Think and Grow Rich

One of the best inspirational books ever written, Think and Grow Rich is probably the most important financial book you can ever hope to read. Inspiring generations of readers since the time it was first published in 1937, Think and Grow Rich—Hill’s biggest best-seller—has been used by millions of business leaders around the world to create a concrete plan for success that, when followed, never fails. However, it will be incorrect to limit the book to be just about achieving financial richness. a motivational personal development and self-help book, its core strength lies in the fact that it not only expounds upon material wealth but that at the heart of it, it is a treatise on helping individuals succeed in all lines of work and to do or be almost anything they want in this world.
Think and Grow Rich has been listed in John C. Maxwell’s a Lifetime ‘Must Read’ Books List and also ranked as the sixth best-selling paperback business book years after it was first published by Business Week Magazine’s Best-Seller List

Daymond John, cofounder of clothing business FUBU and investor on ABC’s hit pitch show “Shark Tank,” tells Business Insider that Napoleon Hill’s classic business book, “Think and Grow Rich,” changed his life.

“The main takeaway from that was goal-setting,” John says. “It was the fact that if you don’t set a specific goal, then how can you expect to hit it?”

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin is the Founding Father who winks at us. An ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings, he seems made of flesh rather than of marble. In bestselling author Walter Isaacson’s vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin seems to turn to us from history’s stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. By bringing Franklin to life, Isaacson shows how he helped to define both his own time and ours.

Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, says this book is one of his all-time favorites.

“You can see how [Franklin] was an entrepreneur,” Musk says in an interview with Foundation. “He was an entrepreneur. He started from nothing. He was just a runaway kid.”

Musk has read other books by biographer Walter Isaacson, and he also recommends “Einstein: His Life and Universe.”

Business Adventures

This business classic written by longtime New Yorker contributor John Brooks is an insightful and engaging look into corporate and financial life in America.

What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety.

These notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened.

Stories about Wall Street are infused with drama and adventure and reveal the machinations and volatile nature of the world of finance. John Brooks’s insightful reportage is so full of personality and critical detail that whether he is looking at the astounding market crash of 1962, the collapse of a well-known brokerage firm, or the bold attempt by American bankers to save the British pound, one gets the sense that history really does repeat itself.

AmazonThis collection of New Yorker stories by John Brooks became Bill Gates’ all-time favorite business book after Warren Buffett recommended it to him in 1991.

Gates says of the book:

“Business Adventures” is as much about the strengths and weaknesses of leaders in challenging circumstances as it is about the particulars of one business or another. In that sense, it is still relevant not despite its age but because of it.

The Effective Executive

What makes an effective executive?

The measure of the executive, Peter F. Drucker reminds us, is the ability to “get the right things done.” This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mold them into results.

Drucker identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness that can, and must, be learned: Managing time Choosing what to contribute to the organization Knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect Setting the right priorities Knitting all of them together with effective decision-making
Ranging widely through the annals of business and government, Peter F. Drucker demonstrates the distinctive skill of the executive and offers fresh insights into old and seemingly obvious business situations.

This is one of the three books that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had his senior managers read for a series of all-day book clubs. Drucker helped popularize now commonplace ideas about management. For example, managers and employees should work toward a common set of goals.

“The Effective Executive” explores the time-management and decision-making habits that best equip an executive to be productive and valuable in an organization.

The Innovator’s Dilemma

In this revolutionary bestseller, Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen says outstanding companies can do everything right and still lose their market leadership — or worse, disappear completely. And he not only proves what he says, he tells others how to avoid a similar fate. Focusing on “disruptive technology” — the Honda Super Cub, Intel’s 8088 processor, or the hydraulic excavator, for example — Christensen shows why most companies miss “the next great wave.” Whether in electronics or retailing, a successful company with established products will get pushed aside unless managers know when to abandon traditional business practices. Using the lessons of successes and failures from leading companies, The Innovator’s Dilemma presents a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation.

Bezos also had his executives read “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” one of the all-time most influential business books and a top pick of several other founders and VCs, whose reviews are below.

Steve Blank, a former serial entrepreneur who now teaches at UC Berkeley and other schools, says of the book:

Why do large companies seem and act like dinosaurs? Christensen finally was able to diagnose why and propose solutions. Entrepreneurs should read these books as “how to books” to beat large companies in their own markets.

Chris Dixon, an investor at Andreessen Horowitz and a former cofounder and CEO of Hunch, notes:

“The Innovator’s Dilemma” popularized the (often misused) phrase “disruptive technology,” but there’s a lot more than that one big idea. Great insights into the “dynamics” (changes over time) of markets.

Fountainhead

When The Fountainhead was first published, Ayn Rand”s daringly original literary vision and her groundbreaking philosophy, Objectivism, won immediate worldwide interest and acclaim. This instant classic is the story of an intransigent young architect, his violent battle against conventional standards, and his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who struggles to defeat him. This edition contains a special afterword by Rand’s literary executor, Leonard Peikoff, which includes excerpts from Ayn Rand’s own notes on the making of The Fountainhead. As fresh today as it was then, here is a novel about a hero-and about those who try to destroy him.

Self-made billionaire Mark Cuban is not the only one who thinks this book is required reading for every entrepreneur. It is also a favorite of Charlie O’Donnell, a partner at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. He says:

I don’t know any book that sums up the entrepreneurial passion and spirit better than “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand: “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”