Business Books

By Marten Mickos | September 24, 2012

Business books! What should you read if you work for a fast growing tech company? Here is my recommendation. Properly read and with its insights thoroughly implemented, each one of these books saves you a year or more of trial and error.

Top List

  • Any and all books by Peter Drucker, especially the article Managing Oneself
  • Good to Great, and any other book by Jim Collins
  • Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore
  • Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton Christensen
  • The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team , Patrick Lencioni
  • The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni
  • The No Asshole Rule, Robert Sutton
  • Blue Ocean Strategy, Kim & Mauborgne
  • Influence, Robert Cialdini
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey
  • The Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki
  • The Lean Startup, Eric Ries
  • Four Steps to Epiphany, Steve Blank

Longer List

(in no particular order)

  • Blueprint to a Billion, Dave Thomson
  • The Referral Engine, John Jantsch
  • Delivering Happiness, Tony Hseih
  • Behind the Cloud, Marc Benioff
  • Beating the Commodity Trap, Richard D'Aveni
  • Open Leadership, Charlene Li
  • Strategic Speed, Jocelyn Davis
  • Screw It Let's Do It, Richard Branson
  • Like a Virgin, Richard Branson
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
  • The Speed of Trust, Covey & Merrill
  • The Startup Owner's Manual, Steve Blank
  • The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
  • High Output Management, Andy Grove
  • Only the Paranoid Survive, Andy Grove
  • The Origin of Wealth, Eric Beinhocker
  • The Delta Project, Hax & Wilde & Thurow
  • Managing with Power, Pfeffer
  • Leadership and Self-Deception, Arbinger
  • The Goal, Goldratt
  • On Bullshit, Frankfurt
  • Drive, Daniel Pink
  • Execution, Larry Bossidy
  • The Go-Giver, Burg & Mann
  • Made to Stick, Chip & Dan Heath
  • Tribal Leadership, Logan & King & Fischer-Wright
  • Smart BIG Moves, Paul Strebel
  • Maverick, Ricardo Semler
  • Nuts!, Kevin Freiberg
  • Peopleware, DeMarco & Lister
  • The Mythical Man-Month, Frederick Brooks
  • The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Joseph Murphy
  • Rework, Heinemeier Hansson & Fried
  • Mojo, Marshall Goldsmith
  • Polarity Management, Barry Johnsson
  • The One Minute Manager, Blanchard & Johnson
  • The Dip, Seth Godin
  • Getting to Yes, Fisher & Ury & Patton
  • Confessions of an Advertising Man, David Ogilvy
  • Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, Paul Graham
  • Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days, Jessica Livingston
  • The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less, Richard Koch
  • anything by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt

Great Books

(that are not necessarily business books)

  • Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me), Tavris and Aronson
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn
  • Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
  • Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely
  • Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
  • Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman
  • The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (also, Fooled by Randomness by the same author)
  • The Art of War, Sun Tzu
  • Peter the Great, Robert Massie
  • Catherine the Great, Robert Massie
  • The Undefeated, Ernest Hemingway
  • The Trial, Franz Kafka

Thanks to friends and colleagues who helped me compile this list. If an absolutely outstanding book is missing, please let me know. My email address is marten at



Get Started with Eucalyptus

Use FastStart to easily deploy a private cloud on your own machine from a single command!