How to operate

Summary and additional readings based on Keith Rabois' How to Start a Startup class

PayPal, Square, LinkedIn, and Opendoor all have a few things in common: They’re all billion-dollar businesses, all improve with scale, and they’ve all been built, in part, by Keith Rabois.

This post is my attempt to summarise his How to Operate talk at Stanford’s How to Start a Startup class. It’s worth watching in full, which you can do at the bottom of this page.

People are irrational: build an engine

Forging a company is harder than forging a product for the basic reason that people are irrational.

We all know this, somebody in your life, probably somebody close to you is irrational. And building a company is basically taking all the irrational people you know and concentrating them in the same place for hours a day.

So, what you’re trying to do is build an engine. And the first engine you build won’t be pretty, it might not even work. Which is why people work so hard at the start to bring something together.

Eventually, you’ll construct a high performance machine that no body really has to worry about. Rabois says,

We used to joke about at eBay, that if the Martians took over eBay it would take six months for the world to notice. That’s eventually what you want to get to.

The end goal is to, as Peter Lynch said, “go for a business that any idiot can run, because sooner or alter, any idiot probably is going to run it.”

The role of a leader

Rabois says there is only one book that really outlines how to lead.

High Output Management, by Andy Grove outlines the role of a leader as the person who has to maximise the output of the organisation, meaning “the output of a manger is the output of the organisational units under his or her supervision or influence.”

Following that, the CEO is responsible for everything and a VP is responsible for their part of the organisation, as well as the organisations around them.

What that means is a VP of Engineering is responsible for the performance of the product team and marketing team because they have influence there. The inverse is also true.

So that’s how you measure your people, but you want to focus on output and not input. Don’t measure motion and confuse it with progress.

While this might sound glamorous and people get excited about managing a whole large organisation, it’s about being responsible for the output. More on this later.

Editing: simply and don’t accept complexity

One of the most important things Rabois learned at Square is the concept of editing.

This is the best metaphor I have ever seen in 14 years of running stuff, of how to think about your job. It’s a natural metaphor, so it’s easy to take with you everyday and it’s easy to transmit to each of your employees so they can figure out if they are editing or writing.

Whenever you are doing something, you should ask yourself, am I writing or am I editing? A manager’s primary job is to edit.

The first thing most editors do is take out the red pen, eliminating useless words and phrases, omitting things that aren’t important.

And that’s your job to. The more you simplify, the better your organisation will run. It’s hard to keep track and understand a complicated set of initiatives.

The end goal is to distill the business down to one, two, or three things and teach people to think about it through that framework so they can repeat it without thinking.

Simplify. Don’t accept any excuse for complexity.

You can change the world in 140 characters.

You can build the most important companies in history with a very simple to describe concept.

You can market products in less than 50 characters.

There is no reason you can’t build your company the same way. So force yourself to simplify every initiative, every product, every marketing, everything you do.

Basically take that red and start eliminating stuff.

Ask clarifying questions

You need to ask a lot of questions, and they can be simple questions like “should we try this seven days a week? Or six days?” or fundamental questions like “where’s our competitive advantage?”

But the best thing you can do is find the one, two, three, or four things that matter most and focus on those. That’ll allow you to make decisions rapidly and won’t distract you from your real job of building the company.

Allocating resources

Rabois thinks people who work with you should be coming up with their own initiatives.

This is because your end goal is to use less red ink every day, and a good way to measure that is to see how well you are communicating with your colleagues about what’s important and what’s not.

It’s okay to have a bad day with red ink all over the place but you shouldn’t have a month where you’re editing more than the previous.

Consistent voice

Your job is to ensure consistent voice. When you pick up The Economist, you can tell there is one consistent voice.

Every article feels like it was written by the same person. Ideally, your company should feel the same whether it’s the marketing site, press release or the physical packaging on your product.

It should feel like it was written by one person.

