Originally published in: 2017
What it’s about: A woman who started a business while still in college and how she learned to be a successful leader through a series of failures.
What made me pick it up: The title.
My favorite parts: I really enjoyed the candor of the author while recounting her less than perfect moments. She was highly relatable and made an entrepreneurial path seem attainable if you were willing to work hard and define your values. I especially was drawn to the concept of company culture and how important it was to know what it was and support it at all costs. More workplaces should follow suit. This is a quick read but enjoyable, almost like sitting down with a friend to hear what she’s up to. If you’re wondering how to be a better leader or work the kinks out of your org pick this up.
Who it’s great for: Anyone who wants to be a better leader or wants to work the kinks out of their business. Readers who want to start a business and need inspiration to get started.
Find this book in your local library or on Amazon (affiliate link).
What it’s about: The life and career of entrepreneur Paul English, most notable as the founder of Kayak.com.
What made me pick it up: Kidder has a wonderful way of writing about individuals that captures their charisma on the page and make you want to follow them on their journey. His previous book Mountains Beyond Mountains did this for Partners In Health founder Dr. Paul Farmer. I have been an avid follower of PIH since reading that book, so I wanted to read this immediately to find out who could have been so compelling that Kidder needed to write a book about them.
My favorite things: I’m consistently impressed with how the author humanizes successful individuals. He shows all of the traits, good and bad, that make them who they are and lead to their success or in some cases their failures before and in the midst of their successes. In this case, the manic side of English’s bipolar disorder is a driving force in his serial entrepreneurship.
Who it’s great for: Anyone who has enjoyed Kidder’s other books. Those looking for a good biography. Fans of Silicon Valley pioneer stories — I was reminded strongly of Creativity, Inc.