The Best Business Books of 2020

This past year was, in short, very complicated. The business scene changed dramatically with every passing month and many of us were left dumbfounded by it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t grow to understand it. For that reason, we are compiling ten of the best business books published in 2020 for the entrepreneur inside of you.

 

 

Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter de [50 Cent]

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In his early twenties, Curtis Jackson, known as “50 Cent,” rose to the heights of fame and power in the cutthroat music business. A decade ago, the multi-platinum selling rap artist decided to pivot. His ability to adapt to change was demonstrated when he became the executive producer and star of Power, a high-octane, gripping crime drama centered around a drug kingpin’s family. The series quickly became “appointment” television, leading to Jackson inking a four-year, $150 million contract with the Starz network—the most lucrative deal in premium cable history.

Now, in his most personal book, Jackson shakes up the self-help category with his unique, cutting-edge lessons and hard-earned advice on embracing change. Where The 50th Law tells readers “fear nothing and you shall succeed,” Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter builds on this message, combining it with Jackson’s street smarts and hard-learned corporate savvy ways to help readers successfully achieve their own comeback—and to learn to flow with the changes that disrupt their own lives.

 

 

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Technology is accelerating far more quickly than anyone could have imagined. During the next decade, we will experience more upheaval and create more wealth than we have had in the past hundred years. In this gripping and insightful roadmap to our near future, Diamandis and Kotler investigate how wave after wave of exponentially accelerating technologies will impact both our daily lives and society as a whole. What happens as AI, robotics, virtual reality, digital biology, and sensors crash into 3D printing, blockchain, and global gigabit networks? How will these convergences transform today’s legacy industries? What will happen to the way we raise our kids, govern our nations, and care for our planet?

Diamandis, a space-entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer, and Kotler, bestselling author and peak performance expert, probe the science of technological convergence and how it will reinvent every part of our lives—transportation, retail, advertising, education, health, entertainment, food, and finance—taking humanity into uncharted territories and reimagining the world as we know it.

 

 

 

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen de [Dan Heath]

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So often in life, we get stuck in a cycle of response. We put out fires. We deal with emergencies. We stay downstream, handling one problem after another, but we never make our way upstream to fix the systems that caused the problems. Cops chase robbers, doctors treat patients with chronic illnesses, and call-center reps address customer complaints. But many crimes, chronic illnesses, and customer complaints are preventable. So why do our efforts skew so heavily toward reaction rather than prevention?

Upstream probes the psychological forces that push us downstream—including “problem blindness,” which can leave us oblivious to serious problems in our midst. And Heath introduces us to the thinkers who have overcome these obstacles and scored massive victories by switching to an upstream mindset. One online travel website prevented twenty million customer service calls every year by making some simple tweaks to its booking system. A major urban school district cut its dropout rate in half after it figured out that it could predict which students would drop out—as early as the ninth grade. A European nation almost eliminated teenage alcohol and drug abuse by deliberately changing the nation’s culture. And one EMS system accelerated the emergency-response time of its ambulances by using data to predict where 911 calls would emerge—and forward-deploying its ambulances to stand by in those areas.

 

 

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There has never before been a company like Netflix. It has led nothing short of a revolution in the entertainment industries, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue while capturing the imaginations of hundreds of millions of people in over 190 countries. But to reach these great heights, Netflix, which launched in 1998 as an online DVD rental service, has had to reinvent itself over and over again. This type of unprecedented flexibility would have been impossible without the counterintuitive and radical management principles that cofounder, Reed Hastings, established from the very beginning. Hastings rejected the conventional wisdom under which other companies operate and defied tradition to instead build a culture focused on freedom and responsibility; one that has allowed Netflix to adapt and innovate as the needs of its members and the world have simultaneously transformed.

Here for the first time, Hastings and Erin Meyer, bestselling author of The Culture Map and one of the world’s most influential business thinkers, dive deep into the controversial ideologies at the heart of the Netflix psyche, which have generated results that are the envy of the business world. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with current and past Netflix employees from around the globe and never-before-told stories of trial and error from Hastings’s own career, No Rules Rules is the fascinating and untold account of the philosophy behind one of the world’s most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies.

 

 

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Doing well with money isn’t necessarily about what you know. It’s about how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people.

Money―investing, personal finance, and business decisions―is typically taught as a math-based field, where data and formulas tell us exactly what to do. But in the real world, people don’t make financial decisions on a spreadsheet. They make them at the dinner table, or in a meeting room, where personal history, your own unique view of the world, ego, pride, marketing, and odd incentives are scrambled together.

In The Psychology of Money, award-winning author, Morgan Housel, shares nineteen short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money, and teaches one how to make better sense of life’s most important topics.

 

 

 

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You might imagine that an effective leader is someone who makes quick, intelligent decisions, gives inspiring speeches, and issues clear orders to their team so they can execute a plan to achieve your organization’s goals. Unfortunately, David Marquet argues that’s an outdated model of leadership that just doesn’t work anymore.

As a leader in today’s networked, information-dense business climate, you don’t have full visibility into your organization or the ground reality of your operating environment. In order to harness the eyes, ears, and minds of your people, you need to foster a climate of collaborative experimentation that encourages people to speak up when they notice problems and work together to identify and test solutions.

