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List of books recommended by Jeff Bezos – founder of Amazon

Jeff Bezos is a technology and retail entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist who is best known as the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of, the world’s largest online shopping retailer as well as the world’s largest provider of cloud infrastructure services, through its Amazon Web Services arm.

These are some of the books recommended by Jeff Bezos.

1. Good to Great

Subtitle: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t

Author: Jim Collins

Summary: ‘Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap… And Others Don’t’ is a book that focuses on the concepts which when followed can make a mere good company, a great one!  The author and his expert team set out to find solutions for the handicaps that the small and mediocre companies have to face. The problems can range from the initial teething problems to the mid-life-business feeling of just being good and not great! Their main focus is to help out those businesses which do not have any Godfather in the corporate industry.

Quote: “The only way to make any company visionary is through a long-term commitment to an eternal process of building the organization to preserve the core and stimulate progress.”

Find the book here: Amazon, Kindle

2. Data-Driven Marketing

Subtitle: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know

Author: Mark Jeffery

Summary: In the new era of tight marketing budgets, no organization can continue to spend on marketing without knowing what′s working and what′s wasted. Data–driven marketing improves efficiency and effectiveness of marketing expenditures across the spectrum of marketing activities from branding and awareness, trail and loyalty, to new product launch and Internet marketing.

Quote: “These statistics are symptomatic of why data-driven marketing and marketing measurement are so difficult for many organizations: the internal processes do not support a culture of measurement, and they also do not have an infrastructure to support data-driven marketing and marketing metrics. But beyond these high-level processes, my experience is that most marketers are overwhelmed with data and do not know where to start in terms of measuring the right things to drive real results.”

Find the book here: Amazon, Kindle

3. Lean Thinking

Subtitle: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation

Authors: James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones

Summary:  In the new fully revised edition of this bestselling book those pioneering lean thinkers are brought up to date. Authors James Womack and Daniel Jones offer new guidelines for lean thinking firms and bring their groundbreaking practices to a brand new generation of companies that are looking to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Quote: “Lean thinking therefore must start with a conscious attempt to precisely define value in terms of specific products with specific capabilities offered at specific prices through a dialog with specific customers. The way to do this is to ignore existing assets and technologies and to rethink firms on a product-line basis with strong, dedicated product teams.”

Find the book here: Amazon, Kindle

4. Memos From the Chairman

Author: Alan Greenberg

Summary: Alan C. Greenberg, the former chairman of Bear, Stearns, and a celebrated philanthropist, was known throughout the financial world for his biting, quirky but invaluable and wise memos.  Memos from the chairman comprise a unique–and uniquely simple–management philosophy. Make decisions based on common sense. Avoid the herd mentality. Control expenses with unrelenting vigil. Run your business at the highest level of morality. Free your motivated, intelligent people from the chain of command. Always return phone calls promptly and courteously. Never believe your own body odor is perfume. And stay humble, humble, humble

Quote: “Bear Stearns is moving forward at an accelerated rate and everybody is contributing. It is absolutely essential for us to be able to talk to our partners at all times. All of us are entitled to eat lunch, play golf, and go on vacation. But, you must leave word with your secretary or associates where you can be reached at all times. Decision have to be made and your input can be important. I conducted a study of the 200 firms that have disappeared from Wall Street over the last few years, and I discovered that 62.349 percent went out of business because the important people did not leave word where they went when they left their desk if even for 10 minutes. That idiocy will not occur here.”

Find the book here: Amazon, Kindle

5. Sam Walton

Subtitle: Made in America

Authors: Sam Walton with John Huey

Summary: Meet a genuine American folk hero cut from the homespun cloth of America’s heartland: Sam Walton, who parlayed a single dime store in a hardscrabble cotton town into Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world. In a story rich with anecdotes and the “rules of the road” of both Main Street and Wall Street, Sam Walton chronicles the inspiration, heart, and optimism that propelled him to lasso the American Dream.

Quote: “Here’s the thing: money never has meant that much to me, not even in the sense of keeping score. If we had enough groceries, and a nice place to live, plenty of room to keep and feed my bird dogs, a place to hunt, a place to play tennis, and the means to get the kids good educations — that’s rich. No question about it. And we have it. We’re not crazy. We don’t live like paupers, the way some people depict us. We all love to fly, and we have nice airplanes, but I’ve owned about eighteen airplanes over the years and I never bought one of them new.”

Find the book here: Amazon, Kindle

6. The Black Swan

Subtitle: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Authors: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Summary: Through a number of examples, the author aims to show his readers how rare and unpredictable events have a deep and lasting impact on a person’s life. Human beings tend to try and rationalise such happenings almost immediately after they happen. The book shows you what the Wall Street crash, the invention of the wheel and Pompeii have in common. It also shows you what Catherine the Great’s lovers can show you about the concept of probability. This book is all about black swans, which are the random incidents in our lives, irrespective of how big or small they might be.

Quote: “Our world is dominated by the extreme, the unknown, and the very improbable (improbable according to our current knowledge) — and all the while we spend out timer engaged in small talk, focusing on the known, and the repeated.”

Find the book here: Amazon, Kindle

7. The Innovator’s Dilemma

Subtitle: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business

Author: Clayton M. Christensen

Summary: In this classic bestseller, one of the most influential business books of all time, innovation expert Clayton Christensen shows how even the most outstanding companies can do everything right, yet still lose market leadership. Christensen explains why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation. No matter the industry, he says, a successful company with established products will get pushed aside unless managers know how and when to abandon traditional business practices. Offering both successes and failures from leading companies as a guide, The Innovator’s Dilemma gives you a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation. Sharp, cogent and provocative and consistently noted as one of the most valuable business ideas of all time, The Innovator’s Dilemma is the book no manager, leader, or entrepreneur should be without.

Quote: “Because these firms listened to their customers, invested aggressively in new technologies that would provide their customers more and better products of the sort they wanted, and because they carefully studied market trends and systematically allocated investment capital to innovations that promised the best returns, they lost their positions of leadership.”

Find the book here: Amazon, Kindle

8. The Mythical Man-Month

Author: Fredrick P. Brooks Jr.

Summary: Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless as The Mythical Man Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice, both for readers already familiar with his work and for readers discovering it for the first time.

Quote: “Systems program building is an entropy-decreasing process, hence inherently metastable. Program maintenance is an entropy-increasing process, and even its most skillful execution only delays the subsidence of the system into unfixable obsolescence.”

Find the book here: Amazon, Kindle

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