I’m posting this list a year late, but I hope you’ll forgive me: 2018 was quite the year for me.
I started 2018 in the throes of introspection as I decided what was next for me after leaving my PhD in 2017. By April, I decided to pursue the seed of an idea that became Sparrow. In July, the idea officially became a company. In August, we got our first customers, and by the end of the year, we had raised a small round of funding.
At the start of 2018, I was in the early stages of ideation, so I read several of the classics related to understanding problems and testing the effectiveness of simplified versions of potential solutions.
The Four Steps to Epiphany by Steve Blank
Talking to Humans by Giff Constable
Sprint by Jake Knapp
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
I also picked up some great books on communication, management, and measuring effectiveness.
Measure What Matters by John Doerr
Usually, I struggle to read books by venture capitalists, because the tone is overly self-important. This was tolerable, because it was told in the voice of several people whose businesses or projects had been made more effective using OKRs.
On Managing Yourself by Harvard Business Review
Radical Candor by Kim Scott
How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haimes
Technically, this is a book about how not to be a “helicopter parent,” but I think the same strategy applies to developing junior talent into senior talent.
I find reading books about effective management and leadership somewhat disenfranchising, because (a) I find books that draw data-based conclusions most credible, and (b) I often feel the conclusions drawn by most data-based books on leadership do not actually apply to me, because people see women in leadership differently and the books are all written about successful white dudes. Therefore, to get more data for my own prior, I made an effort to read more stories about and by women in power.
Dear Madam President by Jennifer Palmieri
Minority Leader by Stacey Abrams
Bad Blood by John Carryrou
I read these books because they were recommended to me. The theme of these books was largely to help the reader realize limitations they might subconsciously be placing on themselves, and to be socially aware. I found the Charisma Myth especially interesting.
The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane
Playing Big by Tara Mohr
Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel
Inferior by Angela Saini
This book was all about the history of how many stereotypes and “scientific discoveries” about gender differences came to be. It was well-written and absolutely fascinating.
This series of books did not put anything particularly useful into my brain, but it was quite entertaining.Written on December 24th, 2019 by Deborah Hanus