As 2020 draws to a close, these compelling business biographies will provide just the kind of inspiration to kickstart our thinking for the new year
There’s nothing like the power of a personal story to teach us important lessons in life. And, when that story comes from one of the most influential minds of our times, the lessons can resonate even more.
Here we have gathered some of the most compelling business biographies on the market today. And, as we close off 2020, they are sure to provide just the kind of inspiration we need to kickstart our own thinking for the new year.
THE EVERYTHING STORE: JEFF BEZOS AND THE AGE OF AMAZON
By Brad Stone (Available in French)
It’s hard to remember a time when Amazon wasn’t the ubiquitous presence it is today. Yet Jeff Bezos started very small and he started just with books. It took him about a year of hard work before he managed to make his first sale.
This book tells the story of Amazon’s visionary founder and tracks the rise of the retail behemoth from its beginnings as a one-room book-selling operation to the “everything store” we now know. In so doing, it provides a revealing glimpse into the inner workings of a company that forever changed the way we shop and read.
By Walter Isaacson (Available in French)
Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs, as well as at least 100 interviews with family members, friends and foes, this book draws what the New York Times calls an “enthralling” portrait of an entrepreneur who revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing.
More than any other, Jobs understood that best way to create value in the 21st century was to connect creativity with technology. And, in this book, Walter Isaacson takes us into the mind of the man and his genius.
THRIVE: THE THIRD METRIC TO REDEFINING SUCCESS AND CREATING A LIFE OF WELL-BEING, WISDOM, AND WONDER
By Arianna Huffington (Available in French)
When it comes to wellness, Arianna Huffington learned the hard way. One day, the Huffington Post founder was so exhausted and sleep-deprived that she collapsed at her desk, breaking her cheekbone and creating a nasty gash above her eye. In the aftermath of the fall, she began to reassess what it truly means to be successful.
In this book, Huffington talks candidly about her own challenges in juggling business deadlines and family crises, and draws on the latest research in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep and physiology to propose a new way to live—one that goes beyond the quest for money and power that can ultimately lead to far greater fulfillment.
REALLIONAIRE: NINE STEPS TO BECOMING RICH FROM THE INSIDE OUT
By Farrah Gray
When Farrah Gray was only six years old, his mother fell seriously ill. At that point, the African-American boy decided he needed to provide for his family and he spent the first $50 he ever earned taking them out for dinner. By the age of eight, he had founded his first business club and, by 14, he had sold his first business for more than US$1 million. Now, the entrepreneur not only has offices on Wall Street and in Los Angeles, but has invested in a partnership with Inner City Broadcasting, one of the most prominent African-American owned businesses in the U.S.
In this book—described by one reviewer as a “terrific read”—Gray relates his journey along with the principles that guided him along the way.
THE SNOWBALL: WARREN BUFFETT AND THE BUSINESS OF LIFE
By Alice Schroeder
Warren Buffett is arguably one of the most respected—and richest—investors in the world. But, although much has been written about his investing style, very little is known about the man himself.
For this book, Buffett gave writer Alice Schroeder unprecedented access to explore his life story, including his work, philosophy, struggles and triumphs. And, as a result, the reader emerges with a far better understanding of the complexities of a man who, from the modest Omaha headquarters of his company Berkshire Hathaway, set out to prove that nice guys can finish first. And, by most accounts, he seems to have succeeded.
ELON MUSK: TESLA, SPACEX, AND THE QUEST FOR A FANTASTIC FUTURE
By Ashlee Vance (Available in French)
Most people know of Elon Musk as the innovator behind Tesla, SpaceX and Solar City. But this biography traces the full trajectory of his life from his tumultuous beginnings in South Africa, to his flight to the U.S., to his work with Zip2, PayPal and beyond. As entrepreneurs go, there are few more striking personalities than Musk and this bestseller shows how he has devoted his considerable energy and vast fortune to inventing what one reviewer calls “a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.”