How to build great companies

Books from the founders of Amazon, Nike and Apple. Find out how some of the greatest brands in the world started their businesses.



The House That Jack Ma Built
by Duncan Clark

Why read?

Clark tells Alibaba’s tale in the context of China’s momentous economic and social changes, illuminating an unlikely corporate titan as never before.

304 pages, Ecco 2016

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Behind the Cloud

The Untold Story of How Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry
by Marc Benioff & Carlye Adler

You get insights about…

…how did grow from a startup in a rented apartment into the world’s fastest growing software company in less than a decade?

304 pages, Wiley-Blackwell 2009

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How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul
by Howard Schultz & Joanne Gordon

Why read?

The CEO of Starbucks recounts the story and leadership lessons behind the global coffee company’s comeback and continued success.

368 pages, Rodale Books 2012

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
by Ben Horowitz

Why read?

A lot of people talk about how great it is to start a business, but only Ben Horowitz is brutally honest about how hard it is to run one.

304 pages, HarperBusiness 2014

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Zero to One

Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters

Why read?

Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation.

224 pages, Currency 2014

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Shoe Dog

A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
by Phil Knight

Why read?

In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight share the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

400 pages, Scribner 2016

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Steve Jobs

by Walter Isaacson

What you will learn

Steve Jobs story is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

656 pages, Simon & Schuster 2011

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Elon Musk

Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
by Ashlee Vance

Why read?

Thorough and insightful, Elon Musk brings to life a technology industry that is rapidly and dramatically changing by examining the life of one of its most powerful and influential titans.

416 pages, Ecco 2017

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Intercom on Starting Up

by Des Traynor & Eoghan McCabe

Why read?

This book is Intercom’s honest, opinionated take on what they’ve learned building Intercom over the past 6 years.

120 pages, Intercom 2017

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Bill & Dave

How Hewlett and Packard Built the World’s Greatest Company
by Michael S. Malone

Why read?

This is a fantastic biography, management guidebook, and business history, all in one.

352 pages, Portfolio Hardcover 2007

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In the Company of Women

Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs
by Grace Bonney

Emma Straub says:

“I want to rip out every page of this glorious book and hang them on my wall so that I can be surrounded by these incredible women all day long.”

351 pages, Artisan 2016

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The Intel Trinity

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

Why read?

The Intel Trinity is not just the story of Intel’s legendary past; it also offers an analysis of the formidable challenges that lie ahead as the company struggles to maintain its dominance, its culture, and its legacy.

560 pages, HarperBusiness 2014

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The Upstarts

How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World
by Brad Stone

Why read?

The Upstarts is the definitive story of two new titans of business and a dawning age of tenacity, conflict and wealth. In Brad Stone’s riveting account of the most radical companies of the new Silicon Valley, you discover how it all happened and what it took to change the world.

384 pages, Little, Brown and Company 2017

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Move fast and break things

How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy
by Jonathan Taplin

Why read?

A stinging polemic that traces the destructive monopolization of the internet by Google, Facebook and Amazon, and that proposes a new future for musicians, journalists, authors and filmmakers in the digital age.

320 pages, Little, Brown and Company 2017

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The Airbnb Story

How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions . . . and Created Plenty of Controversy
by Leigh Gallagher

Why read?

This is the remarkable behind-the-scenes story of the creation and growth of Airbnb, the online lodging platform that has become, in under a decade, the largest provider of accommodations in the world.

256 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017

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Wild Ride

Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination
by Adam Lashinsky

Why read?

This book is the untold story of Uber’s meteoric rise, and the massive ambitions of its larger-than-life founder and CEO.

240 pages, Portfolio 2017

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Masters of Doom

How two guys created an empire and transformed pop culture
by David Kushner

What’s so special?

Terrifically told… The storytelling is so fluid, so addictive, that your twitching thumbs keep working the pages.

352 pages, Piatkus Books 2012

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The Epic Battle for America’s Eyeballs
by Gina Keating

Why read?

The inside story of Netflix’s incredible rise and uncertain future as master of the video universe.

304 pages, Portfolio 2013

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Cousins Maine Lobster

How One Food Truck Became a Multimillion-Dollar Business
by Jim Tselikis & Sabin Lomac

What you will learn

This business book from the co-founders of the smash hit Cousins Maine Lobster food trucks reveals to new entrepreneurs how the authors built their brand through integrity and authenticity.

288 pages, St. Martin’s Press 2018

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Delivering Happiness

A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
by Tony Hsieh

Why read?

In “Delivering Happiness”, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shares the different lessons he has learned in business and life, from starting a worm farm to running a pizza business, through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more.

272 pages, Grand Central Publishing 2013

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Becoming Facebook

The 10 Challenges That Defined the Company That’s Disrupting the World
by Mike Hoefflinger

Why read?

Intimate, fast-paced, and deeply informative, Becoming Facebook shares the true story of how Zuckerberg joined the ranks of iconic CEOs like Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Jeff Bezos-as Facebook grows up, overcomes setbacks, and works to connect the world.

256 pages, AMACOM 2017

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by Sophia Amoruso

Why read?

In the New York Times bestseller that the Washington Post called “Lean In for misfits,” Sophia Amoruso shares how she went from dumpster diving to found one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world.

256 pages, Portfolio 2015

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Hatching Twitter

A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal
by Nick Bilton

Why read?

The dramatic, unlikely story behind the founding of Twitter, by New York Times bestselling author and Vanity Fair special correspondent

320 pages, Portfolio 2014

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The Everything Store

Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
by Brad Stone

What is it about?

The definitive story of, one of the most successful companies in the world, and of its driven, brilliant founder, Jeff Bezos.

386 pages, Little, Brown and Company 2013

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