Entrepreneurs

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Zero to One by Peter Thiel

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This book show us how one builds companies that create something new. It came about when Peter Thiel was teaching a course in Stanford in 2012. One of his students, Blake Masters, took notes and these were then adapted into this book.

Copying something is easier than creating something new. Adding more of the same takes us from 1 to n but by creating something new, we go from 0 to 1.

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Anything You Want by Derek Sivers

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Derek Sivers started a hobby that a decade later turned into a business that he sold for $22 million. Unusually for an entrepreneur, when Sivers decided to sell his company in 2008, he transferred ownership of the company to a charitable trust which then sold the company on his behalf. The money kept in the trust pays Sivers only 5% of the trust’s value (the lowest figure legally possible), with the remainder of the money going to charity for music education upon his death.
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Magician of the Movies: The Life of Walt Disney by Bob Thomas

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Walt Disney was born on the 5th December 1901 in Chicago but his first memories are of the farm that his family lived on in Missouri, as his family moved there when he was young. Walter was the youngest of four sons (Herbert born 1888, Raymond born 1890, Roy born 1893, Walt born 1901) and he had a younger sister too (Ruth born 1903).

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How the Innocent Drinks Company began

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So I recently listened to a podcast where Richard Reed was interviewed. Richard founded the Innocent Drinks Company, which went from a fledgling start-up to being a huge smoothie-making business sold to Coca-Cola for about £500 million, but it was his story about how the company came about that I found particularly motivating and inspirational and I’d like to share that story with you today.

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Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography

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Steve Jobs is a man who revolutionised six different industries (PCs, Animated films, Music, Phones, Tablets and digital publishing). This is the story of his life and how he achieved that remarkable feat.

Steven Paul Jobs was born on the 24th February 1955 in San Francisco. He was adopted and this was something he was aware of from a young age. Jobs claimed this made him feel independent but not abandoned. He treated his adoptive parents as his “real” parents.

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Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built

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Jack Ma is an English teacher turned Internet entrepreneur who founded the Chinese e-commerce company called Alibaba. It is the Amazon of the East, but it has more impact on the retail sector of China than its rival has in the USA. More people make purchases on Alibaba’s websites per year then there are people in the United States of America.

Alibaba is a dominant force today thanks to what Jack Ma describes as the “Iron Triangle” – strength in e-commerce, logistics and finance.

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My Life and Work by Henry Ford

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Born on a farm in Michigan on 30th July 1863, as a youngster seeing all the hard, manual work taking place on the farm drew Henry Ford into mechanics. He got an apprenticeship at a machine shop and after completing it, concentrated on designing and developing a steam engine that could pull a plough or wagon. It was only when he realised that people were more interested in travelling on the roads than working on farms that he switched his focus to road cars.

Adam Holownia

Adam Holownia

Adam Holownia loves reading and writing about successful people from history. He has spent the last five years sharing what he's learnt online. He is the creator of educational YouTube channels Eudaimonia and The Art of Improvement which together have over 400,000 subscribers.

His first book, Mastering Machiavelli, is a collection of essays, breaking down key concepts and themes from the highly influential work, The Prince, written by Niccolò Machiavelli. It is almost everything he knows about Machiavelli, packed into a short digital book.