What The Top Tech CEOs Read

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One of the top ways to get ahead as an entrepreneur is to read books that influence you. But with so many books out there, how do you know what you should start reading? I’ll tell you: recommendations.

Recommendations are how we base a lot of our decision making, however, you shouldn’t just take anyone’s recommendation. Instead, you should take the recommendations of people who run successful business.

This is a list of what the CEOs from four of the most successful businesses in the tech industry read.


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Amazon, a company that recently announced that first quarter sales were up 22% to $16.07 Billion, is an organization that exemplifies successful entrepreneurship. Amazon grew from a site for people to buy and sell books to being the largest online retailer.

Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, likes to read the following: “Built to Last” (a non-fiction business book) and “The Remains of the Day” (fiction).
He had the following to say to Newsweek about the book The Remains of the Day: 

If you read The Remains of the Day, which is one of my favorite books, you can’t help but come away and think, I just spent 10 hours living an alternate life and I learned something about life and about regret.


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Since its founding in 1999, Zappos has grown to be the largest online shoe store. Tony Hsieh, Zappo’s CEO, enjoys the following reads: Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving OrganizationPeak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow, and The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.

Hseih had the following to say about his reading:

Tribal Leadership codifies a lot of what we’ve been doing instinctually and provides a great framework for all companies to bring company culture to the next level.


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Microsoft is the world’s largest software maker measured by revenues and is one of the world’s most valuable companies. The company was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975.

Gates recently did an “AMA” (ask me anything) on Reddit. During the AMA, Gates said one of his favorite, recent, books was The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Gates said:

It’s a long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time

One of his other favorites is The Catcher in the Rye.


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Facebook’s revenue was $5.1 billion in 2012. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO, has only one book listed on his Facebook profile: Ender’s Game, however, this is not his favorite book. When asked in person what his favorite book is by The New Yorker, he answered with The Aeneid.

It’s kind of interesting how Zuckerberg doesn’t even use his own service, isn’t it? Maybe that’s not so strong, given that if he did, he would be opening his profile (and personal information) to everyone in the world.


Now that you know what the top tech CEOs are reading, will you follow suit? Do you have any recommendations of your own? Let us know in the comments.