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Keith Rabois

executive
investor

Recommended Books

Keith is an American technology executive and investor. He is widely known for his early-stage startup investments and his executive roles at PayPal, LinkedIn, Slide and Square. Rabois invested in Yelp and Xoom prior to each company's initial public offering and sits on both companies' boards of directors.
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High Output Management
by Andrew S. Grove (Aug 29, 1995)
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The essential skill of creating and maintaining new businesses—the art of the entrepreneur—can be summed up in a single word: managing. In High Output Management, Andrew S. Grove, former chairman and CEO (and employee number three) of Intel, shares his perspective on how to build and run a company. Born of Grove’s experiences at one of America’s le...
Keith Rabois
Feb 11, 2020
As Warren Buffett says, build a company that idiots could run because eventually they will. So this is what you want. Basically a performance machine that idiots can run. Now as a leader, what is your real job, what's your role? Strictly speaking there is only one book ever written that actually explains how to do this. It's rather old, written in 1982 by Andy Grove, it's quite famous, and successful. And his definition of what your job is, is to maximize the output of the organization.     source
Rocket Men
The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon
by Robert Kurson (May 21, 2019)
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind's historic first mission to the Moon, from the bestselling author of Shadow Divers. "Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy."--Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian and...
Keith Rabois
Apr 24, 2019
@dwr     source
This book is also recommended by
Noah Kagan
Churchill
Walking with Destiny
by Andrew Roberts (Nov 06, 2018)
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER“Unarguably the best single-volume biography of Churchill . . . A brilliant feat of storytelling, monumental in scope, yet put together with tenderness for a man who had always believed that he would be Britain’s savior.” —Wall Street JournalIn this landmark biography of Winston Churchill based on extensive new material,...
Keith Rabois
Apr 24, 2019
@dwr     source
This book is also recommended by
Robert Benzie
The Score Takes Care of Itself
My Philosophy of Leadership
by Bill Walsh (Jun 29, 2010)
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Bill Walsh is a towering figure in the history of the NFL. His advanced leadership transformed the San Francisco 49ers from the worst franchise in sports to a legendary dynasty. In the process, he changed the way football is played. Prior to his death, Walsh granted a series of exclusive interviews to bestselling author Steve Jamison. These became ...
Keith Rabois
Nov 06, 2014
There is a great book by Bill Walsh, called The Score Takes Care of Itself. And the basic point of the book is that if you get all the details right, you don't worry about how to build a billion dollar business, you don't worry about how to have a billion dollars in revenue, you don't worry about having a billion users. Thats a byproduct of what you do everyday to get the details excellent. So the topics that he talks about in the book that really resonated with me was, he took over the 49ers in 1979. They were the worse team in football, I believe they were 2 in 14 which is really bad if you don't know football. In the next ten years he transformed the team into NFL’s best, won three super bowls. And what's the first thing he did to go from the worse team to one of the best in many ways? He actually taught the receptionist to answer the phone properly. He wrote a three page memo on how to answer the phone.     source
This book is also recommended by
Jack DorseyRyan HolidayRon ConwayNoah Kagan
High Growth Handbook
by Elad Gil (Jul 17, 2018)
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Well-known technology executive and angel investor Elad Gil has worked with high growth tech companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Google, Instacart, Coinbase, Stripe, and Square as they've grown from small companies into global brands. Across all of these break-out companies, a set of common patterns has evolved into a repeatable playbook that Gil has c...
Keith Rabois
A great book.     source
This book is also recommended by
Reid HoffmanBrian ArmstrongMax LevchinJoe Martin
Who Is Michael Ovitz?
by Michael Ovitz (Jul 18, 2019)
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If you're going to read one book about Hollywood, this is the one.As co-founder of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Michael Ovitz earned a reputation for ruthless negotiation, brilliant strategy and fierce loyalty to his clients. He reinvented the role of the agent and helped shape the careers of hundreds of A-list stars and directors, including Stev...
Keith Rabois
Apr 24, 2019
@dwr     source
The Splendid and the Vile
A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz
by Erik Larson (Feb 25, 2020)
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Categories: HistoryNonfiction
On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and p...
Keith Rabois
Apr 10, 2020
Books on Churchill in 1940-1941 take on wholly different meanings during a crisis vs studying during times of peace & prosperity.     source
The Vision of the Anointed
Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy
by Thomas Sowell (Jun 28, 1996)
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Thomas Sowell's provocative critique of liberalism's failures The Vision of the Anointed is a devastating critique of the mind-set behind the failed social policies of the past thirty years. Thomas Sowell sees what has happened not as a series of isolated mistakes but as a logical consequence of a vision whose defects have led to disasters in educa...
Keith Rabois
Sep 14, 2019
@paulg @rivatez Upside of Stress, Why We Sleep, The Score Takes Care of Itself, The Little Kingdom, Vision of the Anointed.     source
This book is also recommended by
Adam Townsend
The Little Kingdom
The Private Story of Apple Computer
by Michael Moritz (Nov 01, 1984)
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This story of Apple computer...
