Shoe Dog
Phil Knight

In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. Young, searching, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year, 1963. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is more than a logo. A symbol of grace and greatness, it’s one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world. But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. Now, in a memoir that’s surprising, humble, unfiltered, funny, and beautifully crafted, he tells his story at last. It all begins with a classic crossroads moment. Twenty-four years old, backpacking through Asia and Europe and Africa, wrestling with life’s Great Questions, Knight decides the unconventional path is the only one for him. Rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, something new, dynamic, different. Knight details the many terrifying risks he encountered along the way, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors, the countless doubters and haters and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs and narrow escapes. Above all, he recalls the foundational relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers. Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the redemptive, transformative power of sports, they created a brand, and a culture, that changed everything.

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Business Model Generation
A. Osterwalder Yves Pigneur

Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow's enterprises. If your organization needs to adapt to harsh new realities, but you don't yet have a strategy that will get you out in front of your competitors, you need Business Model Generation. Co-created by 470 "Business Model Canvas" practitioners from 45 countries, the book features a beautiful, highly visual, 4-color design that takes powerful strategic ideas and tools, and makes them easy to implement in your organization. It explains the most common Business Model patterns, based on concepts from leading business thinkers, and helps you reinterpret them for your own context. You will learn how to systematically understand, design, and implement a game-changing business model--or analyze and renovate an old one. Along the way, you'll understand at a much deeper level your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and your core value proposition. Business Model Generation features practical innovation techniques used today by leading consultants and companies worldwide, including 3M, Ericsson, Capgemini, Deloitte, and others. Designed for doers, it is for those ready to abandon outmoded thinking and embrace new models of value creation: for executives, consultants, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all organizations. If you're ready to change the rules, you belong to "the business model generation!"

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The Deal that made the World
Jacques Peretti

An award-winning investigative journalist takes us inside the ten business deals that have transformed the modern world We tend to think of our world as controlled by forces we basically understand, primarily the politicians we elect. But in The Deals That Made the World, Jacques Peretti makes a provocative and quite different argument: much of the world around us—from the food we eat to teh products we buy to the medications we take—is shaped by private negotiations and business deals few of us know about. The Deals That Made the World takes us inside the sphere of these powerful players, examining ten groundbreaking business deals that have transformed our modern economy. Peretti reveals how corporate executives engineered an entire diet industry built on failure; how PayPal conquered online payments (and the specific behavioral science that underpins its success); and how pharmaceutical executives concocted a plan to successfully market medications to healthy people. For twenty years, Peretti has interviewed the people behind the decisions that have altered our world, from the CEOs of multinational corporations to politicians, economists, and scientists. Drawing on his vast knowledge, Peretti reveals a host of fascinating and startling connections, from how Wall Street's actions on food commodities helped spark the Arab Spring to the link between the AIDS epidemic in 1980s San Francisco and the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008. Touching upon tech, finance, artificial intelligence, and the other levers of power in a postglobalization environment, Peretti offers a compelling way to understand the last hundred years—and a suggestion of what the next hundred might hold. An essential book for anyone seeking to understand the hidden forces that shape our modern economy, The Deals That Made the World is illuminating and surprising—and an immensely fun read.

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Zero to One
Peter Thiel

If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets. The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things. Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself. Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique. Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.

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Disciplined Entrepreneur
Bill Aulet

Disciplined Entrepreneurship will change the way you think about starting a company. Many believe that entrepreneurship cannot be taught, but great entrepreneurs aren’t born with something special – they simply make great products. This book will show you how to create a successful startup through developing an innovative product. It breaks down the necessary processes into an integrated, comprehensive, and proven 24-step framework that any industrious person can learn and apply. You will learn: Why the “F” word – focus – is crucial to a startup’s success Common obstacles that entrepreneurs face – and how to overcome them How to use innovation to stand out in the crowd – it’s not just about technology Whether you’re a first-time or repeat entrepreneur, Disciplined Entrepreneurship gives you the tools you need to improve your odds of making a product people want. Author Bill Aulet is the managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship as well as a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Founders at Work
Jessica Livingston

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies about what happened in the very earliest days. These people are celebrities now. What was it like when they were just a couple friends with an idea? Founders like Steve Wozniak (Apple), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Mitch Kapor (Lotus), Max Levchin (PayPal), and Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail) tell you in their own words about their surprising and often very funny discoveries as they learned how to build a company. Where did they get the ideas that made them rich? How did they convince investors to back them? What went wrong, and how did they recover? Nearly all technical people have thought of one day starting or working for a startup. For them, this book is the closest you can come to being a fly on the wall at a successful startup, to learn how it's done. But ultimately these interviews are required reading for anyone who wants to understand business, because startups are business reduced to its essence. The reason their founders become rich is that startups do what businesses do―create value―more intensively than almost any other part of the economy. How? What are the secrets that make successful startups so insanely productive? Read this book, and let the founders themselves tell you.

