book list

If you want to know how the lighting industry has wound up where it is today, I suggest reading the following four books (in order as listed):

Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light by Brox, Jane

Want to know why it’s safe to go outside after the sun sets?  Brilliant chronicles the evolution of human civilization from ancient fire to candle to gas to electric light.

Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World by Jonnes, Jill

Want to know how we wound up with a globally electrified world (all using AC power)?  Empires of Light focuses in on the initial race for electrification of our cities and rural areas and the competition between two industry titans.

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Gertner, Jon

Want to know why our lighting fixtures are now digitally controlled?  The Idea Factory explains how modern electronics and communications developed, from analogue through to the digital world.

Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age by Michael A. Hiltzik

Want to know why you’re now using an iPad to control your lights?  No, don’t read the biography of Steve Jobs (although it is an excellent book, too); rather, read about the source for most of Apple’s technologies:  Dealers of Lighting covers the amazing Xerox R+D facility that envisioned and developed little concepts such as graphical user interfaces, portable computing, and Ethernet communications.

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I love reading books on entrepreneurship, managing the creative process, and historical recounts of R+D projects.  Here is my edited list of books that I recommend.  Enjoy!

{approx. 2016 and earlier}

Lean Product and Process Development, 2nd ed.
Allen Ward

A Beautiful Constraint: How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It’s Everyone’s Business
Adam Morgan

How Jay Stein, MCA, & Universal Invented the Modern Theme Park and Beat Disney at Its Own Game
Sam Gennawey

How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight
Julian Guthrie

Father, Son & Co.: My Life at IBM and Beyond
Thomas J. Watson

WHAT MAKES A LEADER: WHY EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE MATTERS
Daniel Goleman

The Industries of the Future
Alec Ross

Dr. Space: The Life of Wernher von Braun
Bob Ward

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking
Chris Anderson

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
Phil Knight

Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two
Jim Koch

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
Adam Grant

Model Woman: Eileen Ford and the Business of Beauty
Robert Lacey

The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley
Eric Weiner

Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies, and Symbols
Nancy Duarte

Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment
Anita Elberse

How to Get People to Do Stuff: Master the art and science of persuasion and motivation
Susan Weinschenk

HBR Guide to Leading Teams
Mary Shapiro

 

The X-15 Rocket Plane: Flying the First Wings into Space
Michelle L. Evans

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
Ron Chernow

My Journey
Donna Karan

Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream
Clay Shirky

The Power of Myth
Joseph Campbell

The Martian: A Novel
Andy Weir

I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words (In Their Own Words)
Beahm

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone
Mark Goulston

Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader
Linda A. Hill

Start Something That Matters
Blake Mycoskie

Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees
Doug Lipp

The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War
A. J. Baime

{approx. 2015 and earlier}

Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle..
Lawrence Goldstone

#GIRLBOSS
Sophia Amoruso

Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading..
Linda A. Hill

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
Peter Thiel

The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The..
Robert Spector

Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful..
Bill Aulet

The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and..
Pamela Skaist-Levy

The Woman I Wanted to Be
Diane von Furstenberg

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern..
Steven Johnson

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks..
Walter Isaacson

The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded: Proven Strategies..
Michael D. Watkins

Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a..
Lee Cockerell

Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age
W. Bernard Carlson

Jim Henson: The Biography
Brian Jay Jones

Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-first..
Orville Schell

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in..
Ed Catmull

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When..
Ben Horowitz

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
Leander Kahney

Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module..
Thomas J. Kelly

Building Tall: My Life and the Invention of Construction..
John L. Tishman

In Pursuit of the Common Good: Twenty-Five Years of..
Paul Newman

The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented..
Randall E. Stross

The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and..
Eugene Cernan

Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage
Chris Laszlo

Finding the Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Keep, and Nurture..
Nolan Bushnell

The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned From Patagonia’s..
Vincent Stanley

Without Reservations: How a Family Root Beer Stand Grew Into..
Bill Marriott Jr.

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and..
David Robertson

Contagious: Why Things Catch On
Jonah Berger

The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability–Designing for Abundance
William McDonough

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work
Chip Heath

By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way..
Alexis Maybank

Wild Company: The Untold Story of Banana Republic
Mel Ziegler

Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy
Isadore Sharp

The Method Method: Seven Obsessions That Helped Our Scrappy..
Eric Ryan

Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works
A.G. Lafley

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
Daniel H. Pink

The Lean Turnaround: How Business Leaders Use Lean..
Art Byrne

{approx 2012 and earlier}

Seizing the White Space: Business Model Innovation for Growth and Renewal
Johnson, Mark W.

