Be More Like Elon, Bill, and Jeff: Read These Books

January 20, 2022

I read an amusing write up called “These Are the 25 books That Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates Think You Should Read to Get Smarter about Business and Leadership.” I would have suggested a little more tame headline; for example, “Did You Read These Books Yet?”

Why would I suggest a plain vanilla headline and a slightly less enthusiastic approach to a list of books?

Here are my reasons:

  1. Bill Gates has some interesting email accusations in his past, and there is the allegation that he found Jeffrey Epstein a person with whom time might be spent in a productive way. Elon Musk has the non-shipping self driving thing and the vapor cyber truck. Jeff — ah, the creator of the Bezos bulldozer which crushes that which is in its path — has the space cowboy thing going to complement some mobile pix.
  2. The books pour fuel on the ethos of the Silicon Valley vision. Do I need more Silicon Valley? Do I want to experience another Theranos moment complete with private text messages? Answer: Nah, I am okay.
  3. Equating making lots and lots of money with literary taste is similar to the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback suggesting a play for the final seconds of a game. Amusing but unproductive.

Some of the books strike me as having value. However, the endorsement of three individuals with colorful personalities and — we must not forget — tons of money, interesting personal behaviors, and scintillating personalities does not enhance in my view.

Wow. Benjamin Franklin’s biography. Didn’t that esteemed American get booted from France as a result of some interaction with servants? Yep, super intelligent. Robots, seeing stones, and a book about companies built to last until the firms drop off the Fortune 1000 list.

Leadership. Business. Outstanding.

Stephen E Arnold, January 20, 2022


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