Books can give you a window into some of the greatest entrepreneurial and business minds on the planet. Your front row seat to hear about the ins and outs of how they made it, learn from their experiences and come away with new ideas and a whole new perspective on how to approach your own business or career.
But there are millions of business books out there, so it can be difficult to know which ones to invest your precious time in. To help you decide, here's four seriously successful entrepreneurs and the books that inspired them:
Entrepreneur: Sarah Wood, Co-Founder and CEO of Unruly
Favourite book: Founders at Work: Stories of startups' early days
Sarah Wood founded the video advertising business Unruly in 2006, and was so successful that it was acquired by NewsCorp in 2015 and now employs 300 people across 20 locations internationally. Wood has said one of her favourite business books is Founders at Work, a collection of interviews with famous tech founders, including Steve Wozniak of Apple, Caterina Fake of Flickr and Max Levchin, the co-founder of PayPal. It's written by Jessica Livingston a founding partner at Y Combinator, who's also seen a thing or two in her career.
Entrepreneur: Anne Boden, Founder, Starling Bank
Favourite book: Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
Starling Bank is a UK challenger bank, soon to launch in the UK, that promises to change the way customers manage their money. It was the brainchild of Anne Boden, previously a banking exec, who was frustrated by the outdated technology in the industry. One of the books that has helped and inspired her during her start-up journey is Sprint, written by three partners at Google Ventures: Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Brendan Kowitz. It's a practical guide to answering critical business questions, outlining how to follow their five-day process to solving big problems.
Entrepreneur: Dax Dasilva, Lightspeed
Favourite book: The Hard Things about Hard Things
A former Apple developer, Dax Dasilva founded Lightspeed to bring the Apple style customer experience to other retail businesses. He has since built his Montreal-based start-up to be a world leader in the point-of-sale and ecommerce sector, with 40,000 customers in over 100 countries and 15bn transaction processes annually. He's previously disclosed that one of the books that inspired him is The Hard Thing about Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Based on Horowitz's blog, Ben's Blog, it gives advice on the gritty reality of building and running a start-up, from firing friends, to poaching competitors and knowing when to cash in.
Entrepreneur: Shobhit Shukla, Co-founder, Near
Favourite book: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
Near is an innovative location intelligence platform providing real-time data on places, people and products. Shobhit Shukla co-founded the business back in 2012 and it now boasts over 300 global brands as clients. Shukla has said one of the books that inspired him the most is Shoe Dog, the memoir of Nike founder, Phil Knight. Something of a mystery in the past, Knight uses the book to share his story for the first time, charting his rise from selling running shoes from the boot of his car to leading one of the biggest global brands in the world.
Food for thought
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