5 Books Successful People Read from Nikola Tesla to Elon Musk

Reading doesn't just educate you, it motivates you too if you know what to read.

Often times, when we want to learn something new to inspire innovation in our entrepreneur lives, we read books. Reading a fantastic book to educate yourself and create more internal motivation and inspiration to develop new ideas is not a new concept, nor is it one that should seem uncommon to people competing in today’s business world. However, there are so many books to pick from, which ones are best for creating the type of invigoration that leads to success?

To help you better pinpoint the books that will help inspire your ideas, we’ve created a list of five books that successful people read, inspired by Nikola Tesla and Elon Musk. If you’ve been living under a rock and aren’t familiar with Elon Musk, he is the man who re-created Nikola Tesla’s company into a popular electric car manufacturer, Tesla, and also founded SpaceX, the first commercial company to complete a rocket launch from a NASA launch pad. Elon Musk is an avid book reader, and even credited his knowledge about rockets to reading books. Musk attributes his success to many of the books he read, and we’ve created a helpful list of five of those books you might want to read to do the same in your business career.

Book #1: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

One way to learn how to become more innovative is by educating yourself with one of the world’s most creative inventor’s life story. After all, Benjamin Franklin was more than just a Founding Father, he was also a talented inventor who was filled with excellent ideas that took him time to formulate and apply. Ben Franklin’s life story is about a man who was born with nothing, using his mindset as an entrepreneur to achieve his success. Like Musk, Franklin worked his way up to the top using his innovative ideas, and eventually changing the world.

Book #2: Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson’s book Einstein: His Life and Universe tells us a biographical sketch of another famous genius who came from nothing, similar to the story of Ben Franklin. Einstein, also like Franklin, started with nothing, had little education, but still used his creative genius to produce several famous inventions that forced the world to evolve. Einstein’s many failures, from his struggles as a father and husband to his difficulty finding a job, help remind us just how innovation can bring us from the grip of disaster and form the foundations of our success.

Book #3: Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down by J.E. Gordon

Another book recommended by Elon Musk for those looking for innovation in structural engineering is J.E. Gordon’s book Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down. J.E. Gordon is a British material scientist, and his book has inspired many people involved in structural design to create new and innovative ideas to bolster their success in the industry. Musk first read the book when he started SpaceX, and feels there is a lot of motivating concepts present in the book that can inspire others to find new and unique perspectives.

Book #4: Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel is one of the two founders of PayPal, a company that’s now well-known for making electronic payments for both goods and services an easy, everyday thing. Thiel's book, “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” explains Theil’s own concept regarding the way startups should function. Theil’s book shares in his book how he’s been able to create many successful companies using his startup philosophy.

Book #5: The Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov

Famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy tells the story of space exploration and the fall of the Galactic Empire. Elon Musk feels the book series shows us how civilizations tend to move in upward and downward cycles, and right now, our society is currently in an upward cycle. However, typically even the most advanced societies, like the Romans and Egyptians, experienced a cycle of events that created a downward spiral. So, even while our technological innovation is peaking now, it’s important to remember we all need to prepare for the future as well.

Written by: Barbachano International Staff

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