Top 10 Best Business Books of All Time
Business development is no mean task and without getting acquainted with the fundamentals of starting and managing a business, it could well be a disaster. It is true that the approach and strategy would vary based on industry, business environment, and a thousand other factors, however, there still are some underlying concepts which can and do shape almost every kind of business activity and determine their growth pattern. In an effort to better understand the whole thing, we have compiled a list of books dealing with business development, strategy, planning, and innovative business ideas along with other critical aspects.
“Business Adventures” by John Brooks
What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety; these notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened.
Note: Bill Gates wrote in his blog, gatesnotes, that Warren Buffett not only recommended this as his favourite book about business but actually sent Gates his own personal copy to read. Gates writes that more than four decades after it was first published, “Business Adventures” remains the best business book he’s ever read.
“The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business” by Clayton M. Christensen
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.
Note: Steve Jobs used this book as an explanation for one reason Apple needed to embrace cloud computing and is frequently associated with both Jobs and Jeff Bezos.
“The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success” by William N. Thorndike
What makes a successful CEO? Most people call to mind a familiar definition: “a seasoned manager with deep industry expertise.” Others might point to the qualities of today’s so-called celebrity CEOs — charisma, virtuoso communication skills, and a confident management style. But what really matters when you run an organization? What is the hallmark of exceptional CEO performance? Quite simply, it is the returns for the shareholders of that company over the long term.
Note: “The Outsiders” was #1 on Warren Buffett’s recommended reading list in the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Letter (2012).
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This book is guaranteed to change your life forever. Not only will it teach you all the do’s and don’ts of the social life, but it will also teach you how to be a better entrepreneur.
We all know that the digital age has made it harder to be influential outside of the Internet, which is just as important as web influence, but Dale Carnegie breaks down all the steps you need to take in order to make friends with everyone you meet. It teaches you the etiquette of how to overcome competition or how to win over people who are close-minded or simply not interested in your pitch.
Every entrepreneur needs to read this book at least once a year, it’s a business classic!
“Think and Grow Rich!” by Napoleon Hill
Through researching billionaires, Napoleon Hill crafted the philosophy and lifestyle behind those who experienced financial success. Although Hill’s aim was to coach others to become like said billionaires, “Think and Grow Rich” is more about encouraging people towards their own perspective goals.
“Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg
“Lean In” continues [the conversation around women in the workplace], combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.
The Business of Options:
This top business book of all time looks upon trading in options from a management perspective and analyzes at length what is needed to run an options business. Usually, books are written to deal with options trading along with related strategies and techniques from the point of view of a trader, however, looking at it from a business point of view allows this author to bring in broader strategic aspects and how unpredictable human behaviour might affect the way things are supposed to work in the real world. He masterfully deals with things like the statistical basis for successful option trading and balancing profits against managing risks without necessitating a lot of mathematics and instead adopts more of an intuitive approach to the subject as a whole. These are some of the things which make this work a value addition in the collection of any professional options trader and especially those looking to manage options trading as a business.
The Hard Thing about Hard Thing:
A brutally honest business book on what it takes to not only start a venture but successfully navigate the obstacles one encounters on the path to success. Ben Horowitz draws from his personal experience of developing a company, managing, selling or buying one and investing in a good prospect whenever possible. He talks straight, talks witty, sometimes using some of his favorite lyrics to drive his point home about an array of topics ranging from the decision-making to psychology of managing a startup and hiring or firing friends or close acquaintances as well. This is sort of an unconventional work which works to fill in the gaps in usual business development thinking that could lead to the demise of the venture itself. A complete insider’s view of how businesses are built, bought and sold along with managing the psychological aspect in the right manner which plays a key role in the entire affair.
omancing the Balance Sheet:
An informal overview of what it takes to manage a business efficiently and how every decision and action can potentially impact the performance of a business. The author lays down in clear terms the fundamentals of intelligent financial management and how being in the know about the balance sheet can hold the key to managing things better. Though the work might seem focused on the balance sheet itself, in fact, it represents an unconventional approach to help develop an understanding of larger business dynamics as well. The author explains how to use the working capital properly along with a better understanding of marginal costing, leverage and funds flow among other things.
“Too Big to Fail” by Andrew Ross Sorkin
In one of the most gripping financial narratives in decades, Andrew Ross Sorkin-a New York Times columnist and one of the country’s most respected financial reporters-delivers the first definitive blow-by-blow account of the epochal economic crisis that brought the world to the brink.
Note: Winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for Best Business Book.