I am a big fan of truly fundamental ideas. I call these “First Principles.” Too many supposed big ideas are just symptoms of subtler and often deeper first principles. Remember the business fad that said free back massages were key to productivity? Back massages are obviously great but most businesses will find there are many other higher impact changes they can make to improve their productivity. Over the years, I’ve found a few books that explore some of those foundational insights that are not just correlated with success but that directly cause success.
Marc Benioff’s books does a solid job of simultaneously sharing the history of Salesforce.com and the decisions and insights that helped drive its unique success. Marc is amazingly candid in his praise and his criticisms (including of himself). It covers everything from building products to expansion outside the United States to managing and organizing large teams.
Recommend for anyone growing a company or an organization.
This is one of the most insightful and paradigm shifting books I’ve read. While it’s aimed at large companies challenged with upstart companies targeting their industry, the ideas are universally applicable.
Recommend for strategic planning, product roadmap building and creating customer-listening organizations.
Check out my Pinterest page which has a longer list of my recommended books.