Books written by tech founders

They don't just write code. These books are written by founders of technology companies.
Zero to One: Note on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future
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Zero to One: Note on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future

by Peter Thiel,Blake Masters

About the book:  What valuable company is nobody building? The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won't make a search engine. If you are copying these guys, you aren't learning from them. It's easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we alre...

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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

by Ed Catmull,Amy Wallace

About the book:  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Huffington Post • Financial Times • Success • Inc. • Library JournalFrom Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, the Academy Award–winning studio behind Inside Out and Toy Story, comes an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath. Fast Company raves that Creativity, Inc. “just might be the most thoughtful management book ever.”Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.” For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and Inside Out, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable. As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on leadership and management philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as: • Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better. • If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead. • It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them. • The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them. • A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody. Praise for Creativity, Inc.“Over more than thirty years, Ed Catmull has developed methods to root out and destroy the barriers to creativity, to marry creativity to the pursuit of excellence, and, most impressive, to sustain a culture of disciplined creativity during setbacks and success.”—Jim Collins, co-author of Built to Last and author of Good to Great “Too often, we seek to keep the status quo working. This is a book about breaking it.”—Seth Godin

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How Google Works
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How Google Works

by Eric Schmidt,Jonathan Rosenberg

About the book:  Both Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google as seasoned Silicon Valley business executives, but over the course of a decade they came to see the wisdom in Coach John Wooden's observation that 'it's what you learn after you know it all that counts'. As they helped grow Google from a young start-up to a global icon, they relearned everything they knew about management. How Google Works is the sum of those experiences distilled into a fun, easy-to-read primer on corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption. The authors explain how the confluence of three seismic changes - the internet, mobile, and cloud computing - has shifted the balance of power from companies to consumers. The companies that will thrive in this ever-changing landscape will be the ones that create superior products and attract a new breed of multifaceted employees whom the authors dub 'smart creatives'. The management maxims ('Consensus requires dissension', 'Exile knaves but fight for divas', 'Think 10X, not 10%') are illustrated with previously unreported anecdotes from Google's corporate history. 'Back in 2010, Eric and I created an internal class for Google managers,' says Rosenberg. 'The class slides all read 'Google confidential' until an employee suggested we uphold the spirit of openness and share them with the world. This book codifies the recipe for our secret sauce: how Google innovates and how it empowers employees to succeed.'

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Behind the Cloud
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Behind the Cloud

by Marc Benioff,Carlye Adler

About the book:  How did salesforce.com grow from a start up in a rented apartment into the world's fastest growing software company in less than a decade? For the first time, Marc Benioff, the visionary founder, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com, tells how he and his team created and used new business, technology, and philanthropic models tailored to this time of extraordinary change. Showing how salesforce.com not only survived the dotcom implosion of 2001, but went on to define itself as the leader of the cloud computing revolution and spark a $46-billion dollar industry, Benioff's story will help business leaders and entrepreneurs stand out, innovate better, and grow faster in any economic climate. In Behind the Cloud, Benioff shares the strategies that have inspired employees, turned customers into evangelists, leveraged an ecosystem of partners, and allowed innovation to flourish.

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things
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The Hard Thing About Hard Things

by Ben Horowitz

About the book:  Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in. Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences.

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Netscape Time
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Netscape Time

by Jim Clark

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Only the Paranoid Survive
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Only the Paranoid Survive

by Andrew S. Grove

About the book:  Under Andy Grove's leadership, Intel has become the world's largest chip maker and one of the most admired companies in the world. In Only the Paranoid Survive, Grove reveals his strategy of focusing on a new way of measuring the nightmare moment every leader dreads--when massive change occurs and a company must, virtually overnight, adapt or fall by the wayside. Grove calls such a moment a Strategic Inflection Point, which can be set off by almost anything: mega-competition, a change in regulations, or a seemingly modest change in technology. When a Strategic Inflection Point hits, the ordinary rules of business go out the window. Yet, managed right, a Strategic Inflection Point can be an opportunity to win in the marketplace and emerge stronger than ever. Grove underscores his message by examining his own record of success and failure, including how he navigated the events of the Pentium flaw, which threatened Intel's reputation in 1994, and how he has dealt with the explosions in growth of the Internet. The work of a lifetime, Only the Paranoid Survive is a classic of managerial and leadership skills. The Currency Paperback edition of Only the Paranoid Survive includes a new chapter about the impact of strategic inflection points on individual careers--how to predict them and how to benefit from them. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?
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Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?

by Louis Gerstner

About the book:  This is CEO Louis V. Gerstner Jr's memoir about the turnaround of IBM and his transformation of the company into the industry leader of the computer age. He recalls the obstacles he faced, such as white-shirt hierarchy and rapidly declining sales, and reveals his tactics step by step.

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The Long Tail
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The Long Tail

by Chris Anderson

About the book:  What happens when there is almost unlimited choice? When everything becomes available to everyone? And when the combined value of the millions of items that only sell in small quantities equals or even exceeds the value of a handful of best-sellers? In this ground-breaking book, Chris Anderson shows that the future of business does not lie in hits - the high-volume end of a traditional demand curve - but in what used to be regarded as misses - the endlessly long tail of that same curve. As our world is transformed by the Internet and the near infinite choice it offers consumers, so traditional business models are being overturned and new truths revealed about what consumers want and how they want to get it. Chris Anderson first explored the Long Tail in an article in Wired magazine that has become one of the most influential business essays of our time. Now, in this eagerly anticipated book, he takes a closer look at the new economics of the Internet age, showing where business is going and exploring the huge opportunities that exist: for new producers, new e-tailers, and new tastemakers. He demonstrates how long tail economics apply to industries ranging from the toy business to advertising to kitchen appliances. He sets down the rules for operating in a long tail economy. And he provides a glimpse of a future that's already here.

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The Longer Long Tail
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The Longer Long Tail

by Chris Anderson

About the book:  What happens when there is almost unlimited choice? When everything becomes available to everyone? And when the combined value of the millions of items that only sell in small quantities equals or even exceeds the value of a handful of best-sellers? In this ground-breaking book, Chris Anderson shows that the future of business does not lie in hits - the high-volume end of a traditional demand curve - but in what used to be regarded as misses - the endlessly long tail of that same curve. As our world is transformed by the Internet and the near infinite choice it offers consumers, so traditional business models are being overturned and new truths revealed about what consumers want and how they want to get it. Chris Anderson first explored the Long Tail in an article in Wired magazine that has become one of the most influential business essays of our time. Now, in this eagerly anticipated book, he takes a closer look at the new economics of the Internet age, showing where business is going and exploring the huge opportunities that exist: for new producers, new e-tailers, and new tastemakers. He demonstrates how long tail economics apply to industries ranging from the toy business to advertising to kitchen appliances. He sets down the rules for operating in a long tail economy. And he provides a glimpse of a future that's already here.

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