Founders reveal books that changed their lives. Part 2

Andrew is still on vacation (till July 5), so instead of a new interview, here’s part 2 of the popular post that I recently published about influential founders’ books.

Hello my name is Aditya Shukla and I’ve been asking past Mixergy guests to recommend books which they have found useful in their entrepreneurial journey and how it has influenced them.

Scott Lahman -THE POWER BROKER

THE POWER BROKER by Robert Caro

A masterpiece about Robert Moses, who, despite never having held elected office, was New York City’s greatest builder and most powerful citizen for decades. As part of my college education, this book opened my eyes to how the world might really work.

Scott Lahman is founder of GOGII, Inc.

Greg Tseng – Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” by Tony Hsieh

I redoubled our efforts in company culture (happy employees) and customer service (happy users) and am so glad I did (happy CEO!)

Greg Tseng co-founded Tagged and is the company’s CEO.

John B. Georges – Only the Paranoid Survive & First things First

Only the Paranoid Survive by former Intel CEO Andy Grove

It helped me hone my competitive juices and look at business as a kind of warfare.

First Things First by Stephen Covey

It helped me organize my busy life around what’s important at work and home so I can keep things together while executing at my startup.

John B. Georges is Co-founder of NextG Networks.

Gauri Nanda – The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman

The Design of Everyday Things made me think differently about how I look at objects I interact with everyday.It began my belief in design as something with the power to help people rethink the world around them.

Gauri Nanda is founder of Nanda Home.

Eric Ingram – E-Myth

E-Myth by Michael Gerber

It helped me understand and tame the different personalities that make up an entrepreneurial endeavor.

Eric Ingram is founder of BetaCandy.

MJ DeMarco – Awaken the Giant Within

Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey and while hitting those detours and potholes, this was my Bible. This book was like a positive mentor that was at my side when I needed it. It taught me that success in all aspects of life truly begins in your mind. What happens there can change everything.

MJ DeMarco is the author of The Millionaire Fastlane and the founder of The Fastlane Forum.

Luke Burgis – The Abolition of Man

The Abolition of Man by CS Lewis

This book helped me reconcile the paradox that I’m an entrepreneur who doesn’t want to be successful but only faithful.

Luke Burgis is the founder of ActivPrayer.

Nori Yoshida-The Lessons of History

The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant

As a technology person, I spent most of my life uninterested in history. After all, whats important is whats happening today and in the future right? Well turns out the fundamental motivations of people haven’t really changed much, and there is a lot to be learned from how similar events unfolded in the past. Will and Ariel Durant are historians that have boiled down a lifelong study of history into lessons about humans and society. Its a short but dense read that will undoubtedly provide a ton of insight into why we are who we are and how the future may unfold.

Nori Yoshida is the co-founder of Curebit.

Lou Doctor – Zen in the Markets&
The Dice Man &The Power of Now

Zen by Edward Allen Toppel
The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Lou Doctor is the E-Commerce entrepreneur behind BikeTiresDirect.com.

Joshua Walker – Everything is Illuminated

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

It is inspirational because it is a genius piece of writing with lots of time period switches and voices. Complicated but simple. It’s a book that makes me want to be as thoughtful and creative in the way I view, analyze, approach, and describe life. It is a very real about the difficulties of life – funny, true, and not idealistic. The book made me feel very alive. That’s why I started my company to feel more alive.

Joshua Walker is the founder of CityVoter.

Fred Bliss – Good to Great

Good to Great by Jim Collins

This book is my personal business bible, because it uses actual empirical data analysis to identify key truths that lead to sustained business success. It is the litmus test by which everyone should measure their own choices of people and management techniques, and the book leads to some very surprising conclusions that provided me with solid footing upon which to grow my own business. Absolutely, positively required reading.

Fred Bliss is one-third of the Isotope E-Commerce development team and owner of Intelligent Spark.

Jennifer Hyman – The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

A poignant beautiful book that teaches me that we must always think about how we can give ourselves to other people to help them find happiness. To love is to be generous with your time, emotions and resources, and to be cognizant that you are deserving of all these things in return.

Jennifer Hyman is the co-founder of Rent The Runway.

Trent Kitsch – The Purple Cow & What they don’t teach you at Harvard business school

The Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Book about how to design your product or service to standout, or don’t even try. Great read and good case studies.

What they don’t teach you at Harvard business school by Mark McCormack

A book about non-written rules of business, work ethic, character.Mark McCormack was well ahead of his time and invented sport agency and sports marketing.

