5 must-read founder stories

NetApp, Dell, Nike, Salesforce, Amazon, Apple, and the must-read stories of the amazing men who started them.

5 must-read founder stories
How to Castrate a Bull by Dave Hitz.

I read (and write) quite a lot, and it's mostly non-fiction. I just prefer the power, ideas, and possible practical applications which come from non-fiction books.

While going through my reading history, I noticed there's a chunk of founder biographies and stories of building great companies. It's no surprise that most of these come from the tech sector since this is where I operate.  

If you're looking for impressive reading material, here are my top five recommendations. I might be adding more to my book impressions soon.

How to Castrate a Bull by Dave Hitz

Our very own Dave Hitz, the legendary founder and former Cloud Tzar of NetApp. And yes, it contains the real instructions on how to castrate a (real) bull.

Play nice but win by Michael Dell

I published an impression about this one. Wonderful story of a man who built a hundred billion business.

Play Nice but Win by Michael Dell
A CEO’s journey from Founder to Leader“What do you want to do with your life, Michael?” my father asked. “I want to compete with IBM!” I said. I was only half kidding. But my dad wasn’t amused.

Shoe dog by Phil Knight

Phil borrowed fifty bucks from his father and started importing low-cost running shoes from Japan. Eventually, he built Nike, one of the world's most famous brands. I digested this one as an audiobook almost in one sitting listening.

Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff

Marc left Oracle because Larry Ellison (Oracle) didn't understand that "the software is dead" or that it will eventually all run in the cloud.

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

A tiny online book store and a man with a vision to become bigger than Walmart. Reading the story of the beginnings feels like listening to Marc Zuckerberg talking about the metaverse — and yes, I do believe that the metaverse will be the next big thing — bigger than we can imagine today.

Plus one: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

In 2019, I drove from San Francisco down to Los Altos, specifically to 2066 Crist Drive, to see the world's most famous garage: the birthplace of Apple Computers. It felt like a special pilgrimage after reading Steve's biography. I parked my car, got out, and stared at the house like a psychopath. You can feel a certain energy there; at least I could.

Steve Jobs's garage at 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, California, USA.
Steve Jobs's garage at 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, California, USA.

See the book impressions I published so far:

.books - Peter Kos
These notes are my highlights and impressions, a form of digital marginalia of my reading. Summaries and recommendations. And, of course, MY BOOK(s) ;-)
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