To understand the mind of a billionaire, you just need to know what the billionaire reads.
Recently CNBC published an article about Elon Musk and what books actually propelled him to success.
Elon Musk is someone who’s achieved huge success in his various ventures after overcoming a lot of failures.
When asked in interviews, Elon always used to say that ever since his childhood, books have played an enormous role in shaping his ambitions and aspirations.
With his recent success in completing the first commercial rocket launch in SpaceX, reports asked him about how he learned about rockets? And his response was, “I read books”.
His ground-breaking career has been shaped by these 8 books. These recommendations will definitely help you live the internet lifestyle.
1. “Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down” by J.E. Gordon
For anyone who has ever wondered why suspension bridges don’t collapse under eight lanes of traffic, how dams hold back-or give way under-thousands of gallons
of water, or what principles guide the design of a skyscraper or a kangaroo, this book will ease your anxiety and answer your questions.
J. E. Gordon strips engineering of its confusing technical terms, communicating its founding principles in accessible, witty prose.
2. “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” by Walter Isaacson
In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs, shows how the most fascinating of America’s founders helped define our national character.
Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us, the one who seems made of flesh rather than marble. In a sweeping narrative that follows Franklin’s life from Boston to Philadelphia to London and Paris and back, Walter Isaacson chronicles the adventures of the runaway apprentice who became, over the course of his eighty-four-year life, America’s best writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist, as well as one of its most practical and ingenious political leaders.
He explores the wit behind Poor Richard’s Almanac and the wisdom behind the Declaration of Independence, the new nation’s alliance with France, the treaty that ended the Revolution, and the compromises that created a near-perfect Constitution.
3. “Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson
Isaacson’s biography is an excellent exhibition of Einstein’s personality, aura, rebellious nature and scientific approach for things that seemed mundane to others. The book delves deep into his life and verifies the connection between creativity and freedom.
It reveals Einstein as the man behind the science. From early years of life to thoughts, experiments to his later life, the book has it all. It also reveals his role in the development of the atomic bomb and how he contributed to the civil rights groups in the United States.
The book revolves around letters written by Einstein. The biography offers glimpses into then society and people and other unknown facts about the great physics prodigy that resided in dark for so many decades. His failure to be a good husband, father, and a teacher, the book explores how an ordinary man becomes the extraordinary who decoded the mysteries of the universe with the theory of relativity.
Einstein’s scientific approach for conventional things and his faith in formulas enabled him to think about astronomical bodies and subatomic particles so deeply that the present day scientists are still trying their best to get close to where he left.
4. “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies” by Nick Bostrom
The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position.
Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: We get to make the first move.
Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations.
This profoundly ambitious and original book picks its way carefully through a vast tract of forbiddingly difficult intellectual terrain. Yet the writing is so lucid that it somehow makes it all seem easy. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom’s work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
5. “Merchants of Doubt” by Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes
The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. These scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers.
Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades.
Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly-some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is “not settled” denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. “Doubt is our product,” wrote one tobacco executive. These “experts” supplied it.
6. “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
This is a famous and popular novel that has been reprinted many times. It has also been made into two feature length movies, the first in 1963 and the next in 1990 and there is another movie in production. It has also been made into at least six short episodes for TV.
A British plane crashes on or near an isolated island in a remote region of the Pacific Ocean. The only survivors are boys in their middle childhood or preadolescence. Now they must work together to survive, or they will fight each other.
7. “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” by Peter Thiel
The book Zero To One is about nurturing the next big idea to build a valuable global company. If you are only following in the steps known entrepreneurs, then the authors believe that you are headed nowhere.
The book recalls how certain innovative ideas were incubated and how people behind them dared to dream big and even did realize some of them. But trying to replicate or improvise what Bill Gates achieved with developing an operating system or what Large Page got out of making a user friendly search engine is not going to help in realizing the dream for building the next global business empire.
This book also compiles the startups culture as discussed by Peter Thiel in his lecture for Stanford University students in 2012 with details about various other aspects of entrepreneurship.
The authors encourage to think out of the box, without delving too much into the lives of the great entrepreneurs for there are already many books on that. Thiel, himself a successful serial entrepreneur, instead motivates for chalking out ones own course, breaking conventions, changing the rules and about disruptive technologies that revolutionize the way business is conducted.
The book was well received and did get recommendations from notable authors and business enthusiasts. Written in a easy to understand language, the book attempts to describe the demands and stakes that drive the startup world.
8. The “Foundation” trilogy by Isaac Asimov
Long after Earth was forgotten, a peaceful and unified galaxy took shape, an Empire governed from the majestic city-planet of Trantor. The system worked, and grew, for countless generations. Everyone believed it would work forever. Everyone except Hari Seldon.
As the great scienctific thinker of his age Seldon could not be ignored. Reluctantly, the Commission of Public Safety agreed to finance the Seldon Plan.
The coming disaster was predicted by Seldon’s advances in psychohistory, the mathematics of very large human numbers, and it could not be averted. The Empire was doomed. Soon Trantor would lie in ruins. Chaos would overtake humanity. But the Seldon Plan was a long term strategy to minimize the worst of what was to come.
Two Foundations were set up at opposite ends of the galaxy. Of the Second nothing can be told. It guards the secrets of psychohisotry. FOUNDATION is the story of the First Foundation, on the remote planet of Terminus, from which those secrets were withheld.
Hope you liked this compilation of books based on the information I got from other sources on Elon Musk. Please share this article with others and spread the knowledge.
Leaders are readers. And the best way to get into the minds of the most successful is to read what they read. Model the best.
The reason I compiled this post is so that I can learn myself, and also help you live a better life.