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Business Books

Updated on April 17, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM
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14 Best Business Books to Read in 2023

To better understand the whole thing, we have compiled a list of books dealing with business development, strategy, planning, and innovative business ideas, along with other critical aspects. Below is the list of such business books that every beginner should read:

  1. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup ( Get this book )
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People ( Get this book )
  3. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action ( Get this book )
  4. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies ( Get this book )
  5. Understanding Business ( Get this book )
  6. The Business of Options: Time-Tested Principles and Practices (Wiley Finance) Hardcover ( Get this book )
  7. Money Makers: Inside the New World of Finance and Business ( Get this book )
  8. The Hard Thing About Hard Thing: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers ( Get this book )
  9. Romancing the Balance Sheet: For Anyone Who Owns, Runs or Manages a Business ( Get this book )
  10. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon ( Get this book )
  11. Start Your Own Business: The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need ( Get this book )
  12. Bill Gates: Business Lessons ( Get this book )
  13. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t ( Get this book )
  14. The Little Big Small Business Book ( Get this book )

Let us discuss each business book you must read and their key takeaways and reviews.

Business Books

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#1 – Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

by John Carreyrou

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

About the book

The book is a riveting inside story of the spectacular rise and appalling downfall of Theranos, a multibillion-dollar American biotech startup. The book was featured in Bill Gates’ list of the best books for 2018.

Book review

The book is a fascinating account of how Theranos scammed investors and people to become one of the unicorns of its time. The book is by the journalist John Carreyrou, who broke the story of deception to the world and pursued it to the end. Given that the author is largely responsible for exposing the fraud, you get a very close look into the actual happenings of the company in this book. In addition, it is an interesting story of a woman, Elizabeth Holmes. She dressed up like Steve Jobs and was worshipped as the youngest self-made female billionaire and ended up breaking into the jail charged with fraud. Overall, the story has heroes, villains, political intrigue, twisting and turning subplots, and plenty of surprises.

Key Takeaways

  • The book has all the ingredients of a thrilling fictional story, but what makes it all the more fascinating is that it happened.
  • It is an inside story of how a talented young woman in her prime built a huge scam and befooled investors who were no rookies.
<< Get this book >>

#2 – How to Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends & Influence People (Dale Carnegie Books)

About the book

This book guides how to change your behavior so that the world views and treats you differently in a good way. It is one of the best guides for developing business and communication skills.

Book review

The book explains how you can market yourself better, both at a personal and professional level. It guides you in developing your character so people around you perceive you as pleasant and confident. Client-facing roles can help you improve your professional appearance to win new clients. The author has provided much practical advice that can be useful in public speaking and business relationships. He has also shared some basic techniques to help people with social anxiety and introverts overcome their fear. However, there is one major flaw with the book. Most of its examples are from very old times. Hence, you might not relate to them as you won’t know them. Nevertheless, it is a good book that can improve your professional and personal behavior.

Key Takeaways

  • It is one of the best self-help books available and can be more than useful only if you follow its suggestions.
  • It is a must-read for people who struggle with their interpersonal skills.
<< Get this book >>

#3 – Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

by Simon Sinek

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

About the book

The book discusses what differentiates true leaders from the average person and how they can inspire the millions around them. In turn, can achieve remarkable success in life.

Book review

The book’s core idea is that great leaders or successful companies can easily explain why they are doing something, unlike most of us, who can hardly come up with a satisfactory answer to the question – WHY. Essentially, the author suggests you pursue your passion and know why you are doing it. Then, based on it, have a vision because it is only then that one can achieve true success. Some interesting examples and working case studies The book’s only major issue is that some catchphrases are innumerable repetitions. Nevertheless, this is a great book that will inspire you to see the bigger picture so that you can leap to professional greatness.

Key Takeaways

  • If you are struggling to figure out what you want to do in your life when you grow up, then this is just the book the doctor ordered for you.
  • It is a must-read for you if you wish to leap to become a great leader of a great company someday.
<< Get this book >>

#4 – Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

by James C. Collins & Jerry I. Porras

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Good to Great, 2)

About the book

As the name suggests, this book speaks about visionary companies while crushing many myths, offering fresh insights, and providing useful real-world guidance to build companies that can stand the test of time.

