100 books like Fall in Love with the Problem, Not the Solution

By Uri Levine,

Here are 100 books that Fall in Love with the Problem, Not the Solution fans have personally recommended if you like Fall in Love with the Problem, Not the Solution. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Shelle Rose Charvet Author Of Words That Change Minds: The 14 Patterns for Mastering the Language of Influence

From my list on books for nice people to be more persuasive.

Why am I passionate about this?

Not many people know that I was so timid as a child; I used to burst into tears if I had to ask for something in a store. Now, I am known for my “out there” presentation style and mastery of words. Since 1982, I have been working with individuals and groups to help them get better at persuading, solving conflicts, and having inspiring relationships. So, how can you be a nice, caring person and still be persuasive, even with the most skeptical of people? These books helped me do this.

Shelle's book list on books for nice people to be more persuasive

Shelle Rose Charvet Why did Shelle love this book?

It’s weird to recommend this book to get better at persuading. But if I had read it before presenting new ideas, I would have saved thousands of dollars in development costs and shortened the time it took to persuade others to back me. His main idea is “The minimum viable product.”

So, instead of spending too much time and money developing my idea before talking to anyone, trying to make it perfect, I showed a 2-slide mockup of the idea to a friend, who said “I would NEVER use this. It takes up too much time. I just want something quick and dirty to help me write a persuasive email.” Wow! Her comment blew my mind and prevented me from spending a fortune on an impractical tool.

By Eric Ries,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Lean Startup as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'The Lean Startup changes everything.' - Harvard Business Review


Most new businesses fail. But most of those failures are preventable.

The Lean Startup is a new approach to business that's being adopted around the world. It is changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Essential reading for any ambitious entrepreneur, The Lean Startup will teach you to identify what your customers really want. You'll learn how to test your vision continuously, adapting and adjusting before it's too late.

With over a million copies sold across the globe, now is your time…

Book cover of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

Michael D. Watkins Author Of The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking: Leading Your Organization Into the Future

From my list on books for aspiring strategic thinkers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have devoted my career to helping leaders navigate challenging transitions into new roles, build their teams, and transform their organizations. Strategic thinking is a key foundation of my work as an executive coach and advisor at Genesis Advisers and a professor at the IMD Business School. Whether executives are taking new roles or driving large-scale transformations, they must be able to rapidly analyze the context, craft good visions and strategies, and mobilize people to realize them. I try to equip the leaders I work with with the mental frameworks, tools, and skillsets to adapt and succeed in the first 90 days and beyond.

Michael's book list on books for aspiring strategic thinkers

Michael D. Watkins Why did Michael love this book?

I liked that this book highlighted how supposedly tried-and-true approaches to innovation fail to deliver results.

The book’s insights about how to drive radical innovation informed the advice I now give executives about how to approach organizational transformation, starting with an ambitious vision, communicating the “why,” and enlisting great people to go on the journey with them.

It helped me to understand that building organizations to develop disruptive technologies requires leaders to envision things that may sound crazy until they are realized. 

By Peter Thiel, Blake Masters,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Zero to One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What Valuable Company Is Nobody Building? The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won't make a search engine. If you are copying these guys, you aren't learning from them. It's easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. Every new creation goes from 0 to 1. This book is about how to get there. "Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how". (Elon…

Book cover of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Luana Marques Author Of Bold Move: A 3-Step Plan to Transform Anxiety Into Power

From my list on moving through anxiety toward what matters most.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in Brazil facing poverty and adversity, I was helped by my grandmother, who instilled in me a profound lesson: be the water, not the rock. She taught me the significance of adaptability in confronting uncertainty, stress, and discomfort. Later in life, while pursuing my PhD in clinical psychology, I discovered her teachings aligned with leading mental health practices. Today, I'm an associate professor at Harvard, a renowned global speaker, and an author, ardently committed to empowering individuals globally with evidence-based techniques to transform anxiety into power. Every book in this list resonates with my grandmother's wisdom about boldly navigating life and underscores the transformative potential of embracing discomfort. 