Over time, you don’t want to be doing all the consistent voice editing yourself. You want to train people so they can recognise it themselves. Stripe is world-class at this.

It may be helpful to read Style Guide, by The Economist too.


Following on with the editor analogy. Editors don’t do most of the writing in a publication. That will be true for your company too, and the way you get out of most of the work is by delegating.

When you delegate, you are responsible for everything.

The CEO, founder, there is no excuse.

There is no, there is that department over there, this person over there screwed up.

You are always responsible for every single thing, especially when things go wrong.

So how do you both delegate but not abdicate? 

Rabois is a fan of the management technique called Task Relevant Maturity, and all that really means is “has this person ever done this before?”

The more mature they are in a task, the more rope you give them. If someone is new to something, you’re going to instruct and constantly monitor. And if they’ve done it before you’re going to delegate heavily.

Your management style is dictated by your employee.

It's actually a good thing if you do reference checks on somebody and half the people you call say they are a micromanager and the other half say they actually give me a lot of responsibility.

That’s a feature not a bug.

When to delegate

Rabois learned how to delegate from Peter Thiel.

Basically, you want to draw up a two by two matrix that has your own level of conviction about a decision on one axis from extremely low to extremely high and the other axis with the consequence of the decision from low impact to catastrophic.

If the decision is low consequence and you have low confidence in your own opinion, you should delegate and delegate completely, let people make mistakes and learn.

And if the consequences are dramatic and you have extremely high conviction you are right, you shouldn’t delegate. But you should explain your thinking about why you are making the decision.

Okay, you’re the boss

When Rabois was at LinkedIn, he had a talented colleague who would occasionally get annoyed if he didn’t agree with his opinion on something.

So Rabois would spend his time trying to persuade him why he was making the decision a certain way.

And the colleague’s trump card would be “Okay, you’re the boss.”

And that to me was like I was burning a lot of social capital.

Every time he said that I knew I was creating a really thin line and ultimately that was going to backfire if I did that too often.

You want to track the times that you are doing that.

Let people make mistakes

An example of this is at Square, one of my favourite people in the world and my second hire, first marketing hire, had this program he wanted to run called Inner Square which allowed Square merchants to give out, imagine a food truck outside put out ten Squares on the counter and people could just grab them.

And Kyle had this great idea that this would be an awesome marketing program. Squares would spread Squares to other people and to some extent it was on brand. So it didn't have catastrophic consequences.

Each of these ten Squares didn't cost that much money, so financially we could afford to do it.

But at that time, my ten years of experience said it was not going to work on a meaningful enough scale for our metrics and I preferred not to do it.

Kyle was so excited about this that I decided to just let him do it. He learned that when you measure this thing, it's not massive. It doesn't create massive value for the company.

It did require a fair amount of operational complexity to ship all these Squares to people and figure out how to get them, etc, etc. But it allowed him to be excited about his job and to learn how to filter future ideas.

So it was totally worth letting him make the “Mistake."

Editing the team

It’s impossible to have a perfect team and you definitely won’t get that from the start.

Rabois has a good analogy for hiring that he calls barrels and ammunition.

When most people hire a lot of people, they expect that more people = more horsepower = higher velocity of shipping.

But it turns out that it doesn’t generally work that way. When you hire more engineers, you won’t automatically get more done. The same is true for designers, business people, and customer success staff.

And that’s because “most great people are actually ammunition. But what you need in your company are barrels. And you can only shoot through the unique barrels you have.”

When you stock your barrels with ammunition, you increase the velocity of the company. Barrels are very difficult to find. When you have them give them lots of equity, promote them, take them out to dinner, because they are irreplaceable and culturally specific.

A barrel at one company may not be a barrel at another company.

Finding barrels

A barrel is a person who can take an idea from conception through to shipping and bring people along the journey with them. And that’s a culturally specific skillset.

How can you tell who is a barrel and who is not? One is you start with a very small set of responsibilities, it can be very trivial.

