What I've Been Reading

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385512058?ie=UTF8&tag=approachingno-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0385512058

Geeks are, generally speaking, much better with technology than people - I’m no different. But the fact is your ability to build and maintain relationships with other people will take you farther in life than any technical skill you can acquire. For a lot of people, myself included, these are just not skills that come naturally. Fortunately for us, this book was written. Never Eat Alone does a very good job of explaining the hows and whys of developing and maintaining relationships over the long term. The book is a quick read, but explains very well some important concepts of “networking” (I term I don’t care much for, but that’s neither here nor there). Mr. Ferrazzi discusses why it’s important to build a network of associates, and then immediately delves into the the how. He also explains how to leverage your network when you need to, like looking for that new job, or when you need the help of a friend of a friend of a friend to close a big deal. This book is written in a casual style, and is peppered with real-world examples of what works and what doesn’t. If developing and maintaining relationships with people is not something that comes naturally to you, then you need to read Never Eat Alone

Developing The Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell

:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0785281126?ie=UTF8&tag=approachingno-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0785281126

John Maxwell is one of the best authors on the topic of leadership. Developing The Leader Within You is easily the best book I’ve read on leadership. Mr. Maxwell covers how to develop influence with people, creating positive change, problem solving, and developing people - among other things. If you were to only read one book on the subject of leadership, this is the one I would recommend. Developing The Leader Within You covers the fundamentals of leadership, does it well, and does it in an easy to read manner. If you are (or aspire to be) a leader, you need to read this book.

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston

:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590597141/104-3429296-6459107?ie=UTF8&tag=approachingno-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1590597141

This book is, very simply, a collection of interviews with the founders of successfull internet companies, such as del.icio.us, 37Signals, Craigslist, Flickr, and more. As such, it’s easy to read this book in small chunks - most interviews are only 3-4 pages long. It was written by Sarah Livingston, who is one of the founding partners at Y-Combinator, best known as “that VC firm Paul Graham runs” (Paul is one of the interviews in this book, naturally).

I really enjoyed reading this book. It gives a rarely-seen perspective on what it’s like in the early days of a startup. If you’re interested in starting a startup of your own (or even joining one), buy this book - it’s always better to learn from other people’s mistakes.

Note: The links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy a book, or anything else (need a copy of OS X - Leopard or a MacBook Pro to run it on?), I get a small commission. You too, can help feed my book addiction :)