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Koombea Culture
6 minutes read

Koombea’s Book Recommendations

By Jonathan Tarud
By Jonathan Tarud
Koombea Culture
6 minutes read

Building great apps requires working with great ideas. One of the best ways to cultivate great ideas is through books. Because at Koombea we want you to be inspired by some of the world’s greatest minds, we have compiled a list of books that everyone in the world of technology should read. The list could have been longer, but we aimed to include only the most inspirational and necessary readings. Check it out and let us know what other books we should include on the list. 

Innovator’s Dilemma & Innovator’s Solution – Clayton Christensen

Clayton Christensen recently passed away, but his ideas will be around for quite some time. These two books are an absolute must for anyone who works with innovation, no matter the industry. The content in them is useful for every type of company, whether a small startup or a big consolidated corporation. Important concepts like disruption and sustainable growth are thoroughly discussed throughout them. Overall, these books help business managers answer two important questions: why great companies fail to innovate and how to create new growth in business.

Homo Deus – Yuval Noah Harari

Harari has consolidated himself as one of the most important thinkers of our generation. A professional historian, Harari’s work discusses important topics at the intersection of technology, politics, futurism, and what it means to be human. In this book, he brilliantly analyzes what the future of humanity will be like. He dives deep into the possibilities of society’s future thanks to the rise of powerful tools like AI and advances in biotechnology. Harari does not avoid discussing the risks that technology might pose for humanity, but he does so in a way that inspires the reader to imagine a better world. 

The Art of the Long View – Peter Schwartz

This is without a doubt a classic within classics. Schwartz is best known for being a futurist and the founder of Global Business Network, one of the world’s leading corporate strategy firms. In his book, Schwartz discusses the importance of building future scenarios. He argues that this is one of the best ways for companies to think ahead and make important decisions. If you want to find out how to build great scenarios and improve your long term decision making, this book should be on your shelf. 

Creating Great Choices – Jennifer Riel, Roger L. Martin

If there’s one thing that a lot of people have in common, it is the bad habit of reducing problems to binary choices. After all, our minds can be pretty simplistic when it comes to solving wicked problems. In this book, authors Riel and Martin argue that we should not let ourselves fall into the traps of false dichotomies. To make great decisions we first have to create great choices. To do so, they discuss in great detail what Martin had previously coined as integrative thinking, a new way to think about how to create great choices. 

From Zero to One – Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel, together with Elon Musk, founded PayPal. The rest is history. Known as one of Silicon Valley’s most eccentric minds, Thiel presents his view of how the world works and the role that entrepreneurs play in it. In a few words, the book discusses the relevant questions and answers to succeed in the business of doing new things. After all, that’s what going from 0 to 1 means: creating value out of nothing. 

Brand Driven Innovation – Erik Roscam Abbing

Any successful innovator knows that having a great product is not enough. You may have the best offer on the market, but it is useless if you can’t project your brand adequately to your customers. In this book, Roscam goes further than just establishing the importance of great branding. He uses it as a way to communicate with users and innovate through the power of design. If you are a fan of design thinking, then this book should be at the top of your list. 

The Lean Startup – Eric Ries

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the startup world was a different one after this book came out. It is a crash course in building a startup. Ries compares the process of startup building with that of institution building. To be successful in this endeavor, Ries argues, entrepreneurs should approach their job with a learning mentality. After all, building something requires a great deal of experimentation. 

The Age of Agile – Stephen Denning, Tom Parks

The Agile methodology has taken the corporate world by surprise and it is starting to dominate how work is done in many industries. The authors did not invent Agile, but they sure know a thing or two about it.  Originated in the world of software development, it proposes a new set of values, principles, and practices that make us rethink how management should be. In today’s world, companies who use the Agile methodology, like Koombea, are the ones leading the way.

Bonus Readings:

We know we’ve covered a lot on this list, but we couldn’t close it without mentioning two classics. Why are they bonus readings? For one simple reason: these are short readings, but very powerful nonetheless. 

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth – Buckminster Fuller

Buckminster Fuller was one of the 20th century’s greatest minds. An engineer, designer, and inventor, in his Operating Manual, Fuller shares some of his most important ideas regarding the path that humanity is taking. Are we going to choose utopia or oblivion?

HBR’s 10 Must Reads On Strategy

This first volume of Harvard Business Review’s On Strategy compiles some of the most important articles by the world’s best strategy researchers. Some of the articles are a couple of decades old, but they are still as relevant as when they came out. 

Are you a startup or corporate manager interested in more great book recommendations? Contact us. At Koombea we believe that one of the best ways to stay up to date in the fast-moving world of app development is to tap into the power of superb books.

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