It can be something like, I want to reward the engineers in my office at nine o'clock every night with a nice cold, fresh smoothie. This is actually a real example.

I was frustrated, our engineers were working really hard, and maybe 20%, 30% would stay late in the evening and we had already served them dinner but I wanted to give them something cool to reward them. You can think about alcohol but that's a little complicated.

So smoothies were probably a little bit better than pizza, which drains you of energy.

But nobody could get smoothies to show up in my office at nine o'clock sharp, that were cold, that tasted good, and that were delivered in the right place that the engineers would find them.

You would think this is simple but in fact it took two months to get this done. So we had an intern start, and I think on his second day I was explaining this problem, and he said, well I will do it.

And I was looking at him like there was no way.

I have seen my office manager fail, my assistant fail, who were actually pretty good. This just isn't going to happen.

And low and behold they show up. On time, cold, delivered at the right place, and my first instinct was great. Nothing about the smoothies, but now I can actually give him something more important that is more complicated to do.

If you’ve hired someone and people go up to their desk, particularly if they don’t report to them, it’s a sign they believe the person can help them.

If you see this consistently, those are your barrels.

Expand the scope of responsibility

The story above is exactly what you want to do with all your employees, every single day, until they can’t handle anymore responsibility.

And what you want to do is keep expanding it until you see where it breaks and that's the role they should stay in. That level of sophistication.

But some people will surprise you. There will be some people that you do not expect.

With different backgrounds, without a lot of experience that can just handle enormously complicated tasks. So keep testing that and pushing the envelope.

Only talk to Peter Thiel about one thing

Peter Thiel would insist everyone at PayPal could only do exactly one thing. He would say “I will not talk to you about anything else besides this one thing I assigned you.”

The insight here is that people will only try solve problems they know how to solve.

No one wants to bang their head against the wall day after day. And this cascades down the organisation so no one is really solving the most important thing.

Try giving everybody one thing to prioritise.

Don’t make all decisions yourself

Give people the tools to make decisions at the same level that you would make them yourself.

Build a dashboard that simplifies the company’s value proposition into a set of metrics that the whole company can rally behind.

Then measure what fraction of your employees are using that dashboard everyday.

If you’ve done your job well, it should be close to 100%. This dashboard needs to be as intuitive to your internal users as your product is to external users.

Remember, you want to measure outputs not inputs.

Pairing indicators

When you measure one thing and only one thing, the company tends to optimise towards that, often at the expense of something important.

The example Rabois uses is fraud rates. It’s really easy for the risk team to lower the fraud rate by treating every user as a suspect.

Then you have the lowest fraud rate in the world, you also have the lowest level of customer satisfaction score.

In this example, you want to pair the fraud rate with your false positive rate. This forces the team to innovate.

Or with your hiring team, you can pair the number of interviews with the quality of people being interviewed.

Look for anomalies

You don't actually want to look for the expected behaviour.

So a famous example was at PayPal. None of the top ten markets that the company was planning on going after included eBay.

One day, someone noticed that 54 of the sellers actually handwritten into their eBay listings, please pay me with PayPal and brought this to the attention of the executive team at the time.

The first reaction from the executive team was, what the hell is going on? Let's get them out of the system, that is not the focus.

Fortunately, David Sacks came back the next day and said, I think we found our market. Let's actually build tools for these power sellers instead of forcing them to write into their listing, pay me with PayPal. Why don't we just have an HTML button that they can just insert? And that actually worked.

Then he thought, why should we have them insert it each time? Why don't we just automatically insert it for them? They can just insert it once, then every listing they have forever will have it automagically appear there.

So that became the success for PayPal.

Be transparent

Metrics are the first step. Everyone should have access to what’s going on.

The other thing Rabois likes to do is take everything through board decks, and actually review every single slide with every employee after each board meeting. If you can remember the feedback you got from your board, you should pass that on too.

Every meeting should have notes that are sent around to the entire company. This means everyone can keep track of what is interesting and not feel excluded.