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The strategy book
Max McKeown

Thinking strategically is what separates managers and leaders. Learn the fundamentals about how to create winning strategy and lead your team to deliver it. From understanding what strategy can do for you, through to creating a strategy and engaging others with strategy, this book offers practical guidance and expert tips. It is peppered with punchy, memorable examples from real leaders winning (and losing) with real world strategies. It can be read as a whole or you can dip into the easy-to-read, bite-size sections as and when you need to deal with a particular issue. The structure has been specially designed to make sections quick and easy to use – you’ll find yourself referring back to them again and again.

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in. Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences.

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Explosive Growth
Cliff Lerner

'BEST STARTUP BOOKS OF ALL TIME' by Benzinga 'TOP GROWTH-HACKING BUSINESS BOOK' by Entrepreneur Mag This compelling and inspiring narrative gives entrepreneurs a rare behind-the-scenes look inside this fast-growing startup that created the first online dating app and grew to 100 million users. Best-Seller Explosive Growth combines lively and often hilarious storytelling, revealing genius growth tactics, numerous case-studies, and its step-by-step playbook to help your startup grow massively. Due to its raw storytelling style, practical lessons, compelling content, and fast-paced read, Explosive Growth is a one-of-a-kind business book that transcends the narrow entrepreneurial audience to also appeal to readers and business students looking to learn about startup life and entrepreneurship. It holds nothing back while detailing the highest highs and lowest lows of what it's really like to run a startup. Cliff Lerner's online dating startup, Snap Interactive, was running out of money when he bet the company's fortunes on a then-unknown platform called Facebook. The app suddenly began to acquire 100,000 new users daily for free, and soon after the stock price skyrocketed 2,000 percent, setting off an extraordinary chain of events filled with sudden success and painful lessons. You will learn how to: * IGNITE EXPLOSIVE GROWTH by creating a remarkable product * Identify the ONLY 3 METRICS THAT MATTER * Explore valuable VIRAL GROWTH strategies to grow rapidly * Execute the GENIUS MEDIA HACKS that helped us acquire 100 million users * Create a thriving culture of PASSIONATE EMPLOYEES and CONSTANT INNOVATION

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Ruthless Consistency: How Committed Leaders Execute Strategy, Implement Change, and Build Organizations That Win
Michael Canic

When all is said and done, a lot more gets said than done. What is the antidote to this? Ruthless Consistency. According to Harvard Business Review, “most studies still show a 60-70% failure rate for organizational change projects―a statistic that has stayed constant from the 1970s to the present.” Drawing on his 20+ years of experience as a strategy and execution consultant specializing in midsize companies, Michael Canic helps committed leaders drive the odds in their favor. In Ruthless Consistency, he identifies the three surprising reasons most strategic change initiatives fail: Leaders unwittingly send mixed messages that demotivate their people and undermine those initiatives. Leaders focus on what they do instead of what their people experience. Leaders are not as committed as they think they are or need to be. The book then introduces an intuitive yet comprehensive model for success. Simply put, leaders who develop the right focus, create the right environment, and build the right team―consistently―are leaders whose organizations win. Finally, it details each element of the model and offers ready-to-apply processes, practices, techniques, and tools to make it happen. It’s a must-read for every leader who wants to implement change successfully.

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Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take
Paul Polman

The ex-Unilever CEO who increased his shareholders' returns by 300% while ensuring the company ranked #1 in the world for sustainability for eleven years running has, for the first time, revealed how to do it. Teaming up with Andrew Winston, one of the world's most authoritative voices on corporate sustainability, Paul Polman shows business leaders how to take on humanity's greatest and most urgent challenges—climate change and inequality—and build a thriving business as a result. In this candid and straight-talking handbook, Polman and Winston reveal the secrets of Unilever's success and pull back the curtain on some of the world's most powerful c-suites. Net Positive boldly argues that the companies of the future will profit by fixing the world's problems, not creating them. Together the authors explode our most prevalent corporate myths: from the idea that business' only function is to maximise profits, to the naïve hope that Corporate Social Responsibility will save our species from disaster. These approaches, they argue, are destined for the graveyard. Instead, they show corporate leaders how to make their companies "Net Positive"—thriving by giving back more to the world than they take. Net Positive companies unleash innovation, build trust, attract the best people, thrill customers, and secure lasting success, all by helping create stronger, more inclusive societies and a healthier planet. Heal the world first, they argue, and you’ll satisfy your investors as a result. With ambitious vision and compelling stories, Net Positive will teach you how to find the inner purpose and courage you need to embrace the only business model that will matter in the years ahead. You will learn how to lead others and unlock your company's soul, while setting and delivering big and aggressive goals, and taking responsibility for all of your company's impacts. You'll find out the secrets to partnering with others, including your competition and critics, to drive transformative change from which you will prosper. You'll build a company that serves your people, your customers, your communities, your shareholders—and your children and grandchildren will thank you for it. Is this win-win for business and humanity too good to be true? Don't believe it. The world's smartest CEOs are already taking their companies on the Net Positive journey and benefitting as a result. Will you be left behind?

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Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

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Built to last
Jim Collins

Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day -- as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: "What makes the truly exceptional companies different from the comparison companies and what were the common practices these enduringly great companies followed throughout their history?" Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework of practical concepts that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, Built to Last provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper long into the 21st century and beyond.

