Read a Book Day: 7 Book Suggestions From Tech Entrepreneurs

September 6, 2017

2:30 pm

Today is Read a Book Day, and what better way to celebrate than by bolstering your reading list. To do this, we asked the tech community what some of their favorite or most influential books were in their lives. While we received more than 100, these seven showed a mix of business acumen, entertainment, and life lessons. If read a book day isn’t enough for you, you’ve also got Buy a Book Day tomorrow, and on Friday it’s Literacy Day.

Do you have a particular book you think our community should read? Leave your suggestion in the comments or tweet it at us.

Laurence Sotsky, Hopscotch CEO

I could easily give you a business or leadership book, but honestly, my favorite book of all time is Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. I’ve never read a book that more completely details mental anguish and internal turmoil than this one. Dostoyevsky almost makes you believe you’ve committed the crime. I read Crime and Punishment in college and probably re-read it every five years…it’s brilliant.

Peter Yang, Cofounder of ResumeGo

My favorite book is Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom. The book discusses the ways in which machines can surpass humans in intelligence and eventually destroy us. While it may sound crazy, the book takes a very pragmatic approach to analyzing all the possible scenarios that could play out and how we should be prepared to deal with each one – food for thought at a time when artificial intelligence is growing more rapidly than ever.

Adam Spector, Cofounder of LiftIgniter

My favorite book is Sam Walton’s Made In America. The reason I love this book so much is it details the founding story of one of the most iconic businesses in the world. Every time I see it on my bookshelf, it is a reminder of being modest, humble, and learning the value of a dollar and creating the American Dream.

Nikita Shamgunov, MemSQL CEO

There is a lot of innovation happening around the world, and hundreds of years of information on creating and organizing teams that doesn’t fundamentally change. Despite being written over thirty years ago, High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove contains a wealth of knowledge that is still relevant for startups today.

Kirsten Helvey, Cornerstone OnDemand’s COO

There is often so much negativity around us personally and around the world. Yet, research shows that when we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work and in our personal lives. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor gives tips and help to retrain our brains to have a more positive mindset.

Rae Shanahan, CSO of Businessolver

I read something from What Does It Sound Like When You Can Change Your Mind? by Seth Godin every day, which is not a small task considering it is 11”W x 15”L x 3”H and weighs 15 lbs. It helps me better understand my own story and offers a fresh perspective for the story I will be creating each day. Seth is a transparent writer who shares about his own fears, missed opportunities, stuck-ness and what’s possible – all of which I can identify with and relate to at some level. The inspiration he provides through his balance of wit, wisdom, honesty and fun keeps me coming back every day. Learning is a lifelong journey – one I love to be on!

Kon Leong, President, CEO & cofounder of ZL Technologies

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy punches way beyond its weight in dispensing inadvertent wisdom for life and business. In fact, its opening salvo could serve as an excellent guide to handling most business crises, as in “Don’t Panic!” With tongue firmly implanted in cheek, it pushes us to question all our routines and rituals – which actually underscores the subtle insanity of most of our assumptions in life and business. For example, would you rather eat an animal that doesn’t want to be eaten, or eat an animal that was bred to want to be eaten? An important takeaway is that we should constantly strive to take a fresh perspective on old issues. Strength can often be weakness and vice versa, and it often depends simply on how you look at it. However, most of all the book affirms that life is just a magnificent experiment, anyway, so go ahead and try new experiences and approaches.

What’s your favorite book? Tweet at us or tell us below!

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Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@)elliotvolkman.com or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.

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