When Rabois was at Square, every company room had glass walls so people could see exactly who was in the meeting and who was meeting who.

At Stripe, everyone has access to everyone’s emails.

The Score Takes Care of Itself

The other book Rabois mentions in the lecture is The Score Takes Care of Itself, by Bill Walsh.

The basic point of the book is if you can get all the same things right, you don’t have to worry about the big things.

The big things are a byproduct of what you do everyday to get the small things excellent. As an example, Walsh wrote a three page memo on how to answer the phone.

And that may sound absurd but what his point was organisation as a whole does everything exactly the right way.

Every detail matters.

That is the sort of detail obsession that building this sort of company requires.

Examples that may be a bit more practical for you instead of circuit boards may be, what sort of foods do you serve people?

It actually matters more than you might guess. When people don't like the food you serve them, what do they do?

They go gossip, they go complain to their friends, they walk over to someones desk. Then all of a sudden that lunch that they are complaining about is what they are spending most of their time gossiping and complaining instead of brainstorming.

You don't have this serendipities idea matching another serendipities idea that creates a spark instead they are all wallowing and whittling around.

The best thing you can do is give people the food they want or the food that’s good for them that makes them more productive.

Ending thoughts

My favourite quote of the talk:

So it may seem like this glorious job you thought you had is more like running around being a TaskRabbit for people.

But it is to take things off their plate that is a distraction so they can be high performance machines.

And if you take enough things away from people to distract them and give them the tools to be successful, all of a sudden your organisation produces a lot more.

Stanford CS183B: How to Operate (Keith Rabois)

Additional reading

These are books that are roughly related to Rabois’ talk. Hopefully you find something good to read.

More lessons from Keith Rabois


This is a super interesting topic, I recommend you get started with the following books:

Company building

I recommend reading the following books to get a deeper understanding of what Rabois is talking to:

Management and work

These are books that have changed the way I think about management and work.

Purpose, ambition, and work

With thanks to Naval, Founders Fund, Indie Hackers, Ben Thompson, and Clay Christensen

Hey all,

Long time, no newsletter.

I’ve promised a few people I’d get into my newsletter, so here goes…

This week’s newsletter is about purpose, ambition, and work.


One of my favourite thinkers, @naval, has been putting out a lot of content recently via his blog and podcast, each episode is less than ten minutes long and worth your time, but if you’re stuck for time I recommend:

The basic premise of the podcast is to build out an understanding of how to get rich without getting lucky, but I think it’s more useful as a tool to think about purpose and decision-making around your career.

The most important thing is to “pick an industry where you can play long-term games with long-term people. Long-term players make each other rich. Short-term players make themselves rich.”

And rather than following what is popular, you’re better off not being ”too deliberate about assembling specific knowledge. The best way is to follow your obsession, so you go deep enough into it to be the best.”

Lean into what you’re good at and “build specific knowledge where you are a natural. Everyone is a natural at something.”

Naval also touches on the negatives of a salary, or as he calls it, renting out your time. “You won’t get rich renting out your time, because your inputs are too closely tied to your outputs. You’re not earning while you’re sleeping.”

There are obvious benefits to a salary but those are generally well understood and heavily emphasised by society. So let’s leave it there for now.

He also touches on the need to decouple inputs from outputs, some of his best engineers only work a few hours a day and he’s okay with that because they have an outsized impact in a short amount of time.

He’s measuring output, not input.

“You must have high creativity and leverage to decouple your inputs and outputs.”

But what I personally find most interesting is the idea of the Internet broadening what a career can be.

The Internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers, by allowing you to scale any niche obsession.

Before the Internet there was no way to find all the people in the world who were interested in your obsession. Now you can.

Escape competition through authenticity—when you’re competing with people it’s because you’re copying them.

No one can compete with you on being you. Before the Internet, this was useless advice—now it’s a career.