Luana's book list on moving through anxiety toward what matters most

Luana Marques Why did Luana love this book?

My journey with Simon Sinek's Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action began during my tenure at Massachusetts General Hospital, where I was tasked with the integration of two research labs.

As I grappled with unifying two distinct cultures, I grabbed with motivating and integrating two distinct teams. On my quest for innovative methods to articulate ideas, I chanced upon Sinek's Golden Circle—a potent formula for inspiring action. This strategy begins with 'why', segues into 'how', and culminates with 'what'.

Since immersing in Start with Why, I've employed the Golden Circle in countless presentations, workshops, and meetings, tapping into the strength of collective values and a sharp sense of purpose. If you find yourself in a leadership role and feeling cornered, my recommendation is: Start with Why.

By Simon Sinek,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Start With Why as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



'It's amazing how a book can change the course of your life, and this book did that' Reader Review

'Imagine the Ted Talk expanded to 2 hours long, with more depth, intrigue and examples' Reader Review

'What he does brilliantly is demonstrate his own why - to inspire others - throughout' Reader Review

'Wow. Wow. Wow. I cannot rate this book highly enough to take a different, positive approach to life and work' Reader Review

Discover your purpose with one simple…

Book cover of The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Dave Hersh Author Of Reignition: Transforming Stuck Startups Into Breakout Winners

From my list on leaders feeling lonely at the top.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a founder, CEO, venture capitalist, buyout specialist, Chairman, author, consultant, and coach. I’ve seen the startup world from every angle and also seen how destructive it can be if we don’t take care of our inner lives. My work now is to help people understand how we can transform ourselves to transform our businesses. These books were helpful to me when I needed them most and shaped not only my leadership approach but also my life. 

Dave's book list on leaders feeling lonely at the top

Dave Hersh Why did Dave love this book?

I was lucky enough to work with Ben at a16z and found him to be a very thoughtful and brilliant guy with deeply held beliefs and perspectives on how to build great technology and organizations.

This book helped me navigate the line between knowing the answers and being stuck in the hardness in my writing and leadership development. It’s also more vulnerable than many other books and serves as a good reminder of why we do it, how hard it can be, and that we’re not alone in that path.

By Ben Horowitz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Hard Thing About Hard Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup-practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn't cover, based on his popular ben's blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he's gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with…

Book cover of Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos

Tom Gilb Author Of Competitive Engineering: A Handbook For Systems Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Software Engineering Using Planguage

From my list on learning successful invention and business methods.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a self-taught guy, having started in my first job at IBM Oslo, when I was 18 years old, as punched card machine operator, and plug-board ‘programmer'. I did night studies in sociology/philosophy for 10 years at University of Oslo. I read about 30 books a year, and I’m 82 in 2023. I have spent most of my career as an independent international consultant to corporations and governments, while building up my ideas of useful methods to solve problems. In retirement, I love to spread my ideas, and learn more. I also write about 5 new books a year, when at my Oslofjord Summer cabin. They're all digital and free or free samples. 

Tom's book list on learning successful invention and business methods

Tom Gilb Why did Tom love this book?

No surprises. Self-made businessperson, with persistence and imagination.

This book is unusual. It is literally written by Bezos over decades of developing Amazon. It is mainly his annual reports to the shareholders! So it gives a continuous picture of the growth of the empire.

My favourite practical tip, is his executive meeting process. Meeting begins with a 6-page (with a 1-page summary) briefing, to reread for the first 20 minutes of as meeting in silence, then discussed. No presentation with slides and pretty pictures, and soothing ambiguous words.

The briefing is the result of hard work, in advance, crafting it to be useful. Wow! 

By Jeff Bezos,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Invent and Wander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Jeff Bezos's own words, the core principles and philosophy that have guided him in creating, building, and leading Amazon and Blue Origin.