Book review

The book results from the authors’ extensive and exhaustive research work. They did a research project at Stanford University for half a dozen years to finally identify 18 companies that have performed exceptionally well in the stock market and have sustained close to ten decades. The author also compares successful companies and their peers in the same industry to determine what features differentiate these great companies from their rivals. Another important aspect of the book is it is filled with several real-world examples organized into a coherent framework of applied business concepts that managers at all levels can follow.

Key Takeaways

  • It is the blueprint for building companies that can prosper and thrive in the 21st century.
  • It is a thoroughly researched book presented in an easy-to-read manner.
  • Every upcoming leader must read this book as it can help them develop the skills required for managing sustainable companies.
<< Get this book >>

#5 – Understanding Business

by William Nickels (Author), James McHugh (Author), Susan McHugh (Author)  

Understanding Business

Book Summary

An excellent introductory edition on business development details some of the fundamental principles with great clarity. It is part of a learning program aimed at enhancing the overall understanding of business concepts and their applications in the real world. In its 11th edition, educators have recognized this work as a high-quality learning and training resource. One of the key advantages afforded to the reader is the accessibility it affords to rather complex concepts, bringing additional value to the work. In short, a complete primer on the basic concepts and processes forms a part of business development designed to enhance student performance.

Key Takeaways

A highly commendable learning book compiled by expert authors for business students. The entire focus is on enhancing the awareness of business concepts and helping readers become acquainted with applying principles in real-world situations. It is a valuable introductory work to business studies designed to be highly accessible in terms of its language, structure, and approach.

<< Get this book >>

#6 – The Business of Options 

Time-Tested Principles and Practices (Wiley Finance) Hardcover

The Business of Options: Time-Tested Principles and Practices

Book Summary

This book looks at trading options from a management perspective and analyzes what is needed to run an options business. Usually, books deal with options trading strategies and techniques from the point of view of a trader. However, looking at it from a business point of view allows this author to bring in broader strategic aspects and how unpredictable human behavior might affect how things are supposed to work in the real world.

He masterfully deals with things like the statistical basis for successful options trading and balancing profits against managing risks without necessitating a lot of mathematics. Instead, he adopts an intuitive approach to the subject as a whole. These things make this work a valuable addition to the collection of any professional options trader, especially those looking to manage options trading as a business.

Key Takeaways

This book deals with managing options trading as a business rather than purely as a trading activity. The unique approach adopted by this author helps bring out the more intuitive aspects of options trading while analyzing from a management perspective. He covers several aspects, including trading, policy, and risk management. A balanced yet novel treatise on options trading from a business owner’s point of view.

<< Get this book >>

#7 – Money Makers: Inside the New World of Finance and Business

by David Snider  (Author), Chris Howard  (Author)  

Money Makers: Inside the New World of Finance and Business Hardcover February 16, 2010

Book Summary

This edition offers a rare glimpse into some of the most selective business fields, including venture capital, hedge funds, private equity, management consulting, and investment banking. The authors draw insights from the interviews of some of the industry leaders in their respective fields to make this work an invaluable resource for those interested in acquiring a practical understanding of these competitive areas in finance.

Readers can learn a great deal about the hidden workings of the financial industry and what it takes to make entrepreneurship work. In addition, one can find nuggets of wisdom about the business world, which they rarely come across in standard works on the subject. On the whole, a complete package for those interested in enhancing their knowledge of specialized areas in finance.

Key Takeaways

It revealed an interesting book on the ‘secrets’ of the business world through the authors’ interviews with top business leaders. In addition, they interviewed successful venture capitalists, hedge fund managers, management consultants, and private equity professionals before compiling this work for laypeople to find useful information to enhance their understanding of the business world.

