Founders reveal books that changed their lives

Andrew is still on vacation (till July 5), which gives me a chance to do a post that many Mixergy fans have requested.

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.

Read through the list and let me know what you think, in the comments.

Guy Kawasaki – If You Want to Write

If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland

It liberates people from the mental barriers that hold them back. Ostensibly for writers, it’s applicable to anyone who wants to excel in what they are passionate about.

Guy Kawasaki is the co-founder of Alltop.com.

Unity Stoakes – Getting Real & The Dip

Getting Real by 37Signals

Every entrepreneur should read this book because it gives hundreds of practical tips to help you simplify, focus, and get products to market.

The Dip by Seth Godin

This is a must read for every entrepreneur because it will remind you how important it is to carry on through the darkest days and your most challenging times when building your business.

Unity Stoakes is the co-founder and president of OrganizedWisdom.com.

David Heinemeier Hansson – Maverick

Maverick by Ricardo Semler

Gave me the confidence to pursue many organizational ideas outside of the mainstream. Semler runs a industrial giant with thousands of employees and they’re doing some very radical things and thriving.

David Heinemeier Hansson is the creator of Ruby on Rails.

Jeff Pulver – The Firm

The Firm by John Grisham

I read books by John Grisham because I like the way he thinks.

Jeff Pulver is Founder and Chairman of Pulver.com.

Dan Shapiro – How to Win FriendsBargaining for Advantage

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Have you ever watched an old Hitchcock movie and thought that it feels derivative, then realized that because modern movies actually derive from it?  “How to Win Friends” is like that.  Every modern business and self-help book has some lineage descended from Dale Carnegie, and his original is still the best. The name may sound sleazy, but there’s no better text on the basic art of being a decent and effective human being.

Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People by G. Richard Shell

When Google came to acquire my company, I literally sat down and re-read this book cover to cover.  It was the backbone for my entire negotiation strategy.  It’s easy to read, it’s based on solid academic research, it’s thoughtful, it’s ethical, and it works.

Dan Shapiro is the founder and CEO of Sparkbuy Inc.

Vid Luther – Influence & Theory of Moral Sentiments

Influence: The Psychology of persuasion by Robert Cialdini

This book taught me more about how to convince/persuade people, not just things I wanted, but things I thought were needed it’s a great understanding of how and why we do things as  a race. It can be used for good or evil.

Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith

This is Smith’s first book, and it talks about how everything we do is done for the greater good, people who only read Wealth of Nations usually don’t understand what Smith was trying to say, so if you’ve read WoN, please read this as well, otherwise I guarantee, that you’ve taken it out of context. This book basically re-inforces my faith in humanity, and Heinlein’s Razor (“don’t attribute to malice, what you can attribute to stupidity”). This is why I don’t focus so much time worrying about my “competition”, as much as I do for building a better product that people will want.

Vid Luther is CEO and Founder of ZippyKid.

David Hauser – The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Cohelo

The Alchemist is not a typical business book at all but one of my favorite books cause really a great story about life and how the world works with you to do great things.

David Hauser is the co-founder of The Grasshopper Group.

Michael Russo – Where Good Ideas Come From

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

Where Good Ideas Come From provides an incredible framework for exploring ideas, innovation, and creativity.

Michael Russo is the co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Polar Mobile.

Andrew Miller – The Art of the Start

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

I read this book back when I was contemplating putting significant time and effort into building up Rocket Theme. I greatly respect Guy and marvel at all he has achieved, and this book really gave me the confidence to do the thing I had long dreamed about. Although not everything pertained to how I started my business, there were some really great nuggets of information that definitely proved useful in the years to follow.

Andrew Miller is the CEO and Founder of RocketTheme.

Ty Morse – The Devil is Dead

The Devil is Dead by R.A. Lafferty’s

That book taught me everything I know about business, unreliable narratives, and furtive people.

Ty Morse is the co-founder of Songwhale.

Seth Lieberman Lonely Planet Series

Lonely Planet Series

The more you travel the more you understand about the world, its rich diversity and the opportunities it offers that are need of solutions. Get out of your comfort zone once in a while.

Seth Lieberman is the founder of Pangea Media.

Chris Jankulovski -Ready, Fire, Aim:Zero to $100 million in no time flat

Ready, Fire, Aim:Zero to $100 million in no time flat by Michael Masterson

This is the only book i bring with me everywhere in the world over the last year, a book i have re-read about 4 times now.

Chris Jankulovski is the founder of Remote Staff.

John Warrillow – Small Giants

Small Giants by Bo Burlingham’s

An inspiring book that gives entrepreneurs the permission to build a great company, not just a big one.

John Warrillow is an entrepreneur, author and speaker.

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.

  • http://www.aaronwulf.com/ Aaron Wulf

    Awesome list! I’m heading over to Amazon now to pick up some of these recommendations.

    I would ask past guests what’s the one thing that has had the biggest impact/improvement on their success since they did their Mixergy interview with Andrew. 

  • Anonymous

    I want to read all of these. I am now hungry for books! nom nom nom lol :)

  • http://twitter.com/howardvk Howard Kingston

    Great stuff – what about you Andrew?

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

    Andrew’s favorite will be revealed in part 2 …. :)

  • http://www.writerviews.com Michael Alexis

    Hi Aditya, thanks for this helpful post!

    One of my favorite questions that sometimes gets asked on Mixergy is “what was your first business?” i.e, something they did during high school…

    Would love to see a compilation on that.


    Michael

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

    @aaronwulf:disqus  very good idea :)

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

    Hello Michael , thanks for the idea :)

  • Jake Kupperman

    Great post Aditya! Would love to see many more from you.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely handy! Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Vitiell0 Daniel Vitiello

    Wow just got to add a bunch of books to my reading list :)

    The top 4 that I would say did it for me are

    Tim Ferris: 4 Hour Work Week
    Richard Brandson: Losing My Virginity
    Scott Gerber: Never Get a Real Job
    David Cohen: Do More Faster

    Once again great post!!

  • Randy

    I’ve read several of those books listed, all are very very good!

  • http://twitter.com/mekalav mekalav

    Hey aditya your post has influenced me buying “Maverick” thanks to you and @dhh:disqus :-) 

  • thylux

    Hi, just a little correction: The Alchemist is by Paulo Coelho (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alchemist_%28novel%29).

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  • Jimmy George

    I would say that this was by far, the most valuable post I’ve ever read from moxergy.com. Please do come up with more approaches like this.

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

    Thanks for the correction :)

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

    Thanks. How would you feel if I ask the founders how watching these interviews has helped their companies?

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

    Thank you for sharing.. very sustantial

  • http://www.writerviews.com Michael Alexis

    Sounds like a good way to create a link between investing time + achieving outcome.

    A more specific question might be, “Which is the one Mixergy interview you’d recommend to someone launching a business like yours…”

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

    Thanks Michael , that’s a very nice idea :)

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

    Your welcome :)

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