I was fortunate that my parents taught me to love books as a child. I enjoy reading fiction, especially science fiction. However, navigating the past 6 years of my own business would have been much harder without these 5 books.
I’d like to share them with you. I hope you find them useful too. And here’s a small life hack: I listen to business books in audio format while walking my dog. Movement often sparks the best ideas, and many times, these ideas are inspired by a thought from the book playing in my headphones.
- Thinking, Fast and Slow“ by Daniel Kahneman is at the top of my list and is one of the most valuable books I’ve ever read.
As a marketer, it’s crucial for me to understand what motivates people and how they think. How they make decisions and how they perceive information.
This scientifically-informed and somewhat intricately written book provides answers to these questions.
I remember being surprised to learn that most people vote for politicians not after a thorough analysis of their electoral program (though, how often have I studied electoral programs in my own life? Rhetorical question). They vote based on which face seems more trustworthy.
There was even an experiment where participants were shown photographs of politicians without being told who they were and were asked to make a choice. Without any additional information, the participants often chose those who actually won in real elections.
Another key insight from the book is that people operate on autopilot most of the time. Any significant decision requires the brain to exert considerable effort in contemplation, and people generally don’t like straining themselves. Thus, it’s essential to design product advertisements to be easily digestible.
- “Nassim Taleb: Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.” This book is crucial to me, just like all of Taleb’s works.
Nassim experienced the war in Lebanon as a child, rarely attended school, and spent a lot of time in the basement of his home, hiding from shelling. There were many books in the basement, which is how he educated himself.
The book discusses principles on how to succeed in the complex reality that surrounds us.
A profound thought from it, for instance, is that one should insure oneself not against all risks, but against the largest and most destructive ones. If I had been a good student of Taleb, I would have prepared much better for the possibility of war in my time.
- “Who: Solve Your #1 Problem” by Geoff Smart and Randy Street
Thanks to the hiring framework described in this book, for me, the process of hiring transformed from a tiring and very unpleasant task into just another workflow that needs to be properly organized for everything to run smoothly.
Without the right team, you can’t build anything worthwhile, so I recommend this book to everyone who has to conduct interviews and think about finding outstanding employees.
- “Principles: Life and Work” by Ray Dalio
Another must-read for those who aspire to achieve more in life.
For instance, a vital insight is that without emotional pain, growth is impossible. When things go wrong, the first reaction is to flee, to shield oneself from the pain. However, Dalio advises treating pain as a catalyst for growth. To analyze its causes and ponder on how to cope with it.
Ray Dalio: “The fundamental law of nature is that for growth to occur, one must push one’s limits. This is always painful. Regardless of what you’re doing, whether lifting weights or facing challenges. The ability to detach from pain and respond to discomfort as a trigger for growth and learning is the key to success!”
An excellent read for those with the desire and ambition to build something global and world-changing.
How to avoid stagnation, move forward, and achieve results — the principles are described in this book, drawing on the experiences of projects like Airbnb.
I hope you found this list useful 🙂
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