Trent Kitsch is the founder of Saxx Apparel.

Jess Pugsley – How to create products customers love.

How to create products customers love by Marty Cagan

I am known for the energetic passion and ownership for success that I take for my client’s products. Marty confirmed my style and tact mirrors that taken by the most successful brands. Inspired is now required reading for all staffers at Fusionapps!

Jess Pugsley is the Managing Director and Chief Strategist at Fusionapps.

Chris Dunn – The Four Hour Work Week

The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

It changed the way I thought about “being productive”, and taught me how to focus on what’s really important in libe.

Chris Dunn is the founder of Emini Academy.

Jason Cohen – One Minute Manager

One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard

The book offers basic but valuable “common sense” insights into how to manage and motivate others. Entrepreneurs and leaders have a responsibility to their employees to always strive to operate with a high level of emotional intelligence and consideration. This book is a great guide for a first time manager/leader.

Jason Cohen is the co-founder of Centerfield.

Amy Hoy – Management of the Absurd by Richard Farson

Management of the Absurd by Richard Farson
So many of the fails in my life can be directly attributed to misunderstanding the nature of the universe. You know the Serenity Prayer? This book is like that, only applied to business and managerial life — and also snarly, funny, and true. My favorite paradox from Management of the Absurd is “The opposite of a profound
truth is also true.” Just remembering and applying that one alone can save hours, day, months or even years of heartache.

Amy Hoy is the founder of Slash7.

Andrew Warner – How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Before I read that book, my role models were entrepreneurs who fought their way to the top. Carnegie showed me how much more effective it is to win people over than to battle them all the time.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Andrew Warner is the founder of Mixergy.com.

What do YOU think?

Andrew asked me to help him keep past interviewees engaged in the community so you can keep learning from them. This is my first project. What should I do next? As other past guests for their favorite books? Ask another question? Something else? Help us in building the best entrepreneurship learning platform on the web.

Stock photos on Mixergy (like the one on the homepage link which led to this post) are from Fotolia

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512636767 Jorge Cuadra Fueyo

    great books, Dale Carnegie is my favorite author..

  • José Féria

    There is one book on that list that made me want to live my life… The Timothy Ferriss’s book.

    Nice blog post

  • http://twitter.com/espnlol Bob Smith

    Great recommendations!

  • Jeremy

    Thanks Aditya for collating these for us, mixergy fans. This has certainly help us filter some of the MUST READ books. 

    Just curious, would you be doing a list of Andrew’s favorite books on different subjects? (e.g. sales/marketing/entrepreneurship) Pretty sure he would recommend more than HTWFAIP

  • http://www.facebook.com/aditya.shukla Aditya Shukla

    very interesting thought.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Our goal is to go back and ask past interviewees to answer the same
    question.

    What question should we ask them next? http://mixergy.com/contact

  • Chris

    Great question!  We all want to know what’s influencing the people whom we are seeking to influence us – so the next logical follow ups are film, magazines and websites – would be good to know what these stars are watching and reading -

  • Jeremy

    Great goal Andrew. Recommend us more of your personal books from your ginormous book shelf that has kinda shaped you into such an intelligent being.

    As for questions, I’m pretty sure you’ve covered most of it in one way or another…

    – What are some DOs and DON’Ts for existing entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs who are starting out?
    – Most important skill to master in their opinion? (e.g. sales/value creation/marketing)
    – WHEN/WHERE do they kinda get their best ideas from? (everyone needs a little nudge)
    – Most important lesson learnt (both success and failure) and how to avoid/minimize/maximize.

    Keep it up Andrew and Aditya.

    And oh, happy birthday Andrew – you deserve it.

    Jeremy

  • Anonymous

    I bought two of the books from Amazon after seeing them on this and part 1 and I have to say they left me a little cold. Both books were business focused as opposed to life lessons or motivation but I am finding that every time I read one of these books they all have the same message, “get off your ass and do it now”. Nothing wrong in that and I have done that with my business but it does seem that there are no new ideas anymore, just different ways of approaching the same old ideas.

  • http://www.iconfinder.net Martin LeBlanc, Iconfinder.com

    Filling my Amazon wish list :-)

    A book that changed my life: Information Rules by Hal Varian and Carl Shapiro

  • http://www.talkingoffice365.com Marlon Marescia

    Andrew,

    “How to win friends and influence people” is my #1 book too. I have recommended it to countless people over the years and still remember the difference it may to me as a 20 year old. Learning these principles in the book were a turning point in my life. I recommended it to my wife just last week. She said she would read it. :-)