselves and the ones close to us.

Read this book to understand how to build resilience and grit in the face of tragedy.

The Seventh Sense by Joshua Cooper Ramo

The Seventh Sense

Recommended by Dominic Barton, the global managing partner of McKinsey, The Seventh Sense is the story of how unseen forces shape our world.

The author divides people into two types — those who have a seventh sense and those who go with the flow. It then delves into how to recognize global forces and predict the future.

Read this book to understand how powerful people see the world and to develop the ability to change it.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air

This book is highly recommended by Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn. It’s a New York Times Bestseller and has been on the bestseller list for 51 weeks, as of February 2017. When Breath Becomes Air is an autobiography by Paul Kalanithi, a doctor battling stage IV lung cancer, who wrote the book during his dying days. The book addresses the most basic question of all — in the face of inherent mortality, what makes life worth living?

Read this book for deep reflections and inspiration on life, death, and everything in between.


Share your reading list with us. If there’s an interesting read that has made a difference in your life, let us know in the comments below.

Happy bookworm day, folks!