Each year there are thousands of business books published—too many for any executive to get through all of them. Even when whittled down to the “must read business books” lists published by Forbes, Fortune, Inc., Business Insider, Financial Times or other prominent business publications, the number of books can be overwhelming.
Today’s best business books provide valuable lessons and expertise from great minds in commerce and technology. But the reality is that most executives don’t have the time required to read all of these books. The good news is that with an extensive summary and analysis, you can get the same key lessons, theories, insights, and concepts—with far less time commitment.
Here are five of today’s best business books, along with summaries and analyses for the leisure-deprived.
The Lean Startup
This summary focuses on a buzz-word you hear all the time: the startup. The Lean Startup author Eric Ries knows more about the highs and lows of starting a business than anyone in his many years of working in the tech industry—from the first inkling of an idea, to courting investors, raising capital, and knowing the right things to ask for.
The Innovator’s Dilemma
Technology is supposed to make our lives easier—but sometimes, as certain business owners know, it can backfire. This succinct analysis of Clayton M. Christensen’s book, named by The Economist as of one of the most important business books ever written, warns against relying too heavily on technology for certain aspects of business that should be accomplished face-to-face.
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—but Some Don’t
From Nate Silver, the founder of the immensely popular statistics blog Five Thirty Eight, The Signal and the Noise explains from a statistics point of view why certain things (like the weather) are easy to predict, whereas others (like terrorism) are nearly impossible. If you’d like to learn more about how these polls and predictions could potentially affect your business or the global economy at large, this The Signal and the Noise summary proves the impact of predictions, whether they come true or not.
Believe it or not, you can be talented and have a wealth of great ideas, and still not find success. In this summary of Angela Duckworth’s book, you may find you’re lacking that It factor that she calls “grit,” a perseverance and determination that drives you towards success. Using insights from her own life experience, Duckworth argues that this quality can be learned—and that ultimately it’s that will to succeed, not random genius, that sets you apart from the crowd.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg argues that there is a disconnect between how highly educated women have become and their success in the workplace. In this Lean In summary, an analysis of one of the most groundbreaking and controversial business books published in the last fifty years, women are encouraged to “lean-in” at the table of business negotiations, and fight for better pay, more opportunities, and be more aggressive when it comes to their careers.
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Photo: Jeremy Beadle