- Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs is composed of more than 40 interviews with Jobs himself and more than 100 family members, friends, competitors, and colleagues who knew him well.
- Zero to One focuses on the idea that startups shouldn’t reimagine existing ideas, but instead should look to innovate and bring something new to the market.
- Billion Dollar Loser takes a look at former WeWork CEO, Adam Neumann, who straddled the line between rockstar and con artist, gallivanting around the world in private jets instead of running his business.
Whether you love learning about all-things technology or you are looking for the ideal gift for the techie in your life, you can’t go wrong with one of the best books about technology. Learning about gadgets, gizmos, and innovations will give you a fascinating look into the world of tech and shows you what is possible for future advancements.
None of these books will help you get rich quick or help you build the next big thing, but they will show you an inside look at some of the biggest names, ideas, and developments in tech.
Some books will hook you from the very first page and others might take more of a slow-burning interest but, in the end, all of the best books about technology leave you wanting to read more.
After weeks of reading the top-rated books out there on the subject, our list of the 10 best books about technology are:
- Best Overall: emSteve Jobs/em
- Best Book about Google: emHow Google Works/em
- Best Book about Startups: emZero to One/em
- Best Book about Failure: emBillion Dollar Loser/em
- Best Book on Transportation: emRoad to Nowhere/em
- Best Book for Productivity: emBuilding a Second Brain/em
- Best Book for Technology Transformation: emThe Exponential Age/em
- Best Book About Influential Companies: emThe Four/em
- Best Book for Entrepreneurs: emThe Tech Entrepreneur's Survival Guide/em
- Best Book About Twitter: emHatching Twitter/em
Best Book Overall About Technology: emSteve Jobs/em
It’s hard to think of a technology company that has changed the world more over the past two decades than Apple.
Steve Jobs’s vision helped propel Apple to its position as the most valuable company in the world, thanks to his relentless work ethic and larger-than-life personality.
Walter Isaacson’s book about Steve Jobs is composed of more than 40 interviews with Jobs himself and more than 100 family members, friends, competitors, and colleagues who knew him well.
Jobs cooperated with author Walter Isaacson on the book but famously asked for no control over what was written. It’s an unrestricted tale into the mind of one of the most passionate people ever to work in the tech industry. If you want to dig into the mind of one of the influential CEOs in history, Steve Jobs is the only book you need.
You can find a copy on Amazon here.
Best Book About Google: emHow Google Works/em
Just as Steve Jobs transformed the mobile phone industry, so too did Google and our relationship to the internet. emHow Google Works/em is authored by former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, and former SVP of Products, Jonathan Rosenberg.
Written by insiders at the highest level who are now looking on from the outside, this is a book that dives into all of the nuances that make Google, Google.
Famous for its culture, strategy, and innovation, you will breeze through 303 pages and come away with a unique understanding of how “Google” became a verb.
This is a must-read book about how all services—from Google Maps and Gmail—came to fruition.
Get your copy on Amazon here.
Best Book About Startups: emZero to One/em
- A New York Times bestseller written by the co-founder of PayPal.
- Thiel presents a new way of thinking about innovation.
- It explains how progress can be achieved so long as you learn to think for yourself.
Widely recognized as one of the best books about startups, emZero to One/em is authored by Peter Thiel, one of the members of the “PayPal Mafia” and an early investor in Facebook, and Blake Masters, President of the Thiel Foundation and COO of Thiel Capital.
Thiel starts off the book with the point of view that we’re living in an age of “technology stagnation.” Zero to One focuses on the idea that startups shouldn’t reimagine existing ideas. Instead, they should look to innovate and bring something new to the market.
In terms that speak to you in a big way, Thiel presents the idea that the next Bill Gates won’t be someone building a PC operating system.
You can buy it on Amazon here.
Best Tech Book About Rising and Falling: emBillion Dollar Loser/em
- Written by journalist Reeves Wiedeman, contributing editor at New York magazine
- Published by Little, Brown and Company, October 2020
- Kindle Edition
- Get the dramatic inside story on WeWork and its charismatic CEO
WeWork’s story is one that has fascinated the world, so much so that Apple released a television documenting the company’s rise and fall.
Author Reeves Wiedeman writes in emBillion Dollar Loser/em that WeWork is a cautionary tale about the rise and fall of a silicon valley darling, once valued at $47 billion dollars.
The book takes a look at former WeWork CEO, Adam Neumann, who straddled the line between rockstar and con artist who gallivanted around the world in private jets instead of running his business.
This is a book that feels more like fiction than reality, and it doesn’t fail to capture you from start to finish.
Find yours on Amazon here.
