Books I recommend

I will keep on updating this list as I read more books. Keep visiting to get fresh list everytime.

Credits: This post is inspired by Tobias’ post and this Twitter conversation. Thankful for that. Big fan of Tobias works.

I’ve been reading a lot of books lately. I was never a ‘reader’, but I got myself into it, forced my habits to create this habit. I will list out some of my favorite books I’ve read thus far. There is a long To-Read list already which I’m eager to complete, but that’s a story of some other time.

I tried drawing book covers myself. Again, got the idea from Tobias’ post. I’ve started tinkering a little bit into design lately, so it would be a good exercise.

Here it goes:

*there is no specific order here…

The 80/20 Principle

Well, many of us have probably heard of this before. I’ve come across this many times before but when you start reading a book about it, where every time it starts getting itched in your memory and habits, that’s where you actually start implementing it. One particular chapter, Time Revolution, I liked very much. It forces you to rethink how are you spending your time and how can you be effective at it.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Though I haven’t read many books in Psychology yet, but this one has really got me hooked. It was extremely difficult to put this thing down. The only time I would put this away was when I had to make notes of things said in it. Since the psychology of buying/selling products always fascinates me, this book has given me another perspective as to why people behave the way they do. Why a mass suicide happened because of Social Proofing (link below ↓). Not that I don’t recommend other books here, but this one I highly recommend for anyone even slightly interested in psychology of people.

The 4-Hour Work Week

Ferriss is known for doing things with least of time investment. He’s been an advocate of it and I buy into it. This book has compelled me to think about the value of my time, in terms of $x for an hour. If my time does not lead me to that value or more, than I defer that work to my least priority. This has helped me to really put in efforts where it is totally worth it.

Freakonomics

This is a little different than the rest of them, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It was one of the books which was difficult to put down. Some cases there really blow your mind.

Ogilvy on Advertising

I’m not really into advertising per se, but I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of selling products to people. What makes them buy Starbucks over Barista, why you don’t have to convince yourself or anyone else that why you like iPhone so much, you just do. There is a deep psychological switch which you have to trigger, and if you succeed at that, you have a sale! Follow up book is on those similar lines →

The Fortune Cookie Principle

There are some really good stories in there. It essentially tells us to think inside out rather than the other way. You should not sell your product, you must sell your story. If people buy into your story, then they will buy your products. They will subconsciously connect with your story, feel emotionally connected with you, then it will be an automatic sell for you.

Zero to One

It is a renowned one from Peter Thiel. He takes on a bolder approach on solving problems. It really makes you wonder that are you thinking big enough. Anybody can improve upon existing things. But if you want to bring something afresh, you have to start from scratch. It is the new innovative ideas which bring drastic improvements in society. Google has a video Moonshot Thinking (video below ↓) which is on the similar lines:

You don’t get bothered by thinking that you can’t teleport from here to Japan. Moonshot Thinking is choosing to be bothered by it.

The Start-Up of You

This one by Reid Hoffman has really stuck the cord. It asks you to consider your career as a startup. You have to take some bets on it, play safe sometimes, figure out a backup plan. It will change the way you look at your career and yourself. It will move you to work on yourself, your skills, your opportunities, and your network. It gives you actionables after every chapter to do.

Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products

To be honest, this one wasn’t an eyeopener for me. But my reasons were different. After reading, listening, seeing so much about startups, lean thinking, how to sell products throughout my career, I had so much knowledge already about this that the new things I found in it were less. Most of the stuff I already knew. But do keep in mind that whatever is there in the book is absolutely worth reading for. If you haven’t been so much into startups, then you should definitely read it.

The Lean Startup

Of course, this has to be in my list. This was one of the earliest books I’ve read on startups and I must say it is a bible for anyone thinking of starting up. Lean thinking is an industry norm now, and even big corporates are porting good practices from it like agile methodology. I was listening to this HBR Ideacast (episode embedded below ↓) and Steve Blank says the same thing. Eric Ries’ new book is also coming out soon (as of Aug, 2017), The Startup Way. You can preorder it now. It is now there in my to-read list.

Design of Everyday Things

This is considered a rulebook for design thinking. Design is everywhere around you, in your door knob, in your kettle, tea cup, everywhere. This books compels you to look for that design around you. Mind you, it is hard to find mistakes in things, the way they have been designed, but when you start appreciating good designs as well, then you become really aware of Design.