Friday, December 14, 2018

Books, Articles, Videos to go with "From Startup to Exit: Lessons Learned" presentation

Below are links to my favorite books, articles, and videos on Self-Improvement, Management, Leadership, Business.


Recurring themes: (1) Focus! (2) Delivery value frequently! (3) Continuously improve!


Here is a link to a video of my "From Startup to Exit: Lessons Learned" presentation, given at Glendale (CA) Tech-on-Tap Meetup meeting on 27-Sep-2017:


Below is a longer list of books I recommend. Here first is a “short(er) list” of “If you can read only one book…” books:


The long(er) list:


Books – Self-Improvement










  • “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story”, by Dan Harris
    Takeaway: Can you be 10% happier? 5%? Does that sound attainable? Of course! You can always improve, learn more, be happier (especially if you are mindful, have gratitude, and a growth mindset.)

  • "So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love", by Cal Newport
    Takeaway: “Follow your passion” is terrible advice and completely wrong, and harmful.

  • "Man's Search for Meaning", by Viktor E. Frankl
    Takeaway: No matter the circumstances, individuals have the power to find meaning in their lives, and this meaning can provide the strength to endure and overcome life's challenges. Most famous quote: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”




Books – Management, Leadership, Business


  • "The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It", by Michael Gerber
    Takeaway: Approach your job or your company as if you were developing a franchise model that you could sell 5,000 times; Create repeatable processes so that you can delegate to less experienced, less talented, or less motivated people and still get good results.





  • "Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs", by John Doerr
    Takeaway: The single most useful idea for creating a successful team is: set transparent, measurable, time-bound, strategic goals, and hold yourself and team members accountable. If done right, this is the most sure-fire way to promote teamwork, alignment, and trust.


  • "Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm", by Verne Harnish
    Takeaway: A very detailed recipe for success in business, based on sound principles: set priorities (i.e. set goals), collect data (i.e. measure progress on goals), rhythm (i.e. establish rhythm through frequent meetings. The book recommends specific tools and forms that you can use.


Takeaway: First published in 1966, every successful business book since then seems to have borrowed key ideas from Drucker's classic book!


  • “Sam Walton: Made In America", by Sam Walton with John Huey:
    Takeaway(s): Focus; Deliver Value; Continuous improvement! Every day, learn something new and make something better; be frugal and focused on continuous improvement; This is my favorite business book, and a true inspiration.