Book Reviews, Value Investing

Nine New Business Books to Read in October

Here is a list of books from 250words.com on nine new business books to read in October followed by a little summary of each book.

Nine New Business Books to Read in October

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

How to Kill a Unicorn: How the World’s Hottest Innovation Factory Builds Bold Ideas That Make It to Market by Mark Payne

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness by Russ Roberts

Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work by Liz Wiseman

Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office by Bill McDermott

You Only Have to Be Right Once: The Unprecedented Rise of the Instant Tech Billionaires by Randall Lane

Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values by Lawrence Cunningham

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

Business Books: Being Mortal

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending

Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.

Business Books: The Innovators

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens.

What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page.

Business Books: How to Kill a Unicorn

How to Kill a Unicorn: How the World’s Hottest Innovation Factory Builds Bold Ideas That Make It to Market by Mark Payne

Today, innovation is seen by business leaders and the media alike as the key to growth, a burning issue in every company, from startups to the Fortune 500. And in that space, Fahrenheit 212 is viewed as a high-performance innovation SWAT team, able to solve the most complex, mission-critical challenges. Under Mark Payne, the firm’s president and head of Idea Development, Fahrenheit 212, since its inception a decade ago, has worked with such giants of industry as Coca-Cola, Samsung, Hershey’s, Campbell’s Soup, LG, Starbucks, Mattel, Office Depot, Citibank, P&G, American Express, Nutrisystem, GE, and Goldman Sachs, to name but a few. It has been praised as a hotspot for innovation in publications like Fortune, Esquire, Businessweek, and FastCompany.

Business Books: How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness by Russ Roberts

Most economists have never read it, and for most of his life, Russ Roberts was no exception. But when he finally picked up the book by the founder of his field, he realized he’d stumbled upon what might be the greatest self-help book that almost no one has read.

In How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, Roberts examines Smith’s forgotten masterpiece, and finds a treasure trove of timeless, practical wisdom. Smith’s insights into human nature are just as relevant today as they were three hundred years ago. What does it take to be truly happy? Should we pursue fame and fortune or the respect of our friends and family? How can we make the world a better place? Smith’s unexpected answers, framed within the rich context of current events, literature, history, and pop culture, are at once profound, counterintuitive, and highly entertaining.

Business Books: Rookie Smarts

Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work by Liz Wiseman

Is it possible to be at your best even when you are underqualified or doing something for the first time? Is it still possible, even after decades of experience, to recapture the enthusiasm, curiosity, and fearlessness of youth to take on new challenges? With the right mindset—with Rookie Smarts—you can.

In a rapidly changing world, experience can be a curse. Careers stall, innovation stops, and strategies grow stale. Being new, naïve, and even clueless can be an asset. For today’s knowledge workers, constant learning is more valuable than mastery.

In this essential guide, leadership expert Liz Wiseman explains how to reclaim and cultivate this curious, flexible, youthful mindset called Rookie Smarts. She argues that the most successful rookies are hunter-gatherers—alert and seeking, cautious but quick like firewalkers, and hungry and relentless like pioneers. Most importantly, she identifies a breed of leaders she refers to as “perpetual rookies.” Despite years of experience, they retain their rookie smarts, thinking and operating with the mindsets and practices of these high-performing rookies.

Business Books: Winners Dream

Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office by Bill McDermott

In Winners Dream, Bill McDermott—the CEO of the world’s largest business software company, SAP—chronicles how relentless optimism, hard work, and disciplined execution embolden people and equip organizations to achieve audacious goals.

Growing up in working-class Long Island, a sixteen-year-old Bill traded three hourly wage jobs to buy a small deli, which he ran by instinctively applying ideas that would be the seeds for his future success. After paying for and graduating college, Bill talked his way into a job selling copiers door-to-door for Xerox, where he went on to rank number one in every sales position he held and eventually became the company’s youngest-ever corporate officer. Eventually, Bill left Xerox and in 2002 became the unlikely president of SAP’s flailing American business unit. There, he injected enthusiasm and accountability into the demoralized culture by scaling his deli, sales, and management strategies. In 2010, Bill was named co-CEO, and in May 2014 became SAP’s sole, and first non-European, CEO.

Business Books: You Only Have to Be Right Once

You Only Have to Be Right Once: The Unprecedented Rise of the Instant Tech Billionaires by Randall Lane

Silicon Valley’s new billionaires are an unconventional breed, turning ideas into money at a rate never before seen in human history. Their ascension proves a turning point in how great fortunes are made and how technology disseminates.

Among these golden boys are: Elon Musk, billionaire bachelor and founder of Paypal, electric carmaker Tesla, and private space company SpaceX; Evan Spiegel, 23-year old founder of Snapchat, who recently turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook; and Alex Karp, the eccentric philosopher with almost no tech background who turned Palantir into a data-mining champion.

Business Books: Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values

Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values by Lawrence Cunningham

Berkshire Hathaway, the $300 billion conglomerate that Warren Buffett built, is among the world’s largest and most famous corporations. Yet, for all its power and celebrity, few people understand Berkshire, and many assume it cannot survive without Buffett. Berkshire Beyond Buffett proves that assumption wrong.

In a comprehensive portrait of the distinct corporate culture that unites and sustains Berkshire’s fifty direct subsidiaries, Lawrence A. Cunningham unearths the traits that assure the conglomerate’s perpetual prosperity. Riveting stories recount each subsidiary’s origins, triumphs, and journey to Berkshire and reveal the strategies managers use to generate economic value from intangible values, such as thrift, integrity, entrepreneurship, autonomy, and a sense of permanence.

Rich with lessons for those wishing to profit from the Berkshire model, this engaging book is a valuable read for entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, and investors, and it makes an important resource for scholars of corporate stewardship. General readers will enjoy learning how an iconoclastic businessman transformed a struggling textile company into a corporate fortress destined to be his lasting legacy.

Business Books: How We Got to Now

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

In this illustrated volume, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes—from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life.

Nine New Business Books to Read in October