Book Lists

6 Tech CEOs List Their Favorite Books

Mayer

I’m always interested in what other people are reading. Yesterday, I searched the web for book recommendations from prominent business leaders. I unearthed a few gems. In a Reddit AMA, Bill Gates revealed that his favorite book of the last decade is Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature. It’s fitting. Gates, an optimist, regularly blogs about promising breakthroughs in healthcare, technology, and the worldwide reduction of poverty and violence. (Gates recommended Pinker’s book to the TED audience this year.)

Marissa Mayer’s favorite book is The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald Norman. This book is a classic in the design industry (Proctor & Gamble CEO A. G. Lafley featured it on his book recommendations) and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in design. Norman coined the term affordance, the notion that technology should conform to specific human interactions. Buttons and flat doors afford pushing, while handles afford pulling.

An article in Business Insider has recommendations from Tony Hsieh, Tim Cook, and Jeff Bezos. Hsieh cites a book I’ve never read, Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, and Cook lists a book I’ve never even heard of, Competing Against Time. Bezos is a fan of Built to Last. (See a few more recommendations from Bezos.)

My favorite selection comes from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In a New Yorker article, Zuckerberg admitted that although he listed Ender’s Game on his Facebook profile, his favorite book is Virgil’s The Aeneid. 

Image via Flickr/TechCrunch

[Gates] The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

1[Gates] The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

[Mayer] The Design of Everyday Things

2[Mayer] The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman

[Hsieh] Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization

3[Hsieh] Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization by Dave Logan, John King, & Halee Fischer-Wright

[Cook] Competing Against Time: How Time-Based Competition is Reshaping Global Markets

4[Cook] Competing Against Time: How Time-Based Competition is Reshaping Global Markets by George Stalk

[Bezos] Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

5[Bezos] Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins & Jerry I. Porras

[Zuckerberg] The Aeneid

6[Zuckerberg] The Aeneid by Virgil

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