<< Get this book >>

#8 – The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

by Ben Horowitz  (Author)  

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Book Summary

A brutally honest book on what it takes to not only start a venture but successfully navigate the obstacles one encounters on the path to success. Ben Horowitz draws from his personal experience of developing a company, managing, selling, or buying one and investing in a good prospect whenever possible. He talks straight and witty, sometimes using some of his favorite lyrics to drive his point home about an array of topics ranging from the decision-making to psychology of managing a startup and hiring or firing friends or close acquaintances. It is an unconventional work that works to fill in the gaps in usual business development thinking that could lead to the demise of the venture itself. A complete insider’s view of how businesses are built, bought, and sold, along with managing the psychological aspect correctly, plays a key role in the entire affair.

Key Takeaways

A narrative-of-sorts of business success and failures is turned into an unconventional business development guide to help entrepreneurs figure out their way around potential blockades. Ben Horowitz accomplishes this feat without making much noise in this work which is nothing less than a force to reckon with when it comes to defining the challenges faced by new ventures and start-ups. He cites not only his experiences in tough decision-making but also treads on matters rarely considered of import, for instance, how to deal effectively with friends and develop a psychological edge to be your CEO.

<< Get this book >>

#9 – Romancing the Balance Sheet: For Anyone Who Owns, Runs or Manages a Business 

Romancing the Balance Sheet: For Anyone Who Owns, Runs or Manages a Business

Book Summary

An informal overview of what it takes to manage a business efficiently and how every decision and action can potentially impact the performance of a business. The author lays down in clear terms the fundamentals of intelligent financial management and how being in the know about the balance sheet can hold the key to managing things better. Though the work might seem focused on the balance sheet, it represents an unconventional approach to help develop an understanding of larger business dynamics. The author explains how to use the working capital properly, along with a better understanding of marginal costing, leverage, and funds flow.

Key Takeaways

An unorthodox view of balance sheet analysis and its central significance to efficient financial management in a business. The author discusses relevant factors, including working capital management, leveraging, and funds flow, while stressing the fact that any and almost every action and the decision could potentially impact the balance sheet one way or the other. An excellent treatise on financial business management engages with the readers very well.

<< Get this book >>

Also, have a look at Finance for non Finance Training

#10 – The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon 

by Brad Stone  (Author)  

[Brad Stone] The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and The Age of Amazon - Hardcover

Book Summary

It traces the amazing story of the evolution of Amazon from an online bookstore to the largest e-commerce venture in the global marketplace. The author describes Jeff Bezos’s journey as an extraordinary entrepreneur who was not afraid to dream big and worked diligently to make Amazon ‘The Everything Store’ until it was no longer a dream. The work discusses Jeff’s challenges and how he learned he would need to overlook short-term profits and plan strategically to grow big in the long term.

The success story of Amazon can help any entrepreneur learn what they might need to succeed and how one can overcome impossible odds to create one of the largest business ventures ever. This work won the “Goldman Sachs and Financial Times Business Book of the Year” award as the first book by this author, which speaks volumes for the quality of his writing.

Key Takeaways

A detailed account of Amazon’s rise and rise describes how Jeff Bezos worked hard to transform an online bookstore into the world’s largest e-commerce venture. The author describes the much-talked-about Amazon business model and how Jeff Bezos developed this strategy to give up some of the short-term gains to emerge as a winner in the longer term and succeed at it.

<< Get this book >>

#11 – Start Your Own Business

The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need  

Start Your Own Business, Sixth Edition: The Only Startup Book You'll Ever Need  

Book Summary

This book is to help entrepreneurs successfully navigate through the maze of business concepts and practices and launch and manage a start-up with minimal issues. Composed by the staff at Entrepreneur Media with more than three decades of experience on their side, this work offers practical, workable guidelines to go about building a business from scratch and acquire an understanding of every conceivable aspect to be able to function efficiently. Some of the key areas covered in this work include changing funding sources for a startup, strategies for successful marketing, and striking profitable partnerships. Apart from addressing the question of business structure and employee policies, this work also tackles the issue of tax requirements, providing information on the latest guidelines in its current edition. In short, it is a complete guide to launching a start-up and managing it well enough to turn it into a successful business venture.

