Why All Entrepreneurs Should Read Bill Gates’s Favorite Business Book
With so many business books on the market, it’s often tough to know which ones to look to for timeless wisdom and advice that won’t go out of style or be deemed irrelevant as time marches on. Most books dealing with the specifics of the Internet and ecommerce, for instance, risk becoming obsolete almost as soon as they hit the street. One book that has stood the test of time, however, was originally published in 1969 and has been hailed both both Warren Buffet and Bill Gates as the best business book of all time.
That book is Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks. It had been out of print for decades when Bill Gates resurrected it by declaring it the best business book he’s ever read in an essay published in The Wall Street Journal last summer. Now it’s back in print and enjoying renewed success and acclaim.
You might wonder how a business book written in the late ’60s can still have relevance to today’s entrepreneurs and business owners, as the world has changed immeasurably since then, in business as well as in nearly every other aspect of life. But as Bill Gates says in the video below, “You can read this book today and learn a lot. The rules of running a great business, value creation, are unchanged.” Gates adds, “And Brooks took some very dramatic examples that are particularly fun and interesting and instructive.”
He’s absolutely right. Business Adventures features in-depth stories that explore business issues from start to finish while avoiding simplistic explanations or “lessons” for how to achieve success. The stories in the book include tales about price-fixing at General Motors, an examination of why Ford’s Edsel flopped, and a profile of Xerox that Gates says “everyone in the tech industry should study.” More than that, though, there are valuable lessons to be learned within these pages, whether you’re the owner of a small screen-printing shop or aspire to be the next big Silicon Valley tech company.
The following quote from Bill Gates’s review of the book delivers a strong argument as to why Business Adventures by John Brooks is still relevant today, for entrepreneurs and business owners of all stripes:
“Brooks’s work is a great reminder that the rules for running a strong business and creating value haven’t changed. For one thing, there’s an essential human factor in every business endeavor. It doesn’t matter if you have a perfect product, production plan and marketing pitch; you’ll still need the right people to lead and implement those plans.”
Read the chapter titled “Xerox Xerox Xerox Xerox” for free below:
Watch Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and others praise Business Adventures:
READ MORE FROM AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CAPITAL
“I never start my day without a success plan,” Marie Forleo says. After checking out the videos in this week’s business video roundup, you might be saying the same! In addition to some great productivity tips from Marie, Gary Vaynerchuk reveals how to build high-performance teams by leading with humility instead of fear, Harvard Business School’s Linda A. Hill explains why collaboration and partnership…
Fear and self-doubt come for all of us, eventually. Well, maybe not Kanye West, but everyone else. In this week’s roundup of great videos for entrepreneurs and business owners, Gary Vaynerchuk reveals why it’s best for everyone to eliminate fear in the workplace, Marie Forleo drops some sage advice on how to conquer self-doubt, and Brendon Burchard dispenses some leadership lessons that will help…
There’s a lot of economic uncertainty in the air, but that’s no reason to rest on your laurels. It just might be the best time to learn and strategize. To help with that, this week’s business video roundup features Snuggie creator Scott Boilen revealing how he made the last recession a prosperous one for his business, Chicken Meets Rice co-founder Shone Tran talking about…