11 of the Best Business Books of 2015

YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) surveyed some folks about the best business books they read this past year. Here are their recommendations.

What is the best business book you read in 2015?


1. “Think Agile: How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed” by Taffy Williams

There are a lot of unexpected obstacles that bring challenges to even the most promising ventures. Today, entrepreneurs are expected to keep up with the changing business environment. Staying flexible and agile in your thinking keeps options open and puts you in the right mindset to change your strategy so you can pivot when it’s time to do so.
– Vlad Moldavskiy, Mabbly, LLC


2. “Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most” by Hendrie Weisinger and J. P. Pawliw-Fry

Learning how to effectively handle pressure can be a powerful, competitive advantage in the business world. In “Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most,” Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry deliver highly-actionable insights and tips you can use today to perform at a high level during tough situations. This is a great read for all business leaders and entrepreneurs.
– Clayton Dean, Circa Interactive Inc



3. “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” by Eric Ries

Does lean thinking actually improve business performance? This is a question many business owners are asking. What I learned from this book is that adapting a lean philosophy can provide excellent guidelines for decision making. Eric Ries’ “Lean Startup” focuses on understanding sustainability in terms of business. This book is a must-read for those ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
– Anthony Pezzotti, Elevated Media Inc.



4. “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh

“Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, is one of my favorite business books. I look at stories from other companies to see how they have created and maintained a company culture that promotes fun, hard work, profitability and outstanding customer service at the same time. Hsieh’s book brings to light a tremendous example of a company that made all things possible under one roof.
– Ajay Gupta, Stirista


5. “Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.” by Ron Chernow

The biography of John D. Rockefeller is one of the most epic of the industrial era, capturing the spirit of capitalism and the colossal power of greed. Beyond his being the unspoken leader of the select oligarchy dubbed the “Men Who Built America,” you realize that Rockefeller’s tenacious ambition is not unique to the turn of the century, but rather a pioneering model for our modern revolutionaries.
– Carter Thomas, Bluecloud Solutions


6. “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz

As founders and CEOs, we’ve all had a point in our career where we’ve questioned everything that we are doing, and wonder how things could get any worse. The book draws upon Mr. Horowitz’s own impressive career and from the examples of others who have embraced struggles and succeeded. It’s a great book to learn how to spot the next move during difficult times.
– Simon Casuto, eLearning Mind



7. “Business Adventures” by John Brooks

Written by long-time New Yorker contributor John Brooks, this business classic came so highly recommended by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates that I had to give it a read. The 12 true stories told from the world of Wall Street were insightful, engaging and lived up to its words of recommendation.
– Eric Mathews, Start Co.



8. “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” by Ashlee Vance

The best business book I read in 2015 is “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” by Ashlee Vance. The book outlines the personal and professional life of Elon Musk, highlighting Elon’s steadfast vision to positively change the world via entrepreneurship, while exposing his personal struggles. The book is inspiring and offers insights into business and life.
– Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com



9. “The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry” by John Warrillow

Traditionally, most businesses are transaction-related in nature. This book provides key insights to transform a one-time event into an ongoing customer relationship that offers ongoing value to the customer and allows the service provider to diversify revenue sources. The book is full of specific examples to help businesses transform one-time customers into long-term, loyal and happy clients.
– Nitin Chhoda, In Touch EMR



10. “Getting There: A Book Of Mentors” by Gillian Zoe Segal

This book told the stories of a variety of successful people — Warren Buffet to Hans Zimmer to Anderson Cooper to Jillian Michaels. Their stories were all written in the first person and really lay out the struggles they had getting to where there are today. They all hit major roadblocks, but kept believing in themselves and their passions. It was an extremely inspiring read.
– Cassie Petrey, Crowd Surf



11. “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” by Peter Thiel

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to start your next venture, you need to read this book written by Paypal founder Peter Thiel. It goes into what type of startups our world needs. We don’t need more clones or companies that are like other companies; we need new innovative ideas where you’re pushing the limits. We need true innovation.
– John Rampton, Due


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Young Entrepreneur Council

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective (http://businesscollective.com), a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

  • b2bsell

    Fantastic blog piece, especially getting contributions from
    so many people! I was thinking of catching up on old movies over Christmas but
    maybe I should reach for my Kindle and download one or two?

    David Doyle – http://www.b2bsell.com/

    • Amy McCloskey Tobin

      I would add The Optimistic Workplace by Shawn Murphy, but then again, I’m totally biased. ;)

  • Deborah Starling

    I am always looking for new business books out there to inspire and motivate me :) Thanks for creating this list. I was super excited to find a really helpful leadership/business book this past year that I have been telling all of my friends about called “Leading For Results” by leadership development expert Joan Bragar (http://bostonleadership.com). The book doesn’t focus on famous leaders and their successful lives or complicated leadership theories. It is a book that is written for people who want to inspire their team/staff/etc and is written in a way that is easy to understand and implement. I also think the 5 practices that she discusses in detail can be applied to your personal life as well as your professional life. The author is someone who has been in the business for over 25 years and it shows. I really hope you and your readers check it out.

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