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Peter Morris

Any recommendations for books on highly successful/rich people?

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I'm looking to learn more about what makes people successful especially in the context of successful businesses. There must be some patterns and principles that can be applied.

 

Suggestions can be names of successful people or their biographies, but also books on what makes people and businesses successful.

 

As an example, I would love to get my hands on "The Prime Movers: Traits of the Great Wealth Creators" by Edwin A. Locke.

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A couple of good anthologies:
 
1) "The Warren Buffett CEO" by Robert Miles (Each chapter is on a different CEO of a company controlled by Warren Buffett).
 
2) "Profile of Genius" by Gene Landrum (Not as good, but worth reading if you ignore the author's commentary)
 
Of the books on particular CEOs:
 
3) Get the book on Warren Buffet by Roger Lowenstein
If you have the interest, the Berkshire web site also has Buffett's criteria for companies he likes to buy.
 
4) "Sam Walton - Made in America" ... a good autobiography. While Sam is dead, his company is still thriving. [After MR. Walton's fortune was spilt among his 4 children, they are all still in the top 10 richest people on Forbes' list.]
 
5) "Direct from DELL"
 
Two books that are not great but still interesting:
 
6) "Damn RIght" - Janet Lowe (About the No. 2 man at Berkshire -- Charlie Munger)
 
7) "No Excuses Management" - T.J.Rodgers (For a preview of Mr. Rodgers, go to Cypress Semiconductors and read the CEO's articles)
Edited by softwareNerd

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LIFE OF AN AMERICAN WORKMAN

BY
WALTER P. CHRYSLER

How To Win Friends And Influence People
By
Dale Carnegie

 

Both written in 1937 + 75 years copyright should put them both as public domain as of 2012.

 

edit: The Life of an American Workman is on Gutenberg of Canada, and is the 1950's version.

Edited by dream_weaver

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Insanely Simple, by Ken Segall -- He worked directly with Steve Jobs on Apple's marketing for years. He is articulate, writing the book using his own principle of "simplicity." In addition to his main insight, which is one of focus, he has a good bit of new anecdotes about Jobs. The book is convincing because he successfully uses real examples to illustrate his point. Also, Segall provides an antidote to Jobs' biographer, who wrote with an indifferent or negative slant in his own book (besides the details of Jobs' life, I don't recommend that dry, negative biography).

 

Break From the Pack, by Oren Harari -- It's a little scatterbrained, and comes across as a bit pragmatic, but the main business point about constant change and improvement is valid.

 

A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson -- This is actually a layman's "science" book (a very engaging one, at that). But, an unexpected theme is also revealed: scientific progress is basically fueled by human interest and curiosity. At every turn, the scientists thought, "I wonder what this thingy does.." "Wow, cool." etc. A lot of scientists have done a lot of stupid stuff, from which a lot has been discovered and learned, just because they had a curiosity and an interest. This same principle I think is a fundamental driver of business success. It's also what's missing from the Break from the Pack book, where Harari emphasizes change "or else," whereas had Bryson been writing about business, he would have emphasized "change... cuz it's fun!"

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A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson -- This is actually a layman's "science" book (a very engaging one, at that). But, an unexpected theme is also revealed: scientific progress is basically fueled by human interest and curiosity. At every turn, the scientists thought, "I wonder what this thingy does.." "Wow, cool." etc. A lot of scientists have done a lot of stupid stuff, from which a lot has been discovered and learned, just because they had a curiosity and an interest. This same principle I think is a fundamental driver of business success. It's also what's missing from the Break from the Pack book, where Harari emphasizes change "or else," whereas had Bryson been writing about business, he would have emphasized "change... cuz it's fun!"

 

I read this when I was 15 or 16 and is one of the best books I've ever read.

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