HomeKnow-HowJack Dorsey and Elon Musk's favourite books

Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk’s favourite books

Books have the power to transform lives and businesses. In our section “The favourite books of…”, we introduce you to the favourite books of some of the most successful internet entrepreneurs. Today we’re looking at the bookshelf of Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk:

Jack Dorsey, Founder and CEO of Square

Jack-DorseyNew employees at Square usually get a welcome kit which contains inter alia a book called The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right by Atul Gawande. The premise of the book is that a simple checklist can help people manage complex situations. On Tumblr he also once quoted one of his favourite passages, which is about venture capitalists choosing which startups to invest in: “You would think that this would be whether the entrepreneur’s idea is actually a good one. But finding an idea is apparently not all that hard. Finding an entrepreneur who can execute a good idea is a different matter entirely. One needs a person who can take an idea from proposal to reality, work the long hours, build a team, handle the pressures and setbacks, manage technical and people problems alike, and stick with the effort for years on end without getting distracted or going insane. Such people are rare and extremely hard to spot.”

Elon Musk, Founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX

Elon once Elon-Musktold NPR that he enjoyed reading the Lord of the Rings series and that he has read the work of many philosophers. But one of his favourite books surprisingly is Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which he read while growing up. Probably the most important takeaways Musk got from reading this book was that sometimes it’s harder to come up with the right question than to find the right answer. He once stated: “When we ask questions they come along with our biases. You should really ask, ‘Is this the right question?’ And that’s hard to figure out”.

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Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr is the "Editor in Chief" of EU-Startups.com and started the blog in October 2010. He is excited about Europe's future, passionate about new business ideas and lives in Barcelona (Spain).

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