In this collection of Jeff Bezos's writings&#8212his unique and strikingly original annual shareholder letters, plus numerous speeches and interviews that provide insight into his background, his work, and the evolution of his ideas&#8212you'll gain an insider's view of the why and how of his success. Spanning a range of topics across business and public policy, from innovation and customer obsession to climate change and outer space, this book provides a rare glimpse into how Bezos thinks about…

Book cover of The Diary of a CEO: The 33 Laws of Business and Life

Simon Court Author Of Founder's Legacy: 50 Game-Changing Leadership Lessons for Building a Great Business

From my list on books for founders trying to be in the 10% of businesses that succeed.

Why am I passionate about this?

For the last 25 years, I have been a coach to business founders, leaders, and leadership teams. My work has taken me to every continent from my base in London. A lot of my work is done behind closed doors, but I have been instrumental in building two unicorns in the last decade. I’m a founder myself and have always been fascinated by what it takes to succeed as a founder. I have a powerful conviction that learning to lead is the heart of it. The books I love are either based on real-world research or deeply practical and based on hands-on experience. Practice trumps theory every time in my world!

Simon's book list on books for founders trying to be in the 10% of businesses that succeed

Simon Court Why did Simon love this book?

I have listened to Steven Bartlett’s podcast for years. He has interviewed an impressive and eclectic range of people, especially founders, and has pulled together much of what he has learned, both from his own business success and that of his guests.

I like the practicality of the “33 laws” in the book. I don’t agree with all of them. For example, I take issue with “Create a cult mentality,” but many of these laws are very sound indeed, including “Ask who not how” and “You must out-fail the competition.”

I like Steven’s persuasive and punchy style and the fact that he came from humble beginnings and has achieved so much. 

By Steven Bartlett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Diary of a CEO as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Book cover of Loonshots: Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries

Hasard Lee Author Of The Art of Clear Thinking: A Stealth Fighter Pilot's Timeless Rules for Making Tough Decisions

From my list on becoming great at decision-making.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a U.S. Air Force Fighter pilot who has dedicated my life to the subject of decision-making. When flying, my job is to make thousands of decisions on each flight, often with limited information and lives on the line. My calling now is to share the lessons that I’ve learned with the world to allow them to make better, quicker decisions, and to have more confidence in their thinking. 

Hasard's book list on becoming great at decision-making

Hasard Lee Why did Hasard love this book?

I enjoyed this book because it helped me to understand why bold ideas often don't get off the ground in big organizations.

These ideas are usually sought after and destroyed by the organization itself because the incentives of the managers who approve the ideas aren’t aligned. However, there is a solution that Safi goes into in depth.

A must-read for people who want to change the world. 

By Safi Bahcall,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Loonshots as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? Why do traffic jams appear out of nowhere on highways? What can we learn about innovation from a glass of water? In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behaviour and the challenges of nurturing radical breakthroughs.

Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Oceans of print…

Book cover of Good Company

Brian Unell Author Of Everyday Leadership: You Will Make A Difference

From my list on leadership you can use at home, work, and in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a recovering Big 5 consultant and healthcare administrator, while others portray me as a transformational healthcare executive who has a passion for cultivating talent and driving change to enable sustainable results. I am a visionary and collaborative team builder and servant leader who views issues/opportunities from all perspectives, turns data into information, the complex into simple, and chaos into focus. I have led transformational consulting projects, a $180M technology implementation, and a team of 1,500 people. I enjoy serving on non-profit boards, mentoring others, and co-leading a team of four at home with my wife, Hilary.  

Brian's book list on leadership you can use at home, work, and in life

Brian Unell Why did Brian love this book?

In Good Company, Arthur Blank, one of the founders of Home Depot, shares his views on leadership, hiring, his biggest mistakes, and how creating a culture of putting the customer first in everything you do can drive tremendous business results, brand loyalty, and customer satisfaction. 

Pick it up to understand how 2” can make a massive difference.