@benthompson via Stratechery (and the entire existence of Substack, the service I’m writing this on) are great examples of how the Internet has enabled niche content to grow into real, sustainable businesses.

It’s exciting that regardless of what you’re into, chances are there are thousands to ten of thousands of people who are into it, too.


Alongside Naval’s podcast, I’ve been listening to two podcasts that are at different ends of the spectrum when it comes to ambition.

The first is The Anatomy of Next from @foundersfund and explores “every aspect of going to Mars, transforming it into a habitable world, and building a new branch of human civilisation. How do we bring a cold, dead planet back to life? Can we build an atmosphere on Mars, thaw the frozen plains, and build an ocean? How do we seed a barren land with life, and make a red Mars green? Then, it’s everything from politics and education to money, music, and architecture. What does it mean to be human on an alien world?”

The second is the Indie Hackers podcast which is filled with episodes with successful founders of bootstrapped businesses. Indie Hackers is a fascinating place filled with people who are anywhere from trying to get their first customers to $100k+ MRR.

While $100k+ MRR is nothing to laugh at, it’s certainly not at the same level of ambition as trying to colonise Mars. And that’s okay.

In fact, I think it might be the way we get to Mars.

What I mean by that is people tend to grow in ambition over time and successes, and it’s great to have content for both audiences.

Just because people are bootstrapping their SaaS product doesn’t mean they won’t be trying to build the next Blue Origin in five years, if all goes well. Just look at Bezos.

Image result for bezos books meme


One of my favourite books is by @claychristensen, Harvard Business School professor and author of the highly influential books The Innovator's Dilemma and The Innovator's Solution.

But while I love those books, I think his (and @jamesallworth and @KarDillon’s) best work is How Will You Measure Your Life?

The book takes what you learn in The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution and turns the focus from business to life.

With the goal of answering three fundamental questions:

  • How can I be sure that I find happiness in my career?

  • How can I find happiness in my relationships?

  • How can I be sure that I live a life of integrity? 

Even if you don’t read the book, it’s worth your time to have a think about these questions.

End notes

Flick me a note with anything you’d like me to explore next.


Reading List

Abi Tyas Tunggal's reading list, separated out by year.

This page is dedicated to the books I've read. If you think there is something I should explore, please suggest in the comments.

I used to read one book every few months or so until I found audiobooks. Since then, I've been "reading" while riding the train to work, at the gym, and pretty much any time I can stick my AirPods in my ears. 

It's probably the single most valuable thing I can tell you. It sounds like an ad, but you should consider downloading Audible and start listening to books at 3x while commuting, walking, relaxing, or any time when you can't be sitting down and reading.

Below is a list of the books I've read thus far, in order. If you'd like me to dive deeper into any of these books, please let me know in the comments.


