Books · Discussion

What has been the most influential books or talks to get you where you are now?

Jamie Kee Aspiring CTO

August 21st, 2018

Personally, there are 3 books that have really influenced me and my work.

  1. The Lean Startup - Eric Ries
  2. Close to the Machine: Technophilia and Its Discontents - Ellen Ullman
  3. Elon Musk - Ashlee Vance

As a tech person who was obsessed about making the perfect piece of software with no bugs, The Lean Startup was really influential. On a non technical perspective, it taught me that there was much more to a business than just the software it provides. From a technical perspective, it taught me that getting out a minimal version of your product is by far more beneficial than releasing a fully fledged product.


Close to the Machine is personally a strange book to have on this list. Upon first reading it, I wasn't overly overwhelmed with how good this book was. But after time, I found myself going back and reading little bits from it again and again. It's a great book on how frustrating it can be to be an engineer, even near 20 years later.


Elon Musk's biography, is a tale of extreme success but with all the drama to get there. This book is a great reminder that no matter where you are now, it does not determine where you can go.


William M. Digital Retention Lead | CX Empathy Strategists | Copywriter

August 21st, 2018

So, before I transitioned into a full user retention role, I was overlooking some of the UX best practices (I know help oversee our designers and have made the same recommendation to them.)


That being: "Don't Make Me Think: Revisited" by Steve K.


The book is played out exactly as the title would say. There are fantastic visuals and the message is pretty consistent throughout the book. Aside from this, I mainly read eBooks or sit through talks/keynotes for my 'enlightenment'.


With that said, a fantastic talk I watched (twice) the other night was: 'Lessons Learned from 3000 Saas Companies' - Patrick Campbell (Saastock 2016)


(Only because I love Saas and that's the realm my startup lives in.)

Safwan Khan Founder of Startupily | App & Website Dev | Write for Influencive ,Besomebody, Thrive Global

August 21st, 2018

Greatest book ever is Thin and grow rich by Napoleon hill. You guys got to read it. Also, watch garyvee for inspiration

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

August 22nd, 2018

The Hard Thing about Hard Things - Ben Horowitz

Measure What Matters - John Doerr

Start With Why - Simon Sinek