"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
I've always been a voracious reader, following in my father's footsteps. His bedroom, when my brother and I were growing up, had more books than some neighborhood libraries! To this day, I go through at least 2-3 titles each month with Kindle and Audible being my go-to apps. Kindle, in particular, is an absolute godsend for the prolific highlighter in me.
I've had the privilege of shaping my life from the wisdom and experiences of hundreds of fantastic authors, entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and leaders. However, in line with the Pareto principle, just 20% of the books I read led to 80% of the impact. Among those are a select few that changed my life meaningfully and substantially - learnings from which I continue to apply in my personal life and at Flock.
Here is my recommended reading list for anyone looking to grow their mind and enrich their life:
One can learn a lot from people who've accomplished great things, and biographies offer a great perspective into their lives. Of course, you get to see what they got right on their way to glory, but I always find a great deal of value in seeing how they dealt with hardships and overcame their mistakes without faltering.
- Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
- Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
- The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
- Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
- Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark
Best Leadership Books
Some people believe that leadership is an innate ability that helps leaders carry their teams and people from success to success. However, leadership can be learned too, if you have the acumen and the will for it. Regardless of innate abilities, leaders who keep learning and evolving themselves are the ones who best adapt to changing environments and stay ahead of the game.
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
- Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord
- The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
- Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr
- Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results by Christina Wodtke
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
- The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) by Clayton Christenson
- Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Best Product Management Books
Got a brilliant idea for a product? Great, but knowing how to execute on your idea is vital if you want to turn it into a fantastic product that customers love. That's where Product Management comes in.
- Intercom on Product Management by Des Traynor
- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
- Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
- Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
Best Marketing Books
Have you ever heard someone say that their product is so good, it sells itself? Now, that might have been true in the past but in today's fast-paced world relying on prospects becoming organically aware of your product won't get you too far. Clever marketing can make almost any product a success, and that's an advantage no business should ignore.
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand by Al Ries and Laura Ries
- Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
- Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves by Adam L. Penenberg
- Inbound Marketing, Revised and Updated: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
- Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
- The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR by Al Ries and Laura Ries
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Exposed and Explained by the World's Two by Al Ries and Jack Trout
- Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout
- Intercom on Marketing
- Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi
Best Sales Books
Where marketing goes, sales is never too far behind. That's why it's essential to understand how some of the best sales teams in the world identify opportunities and convert prospects to customers. Insights from these teams can help you craft better sales playbooks and motions for your product/service.
- The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million by Mark Roberge
- Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into A Sales Machine With The $100 Million Best Practices Of Salesforce.com by Aaron Ross
- The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales by Trish Bertuzzi
Best Personal Development and Self Improvement Books
I consider improving ourselves to be more important than anything else we do in our lives. As executors of our decisions, strengthening ourselves is what enables us to use everything we learn - a new skill or a new way of thinking - to its maximum potential.
- Lying by Sam Harris
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- How To Have A Beautiful Mind by Edward de Bono
- Your Brain at Work by David Rock
- Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson
- Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferris
- Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement by Tony Robbins
I hope this reading list helps you discover and learn new things. If you know someone who can make use of it, please share.
Last but not least, I'm always happy to add books to my to-read list, so if you have any recommendations, do let me know in the comments section.