2022: 12 Books StartUp Founders Need To Read

Incredible entrepreneurs are deeply curious, understand everything is connected, and often go down rabbit holes of knowledge unrelated to anything in their world. It is rare to find a high-performing founder that does not read, whether it be blogs, books or newspapers. It is impossible that you won’t learn something, craft a new opinion, or help enhance your critical thinking. You must always be on a path of continued education in some form.

Your brain is most intelligent when you don’t instruct it on what to do— something people who take showers discover on occasion. (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)

12 Books In My Queue:

: David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.

: According to Girard, humans don’t desire anything independently. Human desire is mimetic―we imitate what other people want. This affects the way we choose partners, friends, careers, clothes, and vacation destinations. Mimetic desire is responsible for the formation of our very identities. It explains the enduring relevancy of Shakespeare’s plays, why Peter Thiel decided to be the first investor in Facebook, and why our world is growing more divided as it becomes more connected.

: Imagine that two doctors in the same city give different diagnoses to identical patients—or that two judges in the same courthouse give markedly different sentences to people who have committed the same crime. Suppose that different interviewers at the same firm make different decisions about indistinguishable job applicants—or that when a company is handling customer complaints, the resolution depends on who happens to answer the phone. Now imagine that the same doctor, the same judge, the same interviewer, or the same customer service agent makes different decisions depending on whether it is morning or afternoon, or Monday rather than Wednesday. These are examples of noise: variability in judgments that should be identical.

: In this remarkable and timely addition to his Principles series, Dalio brings readers along for his study of the major empires – including the Dutch, the British and the American – putting into perspective the ‘Big Cycle’ that has driven the successes and failures of all the world’s major countries throughout history. Dalio reveals the timeless and universal forces behind these shifts and uses them to look into the future, offering practical principles for positioning oneself for what’s ahead.

: The idea is simple: You don’t have to choose between being a pushover and a jerk. Using Radical Candor―avoiding the perils of Obnoxious Aggression, Manipulative Insincerity, and Ruinous Empathy―you can be kind and clear at the same time.

Our most commonly held formula for success is broken. Conventional wisdom holds that once we succeed, we’ll be happy; that once we get that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, happiness will follow. But the science reveals this formula to be backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.

: The secret is blitzscaling: a set of techniques for scaling up at a dizzying pace that blows competitors out of the water. The objective of Blitzscaling is not to go from zero to one, but from one to one billion –as quickly as possible.

: Over the past decade, researchers have been applying the tools and techniques of this new science―the science of phase transitions―to understand how birds flock, fish swim, brains work, people vote, diseases erupt, and ecosystems collapse. Loonshots is the first to apply this science to the spread of breakthrough ideas. Bahcall distills these insights into practical lessons creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries can use to change our world.

: In this wide-ranging and original book, James C. Scott analyzes failed cases of large-scale authoritarian plans in a variety of fields. Centrally managed social plans misfire, Scott argues, when they impose schematic visions that do violence to complex interdependencies that are not—and cannot—be fully understood. Further, the success of designs for social organization depends upon the recognition that local, practical knowledge is as important as formal, epistemic knowledge.

: Execution shows how to link together people, strategy, and operations, the three core processes of every business. Leading these processes is the real job of running a business, not formulating a “vision” and leaving the work of carrying it out to others. Bossidy and Charan show the importance of being deeply and passionately engaged in an organization and why robust dialogues about people, strategy, and operations result in a business based on intellectual honesty and realism.

: Why do so many world-changing insights come from people with little or no related experience? Charles Darwin was a geologist when he proposed the theory of evolution. And it was an astronomer who finally explained what happened to the dinosaurs.

: Why do some programs deliver their product under cost, while others bust their budget? Why do some deliver ahead of schedule, while others experience endless delays? Which products work better—the quick and thrifty or the slow and expensive?

What am I missing? Any books that you recommend?



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