- One of tech and media’s biggest bankers, Aryeh B. Bourkoff, shared his 2018 reading list in a memo to staff.
- Bourkoff’s reading list is filled with business books on management and investment strategy, as well as a few on tech trends. But there’s also quite a bit of history and one piece of fiction.
- Here’s what Bourkoff read.
Every year, prominent figures in the tech industry release their predictions for what they see coming in 2019. Aryeh B. Bourkoff, the tech, media, and telecom banker who founded LionTree Advisors, is one of those figures. At the end of December, Bourkoff sent a letter to his staff outlining the trends he anticipates as having a huge impact on the work he and his team does in the upcoming year. This year, that’s all against the backdrop of ongoing market volatility, which means bankers need to stay on their toes and be ready to change course at a moment’s notice. Still, there are reasons to be optimistic, as we see emerging technologies including 5G in mobile, new tools in the audio space, big developments in space technology, plus brand new industry competition in the direct-to-consumer video space.You can read Bourkoff’s full memo here.While working in the tech industry and rubbing elbows with its movers and shakers is certainly one way to keep your finger on the pulse, Bourkoff shared with his staff another big influence on his world view: books.Here are the 20 books (and one speech) that informed Bourkoff’s thinking in 2018, along with their summaries from Amazon:See more:The 33-year-old millionaire founder of $US3.75 billion Box thinks everyone needs to read these 2 books
“The Messy Middle” by Scott Belsky
Summary: “The Messy Middle is the indispensable guide to navigating the volatility of new ventures and leading bold creative projects by Scott Belsky, bestselling author, entrepreneur, Chief Product Officer at Adobe, and product advisor to many of today’s top start-ups.”
“Small Wars, Big Data” by Eli Berman
Summary: “How a new understanding of warfare can help the military fight today’s conflicts more effectively.”
“The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age” by James Crabtree
Summary: “A colourful and revealing portrait of the rise of India’s new billionaire class in a radically unequal society.”
“The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos” by Christian Davenport
Summary: “The historic quest to rekindle the human exploration and colonization of space led by two rivals and their vast fortunes, egos, and visions of space as the next entrepreneurial frontier.”
“Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs” by John Doerr
Summary: “Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth-and how it can help any organisation thrive.”
“The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook” by Niall Ferguson
Summary: “A brilliant recasting of the turning points in world history, including the one we’re living through, as a collision between old power hierarchies and new social networks.”
“The House of Rothschild Vol. 1: Money’s Prophets 1798-1848” by Niall Ferguson
Summary: “In his rich and nuanced portrait of the remarkable, elusive Rothschild family, Oxford scholar and bestselling author Niall Ferguson uncovers the secrets behind the family’s phenomenal economic success.”
“The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time” by Allen Gannet
Summary: “Big data entrepreneur Allen Gannett overturns the mythology around creative genius, and reveals the science and secrets behind achieving breakout commercial success in any field.”
“Silicon States: The Power and Politics of Big Tech and What It Means for Our Future” by Lucie Greene
Summary: “In Silicon States, renowned futurist and celebrated international think-tank leader Lucie Greene offers an unparalleled look at the players, promises, and potential problems of Big Tech. Through interviews with corporate leaders, influential venture capitalists, scholars, journalists, activists, and more, Greene explores the tension inherent in Silicon Valley’s global influence.”
“B is for Bitcoin” by Sam Lessin
Summary from the website: “A lovingly written and illustrated children’s primer on Bitcoin from Algorithm to Zero knowledge proof.”
Yes, it’s a children’s book.
“Lexicon: A Novel” by Max Barry
Summary: “Stick and stones break bones. Words kill.”
This one is fiction.
“Mastering the Market Cycle” by Howard Marks
Summary: “The legendary investor shows how to identify and master the cycles that govern the markets.”
“Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth—and How to Fix It” by Dambisa Moyo
Summary: “From an internationally acclaimed economist, a provocative call to jump-start economic growth by aggressively overhauling liberal democracy.”
“Verizon Untethered: An Insider’s Story of Innovation and Disruption” by Ivan Seidenberg and Ram Charan
Summary: “A history of the transformation of Verizon and the telecommunications industry told through the eyes of founding CEO Ivan Seidenberg and his leadership team, with highlights and commentary from bestselling global leadership guru Ram Charan.”
“Becoming Ageless: The Four Secrets to Looking and Feeling Younger Than Ever” by Strauss Zelnick
Summary: “How would you like to have the mind, body, and spirit of someone half your age, and add more years to your life? Or have people stare in disbelief when they discover how old you really are? How would you like to become…ageless?”
“Churchill: Walking with Destiny” by Andrew Roberts
Summary: “In this landmark biography of Winston Churchill based on extensive new material, the true genius of the man, statesman and leader can finally be fully seen and understood-by the bestselling, award-winning author of Napoleon and The Storm of War. “
“Caesar Life of a Colossus” by Adrian Goldsworthy
Summary: “Tracing the extraordinary trajectory of the great Roman emperor’s life, Goldsworthy covers not only the great Roman emperor’s accomplishments as charismatic orator, conquering general, and powerful dictator but also lesser-known chapters during which he was high priest of an exotic cult, captive of pirates, seducer not only of Cleopatra but also of the wives of his two main political rivals, and rebel condemned by his own country. Ultimately, Goldsworthy realises the full complexity of Caesar’s character and shows why his political and military leadership continues to resonate some two thousand years later.”
“When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi
Summary: “For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, this inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?”
“The Second Mountain: The Next Big Challenge in Your Life” by David Brooks
This one is actually a presentation Brooks gave at the Aspen Ideas Festival on what comes after you’ve achieved success.You can watch it here. He included it as a book, though.
“Jewish Libya: Memory and Identity in Text and Image” by Jacques Roumani
Summary: “Jewish Libya collects the work of scholars who explore the community’s history, its literature and dialect, topography and cuisine, and the difficult negotiation of trauma and memory. In shedding new light on this now-fragmented culture and society, this collection commemorates and celebrates vital elements of Libyan Jewish heritage and encourages a lively intergenerational exchange among the many Jews of Libyan origin worldwide.”
Bourkoff said he read one this “in honour and memory” of his late uncle.
“Leadership and Self-Deception” by the Arbinger Institute
Summary: “This third edition of an international bestseller…details how its powerful insights on motivation, conflict, and collaboration can benefit organisations as well as individuals.”
“I try to re-read this every year as I find its lessons always relevant,” Bourkoff wrote in the letter.