There are so many great business and leadership books out recently that appeal to even the most un-business-y readers! Take a look…
Business, Entrepreneurship and Industry
Valley of Genius: the Uncensored History of Silicon Valley, as Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made it Boom by Adam Fisher
Lively, fascinating, and educational, sometimes a book sneaks up on readers, prompting us to realize that its topic is a lot more interesting than we might have thought. This is an oral history of Silicon Valley and the rock-star legends in the industry, told by the people who were there from the beginning.
Experience is making a comeback. At age 52, newly retired hotelier CEO Chip Conley received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their start-up into a global hospitality giant. He had the industry experience, but Conley was lacking in the digital fluency of his 20-something colleagues. Roughly twice the age of the average Airbnb employee and reporting to a CEO young enough to be his son, Conley quickly discovered that while he’d been hired as a teacher and mentor, he was also in many ways a student and intern. What emerged is the secret to thriving as a mid-life worker: learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, a beginner’s mind, and a willingness to evolve, all hallmarks of the “Modern Elder.”
Fins: Harley Earl, the Rise of General Motors, and the Glory Days of Detroit by William Knoedelseder
Chronicles the birth and rise to greatness of the American auto industry through the remarkable life of Harley Earl, an eccentric six-foot-five, stuttering visionary who dropped out of college and went on to invent the profession of automobile styling, thereby revolutionized the way cars were made, marketed, and even imagined. His impact was profound. When he retired as GM’s VP of Styling in 1958, Detroit reigned as the manufacturing capitol of the world and General Motors ranked as the most successful company in the history of business.
Billion Dollar Whale: the Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Bradley Hope and Tom Wright
True-story thriller about a man who managed to swindle over $5 billion with the aid of Goldman Sachs and others that exposes the secret nexus of elite wealth, banking, Hollywood, and politics from two award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters. In 2009, with the dust yet to settle on the housing bubble financial crisis, a seemingly mild-mannered Wharton grad began setting in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude–one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. An epic true-tale of hubris and greed, Billion Dollar Whale reveals how this young social climber pulled off one of the biggest heists in history–right under the nose of the global financial industry.
Dear Founder: Letters of Advice for Anyone Who Leads, Manages, or Wants to Start a Business by Maynard Webb
Wise, practical, and profitable letters to entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, and business owners in every field—from a leading executive, investor, and business founder. More than 600,000 new businesses are launched each year. How does an entrepreneur build and manage a workplace—and create a lasting legacy? Maynard Webb has helped found, fund, and grow dozens of successful companies, and has driven strategic change at Salesforce, eBay, Everwise, and Visa, among other worldwide corporations. Known for offering savvy insight, encouragement, and a dose of reality in the form of engaging personal letters to a select group of business leaders, Webb now shares his lessons with the rest of America’s aspiring entrepreneurs—at any age and stage in their careers.
From a prizewinning economic historian, an eye-opening reinterpretation of the 2008 economic crisis (and its ten-year aftermath) as a global event that directly led to the shockwaves being felt around the world today. In September 2008, a dramatic economic cascade of global significance spiraled around the world, from the financial markets of the US and Europe to the factories and dockyards of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, forcing a rearrangement of global governance. It was the greatest crisis to have struck Western societies since the end of the Cold War, but was it inevitable? And is it over? Finally, Tooze asks, given this history, what now are the prospects for a stable, sustainable and coherent world order?
Cousins Maine Lobster: How One Food Truck Became a Multimillion-Dollar Business by Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac
In early 2012, Jim Tselikis visited L.A. and met up with his cousin Sabin Lomac. Over a few drinks they waxed nostalgic about their childhood in Maine, surrounded by family, often elbow deep in delicious lobster while gathered around the picnic table. From this strong memory was born the very first Cousins Maine Lobster food truck. Smart, authentic marketing, and sustainable, delicious ingredients helped turn that one food truck into an overnight sensation. Then, in just three years, they went from a single food truck to a nationally-franchised legion of trucks, an online delivery service, and a brick-and-mortar restaurant, grossing over $15 million dollars in sales a year.
Start-up fever has taken hold of America, and there are hundreds of books to teach readers how to become an entrepreneur; this is the first book to answer the question: What’s next? At each step, Jim and Sabin were faced with hard decisions—opening each new food truck carefully instead of rushing to meet the demand; turning down a six-figure franchise offer because it came from someone who didn’t support their vision; turning down “Shark Tank” (twice) until they could insist on participating only if Barbara Corcoran was one of the Sharks. Now Jim and Sabin teach readers how they, too, can reach the next level of success in their own businesses, without having to compromise themselves.
The Gambler: How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became the Greatest Deal Maker in Capitalist History by William C. Rempel
The rags-to-riches story of one of America’s wealthiest and least-known financial giants, self-made billionaire Kirk Kerkorian—the daring aviator, movie mogul, risk-taker, and business tycoon who transformed Las Vegas and Hollywood to become one of the leading financiers in American business. Kerkorian never put his name on a building, but when he died he owned almost every major hotel and casino in Las Vegas. He envisioned and fostered a new industry —the leisure business. Three times he built the biggest resort hotel in the world. Three times he bought and sold the fabled MGM Studios, forever changing the way Hollywood does business.
In this engrossing biography, investigative reporter William C. Rempel digs deep into Kerkorian’s long-guarded history to introduce a man of contradictions—a poorly educated genius for deal-making, an extraordinarily shy man who made the boldest of business ventures, a careful and calculating investor who was willing to bet everything on a single roll of the dice.
The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle Over the Greatest Riches in the American West by Gregory Crouch
Born in 1831, John W. Mackay was a penniless Irish immigrant who went to California during the Gold Rush and mined without much luck for eight years. When he heard of riches found on the other side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1859, Mackay abandoned his claim and walked a hundred miles to the Comstock Lode in Nevada.
Over the course of the next dozen years, Mackay worked his way up from nothing, seizing control of the most concentrated cache of precious metals ever found on earth, the legendary “Big Bonanza,” a stupendously rich body of gold and silver ore discovered 1,500 feet beneath the streets of Virginia City, the ultimate Old West boomtown. But for the ore to be worth anything it had to be found, claimed, and successfully extracted, each step requiring enormous risk and the creation of an entirely new industry.
When Mackay died in 1902, front-page obituaries in Europe and the United States hailed him as one of the most admired Americans of the age. Featuring great period photographs and maps, The Bonanza King is a dazzling tour de force, a riveting history of Virginia City, Nevada, the Comstock Lode, and America itself.
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