11 books that took Jeff Bezos to the top

11 books that took Jeff Bezos to the top
Inside A Day In The Life Of Jeff Bezos

For Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, books are an integral part of his journey.

The self-made billionaire propelled his way to the spot of the second richest man on Earth after founding the e-commerce site, which started as an online bookstore.

What prompted Bezos' relationship with the world of literature was spending his childhood summers at his grandfather's house, nestled in a 3,000-person town.

While there, he would immerse himself in his grandfather's tiny little Andrew Carnegie-style library, where local citizens donated the books.

"And that started a love affair for me with people like Heinlein and Asimov and all the well-known science fiction authors that persists to this day," he said.

So, from an early age, reading has played an essential role in shaping Bezos into the person he is today.

Below, we've rounded up a list of 11 books the billionaire has read that skyrocketed him to success.

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Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins

James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras embarked on a six-year-long research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, studying eighteen long-lasting companies. They examined how each company performed in direct comparison to one of its top competitors.

Essentially, they examined the companies from their origins to the present day.

Bezos told Fast Company that the text was his "favorite business book."

The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design by Richard Dawkins

This book, described as "extraordinary" by the billionaire, chronicles the complexities of Darwinian natural selection as unconscious and automatic and the role of creationism in the lens of purpose. It's a text for understanding what evolution is today.

Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know by Mark Jeffery

Centred around research from the Kellogg School of Management, this book is a direct and comprehensible guide to using a more data-driven strategic approach to receive significant performance gains from marketing in any organisation.

Creation: Life and How to Make It by Steve Grand

Tackling questions such as "what is life," Steve Grand highlights and surveys what has been accomplished so far with artificial life. His book also looks at future horizons for creating intelligent, autonomous, and even conscious living things.

Memos from the Chairman by Alan Greenberg

Written by the former chairman of Bear Stearns Companies Inc., an investment bank, securities trading, and brokerage firm, Greenberg, discusses a simple management philosophy, which includes common-sense decisions, running a business with morality, and remaining humble throughout the process.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins

Using strict evaluation and benchmarks, Collins, a business consultant, identifies a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and maintained the results for at least 15 years.

The companies that were good and became great generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market with an average of seven times in fifteen years. This is better than twice the results delivered by an overall index of the world's most outstanding companies, including Coca-Cola and General Electric, to name a couple.

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book discusses how people don't acknowledge the phenomenon of "black swans" or unpredictable moments that occur until it already occurs.

Essentially, Taleb suggests that humans are hardwired to learn specifics about things when they should focus on generalities to imagine the impossible to achieve rewards and successes.

Rework by David “DHH” Heinemeier Hansson and David Fried

The book teaches business owners to be more productive and gain exposure without "breaking the bank."

Rework is also said to be the essential "playbook" for those who want to embark on the journey themselves.

Whether it's small business owners, people who want to leave jobs they despise, or hardcore entrepreneurs, guidance can be found in the book.

Bezos has praised this book, noting that the authors are "unperturbed by conventional wisdom, start fresh and rewrite the rules of business."

Sam Walton: Made In America by Sam Walton

Sam Walton, the man who had a single-dime store in a cotton town, into Wal-Mart, one of the largest retailers in the world.

And as someone who comes off as genuinely modest but always assured in his achievements and ambitions, Walton shares his thoughts in a candid, straight-from-the-heart style.

He further delves into the optimism and inspiration that helped him live out the American Dream.

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter Drucker

Drucker breaks down the five practices that are useful in business effectiveness that should and can be learned.

They include time management, what to contribute to the business, understanding where to mobilise strength for the best outcome, setting proper priorities, and putting them all together with decision making.

He also indicates the different skills of the executive and offers new insights into older and obvious business situations.

Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones

Lean Thinking isn't about a new management "program" for 21st-century managers.

It's centred around the Toyota model, which combines operational excellence and value-based strategies that help produce steady growth through an array of economic conditions.

With that, the book provides a new method of thinking that changes the world for the involved long-term manager.

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