There’s no shame in finding business tips and tricks on TikTok. But if you want to follow in the footsteps of your favorite entrepreneur or tech titan — think Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett or Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg, for example — you might want to open one of the books where they picked up some of their most valuable lessons.
Zuckerberg, for example, wrote in a 2015 Facebook post that he enjoys reading “first-hand accounts of how people build great companies.” The 37-year-old billionaire turns to these books, he said in another post, to better understand “what drives innovation – what kinds of people, issues and environments.”
He is far from alone, especially among his fellow successful business leaders.
Below, four entrepreneurs share the books that have shaped their careers, their business strategies and, in a few cases, their way of thinking:
1. Marc Zuckerberg
In 2015, Zuckerberg read “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration,” by Alice Wallace and Pixar co-founder Edwin Catmull. He tells how the animation studio became a titan of entertainment innovation.
It seems Zuckerberg learned at least one lesson from the book: “Don’t wait for things to be before sharing them with others,” Catmull wrote in the book. “Show early and show often. It will be pretty when we get there, but it won’t be pretty along the way.
“Done is better than perfect” was painted on Meta’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
Zuckerberg wrote that he was also struck by Jon Gertner’s “The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation,” which tells the story of Bell Labs – which was founded by Alexander Graham Bell and is now owned at Nokia.