Keith Rabois
One of the classic books to read, albeit perhaps with less immediate/practical relevance today.     source
This book is also recommended by
Patrick Collison
The Innovator's Solution
Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth
by Clayton M. Christensen (Nov 19, 2013)
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A seminal work by bestselling author Clayton M. Christensen, now updated with fresh examples.In the international bestseller The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen exposed the Achilles’ heel of many companies: by ignoring the disruptive technologies that evolve to displace them, they help initiate their own demise. In The Innovator’s Solution...
This book is also recommended by
Jeff BezosDerek Sivers
The Upside of Stress
Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It
by Kelly McGonigal (May 10, 2016)
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Drawing from groundbreaking research, psychologist and award-winning teacher Kelly McGonigal, PhD, offers a surprising new view of stress—one that reveals the upside of stress, and shows us exactly how to capitalize on its benefits.You hear it all the time: stress causes heart disease; stress causes insomnia; stress is bad for you! But what if chan...
Keith Rabois
Sep 14, 2019
@paulg @rivatez Upside of Stress, Why We Sleep, The Score Takes Care of Itself, The Little Kingdom, Vision of the Anointed.     source
Powerful
Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
by Patty McCord (Jan 09, 2018)
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When it comes to recruiting, motivating, and creating great teams, Patty McCord says most companies have it all wrong. McCord helped create the unique and high-performing culture at Netflix, where she was chief talent officer. In her new book, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, she shares what she learned there and elsewher...
Keith Rabois
Apr 24, 2019
@dwr     source
Predictably Irrational
The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
by Dan Ariely (Apr 27, 2010)
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Why do our headaches persist after we take a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a fifty-cent aspirin? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save twenty-five cents on a can of soup? When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we? In this newly revised and expand...
This book is also recommended by
Derek SiversMax Levchin
Warfighting
by United States Marine Corps (Feb 28, 2007)
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Categories: NonfictionBusiness
The United States Marine Corps is the largest such force on the planet, and yet it is the smallest, most elite section of the U.S. military, one with a long and storied history. Here, in the most current version of the manual used by the Corps itself, is an explanation of the philosophy that makes the Marine Corps unique-here are the concepts and v...
Deep Medicine
How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again
by Eric Topol (Mar 11, 2019)
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A Science Friday pick for book of the year, 2019...
Keith Rabois
Apr 24, 2019
@dwr     source
1944
FDR and the Year That Changed History
by Jay Winik (Sep 27, 2016)
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Categories: HistoryNonfiction
**New York Times Bestseller** Jay Winik brings to life in “gripping” detail (The New York Times Book Review) the year 1944, which determined the outcome of World War II and put more pressure than any other on an ailing yet determined President Roosevelt.1944 was a year that could have stymied the Allies and cemented Hitler’s waning power. Instead, ...
Keith Rabois
Apr 24, 2019
@dwr     source
Hackers & Painters
Big Ideas From The Computer Age
by Paul Graham (Apr 30, 2010)
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"The computer world is like an intellectual Wild West, in which you can shoot anyone you wish with your ideas, if you're willing to risk the consequences. " --from Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul GrahamWe are living in the computer age, in a world increasingly designed and engineered by computer programmers and software...
This book is also recommended by
Ev WilliamsBrian ArmstrongDerek Sivers
Creative Selection
by Ken Kocienda (Dec 03, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
An insider's account of Apple's creative process during the golden years of Steve Jobs.Hundreds of millions of people use Apple products every day; several thousand work on Apple's campus in Cupertino, California; but only a handful sit at the drawing board. Creative Selection recounts the life of one of the few who worked behind the scenes, a high...
Keith Rabois
Oct 08, 2018
The two indispensable books of 2018:     source
How Not to Be Wrong
The Power of Mathematical Thinking
by Jordan Ellenberg (May 26, 2015)
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The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our handsThe math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined t...
Keith Rabois
Apr 24, 2019
@dwr     source
This book is also recommended by
Bill GatesNick Ganju
The Book of Why
The New Science of Cause and Effect
by Judea Pearl (May 15, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
A Turing Award-winning computer scientist and statistician shows how understanding causality has revolutionized science and will revolutionize artificial intelligence "Correlation is not causation." This mantra, chanted by scientists for more than a century, has led to a virtual prohibition on causal talk. Today, that taboo is dead. The causal rev...
Keith Rabois
Mar 26, 2020
@Jabaluck @jasndoc Yes, indeed. Start with the Book of Why by Judeah Pearl.     source
This book is also recommended by
D.A. Wallach
Return to the Little Kingdom
Steve Jobs and the Creation of Apple
by Michael Moritz (Oct 29, 2009)
Goodreads Rating
In 1984, The Little Kingdom: The Private Story of Apple Computer told the story of Apple's first decade alongside the histories of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Now, completely revised and expanded, Return to the Little Kingdom is the definitive biography of Apple and its founders from the very beginning Moritz brings readers inside the childhood h...
