17 Books That Every Aspiring Founder And CEO Should Read David Cancel 5x Founder 2x CEO @dcancel
1 The Hard Thing About Hard Things By Ben Horowitz The only “real” business book. This book captures what it is like leading a startup.
2 Made In America By Sam Walton The story of how Sam Walton created Wal-Mart and became the richest man in the world. I have stolen many concepts from this book including the concept of Servant Leadership. Read 3x.
3 Seeking Wisdom By Peter Bevelin I can’t remember how I first found this book years ago, but it’s been on my nightstand ever since. I continuously read this book finding new gems each time.
4 Zingerman’s Guide To Giving Great Service By Ari Weinzeig If you care about creating a great customer experience read this book.
5 Managing Oneself By Peter Drucker Buy this tiny book by Peter Drucker and re-read it every five years.
6 Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry By Marc Benioff & Carlye Adler The story of Salesforce from its founder & CEO, Marc Benioff. The title says it all.
7 Let My People Go Surfing By Yvon Chouinard The story of the founding of Patagonia and more importantly how to build a company with strong values.
8 Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind By Al Ries & Jack Trout This and Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion are the best books on Marketing. These books will teach you why you buy the things you do.
9 Meditations By Marcus Aurelius So deep you need to re-read this book every few years.
10 Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises From The Power of Now By Eckhart Tolle The best way I’ve found to deal with the daily anxiety of running a business is to focus on the “Now.” Start practicing with Tolle’s book.
11 Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition By Robert Cialdini I just read this book for the 3rd time. It’s the best book there is to understand the cognitive biases we all use to make decisions.
12 EntreLeadership By Dave Ramsey If you want to learn how to work on your business, not in it, read this.
13 Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business By Danny Meyer I’m obsessed with great customer service. Nobody knows delivering great service better than Danny Meyer, one of America’s leading restauranteurs.
14 The Big Moo By Seth Godin So many great Seth Godin books to read, I’ve read all of them. I always come back to two books, Purple Cow and The Big Moo, a companion book to the Purple Cow.
15 Re-Imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age By Tom Peters Too many great Tom Peters books, start with this one.
16 High Output Management By Andy Grove The book that started the recent OKR trend used by Google and many other companies to manage priorities.
17 Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com By Aaron Ross This book is a great guide to running a sales team from an early Salesforce.com sales leader. I had a hard time choosing between this book and The Sales Acceleration Formula (read both).
Thanks for reading! Find out what I’m learning building my 5th startup, Driftt, by subscribing to my free newsletter. Click Here. One Email, Once A Week.