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Jason Fried

entrepreneur
executive

Recommended Books

Jason Fried is the co-founder and president of 37signals, a Chicago-based company that builds web-based productivity tools that, in their words, "do less than the competition - intentionally." 37signals' simple but powerful collaboration tools include Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, Campfire, Ta-da List, and Writeboard
11 books on the list
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Lifespan
Why We Age―and Why We Don't Have To
David A. Sinclair - Sep 10, 2019
Goodreads Rating
It’s a seemingly undeniable truth that aging is inevitable. But what if everything we’ve been taught to believe about aging is wrong? What if we could choose our lifespan? In this groundbreaking book, Dr. David Sinclair, leading world authority on genetics and longevity, reveals a bold new theory for why we age. As he writes: “Aging is a disease, a...
Jason Fried
Mar 17, 2020
Sinclair’s a brilliant guy (highly recommend his book “Lifespan”). Nice to see him chiming in on COVID-19. This ~12 min sobering video is worth a watch.     source
Where the Suckers Moon
The Life and Death of an Advertising Campaign
Randall Rothenberg - Oct 31, 1995
Goodreads Rating
"For all the right reasons." "Cars that can." "What to Drive." "The perfect Car for an Imperfect World." Only one of these slogans would be chosen by Subaru of America to sell its cars in the recession year of 1991.As six advertising agencies scrambled for the account and the winner tried to churn out the Big Idea that would install Subaru in the c...
Jason Fried
Dec 26, 2019
Q: What’s your favorite book on building a brand that ages well? #askJF - @TanWithMedia A:     source
Why We Sleep
Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
Matthew Walker - Jun 19, 2018 (first published in 2017)
Goodreads Rating
“Why We Sleep is an important and fascinating book…Walker taught me a lot about this basic activity that every person on Earth needs. I suspect his book will do the same for you.” —Bill Gates A New York Times bestseller and international sensation, this “stimulating and important book” (Financial Times) is a fascinating dive into the purpose and po...
Jason Fried
Nov 12, 2018
Think 6 hours is enough sleep? Think you can power through periods of limited sleep and make it up later? Think you’re immune to sleep deprivation because you’re born to hustle? Read this book and think again. “Why We Sleep” is highly recommended —>     source
A Guide to the Good Life
The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
William B. Irvine - Nov 04, 2008
Goodreads Rating
One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still ...
Jason Fried
Dec 05, 2017
The book that had the biggest impact on me this year was “A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy” —>     source
Seeking Wisdom
From Darwin to Munger, 3rd Edition
Peter Bevelin - Dec 31, 2006 (first published in 2003)
Goodreads Rating
Peter Bevelin begins his fascinating book with Confucius' great wisdom: "A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it, is committing another mistake." Seeking Wisdom is the result of Bevelin's learning about attaining wisdom. His quest for wisdom originated partly from making mistakes himself and observing those of others but also from ...
Jason Fried
Jan 17, 2017
Finally got to re-reading one of my favorite books: Seeking Wisdom, from Darwin to Munger. Highly recommended.     source
Maverick
The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace
Ricardo Semler - Apr 01, 1995 (first published in 1988)
Goodreads Rating
Semler turned his family's business, the aging Semco corporation of Brazil, into the most revolutionary business success story of our time. By eliminating uneeded layers of management and allowing employees unprecedented democracy in the workplace, he created a company that challenged the old ways and blazed a path to success in an uncertain econom...
Jason Fried
Nov 24, 2016
It was @ricardosemler’s 1990’s book Maverick that really gave me the extra boost to courage to run 37signals/Basecamp our way…     source
Also recommended by
David Heinemeier Hansson
Endurance
Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
Alfred Lansing - Apr 28, 2015 (first published in 1959)
Goodreads Rating
The harrowing tale of British explorer Ernest Shackleton's 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole, one of the greatest adventure stories of the modern age. In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling ...
Jason Fried
Nov 21, 2016
I'll leave you with the one I just finished: "Endurance". It's about Ernest Shackleton's incredible attempt to cross the Antarctic continent back in the early 1900s. Amazing story of perseverance and leadership against all odds. Riveting book.     source
Also recommended by
Ryan HolidayScott Belsky
Revising Prose
Richard A. Lanham - Jul 19, 2006 (first published in 1979)
Goodreads Rating
This remarkable little book, intended as a supplement for any course that requires writing, models a clear, step-by-step system for creating straight-forward, concise, intelligible and readable prose....
Jason Fried
Mar 26, 2016
If you want to be a better writer, ignore this cover and read this book:     source
Quiet
The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Susan Cain - Jan 29, 2013 (first published in 2012)
Goodreads Rating
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.In Quiet, Susan...
Jason Fried
Sep 02, 2015
@norah_nr Haven't really. A good book I'd recommend is "Quiet" by Susan Cain —>     source
The Talent Code
Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown.
Daniel Coyle - Apr 01, 2010 (first published in 2009)
Goodreads Rating
'Talent. You've either got it or you haven't.' Not true, actually.In The Talent Code, award-winning journalist Daniel Coyle draws on cutting-edge research to reveal that, far from being some abstract mystical power fixed at birth, ability really can be created and nurtured.In the process, he considers talent at work in venues as diverse as a music ...
Jason Fried
Jul 10, 2015
Highly recommend reading The Talent Code. Wonderful book w/ great insights. (thanks for the rec, @dhh)     source
Turn the Ship Around!
A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders
L. David Marquet - May 16, 2013
Goodreads Rating
"Leadership should mean giving control rather than taking control and creating leaders rather than forging followers." David Marquet, an experienced Navy officer, was used to giving orders. As newly appointed captain of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, he was responsible for more than a hundred sailors, deep in the sea. In this high-s...
Jason Fried
Jul 17, 2012
I don’t read many business books, but last year I read one that had a profound effect on me: “Turn The Ship Around” by L. David Marquet. I guess it’s not really a business book, which is probably why I liked it.     source