Here are some of the books that I’ve read that have been most impactful for me. These are some of the best sources I’ve found to discover new knowledge to apply in your career and businesses. The list will continue to grow, so please keep checking back for more recommendations! Also just a heads up, these are affiliate links that help pay for this website. Thanks for checking these out.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. These are the real hard lessons learned by Ben Horowitz building his company through the Dot-com bubble of the late 90s. Very practical leadership applications and what to do in difficult business scenarios.
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. In this book Jocko and Leif go into extremely practical leadership lessons learned on the frontlines of the Iraq War. Jocko also goes into more leadership lessons in his podcast.
Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko and Leif. This book picks up where Extreme Ownership left off. It goes into the details of how being a leader is about balance. Again, very practical tactics to apply to all industries and walks of life.
Leadership Strategies and Tactics by Jocko Willink. Jocko goes into the difficulties and specific scenarios that you are likely to encounter as a leader. He employs the methods he’s developed on the battlefield and through business consulting at Echelon Front.
Co-opetition, by Brandenburger and Nalebuff. This book is the most practical guide to game theory that I’ve come across. They go into how to think about strategy. It is about considering your value add, how other players view the playing field, and how you can change the game to allow you and your complementors to win.
Competing Against Luck by Clay Christensen. Excellent resource on how developing innovations does not have to be about luck. It is about the theory of “Jobs-to-be-done”. This book helps you view the world through a lens of how to identify solutions that can be developed into a sustainable business.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. This book describes the practical steps to keep you focused when starting a business. It is all about small batches, meaning you can take customer feedback about your minimally viable product and pivot as you build.
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. Retired FBI negotiator gives extremely practical advice on how to negotiate in business. This is a topic that is commonly overlooked in business classes, but can make a huge difference in your life.
Things I Wish I Had Known Before College
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams, the writer of the Dilbert Comics. Adams doesn’t sugar coat his life and tells things the way they are. This book has great examples and lessons in it. Some lessons that stood out were focus on the things that you find joy in optimizing that internal happiness/energy. Focus on learning multiple skills to increase the odds of success. Develop your public speak skills, study the psychology of persuasion, grammar, voice technique, basic accounting, and business writing. Focus on systems to get you to where you want to go because alone goals will often disappoint. Shoot for a flexible schedule and don’t focus on jobs that are limited by your personal time.
Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups – Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000 by Jason Calacanis. This book was quite intriguing. It goes into detail about the step by step process of how to start angel investing. This is the type of investing that people feel called towards. It is about how many “homeruns” can you swing when you are up to bat. Just like baseball, your average doesn’t have to be that high if you are methodical and strategic like Calacanis sets his readers up to be in this book. If you feel called towards investing and working with start-ups you should read this book. The audiobook version has some interesting conversations with other angel investors and venture capitalists at the end. Highly recommended!