The biggest tech companies today define our world. Tech companies with hardware or software, like Apple, Facebook and Google. Shopping giants like Amazon, Groupon, Gilt and Zappos where the technology has made them what they are and is just as important as their products. These books written from the inside will inspire, and educate on where we are going next.
7 Biggest Tech Companies
1. Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh (Zappos)
Shoes delivered, every girls dream! The book about the founding story of the world’s largest online shoe store is more of a biography of its founder. There is a candor in the way Hsieh writes about his life, his company’s core values and past mistakes that makes the book a delightful read. Particularly engaging is how Hsieh – who is the son of Taiwan immigrants – details how he tried to live according to the expectations of his Asian parents, before leaving a secure tech job to start his own business. While am inspirational success story nonetheless, Delivering Happiness is a book that would especially resonate with those who come from a more conservative upbringing, and grew up with Eastern values.
2. One Click – Richard Brandt (Amazon.com)
If you are not familiar with how Amazon came to be as the largest online mall, this book will give you a thorough overview of its early days and its founder, Jeff Bezos. One Click looks critically at the strengths and weaknesses of both Bezos as a business leader, and Amazon as a business. This book is a recommended read if you want a better understanding of Amazon’s book selling business, specifically how authors and publishers fit into the picture. Other than that, most of the content is focused on the past, and not much is said about where the e-commerce giant is heading forward.
3. iWoz – Steve Wozniak (Apple)
The full title is “iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I invested the personal computer, co-founded Apple, and had fun doing it.” Phew, almost gives it all away right there. The founding story of Apple is a familiar one, though most of them revolve around Steve Jobs. This book is about the other half of the biggest tech companies in the world’s co-founder. From his childhood to starting the tech company and beyond. It is both a biography and a success story. Whether you are a devoted Apple user or not, it is rather refreshing to read about the lesser known Steve and his role in the tech revolution.
4. Groupon’s Biggest Deal Ever – Frank Sennett (Groupon)
If you are among many who are addicted to the tempting daily deals on Groupon, you may be curious about the company’s radical business model and how it all came about. Sennett’s book is the perfect source that will satisfy those curiosities. By the time you finish reading, you will be an expert in all things Groupon, from its conception by a maverick founder to its rapid rise.
5. I’m Feeling Lucky – Douglas Edwards (Google)
Obviously, Edwards, also known as Employee 59, is not the only one who has written a book on the workings of Google. The merit of his book lies in being a jargon-free, non-techie-friendly take on the search engine Goliath through the eyes of a marketing person who knows little about technology . If you find yourself struggling to keep up with and understand the influence Google is having on the world we live in, this is a good book to start.
6. By Invitation only – Alexis Maybank & Alexandra Wilkis (Gilt)
The success story of Gilt is the classic one where hard work, smart risk-taking and determination pay off. Additionally, it also shows how a good work ethic, dedication and passion are all essential components in the journey. It is definitely an inspirational read for entrepreneurs, especially women. And whats not to like about shopping, especially shopping online.
7. The Accidental Billionaires – Ben Mezrich (Facebook)
This book is the source from which the movie The Social Network was adapted from. Supposedly the ‘untold’ founding story of Facebook. If you are looking to read about the history of Facebook and its founders in the light of a serious business success story, this book may not be it. What you will get from Mezrich’s book is a more sensationalized and one-sided account (from Eduardo Saverin, the only co-founder cut from the company), with questionable credibility. The book may still provide for on entertaining read, but do take every ‘fact’ with a grain of salt.
For more on entrepreneurship or startups read these reviews.