You may be familiar with global brands like Apple, Facebook and Nike, but do you know about the people behind these and how they were created? From Elon Musk who grew up in apartheid South Africa to Philip Night who borrowed $50 to manufacture a high-quality sports shoe (does Nike sound familiar?) and Silicon Valley’s Guy Kawasaki who was part of the founding team of Apple, these are five fascinating biographies recommended by Philip Blackwell of Ultimate Library and Karma Group Literary Luminary.
1. Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy
Based on years of exclusive reporting and interviews with Facebook’s key executives and employees, including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Steven Levy’s sweeping narrative digs deep into the whole story of the company that has changed the world and reaped the consequences.
2. Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.
3. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
Musk’s life comes with all the trappings one associates with a drama-filled story. He was a bright kid who was bullied brutally and abused by his father. In the midst of these adverse conditions, and the violence of apartheid South Africa, Musk still thrived academically and has come to be one of the most famous businessmen in the world. This biography explores some of the questions that loom behind this mysterious icon.
4. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike is the most successful fashion brand in the world and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.
Wise Guy by Guy Kawasaki
Silicon Valley icon and bestselling author Guy Kawasaki shares the unlikely stories of his life and the lessons we can draw from them. As a prominent figure in the tech world since he was part of Apple’s original Macintosh team in the 1980s, he’s widely respected as a source of wisdom about entrepreneurship, venture capital, marketing, and business evangelism.