Best Book About the Future of Transportation: emRoad to Nowhere/em
The most recent technology release on this list, emRoad to Nowhere/em presents some very hard truths for those in Silicon Valley. Author Paris Marx presents his case that, for too long, Silicon Valley CEOs have told us that electric cars and ridesharing are the transportation models of the future.
Instead, Marx makes his case that none of these technologies are going to save us. Where he wants you to go is that we need to stop thinking about what technology can do, and instead think of what we can do as people. Electric cars don’t consider the needs of the popular and marginalized populations that desperately need better solutions.
Get a copy on Amazon here.
Best Book on Productivity: emBuilding a Second Brain/em
- Discover how to enhance your productivity in life and at work
- Explore how to boost your creative flow and spark new interests
- Improve your memory and expose yourself to the information all around us
Technology has so often been used to help us increase our productivity, but there is almost too much tech available to make sense. Thankfully, author Tiago Forte’s book, emBuilding a Second Brain/em, will cut through the noise and start you on your way to a more productive future.
Known as CODE, or Capture, Organize, Distill, and Express, Forte proposes his idea that we can leverage existing technology like our phones and computers and create a “second brain.” The “second brain” initiative ensures that all of your most important ideas and notes will stay secured and synced across every device you own.
No matter what type of work, schooling, or living you do, remembering everything can be a challenge. Forte presents the idea that with the “second brain,” you will feel confident that you can ambitiously tackle a project without concern of remembering your best ideas.
We’ve been bouncing between different productivity systems for years, and Forte’s book finally helped us find something that stuck.
You can buy it on Amazon here.
Best Book for Technology Transformation: emThe Exponential Age/em
Author Azeem Azhar and host of the Exponential Podcast uses his new book, emThe Exponential Age/em, to present some really hard truths.
Calling it the “exponential gap,” Azhar argues that we’re really only just starting to see the pitfalls of technology changing faster than society can keep up. Between ballooning inequality, increases in political divisions, and considerably more powerful corporations, all of the warning signs are here.
As A.I. rises, 3D printing and automation grow in usage, all of the changes we’re seeing in the world are inevitable as long as society cannot keep up.
Fortunately, Azhar presents his case for how society and you, as the reader, can pull things back from the path we’re on.
Get one on Amazon here.
Best Book About Influential Companies: emthe Four/em
In emthe Four/em, author Scott Galloway takes a deep dive into what he calls the “hidden DNA” of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.
As four of the largest companies on Earth, Galloway poses the question right from the start: how did each business get so large and impossible to avoid?
To answer these questions and more, Galloway pulls back the layers on each company and explores how they move faster than their competition. With every myth the author debunks, there are concise facts to support each conclusion. Galloway’s take on both Amazon and Apple is especially refreshing, given their comparative sizes but wildly different profit results.
Find a copy on Amazon here.
Best Book for Entrepreneurs: emThe Tech Entrepreneur's Survival Guide/em
As someone who successfully navigated the dot-com crisis, Bernd Schoner is uniquely qualified to dole out advice to tech entrepreneurs.
His book, emThe Tech Entrepreneur's Survival Guide/em, is a stark reminder that for any founder, only a few ventures will find their way toward funding. Thankfully, Schoner shares his experience and helps you navigate the landscape on your way toward funding.
Schoner’s book excels at telling you the things he wished he’d known, and then guides you from bootstrapping all the way to selling your company for big bucks. There’s no subjective material here, it’s all pulled straight from experience, and you’ll come away knowing what the fatal mistakes are for any tech entrepreneur.
Get it on Amazon here.
Best Book About Twitter: ememHatching Twitter/em/em
As one of the largest social media companies on the planet, Twitter has been hugely influential in politics, sports, entertainment, and the like. emHatching Twitter/em by Nick Bilton is a fascinating look at the start of the business and how it fought through so much on its way toward hundreds of millions of users.
There is plenty of backstabbing, money struggles, and friendships falling apart as Bilton peels back the curtain. Looking past all of the fightings, there are still plenty of business lessons to be found within the Twitter story. A lot of it just centers around what not to do—a valuable lesson in and of itself.
You can find a copy on Amazon here.
What to Know Before Buying a Technology Book
Before you buy any book on technology, you’ll want to consider two big things. The first is the publishing date, as any book that is outdated will be made up of too many thoughts and ideas that are already out of date. In the world of technology, even a book that is ten years old or more could be considered outdated given the pace of technology. Each of the books on this list is less than 10 years old, except for Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, but it gets a pass given its iconic status in the tech book world.
The other big consideration is that of the author. Are they someone who can confidently and accurately speak on the topic? Whether they have the right education, background, or experience, are they able to write a book in a way that shows them a true authority on the subject?
Knowing that they are experts in their field or have worked in the company that they are writing about shows them as authors that can provide authoritative knowledge.
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