Saturday, November 15, 2014

Great Business Books

Reading is the key to business success. Here are some business books –hidden gems about self-improvement, leadership, management, marketing and entrepreneurship.

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

“Carnegie’s classic book was first published in 1936 and remains a best-seller today. The crux is Carnegie’s idea that “the person who has technical knowledge plus the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people — that person is headed for higher earning power.” Warren Buffett took a course on the book when he was 20 and said the experience “changed my life.””

The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker

“This is the classic management book by business guru Drucker. For Drucker, executives’ key job is to “get the right things done.” He identifies five essential practices to business effectiveness for executives: “managing time, choosing what to contribute, knowing where and how to mobilize strength, setting the right priorities, and effective decision-making.” A favorite of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, this book offers many valuable lessons.”

Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

“This book came out of the notes Blake Masters took when Thiel (founder of PayPal, Palantir, Thiel Fellows and Clarium Capital, and lead investor in Facebook) taught a Stanford University class on start-ups. The book title comes from the idea that “Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1.” You can read the book, or go straight to the notes if you are curious.”

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

“The book teaches the theory of disruptive innovation and why great companies fail when they ignore disruptive products in their competitive space. A favorite of Bezos, Steve Jobs, and countless other great CEOs, the book challenges conventional wisdom on what businesses should be focused on and when they should deviate from business as normal.”

Influence by Robert B. Cialdini

“This book could also be titled defense against the dark arts of marketing and persuasion. It explains the psychology of marketing and persuasion, which you can learn for using yourself or for defending yourself against it. In the early 1990s, Charlie Munger gave a series of talks on the psychology of human misjudgment (which have been combined and condensed in his book, Poor Charlie’s Almanack ) in which he heaped praise on the book for filling gaps in his knowledge. “

The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

“Written by a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, this book doesn’t sugar-coat how hard it is to run your own business. Filled with practical wisdom from Horowitz’s business experiences, including the near failure of his own company, this is a worthwhile read for aspiring entrepreneurs and managers alike.”

Competition Demystified by Bruce Greenwald and Judd Kahn

“Written by the current head of the Columbia Business School’s Value Investing program, Bruce Greenwald, this book presents a way to analyze the competitive structure of any industry, and pairs it with the idea of moats, market niches, and competitive advantage.”

“…You’d be amazed at how much Warren (Buffett) reads — at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.” - Charlie Munger, business magnate, lawyer, investor, and philanthropist.

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