  1. Superhuman, by Rowan Hooper

  2. The Laws of Human Nature, by Robert Greene

  3. Little Black Stretchy Pants, by Chip Wilson

  4. How to Get Rich, by Felix Dennis

  5. Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport

  6. The Messy Middle, by Scott Belsky

  7. Loonshots, by Safi Bahcall

  8. Death’s End, by Cixin Liu

  9. What Doesn’t Kill Us, by Scott Carney

  10. The Sports Gene, by David Epstein

  11. Leading, by Alex Ferguson and Michael Moritz

  12. The Return to the Little Kingdom, by Michael Moritz

  13. Endure, by Alex Hutchinson

  14. Reboot, by Jerry Colonna

  15. Disciplined Entrepreneurship, by Bill Aulet

  16. Range, by David Epstein

  17. The First 90 Days, by Michael Watkins

  18. Trillion Dollar Coach, by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg,
    and Alan Eagle

  19. 12 Rules of Life, by Jordan B. Peterson

  20. Alchemy, by Rory Sutherland

  21. I Am a Strange Loop, by Douglas R. Hofstadter

  22. Super Thinking, by Gabriel Weinberg and Lauren McCann

  23. Educated, by Tara Westover

  24. The Language Instinct, by Steven Pinker

  25. Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell

  26. Lifespan, by Dr David A. Sinclair and Matthew D. LaPlante

  27. Super Pumped, by Mike Isaac


  1. Michael Jordan, by Roland Lazenby

  2. Deep Work, by Cal Newport

  3. The Art of Thinking Clearly, by Rolf Dobelli

  4. The Art of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin

  5. The Inner Game of Tennis, by W. Timothy Gallwey

  6. Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely

  7. Superforecasting, by Philip Tetlock

  8. Rationality, by Eliezer Yudkowsky

  9. A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway

  10. Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall

  11. Flow, by Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi

  12. The Fighter’s Mind, by Sam Sheridan

  13. Chop Wood Carry Water, by Joshua Medcalf

  14. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway

  15. Why Moats Matter, by Elizabeth Collins

  16. Modern Monopolies, by Alex Moazed

  17. The Human Brand, by Chris Malone

  18. Titan, by Ron Chernow

  19. The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell

  20. Learn Better, by Ulrich Boser

  21. Stealing Fire, by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal

  22. Skin in the Game, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  23. Beyond the Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

  24. Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

  25. When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi

  26. Hooked, by Nir Eyal

  27. Drive, by Daniel H. Pink

  28. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

  29. Peak Performance, by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness

  30. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

  31. Surfaces and Essences, by Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander

  32. Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker

  33. Deep Thinking, by Garry Kasparov

  34. Incognito, by David Eagleman

  35. The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee

  36. Play On, by Jeff Bercovici

  37. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan

  38. Origin Story, by David Christian

  39. Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday

  40. Why Information Grows, by Cesar Hidalgo

  41. Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou

  42. Measure What Matters, by John Doerr

  43. Factfulness, by Hans Rosling

  44. So Good They Can’t Ignore You, by Cal Newport

  45. The Three-Body Problem, by Cixin Liu

  46. The Outsiders, by William N. Thorndike

  47. Creativity Inc., by Ed Catmull

  48. The Dark Forest, by Cixin Liu

  49. Altered Traits, by Richard Davidson and Daniel Coleman

  50. Own the Day, Own Your Life, by Aubrey Marcus

  51. Thinking in Bets, by Annie Duke

  52. Expert Political Judgement, by Philip E. Tetlock

  53. The Courage to Be Disliked, by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi

  54. Valley of Genius, by Adam Fisher

  55. A Guide to the Good Life, by William B. Irvine

  56. The Barefoot Investor, by Scott Pape

  57. The Spider Network, by David Enrich

  58. Dealers of Lightning, by Michael Hiltzik

  59. High Growth Handbook, by Elad Gil

  60. Getting Things Done, by David Allen

  61. Frenemies, by Ken Auletta

  62. The Facebook Effect, by David Kirkpatrick

  63. In the Plex, by Steven Levy

  64. Scale, by Geoffrey West

  65. Dune, by Frank Herbert

  66. Subscribed, by Tien Tzuo and Gabe Weisert

  67. The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins

  68. The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle

  69. Behind the Cloud, by Marc Benioff

  70. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari

  71. The Book of Why, by Judea Pearl

  72. The Beginning of Infinity, by David Deutsch

  73. Angel, by Jason Calacanis

  74. Who Is Michael Ovitz?, by Michael Ovitz

  75. Creative Selection, by Ken Kocienda

  76. The Warren Buffett Way, by Robert Hagstrom

  77. The Success Equation, by Michael J. Mauboussin

  78. Atomic Habits, by James Clear

  79. Blitzscaling, by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh

  80. Conspiracy, by Ryan Holiday

  81. The Mindful Athlete, by Phil Jackson

  82. The Elephant in the Brain, by Robin Hanson and Kevin Simler

  83. The Dream Machine, by M. Mitchell Waldrop

  84. The House of Morgan, by Ron Chernow

  85. The Revolt of the Public, by Martin Gurri

  86. Extreme Ownership, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

  87. Eat Move Sleep, by Tom Rath


  1. The Everything Store, by Brad Stone

  2. Hatching Twitter, by Nick Bilton

  3. Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

  4. The Black Swan, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  5. The Art of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin

