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Famous american entrepreneur Mark Cuban tells about great books that changed him most. Explore his book list!
“The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand
Also recommended by Evan Williams. Ayn Rand is also recommended by Steve Jobs
Ayn Rand is better known for her impressive tome, Atlas Shrugged, but readers may find this shorter novel to be an easier introduction into the author’s controversial blend of individualism and capitalism. This story of Howard Roark the architect, and his battle against the conformist powers of society, could be seen as autobiographical. In the same way that Roark struggles against rejection to maintain his individual outlook on architecture, Rand struggled to publish the book after no less than 12 publisher rejections. In 2010, Business Insider added it to their top 15 great books for entrepreneurs.
“The Gospel of Wealth” by Andrew Carnegie
– from usnews.com
Though Carnegie hasn’t made quite as many book lists as Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, some of the principles remain the same. While Smith focuses on the origins of wealth and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, Carnegie displays more concern with the continuance of the Industrial Revolution’s benefits, and its administration. Many biographies have been written about the avarice (or philanthropy) of Andrew Carnegie, and the industrial wars of which he was a part, but this book details Carnegie’s own concerns about the gaps between rich and poor, and the necessity of wealthy men living lives of virtue and self-denial on behalf of those less fortunate.
“Rework” by Jason Fried
– Cuban’s review
Also recommended by Chris Anderson
This book is enthusiastically endorsed as a reading list additive by Tribes author Seth Godin and Diane Danielson of Entrepreneur.com. From the guesswork of business plans, to the need for speed in making priorities, Fried and Hansson have written a book that will appeal to startups and managers alike. Many of the research and development issues are the same, though some business leaders may be surprised by topics on which the authors urge their readers to say no – including third-party investors and business escape plans. If boiled down to a phrase, this book would heavily promote the rejection of multi-tasking and the necessity of focus.
“The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need” by Andrew Tobias
– from usnews.com
Tobias’ guide to making money work for his readers has had numerous additions since its initial publication in the late 1970’s, from updated tax advice to tips on 401(k) retirement funds. However, the core elements of saving on inessentials, (such as impressive luxuries) to invest in retirement essentials, remains true to the original writing. Householders wanting to prove that they can build wealth via Costco discounts will find validation in this addition to their reading lists. Stock analysts will be intrigued by Tobias’ enthusiasm for index funds. It has a little bit of something for everyone.
“Cold Calling Techniques” by Stephan Schiffman
– from usnews.com
Cold calling may be out of vogue in this social media era. However, Schiffman’s book still provides valuable advice on the necessity of creating a conversation with prospects, and planning for the inevitability of rejection before buy-in. Web designers may want to peruse this business classic just for tips on overcoming the prospect’s disinclination to change, affirming the competition, and selling the concept of doing better. Perhaps this is why US News included Schiffman’s work on its business book list of top 50 enduring works, and Mark Cuban considers it an essential entrepreneurial tool.
“The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton M. Christensen
– from usnews.com
Also recommended by Steve Jobs, Evan Williams, Malcolm Gladwell, Andrew Grove, Guy Kawasaki
Out of Harvard Business School Press has come a ‘must’ on the business book list – Christensen’s explanation of why technology changes can derail established companies. He points out the strengths of the companies who use best management practices (listening, aggressive investment in customer demands) but get side-swiped by the paradigm shifts that inevitably happen when disruptive technologies emerge. The cheaper and simpler technology of disk drives, for example, became increasingly more convenient to customers, who then demanded enough to establish that technology in the marketplace – above its competitors.
“Call Me Ted” by Ted Turner
– Mark Cuban
No one can say that Turner has led a boring life, with a marriage to Jane Fonda and the creation of CNN in his wake. That was besides winning the American Cup for sailing, buying up land to rival Donald Trump, and owning a baseball team. He attributes these accomplishments to the classic virtues of hard work and early hours – and advertising. This is one of those good books to read if you own your own business (or want to), and like stories about the self-made man. The informal title matches the informal and open style of the book, as Turner discussed everything from three marriages to getting fired from AOL/Time Warner – but the focus is on action.
Check out Books That Inspire CNN Founder Ted Turner