Best Business Books: Jim Buckmaster's Picks
Why it's a must-read: "Epictetus's core message is: How we respond to external events is much more important than the events themselves. In a business context, that means being careful when you put a lot of eggs in a basket that you really have no control over. A lot of businesses take a backwards approach: They focus right from the get-go on how they're going to achieve financial success and conquer the world. I would argue that those are things that shouldn't enter your mind. You should worry about what's in front of youproviding a service people will find helpful. All those other things take care of themselves."
Originating in a speech to a group of Linux developers in 1997, Raymond's book was one of the first to outline the inherent efficiencies of open source, creating the first beachhead for the wisdom of the crowds.
Why it's a must-read: "It's one of the early and seminal books on the open-source movement, but there are important lessons for any business. The notion that large communities of people can address difficult solutions much more effectively than a small number of brilliant people isn't particularly intuitive but has been shown to be true. The wisdom of the crowds affects every element of our decision making [at craigslist]. Much of the trajectory of the company has involved our staff trying to get out of the way. Users have much better ideas about how everything should evolve than we do."