Tech For Good – Analog Edition: Best Books for Tech Entrepreneurs

Part of making a better future for everyone, a more inclusive future, is harnessing the powers of technology for good.  However, before you can deliver ground breaking technologies which provide tracking on world poverty eradication, design new braille technologies and fonts, or tackle the human machine design interface you need inspiration and to get the basics right.

With those thoughts in mind we turned our bookshelves to find the best books for tech entrepreneurs.  As per usual, we threw in a couple of fiction books and a comic book for weekend reading. We hope these will inspire you to innovate and create something new.

On the Shelves

Conscious Capitalism

This book by John Mackey, Co-founder Whole Foods Market, and Raj Sisodia present the argument that capitalism can be good.  Not just good but is inherently good.  The authors argue capitalism can work for management, stakeholders, employees, and society at large.  While the opinion is certainly controversial, they profile many successful companies across an array of fields to illustrate their argument.  They present an instruction manual for any company looking to evolve ethically.

Start Up Land: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business

Written by Mikkel Svane, the founder the CEO of Zendesk, the book chronicles the founding of the business and the friendships which survived the whole ordeal.  This book is part memoir and part guide.  Svane is speaking to other entrepreneurs from the perspective of someone still running the business, still making difficult daily decisions, and still working on the original exciting idea.  This book is useful for anyone looking to scale up or even thinking of jumping into the deep end.

The Second Machine Age: Work Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee explore our love affair with continual invention and innovation of technology.   And while they celebrate our progress chronicling the development of self-driving cars and Watson the Robot, they also explore the question on everyone’s minds: what happens when the machine takes over my job.  The authors provide a blueprint for prosperity in the face of adversity, making radical recommendations like changing the education system.  Optimistic and well-researched the book is essential to anyone looking to successfully navigate in the coming machine age.

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

This book is filled with insights from former Twitter Advisor and Facebook Product Manager, Antonio Garcia Martinez.  The eponymous chaos monkeys he refers to in the book at Uber, Tinder, Netflix, and many other disruptive tech companies which changed how we live our lives.  And while he does chronicle the rise of these disruptors, he also has a few tales about his own adventures being a “Silicon Velley wastrel,” which is a term not often used any longer.  The book is a subversive and irreverent look inside the tech bubble.

Sometimes going forward means looking back

Sometimes the best way to move forward and harness the power of technology is to realize we do not need it. And so, we have a recommendation for a book on the opposite of technological progress and innovation.

The Revenge of Analog

Written by Canadian journalist David Sax this book is a loving portrait of how we are resurrecting what used to be.  Sometimes the latest and greatest thing is something already invented and the hot new thing on the market has always existed.  From a vinyl pressing company to notebooks, from successful paper-based magazines to crowd-funded bookstores, he explores worlds we had thought long gone but were merely hibernating.  The book hit the best seller lists world-wide, and even features the Viennese photography movement, Lomography, which is taking the world by storm.  Metropole reviewed the book last year, check out the full article.

Because no one wants to work on a summer weekend

Don’t worry, we have you covered.  It is beautiful outside.  The weather is warm.  The sun is shining.  Pack yourself a picnic and a blanket and head to the park for a Saturday afternoon. While away the hours soaking up all the lovely sunshine by reading some fiction.

The Martian

Andy Weir transports us to the red surface of Mars and the tragedy that befalls the main character, Mark Watney, when he is abandonned during a raging storm on the planet’s surface. He uses the technology available to survive.  Everything from hydroponically growing plants to eat to eventually communicating with Earth. The book is packed with realistic technology and is an exciting read.

Mr. Terrific

Self-made millionaire and owner of a tech company Mr. Terrific is truly a super hero for the entrepreneur.  The current Mr. Terrific is Michael Holt.  His back story is one of devastating loss and loneliness.  He starts youth centers, works towards greater social inclusion, and fights super villains.  His motto: Fair Play.  An absolutely fantastic read for a sunny Saturday.

Looking for more to read

We have you covered.  You can check out our top recommendations for entrepreneurs, futurisminspiring women, leading ladies, messes, and sticking to it.

Jennifer Cornick - Impact Hub Vienna
Jennifer Cornick Freelance journalist and blogger for various publications in Vienna. When I am not writing, I can generally be found with a book (or anything with words on it - even […]

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