5 inspiring reads for aspiring entrepreneurs: top tech CEOs tip top books

5 inspiring reads for aspiring entrepreneurs: top tech CEOs tip top books

The best books you’ll read are typically recommended by people you like or admire. Which is why we’re partnering up with bookshelf.tips to do a monthly roundup of short book recommendations from the apex of the tech world. Bookshelf.tips asked entrepreneurs, CEOs, and other visionaries share stories about books that changed their life or the way they do business – in less than 50 words, because we know you’re busy people (but hopefully not too busy to read these books).

To kick off this monthly roundup, we’ve collected the favorite books of the CEOs of Y Combinator and Basecamp, but also (co-)founders of companies like Duolingo, Airbnb, and Betalist.com. Enjoy!

Credit: Amazon

Turn the Ship Around! 

L. David Marquet

Jason Fried, co-founder and CEO of Basecamp:

“My favorite business book is Turn the Ship Around. It is a wonderful look at what leadership is really about. I recommend it highly.”

 Buy on Amazon

Credit: Amazon

Zero to One

Peter Thiel

Louis von Ahn, founder of reCAPTCHA and Duolingo:

“My favorite business book is Zero to One by Peter Thiel. It was good to get the perspective from somebody who had built a very successful business.”

Buy on Amazon

Credit: Amazon

Thinking Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman

Marc Köhlbrugge, founder Betalist.com:

“Quite a long, but interesting read about how we think, sometimes fool ourselves (and others), and what we can do to overcome these biases and logical fallacies.”

➤ Buy on Amazon

Credit: Amazon


James Clavell

Michael Seibel, CEO Y Combinator:

“Shogun is my favorite book because it hammers home the point that when making an important decision, delay is always a serious option to be considered. Options available to a person or company can change very quickly. What looks impossible today might look possible tomorrow.”

Buy on Amazon

Credit: Amazon

Start with Why

Simon Sinek

Joe Gebbia, co-founder and Chief Product Officer Airbnb:

“This book is the basis for any pursuit and explains people do buy into ‘what’ you do, they choose based on ‘why’ you do it.”

Buy on Amazon

To check out more goodreads or if you feel like sharing a book that inspired you, feel free to go to bookshelf.tips and add your own. 

We highlight products we like. And if you like them as well – so much so you buy something – we get a small share of the revenue. This isn’t a sponsored post, but for the sake of transparency, you deserve to know what’s up.

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