Key Takeaways

A powerful introduction to building a business and learning the art of business management composed by none other than the experienced staff at Entrepreneur Media. The authors have brought their expertise on board, providing useful information on virtually every aspect of business planning and development, tracing the stepwise progress of the venture as it passes through various stages. In addition, this work offers guidelines on funding sources for a startup, utilizing technology and available marketing tools and techniques, and understanding taxation guidelines, among other things.

<< Get this book >>

#12 – Bill Gates: Business Lessons

Fundamental teachings from the richest man in the world. Business lessons applicable to YOUR problems

by Michael Winnicott  (Author)  

BILL GATES: BUSINESS LESSONS: Fundamental teachings from the richest man in the world. Business lessons applicable to YOUR problems (BUSINESS LESSONS FROM GREAT BUSINESSMEN)

Book Summary

Learn from the life lessons of Bill Gates, one of the world’s most successful individuals ever, and discover the secret to meeting challenges successfully and succeeding in business and life. This work sheds light on the life journey of this global icon. It offers insights into his thought process as he faced odds and worked to overcome them, which might inspire, motivate and educate many entrepreneurs, people in business, and people from other walks of life on the art of navigating obstacles. In addition, readers can learn how to take calculated risks and pick up some of the success habits which worked very well for him and might also work for them. In short, a power-packed book with enough practical lessons for anyone with a hunger to succeed.

Key Takeaways

A revealing insight into the life and times of Bill Gates, a global business icon, the world’s richest man, and a man of many epithets like that. Not only in the business world but people from all walks of life can benefit from the lessons imparted, and his success habits could be something to learn for anybody driven to succeed. A must-read for anyone willing to learn a few things from his business lessons.

<< Get this book >>

#13 – Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

by Jim Collins  (Author)

Good to Great :: Why Some Companies Make the Leap &_Others Dont_

Book Summary

A detailed book on why some companies go on to achieve greatness while others with seemingly good potential dwindle with time sidelined in the longer term. Jim Collins goes the extra mile in this study to identify a similar pattern in companies that went on to become great from good when measured with the help of stringently defined criteria.

Does the fundamental question remain why do some good companies fail to grow bigger in the long term? In contrast, others that were nowhere even in the competition consistently outperformed the market over the years. Surprisingly to many, the study’s findings go against the commonly accepted wisdom of what is supposed to work for companies in the long term. A highly recommended study for managers and CEOs and a logical sequel to the same author’s ‘Built to Last.’

Key Takeaways

A pinpointed study aimed at finding out the secret behind the success of some companies that keep on performing exceptionally well while others fail to do so. The study adopts stringent criteria for measuring and comparing the performance of some companies to find out what differentiates them when it comes to performing consistently well and growing from good to great in the literal sense of the word. A must-read for business managers and CEOs, as well as students and finance professionals, to acquire a better understanding of evaluating companies objectively on their merit.

<< Get this book >>

#14 – The Little Big Small Business Book 

by Micah Fraim  (Author) 

The Little Big Small Business Book

Book Summary

This edition is useful for growing your small business and maximizing profits and savings. The author offers 17 unique ideas to achieve these goals, which are simple enough in application but can make a world of difference to your business. Challenging the conventional thinking that it always takes a lot of strategies and planning to run and grow a small business, the author provides a simple framework for achieving your business objectives with minimal effort and risk.

An ideal companion for anyone looking to grow their own business and enhance their profits and sales with a practically feasible amount of effort and planning.

Key Takeaways

An unconventional guide for small businesses on how to implement some of the little ideas offered in this work with the potential to make a big impact in terms of the outcome. Usually, people take on too much upon themselves in terms of planning and strategy, which is difficult to implement.

By contrast, this author presents straightforward ideas in easy-to-understand language for small businesses to perform better. This a highly recommended read for anyone interested in starting a small business or someone who already owns one.

<< Get this book >>

This article is a guide to Business Books. Here, we have compiled a list of the top 14 books dealing with business development, strategy, planning, and innovative business ideas, along with other critical aspects. You may also refer to the following books: –

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