Too many leaders fall in love with the sound of their own voice, and wind up dictating plans and digging in their heels when problems begin to emerge. Even when you want to be a more collaborative leader, you can undermine your own efforts by defaulting to command-and-control language we’ve inherited from the industrial era.

It’s time to ditch the industrial age playbook of leadership. In Leadership is Language, you’ll learn how choosing your words can dramatically improve decision-making and execution on your team.

 

 

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For its first two hundred years, the American economy exhibited truly impressive performance. The combination of democratically elected governments and a capitalist system worked, with ever-increasing levels of efficiency spurred by division of labor, international trade, and scientific management of companies. By the nation’s bicentennial celebration in 1976, the American economy was the envy of the world. But since then, outcomes have changed dramatically. Growth in the economic prosperity of the average American family has slowed to a crawl, while the wealth of the richest Americans has skyrocketed. This imbalance threatens the American democratic capitalist system and our way of life.

In this bracing yet constructive book, world-renowned business thinker, Roger Martin, starkly outlines the fundamental problem: We have treated the economy as a machine, pursuing ever-greater efficiency as an inherent good. But efficiency has become too much of a good thing. Our obsession with it has inadvertently shifted the shape of our economy, from a large middle class and smaller numbers of rich and poor (think of a bell-shaped curve) to a greater share of benefits accruing to a thin tail of already-rich Americans (a Pareto distribution).

With lucid analysis and engaging anecdotes, Martin argues that we must stop treating the economy as a perfectible machine, and shift toward viewing it as a complex adaptive system in which we seek a fundamental balance of efficiency with resilience. To achieve this, we need to keep in mind the whole while working on the component parts; pursue improvement, not perfection; and relentlessly tweak instead of attempting to find permanent solutions.

 

 

No Filter: How Instagram transformed business, celebrity and culture: Amazon.es: Frier, Sarah: Libros en idiomas extranjeros

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In 2010, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger released a photo-sharing app called Instagram, with one simple but irresistible feature: it would make anything you captured look more beautiful. The cofounders cultivated a community of photographers and artisans around the app, and it quickly went mainstream. In less than two years, it caught Facebook’s attention: Mark Zuckerberg bought the company for a historic $1 billion when Instagram had only thirteen employees. That might have been the end of a classic success story. But the cofounders stayed on, trying to maintain Instagram’s beauty, brand, and cachet, considering their app a separate company within the social networking giant. They urged their employees to make changes only when necessary, resisting Facebook’s grow-at-all-costs philosophy in favor of a strategy that highlighted creativity and celebrity. Just as Instagram was about to reach a billion users, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg—once supportive of the founders’ autonomy—began to feel threatened by Instagram’s success.

Frier draws on unprecedented access—from the founders of Instagram, as well as employees, executives, and competitors; Anna Wintour of Vogue; Kris Jenner of the Kardashian-Jenner empire; and a plethora of influencers worldwide—to show how Instagram has fundamentally changed the way we show, eat, travel, and communicate, all while fighting to preserve the values which contributed to the company’s success. “Deeply reported and beautifully written” (Nick Bilton, Vanity Fair), No Filter examines how Instagram’s dominance acts as a lens into our society today, highlighting our fraught relationship with technology, our desire for perfection, and the battle within tech for its most valuable commodity: our attention.

 

 

 

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The Simulmatics Corporation, launched during the Cold War, mined data, targeted voters, manipulated consumers, destabilized politics, and disordered knowledge―decades before Facebook, Google, and Cambridge Analytica. Jill Lepore, best-selling author of These Truths, came across the company’s papers in MIT’s archives and set out to tell this forgotten history, the long-lost backstory to the methods, and the arrogance, of Silicon Valley.

The scientists of Simulmatics believed they had invented “the A-bomb of the social sciences.” They did not predict that it would take decades to detonate, like a long-buried grenade. But, in the early years of the twenty-first century, that bomb did detonate, creating a world in which corporations collect data and model behavior and target messages about the most ordinary of decisions, leaving people all over the world, long before the global pandemic, crushed by feelings of helplessness. This history has a past; If Then is its cautionary tale.

 

 

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A former rocket scientist reveals the habits, ideas, and strategies that will empower you to turn the seemingly impossible into the possible.

Rocket science is often celebrated as the ultimate triumph of technology. But it’s not. Rather, it’s the apex of a certain thought process—a way to imagine the unimaginable and solve the unsolvable. It’s the same thought process that enabled Neil Armstrong to take his giant leap for mankind, that allows spacecraft to travel millions of miles through outer space and land on a precise spot, and that brings us closer to colonizing other planets.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to think like one. In this accessible and practical book, Ozan Varol reveals nine simple strategies from rocket science that you can use to make your own giant leaps in work and life — whether it’s landing your dream job, accelerating your business, learning a new skill, or creating the next breakthrough product. Today, thinking like a rocket scientist is a necessity. We all encounter complex and unfamiliar problems in our lives. Those who can tackle these problems—without clear guidelines and with the clock ticking—enjoy an extraordinary advantage.
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