  6. 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene

  7. The Most Important Thing, by Howard Marks

  8. The Rise of Superman, by Steven Kotler

  9. Benjamin Franklin, by Walter Isaacson

  10. The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge MD

  11. The Art of the Deal, by Donald J. Trump

  12. Grit, by Angela Duckworth

  13. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

  14. Charlie Munger, by Tren Griffin

  15. The Upstarts, by Brad Stone

  16. The Marshmallow Test, by Walter Mischel

  17. We Learn Nothing, by Tim Kreider

  18. The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, by Vishen Lakhiani

  19. Surely, You're Joking Mr. Feynman!, by Richard R. Feynman

  20. Essentialism, by Greg McKeown

  21. Homo Deus, by Yuval Noah Harari

  22. Business @ the Speed of Thought, by Bill Gates

  23. World Order, by Henry Kissinger

  24. Basic Economics, by Thomas Sowell

  25. Team of Teams, by General Stanley McChrystal

  26. Flash Boys, by Michael Lewis

  27. Liar's Poker, by Michael Lewis

  28. The Big Short, by Michael Lewis

  29. The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz

  30. Andrew Carnegie, by David Nasaw

  31. On Writing, by Stephen King

  32. Writing Tools, by Roy Peter Clark

  33. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand

  34. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

  35. Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

  36. Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse

  37. Nudge, by Richard Thaler

  38. Misbehaving, by Richard Thaler

  39. Influence, by Robert Cialdini Ph.D.

  40. Fooling Some of the People All of the Time, by David Einhorn

  41. The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro

  42. Fooled by Randomness, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  43. Our Oriental Heritage, by Will Durant

  44. The Life of Greece, by Will Durant

  45. Caesar and Christ, by Will Durant

  46. How Will You Measure Your Life?, by Clayton M. Christensen

  47. The Innovator's Solution, by Clayton M. Christensen

  48. Swann's Way, by Marcel Proust

  49. Peak, by Anders Ericsson

  50. Republic, by Plato

  51. Principles, by Ray Dalio

  52. Nicomachean Ethics, by Aristotle

  53. 1984, by George Orwell

  54. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

  55. Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad

  56. Zero to One, by Peter Thiel

  57. Hillbilly Elegy, by J. D. Vance

  58. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, by Al Ries

  59. Perennial Seller, by Ryan Holiday

  60. Learn or Die, Edward D. Hess

  61. Originals, by Adam Grant

  62. An Everyone Culture, by Robert Kegan

  63. The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro

  64. Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Piketty

  65. Leonardo Da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson

  66. Propaganda, by Edward Bernays

  67. Crystallising Public Opinion, by Edward Bernays

  68. Bored and Brilliant, by Manoush Zomorodi

  69. Gut, by Giulia Enders

  70. Deep Work, by Cal Newport

  71. Win Bigly, by Scott Adams

  72. Impossible to Ignore, by Carmen Simon Ph.D.

  73. Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini Ph.D.

  74. The Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

  75. It's Not Luck, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

  76. Critical Chain, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

  77. The Innovators, by Walter Isaacson

  78. American Prometheus, by Kai Bird

  79. Fermat's Last Theorem, by Simon Singh

  80. To Sell Is Human, by Daniel H. Pink


  1. Scientific Advertising, by Claude C Hopkins

  2. Business Adventures, by John Brooks

  3. The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham

  4. The Undoing Project, by Michael Lewis

  5. The Grid, by Gretchen Bakke Ph.D.

  6. Chaos Monkeys, by Antonio Garcia Martinez

  7. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari

  8. Deep Work, by Cal Newport

  9. Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim

  10. Zero to One, by Peter Thiel

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