By Arthur M Blank,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Good Company as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Featuring an introduction by President Jimmy Carter

The Home Depot cofounder and owner of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and MLS's Atlanta United shares a vision and a roadmap for values-based business.

Arthur M. Blank believes that for good companies, purpose and profit can-and should-go hand in hand. And he should know. Together with cofounder Bernie Marcus, Blank built The Home Depot from an idea and a dream to a $50 billion-dollar company, the leading home improvement retailer in the world. And even while opening a new store every 42 hours, they never…

Book cover of No B.S. Wealth Attraction in the New Economy

Bradley Bevers Author Of The Mental Game of Real Estate: How to Thrive as a Real Estate Agent

From my list on showing you how to sell anything without losing your soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to read books. I read over 100 books a year and really try to implement principles and tips from those that I love. I also hate traditional sales advice and have worked on building my business differently from the typical salesperson, trying to serve my clients better by learning and practicing in a different way. Nothing happens until somebody sells something, but there is a better way. That’s why I wrote my book, The Mental Game of Real Estate, about the same principles that I teach my agents every day.

Bradley's book list on showing you how to sell anything without losing your soul

Bradley Bevers Why did Bradley love this book?

I love this book and re-read it at least every couple of years. All of Dan Kennedy’s books are fantastic, but this one is special.

As a real estate agent, I didn’t realize how much my view of the world and the economy held me back. This book helped shift my perspective, and I now see the world from an abundance mindset instead of a scarcity mindset. I give this to anyone who is stuck in an "if I win, then someone loses" mindset, and it will shake them out of it. I also love his chapters on the magic of generosity and on learning to expect "the phenomenon" at least once every few years (you will have to read it to learn more).

I love how this book has freed me up to go after my goals without hesitation because, as an entrepreneur, it is my job to grow…

By Dan Kennedy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No B.S. Wealth Attraction in the New Economy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Become A Money Magnet

The old economy is shattered, and GONE FOREVER. It's never coming back as it was, and in its place a generally tougher, more demanding marketplace is emerging. The realities of the business and financial landscape that you knew have been forced to change.

HOWEVER, when it comes to wealth, one instrumental reality is unchanged: No matter the economic conditions-booms or recessions, including the fast-emerging New Economy-there is wealth. And who better to show you how to lure, bait, attract, and become a magnet for it than "Millionaire Maker" Dan S. Kennedy?

Kennedy covers:

How to experience…

Book cover of It's About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into Your Greatest Advantage

Ruchika Tulshyan Author Of Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work

From my list on change your mind about success.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in an immigrant household where success was defined by how much money you made and your individual progress. But I’ve always been fascinated by social change as the measure of collective success. As a former business journalist, I was most inspired by leaders who were creating opportunities for overlooked communities. I now advise organization leaders on how to create more inclusive and diverse organizations by rethinking the measure of success purely from the profit perspective. That’s why I wrote Inclusion on Purpose. These books have helped me transform my definition of success. I hope you’re catalyzed to action by these books!

Ruchika's book list on change your mind about success

Ruchika Tulshyan Why did Ruchika love this book?

How great would the story of an inspiring, successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist be if it was about a Black, gay, formerly unhoused woman who is building the next hundred million dollar company?

That’s exactly who Arlan Hamilton is, and with gems like “I pattern match for grit” about her investing strategy, I couldn’t put this book down. It redefines the idea that successful entrepreneurs only come from elite Ivy League institutions or build legacies in their parents’ garages. 

By Arlan Hamilton, Rachel L. Nelson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked It's About Damn Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A hero’s tale of what’s possible when we unlock our potential, continue the search for knowledge, and draw on our lived experiences to guide us through the darkest moments.”—Stacey Abrams

From a Black, gay woman who broke into the boys’ club of Silicon Valley comes an empowering guide to finding your voice, working your way into any room you want to be in, and achieving your own dreams.


In 2015, Arlan Hamilton was on food stamps and sleeping on the floor of the San Francisco airport, with nothing but…

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