Keith Rabois
Jun 22, 2010
The classic books to read, albeit perhaps with less immediate/practical relevance today.     source
Quirky
The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World
by Melissa A Schilling (Feb 13, 2018)
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The science behind the traits and quirks that drive creative geniuses to make spectacular breakthroughsWhat really distinguishes the people who literally change the world--those creative geniuses who give us one breakthrough after another? What differentiates Marie Curie or Elon Musk from the merely creative, the many one-hit wonders among us?Melis...
Keith Rabois
Apr 24, 2019
@dwr     source
The Curse of the Mogul
What's Wrong with the World's Leading Media Companies
by Jonathan A. Knee (Feb 22, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: BusinessNonfiction
If Rupert Murdoch and Sumner Redstone are so smart, why are their stocks long-term losers? We live in the age of big Media, with the celebrity moguls telling us that "content is king." But for all the excitement, glamour, drama, and publicity they produce, why can't these moguls and their companies manage to deliver better returns than you'd get f...
The Success Equation
Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing
by Michael J. Mauboussin (Nov 06, 2012)
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“Much of what we experience in life results from a combination of skill and luck.” — From the Introduction The trick, of course, is figuring out just how many of our successes (and failures) can be attributed to each—and how we can learn to tell the difference ahead of time . In most domains of life, skill and luck seem hopeles...
Keith Rabois
Apr 24, 2019
@dwr     source
The Monk and the Riddle
The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Living
by Randy Komisar (Sep 01, 2001)
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What would you be willing to do for the rest of your life? It's a question most of us consider only hypothetically, opting instead to "do what we have to do" to earn a living. But in the critically acclaimed bestseller The Monk and the Riddle, entrepreneurial sage Randy Komisar asks us to answer it for real. The book's timeless advice - to make wo...
Keith Rabois
Jun 22, 2010
The classic books to read, albeit perhaps with less immediate/practical relevance today.     source
The Search
How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture
by John Battelle (Oct 03, 2006)
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What does the world want? According to John Battelle, a company that answers that question—in all its shades of meaning—can unlock the most intractable riddles of business and arguably of human culture itself. And for the past few years, that’s exactly what Google has been doing....
Keith Rabois
Jun 22, 2010
For a good historical perspective on the evolution of the consumer Internet world, I would start with John Battelle's The Search.     source
The Art of the Start
The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
by Guy Kawasaki (Sep 09, 2004)
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A new product a new service a new company a new division a new organization a new anything where there s a will here s the way.It begins with a dream that just won t quit the once-in-a-lifetime thunderbolt of pure inspiration the obsession the world-beater the killer app the next big thing. Everyone who wants to make the world a better place become...
Keith Rabois
Jun 22, 2010
For a first-time entrepreneur: Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki is an excellent introduction to many key issues.     source
Spent
Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior
by Geoffrey Miller (May 25, 2010)
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A leading evolutionary psychologist probes the unconscious instincts behind American consumer culture Illuminating the hidden reasons for why we buy what we do, Spent applies evolutionary psychology to the sensual wonderland of marketing and perceived status that is American consumer culture. Geoffrey Miller starts with the theory that we purchase ...
Get Back in the Box
How Being Great at What You Do Is Great for Business
by Douglas Rushkoff (Jan 30, 2007)
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Categories: BusinessNonfiction
Douglas Rushkoff was one of the first social commentators to identify the new culture around the internet. He has spent nearly a decade advising companies on the ways they can re-orient their businesses to the transformations the internet has caused. Through his speaking and consulting, Rushkoff has discovered an important and unrecognized shift in...
The New New Thing
A Silicon Valley Story
by Michael Lewis (Jan 06, 2014)
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In the weird glow of the dying millennium, Michael Lewis set out on a safari through Silicon Valley to find the world’s most important technology entrepreneur. He found this in Jim Clark, a man whose achievements include the founding of three separate billion-dollar companies. Lewis also found much more, and the result—the best-selling book The New...
Keith Rabois
Jun 22, 2010
The classic books to read, albeit perhaps with less immediate/practical relevance today.     source
Planet Google
One Company's Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know
by Randall Stross (Sep 22, 2009)
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"In this spellbinding behind-the-scenes look, Stross leads readers through Google’s evolution…the unfolding narrative reads like a suspense novel" (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Based on unprecedented access to the "Googleplex," Planet Google goes deep inside the company to unveil the extraordinary scope and scale of its ambition to become th...
The Organized Mind
Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload
by Daniel J. Levitin (Sep 01, 2015)
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New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details.The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that...
Keith Rabois
Apr 24, 2019
@dwr     source
Googled
The End of the World As We Know It
by Ken Auletta (Oct 26, 2010)
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"The fullest account yet of the rise of one of the most profitable, most powerful, and oddest businesses the world has ever seen." -San Francisco Chronicle Just eleven years old, Google has profoundly transformed the way we live and work-we've all been Googled. Esteemed media writer Ken Auletta uses the story of Google's rise to explore the futu...