Books are still vital. Ask the CEOs of the successful companies and you will find that they are well read.
Ask the top people everywhere and they read to expose themselves to new ideas.
Personally – I started reading hard stuff a few years ago. I read “better” stuff after getting exposed to Ryan Holiday’s list. The results are transformative: I’m better, kinder, etc.
It was what made the difference between me being a poor performing real estate salesperson and running Simplifilm – a top performing lean company that has 3 profitable products and thousands of users. Everyone that’s here reads, and we discuss books on a very regular basis.
We put this list together with three goals:
There are other books that we could recommend , but this book list is solid and matters a lot.
We trade in the tech space, and there is a conversation that we’re joining late. To be able to understand the culture, we look at the influential books. These books present a portrait of the way that the Valley is, and the way that tech culture works. Learning the language and how people think is vital to being able to trade in the space, take part in the conversations and lead.
Get these books to: learn what successful companies are currently doing.
GTD, Seven Habits are typical. Stuff you can more or less find everywhere. That stuff is more or less worth reading, but it presumes you’re plugged into a system that’s working and that’s predictable. The world is changed. Things are way harder now than they were 15-20 years ago.
These books address reality, not a perfectly working industrial age economy.
The schmaltzy “try harder, be happy, things will be better,” stuff is over. A positive attitude is a precondition for success but it is far from sufficient. These books talk about what you can and should do in today’s era.
SALES BOOKS For Startups
I started this list to try and create some things for our new hires.
Salespeople have to skate a thin line between delusion and reality. “A salesman’s got to dream, boy.” The cannon is generally not particularly good- it’s mostly navel gazing by formerly successful salespeople.
Books like “The Challenger Sale,” and even “SPIN SELLING” (its spiritual predecessor) try and reverse engineer this sort of thing and make things better for salespeople. There are few books that will help.
Look: buy books. Read them. Learn from them. Become more because of them. Get out of your own head and get off your twitter feed – that stuff will always find you.
What won’t find you are the ideas from great people – past and present – about how to live, think, work, and learn.