Jack Dorsey’s 5 favorite books (upd: +3)4 min read

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photo: The DEMO Conference

CEO of Twitter and Square, one of the brightest entrepreneurs today about his favorite books

The Checklist Manifesto: How ToGet Things Right by Atul Gawande

Jack Dorsey gives this book to new employees at Square

– from instagram.com/jack

Everyone needs a checklist, says Anderson, and no industry needs it more than the medical industry. A surgeon for the Harvard Medical School, and writer for The New Yorker, Anderson makes the stunningly simple point that checklists keep errors from spiraling into life-threatening situations. The second point, which is why this is one of those good books to read for the experts, is that no amount of personal experience can make up for teamwork and attention to protocol. One of the more arresting examples is that of the pilot and his team who landed a geese-hit plane on the Hudson River, saving the lives of over 150 people.

“The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz

– from twitter.com/jack

Also recommended by Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres

Four practices are all you need for a better life, insists Ruiz, and millions of readers have agreed with him. Seven years of being on the New York Times bestseller book list is quite an achievement, for a book describing just a few lifelong changes that need to be made: verbal integrity, questions without assumptions, a refusal to personalize, and making the best happen. As a surgeon with spiritual roots in the deep heart of Mexico, Ruiz weaves both practices in and out of this work. It has been promoted by Spiritually Fit Yoga and by Oprah, at the top of her favorites list.

 The Score Takes Care of Itself:My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh

Jack Dorsey recommends this book in Twitter

– from twitter.com/jack

The Paleo Solution: TheOriginal Human Diet by Robb Wolf

– from twitter.com/jack

“The Master andMargarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov

– from twitter.com/jack

Though it took over 20 years for this book to be published in Russia (due to Stalin’s control over literature), the originality of Bulgakov’s work is undimmed. There are similarities to C.S. Lewis’ work The Screwtape Letters, except that the devil’s influence, and justification for his evil, are explained in novel rather than letter form. The powerlessness of humans is emphasized by two types of external forces (political and spiritual), and the moral confusion surrounding characters such as married Margarita add to the novel’s complexity. Both Daniel Radcliffe and Simon McBurney (director of British theatre company Complicite) keep this book on their top reading lists.

“Tao Te Ching” by Laozi

– Jack Dorsey on producthunt.com

Also recommended by Pavel Durov

This Book of the Way offers wisdom balanced by the experience of perspective. The book’s appeal rests on the idea that eternal principles can govern all that is mysterious and wonderful about life. This classic text dates back to the fourth century, but the applications of the 81 sections range from cosmological to political, all accessible through «the gate of many secrets», although the focus rests on awareness rather than naming (or blaming).

“Between the World and Me” byTa-Nehisi Coates

– Jack Dorsey on producthunt.com

This open letter from Coates to his teenage son seeks to lift the lid off racial relations in America. Recommended by Toni Morrison as a redemptive and revelatory text of first importance, it links slavery and modern man’s labors in capitalism to global inequities linking back to a perceived solace of better days in heaven. Black power and the sway of music are offered without the prop of church, which makes this a controversial if moving piece.

“The Old Man and The Sea” byErnest Hemingway

– Jack Dorsey on producthunt.com

Hemingway’s reporter roots are evidence in this five-day journey of an old man whose greatest battle at sea leads to his greatest loss. Poignant and searing, this tale of the giant marlin and the man underlines the double blade of success stories: you might lose even as you win. For those who appreciate seafaring tales but don’t want to wade through all of the endless antics of Moby Dick, this simple story took Hemingway 16 years to write, and was dedicated both to friends and in honor of critics who thought his writing days were done.

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