The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century
Watts, Steven

Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator
Holiday, Ryan

Make Your Idea Matter
Jiwa, Bernadette

Makers: The New Industrial Revolution
Anderson, Chris

Scrum: a Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction
Johnson, Hillary Louise, Sims, Chris

Instant: The Story of Polaroid
Bonanos, Christopher

The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development
Reinertsen, Donald G.

The Knockoff Economy:How Imitation Sparks Innovation
Raustiala, Kal, Sprigman, Christopher

The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup
Wasserman, Noam
The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism
Cabane, Olivia Fox

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Ries, Eric

Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company
Grove, Andrew S.

Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers
Liedtka, Jeanne, Ogilvie, Tim

Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration
Doorley, Scott, Witthoft, Scott

Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World
Jonnes, Jill

The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
Hoffman, Reid, Casnocha, Ben

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation
Gertner, Jon

The Great Creators: Profiles of America’s Remarkable Inventors and Innovators Volume 1
Daniel, Alef

Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds
Berkun, Scott

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
Johnson, Steven

Guitar Lessons: A Life’s Journey Turning Passion into Business
Taylor, Bob February 7, 2012

Unleashing Innovation: How Whirlpool Transformed an Industry
Snyder, Nancy Tennant, Duarte, Deborah L. December 26, 2011

The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators
Christensen, Clayton M., Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen

One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com
Brandt, Richard L.

Innovate the Pixar Way
Capodagli, Bill
Steve Jobs
Isaacson, Walter

Business Model Generation
Osterwalder, Alexander, Yves Pigneur

Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
Hogshead, Sally

Life
Richards, Keith

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul
Schultz, Howard

Winning Body Language
Bowden, Mark

Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light
Brox, Jane

Setting the Table
Meyer, Danny

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier
Glaeser, Edward

Poke the Box
Godin, Seth

Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders
Morgan, Adam

Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar Inc.
Erickson, Gary

Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization
Inghilleri, Leonardo, Solomon, Micah

What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There: HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE BECOME EVEN MORE SUCCESSFUL
Goldsmith, Marshall, Mark Reiter

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy
Lindstrom, Martin

Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery
Hindy, Steve, Potter, Tom
Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation
McCracken, Grant

Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman
Chouinard, Yvon

Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management
Berkun, Scott

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work
Crawford, Matthew B.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Hsieh, Tony

{AUGUST 2010} – KINDLE PURCHASED

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Rework
Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
Scott Belsky

The Lean Machine: How Harley-Davidson Drove Top-Line Growth and Profitability with Revolutionary Lean Product Development
Dantar P. Oosterwal

Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
Noah J. Goldstein, et al

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature
Janine M. Benyus

The Brand Gap
Marty Neumeier

The Ride of a Lifetime: Doing Business the Orange County Choppers Way
Paul Teutul

Do You Matter? How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company
Robert Brunner, et al

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days
Jessica Livingston

The Complete Making of Indiana Jones: The Definitive Story Behind All Four Films
J.W. Rinzler

The Myths of Innovation
Scott Berkun

The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation
A.G. Lafley, Ram Charan

Stumbling on Happiness
Daniel Gilbert

Apollo
Charles Murray

Droidmaker: George Lucas and the Digital Revolution
Michael Rubin

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Malcolm Gladwel

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Steven D. Levitt

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Chip Heath, Dan Heath

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Malcolm Gladwell

The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film (Star Wars)
J.W. Rinzler

Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age
Michael A. Hiltzik

{2006}
Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership Through Literature
Joseph L., Jr. Badaracco

The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More
Chris Anderson

Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City
Neal Bascomb

Direct from Dell : Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry
Michael Dell, Catherine Fredman

The Bear Necessities of Business : Building a Company with Heart
Maxine Clark, Amy Joyne

Screw It, Let’s Do It : Lessons In Life
Richard Branson

The Design of Things to Come : How Ordinary People Create Extraordinary Products
Craig M. Vogel, et a

How to Win Friends & Influence People
Dale Carnegie

The Ten Faces of Innovation : IDEO’s Strategies for Defeating the Devil’s Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization
Thomas Kelley, Jonathan Littman

Hershey : Milton S. Hershey’s Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams
Michael D’Antonio

{2005 or earlier}
Failure is Not an Option: The Story of Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond
Kranz, Gene

What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School
McCormack, Mark

Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service
Disney Institute, Eisner, Michael D.

Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed
Rich, Ben E., Janos, Leo