Becoming a self-made billionaire takes hard work, determination, perseverance, and education. Sure, some billionaires dropped out of college and others never attended college, but what they all have in common is a thirst for knowledge in their field, industry, and the world around them. Now you can take a crash course in billionaire studies. We've compiled a list of books that have inspired billionaires. They cover the gamut from fiction to non-fiction, business to inspirational. Class is in session, future billionaires of the world. Your syllabus is below.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
By Douglas Adams
We'll start the billionaire course off with a little science fiction. This book inspired Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk during a particularly angst filled part of his teen years. What Musk found helpful was that the book made an important point, which is that often the question is harder than the answer. In the classic novel, a supercomputer decrees that 42 is the answer to life. However, the computer never reveals what the question was.
The Intelligent Investor
By Benjamin Graham
We will continue the course with this primer on smart investing. Graham is well known on Wall Street for being the father of value investing. In fact, Warren Buffett credits this book with shaping his own investment philosophy. He read the book when he was 19. The message Buffett took away from the book was that it doesn't take exceptional intelligence or inside information to invest successfully. Instead, what is important to long-term gains is the ability to make rational decisions devoid of emotion.
The Innovator's Dilemma
By Clayton Christensen
Next up is the book that inspired Apple founder Steve Jobs. The book outlines the necessity and importance of disruption. The author presents findings that show companies often fail when they stop innovating. You can see the direct lesson Jobs got from this book.
To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee
For the third book on our billionaire syllabus, we turn to classic fiction. Harper Lee's classic has been teaching the world the meaning of prejudice and justice since 1960. Billionaire Oprah Winfrey has said reading this book as a young girl was part of what inspired her to create her wildly popular book club later in life.
Making the Modern World
By Vaclav Smil
Vaclav Smil is an environmental sciences professor and the book offers an in depth look at the costs of increasing material consumption as well as the potential to dematerialize in the future Bill Gates was inspired by this book and Smil is his favorite author. As the richest man in the world, we have a thing or two to learn from Gates and studying the seminal work of his favorite author is a good midpoint for our billionaire syllabus.
Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World
By Rene Girard
French philosopher Rene Girard inspired PayPal billionaire Peter Theil. In fact, Theil has said that Girard is the author who has inspired him the most. In this book, the author explains how imitation underlies all human behavior. When Match.com first launched it was a brand new thing. Soon, though, competition surfaced. Now we have OKCupid, Tinder, Chemistry, eHarmony, and many more.
Requirements for this section of the syllabus include a proficiency in Latin. Just kidding, the translated version will be taught. Virgil's epic poem is a favorite of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The story of the Trojan warrior's journey to found the Roman Empire and the struggle to pursue his dreams are applicable to aspiring billionaires.
The Effective Executive
By Peter Drucker
As the semester winds down on our billionaire course, we'll take a look at modern management theory through the work of its founders. The book will help aspiring billionaires with time management and decision making skills. This will give you the ability to lead your future companies, startups, and corporation more effectively. In 2013, Amazon's Jeff Bezos all senior managers read this informative book.
By Ayn Rand
The world is divided on Ayn Rand's controversial novel about individualism and collectivism. Billionaire Mark Cuban feels this is required reading for every aspiring billionaire entrepreneur. In the novel, a young architect Howard Roark eschews fame and fortune when he refuses to follow the traditional way of doing things.