5 Books That Inspired Steve Jobs, Bill Gates And Other Billionaires


Most readers can name books that have inspired them and had a significant impact on their life. The five billionaires below named one particular book that both inspired and aided in shaping their careers, according to Think Business.

Warren Buffett

Timothy F. Geithner’s “Stress Test”

The former Treasury secretary's book narrates his experience in navigating the government through one of the worst financial crises to date.

The story covers Geithern's tribulations in managing the financial crisis, politics and his family —  factors that resonate with financial wizards like Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) CEO Warren Buffett.

“You can't judge a decision by how it turns out, only by whether it made sense given the information available at the time,” Geither said.

Steve Jobs

Clayton M. Christensen’s “The Innovator’s Dilemma”

As an innovator who was best-known for the constant improvement of his company Apple Inc. AAPL, the late Jobs drew considerable influence from Christensen’s book. One of the main themes of the text is urging creators to constantly move forward or risk being left behind.

“But in disruptive situations, action must be taken before careful plans are made. Because much less can be known about what markets need or how large they can become, plans must serve a very different purpose: they must be plans for learning rather than plans for implementation,” Christensen wrote in the book.

Sheryl Sandberg

Tiny Fey’s “Bossypants”

As one of the most influential women in the social networking space, Fey’s humorous publication demonstrated the reality for female executives like Facebook, Inc. FB COO Sheryl Sandberg. The book touches on gender roles within the workplace and places a satirical spin on the experience of women in a high-level corporate setting.

“Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it,” Fey said.


Bill Gates

John Brooks’ “Business Adventures”

First recommended to Microsoft Corporation MSFT co-founder Bill Gates by Buffett, this 1969 book highlights several scandals, disasters and controversies on Wall Street. For Gates, the publication gave insight on how to successfully build a business.

Coined by Gates as the best business book he has ever read, the executive credited both the author and the text numerous times throughout his career.

“While I can’t conceive that this business will ever seem enough, an end of itself, to make up a satisfactory life, yet the busy-ness, the activity, the crises, the gambles, the management problems I must face, the judgment about people, all combine to make something far from dull,” Brooks said in the book.

Donald Trump

Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking”

This book has provided spiritual guidance for the president throughout his life, according to Politico. As a text utilized by the entire family, the well-known Trump tenacity and often unwarranted optimism are widely credited to this book.

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities!” Peale said in the book.

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Posted In: EducationTop StoriesMediaGeneralBill GatesbooksDonald TrumpJavi’s PicksPoliticoSheryl SandbergSteve JobsThink BusinessWarren Buffett