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Lead Right for Your Company Type
W. Schneider

Every year, businesses needlessly fail because they adapted the wrong strategies suited for their organization’s strengths. A mid-tier retail chain is derailed by leadership demands for superior products instead of reliably low prices. A software giant is brought to its knees by prioritizing profits over innovation. A small arts college is destabilized by top-down rules designed for a predictable and dependable company. There is no one-size-fits-all game plan for success when it comes to the wide array of businesses today. Success starts with knowing the kind of business you’re really in. In Lead Right for Your Company’s Type, learn the four categories that every enterprise falls into, depending on their customer promise: customized (e.g., ad agency), predictable and dependable (e.g., utility company), benevolent (e.g., educational institution), and best in class (e.g., high-tech company like Apple). Then follow a proven five-step process to help you in diagnosing your organization’s ills and stop them at their source.When leadership practices fit the customer promise and company type, the organization thrives. But apply the wrong practices and the mismatch pulls the enterprise apart. Lead Right for Your Company’s Type will help you find the best strategies for success for your unique business.

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Principles
Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals. In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history and grown into the fifth most important private company in the United States, according to Fortune magazine. Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Along the way, Dalio discovered a set of unique principles that have led to Bridgewater’s exceptionally effective culture, which he describes as “an idea meritocracy that strives to achieve meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical transparency.” It is these principles, and not anything special about Dalio—who grew up an ordinary kid in a middle-class Long Island neighborhood—that he believes are the reason behind his success. In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life, such as creating “baseball cards” for all employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses, and employing computerized decision-making systems to make believability-weighted decisions. While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision-making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they’re seeking to achieve. Here, from a man who has been called both “the Steve Jobs of investing” and “the philosopher king of the financial universe” (CIO magazine), is a rare opportunity to gain proven advice unlike anything you’ll find in the conventional business press.

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Working Backwards - Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon
Colin Bryar, Bill Carr

'Essential for any leader in any industry' – Kim Scott, bestselling author of Radical Candor Working Backwards gives an insider's account of Amazon's approach to culture, leadership, and best practices from two long-time, top-level Amazon executives. In 2018 Amazon became the world’s second trillion dollar company after Apple: a remarkable success story for a company launched out of a garage in 1994. How did they achieve this? And how can others learn from this extraordinary success and replicate it? Colin Bryar started at Amazon in 1998; Bill Carr joined in 1999. Their time at Amazon covered a period of unmatched innovation that brought products and services including Kindle, Amazon Prime, Amazon Echo and Alexa, and Amazon Web Services to life. Through the story of these innovations they reveal and codify the principles and practices that have driven the success of one of the most extraordinary companies the world has ever known, from the famous 14-leadership principles, the bar raiser hiring process, and Amazon’s founding characteristics: customer obsession, long-term thinking, eagerness to invent, and operational excellence. Through their wealth of experience they offer unprecedented access to the Amazon way as it was refined, articulated, and proven to be repeatable, scalable, and adaptable. Working Backwards shows how success is not achieved by the genius of any single leader, but rather through commitment to and execution of a set of well-defined, rigorously-executed principles and practices that you can apply at your own company, no matter the size.

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The Art of Business Value
Mark Schwartz

Do you really understand what business value is? Information technology can and should deliver business value. But the Agile literature has paid scant attention to what business value means—and how to know whether or not you are delivering it. This problem becomes ever more critical as you push value delivery toward autonomous teams and away from requirements “tossed over the wall” by business stakeholders. An empowered team needs to understand its goal! Playful and thought-provoking, The Art of Business Value explores what business value means, why it matters, and how it should affect your software development and delivery practices. More than any other IT delivery approach, DevOps (and Agile thinking in general) makes business value a central concern. This book examines the role of business value in software and makes a compelling case for why a clear understanding of business value will change the way you deliver software. This book will make you think deeply about not only what it means to deliver value but also the relationship of the IT organization to the rest of the enterprise. It will give you the language to discuss value with the business, methods to cut through bureaucracy, and strategies for incorporating Agile teams and culture into the enterprise. Most of all, this book will startle you into new ways of thinking about the cutting-edge of Agile practice and where it may lead.

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Business Model Generation - A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur

Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow's enterprises. If your organization needs to adapt to harsh new realities, but you don't yet have a strategy that will get you out in front of your competitors, you need Business Model Generation. Co-created by 470 "Business Model Canvas" practitioners from 45 countries, the book features a beautiful, highly visual, 4-color design that takes powerful strategic ideas and tools, and makes them easy to implement in your organization. It explains the most common Business Model patterns, based on concepts from leading business thinkers, and helps you reinterpret them for your own context. You will learn how to systematically understand, design, and implement a game-changing business model--or analyze and renovate an old one. Along the way, you'll understand at a much deeper level your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and your core value proposition. Business Model Generation features practical innovation techniques used today by leading consultants and companies worldwide, including 3M, Ericsson, Capgemini, Deloitte, and others. Designed for doers, it is for those ready to abandon outmoded thinking and embrace new models of value creation: for executives, consultants, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all organizations. If you're ready to change the rules, you belong to "the business model generation!"

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