7 books like The Key Man

By Simon Clark, Will Louch,

Here are 7 books that The Key Man fans have personally recommended if you like The Key Man. 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 Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Why am I passionate about this?

As a hospital clinical lab director, I have a mission to promote the value of my profession. Are we more important than our soldiers protecting our country? Politicians who make laws? Judges who help maintain law and order? I argue that the health of our families is near or at the top of our priorities. While we ask our doctors to achieve this goal, they ask us every day to help them. The lab is not about boiling tubes and colored flasks. The 8 books I have written and the 5 that I have selected illustrate, in an entertaining manner, who we really are and why we matter.  

Alan's book list on learning how clinical labs really work and why this is important to you and your family

Alan H.B. Wu Why did Alan love this book?

Mr. Carreyrou was the Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the story that eventually led to the downfall of Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos. At its peak, this company was worth over $9 billion. Today, Holmes and her former COO have been convicted of fraud and are serving time.

I like this book because it serves as a curriculum for how NOT to operate a biotech company. It shows that while belief in your vision is essential for all successful entrepreneurs, there is no place for secrecy and arrogance in the business world.

Unfortunately, the “Theranos” effect has led to a decline in investment in new medical technology and has had a negative effect on the value of clinical laboratories.

By John Carreyrou,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Bad Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The shocking true story behind The Dropout, starring the Emmy award-winning Amanda Seyfried, Naveen Andrews and Stephen Fry.

'I couldn't put down this thriller . . . a book so compelling that I couldn't turn away' - Bill Gates

Winner of the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2018

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.

In 2014,…


Book cover of The Merchant of Venice

Cyril Demaria Author Of Introduction to Private Equity, Debt and Real Assets: From Venture Capital to LBO, Senior to Distressed Debt, Immaterial to Fixed Assets

From my list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes.

Why am I passionate about this?

The financing of private firms is fascinating and a bit mysterious. It remains misunderstood and regularly gives birth to hype and excesses. I started my career working for a venture capital fund at the top of the Internet financial bubble, in 2000. This experience has imprinted my career and derailed my ambitions. It also fueled my thirst for knowledge. I started from essentially a virgin theoretical and academic land. I developed a body of practical and academic knowledge. Writing and publishing my books seemed to be the next logical step. I enjoy reading books on the sector and recommending them.

Cyril's book list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes

Cyril Demaria Why did Cyril love this book?

It might seem odd, but there is no real better book than this one to illustrate the challenges of private equity. I use it as an example in my training sessions regularly.

The Merchant of Venice is not only one of the best plays on finance and ethics, but also the perfect illustration of the challenges of start-up investing before it became a profession. This play illustrates how venture financing differs in practice from bank financing. It also conveys the uncertainties associated with entrepreneurship, and how some capital providers are not able to take such a risk.

Shakespeare masters the art of contrasting the perspectives of an entrepreneur and a banker in a short and powerful format. It is a masterpiece and a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the philosophy of start-up investing. 

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In The Merchant of Venice, the path to marriage is hazardous. To win Portia, Bassanio must pass a test prescribed by her father’s will, choosing correctly among three caskets or chests. If he fails, he may never marry at all.

Bassanio and Portia also face a magnificent villain, the moneylender Shylock. In creating Shylock, Shakespeare seems to have shared in a widespread prejudice against Jews. Shylock would have been regarded as a villain because he was a Jew. Yet he gives such powerful expression to his alienation due to the hatred around him that, in many productions, he emerges as…


Book cover of Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

Brad Schaeffer Author Of Life in the Pits: My Time as a Trader on the Rough-and-Tumble Exchange Floors

From my list on what makes commodities traders tick.

Why am I passionate about this?

After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1989 with an LAS degree in communications and a knack for artwork, I had no idea what I wanted to do. That was until my brother pulled me from my low-paid art job in Chicago to work as a clerk on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. I eventually became a trader on that same floor, as well as an oil and gas dealer in New York. Screaming and yelling in the trading pits while money moved back and forth with a shout and a hand signal I learned more about investing, trading, and human nature through osmosis than I ever could in an MBA course.

Brad's book list on what makes commodities traders tick

Brad Schaeffer Why did Brad love this book?

Though not a book about trading per se, this chronicle of the craziness surrounding the 1986 leveraged buyout of RJR-Nabisco is certainly worth a read.

It centers around the machinations of RJR-Nabisco’s breezy CEO, F. Ross Johnson, and how, apparently, being the head of one of America’s great companies wasn’t enough. The book really is as much a study of greed and ego as it is about what was, at the time, the most expensive LBO in history.

One gets the feeling the company in play, and its employees wondering what would be the impact on their lives once the negotiations way up in the New York corporate high rises were completed, were ancillary concerns to the players involved—Ross Johnson, American Express CEO and power publicist Jim and Linda Robinson, Shearson-Lehman head Peter Cohen, buyout specialist and anti-junk bond crusader Ted Forstmann, and the coldly menacing Henry Kravis and…

By Bryan Burrough, John Helyar,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Barbarians at the Gate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“One of the finest, most compelling accounts of what happened to corporate America and Wall Street in the 1980’s.”
—New York Times Book Review

A #1 New York Times bestseller and arguably the best business narrative ever written, Barbarians at the Gate is the classic account of the fall of RJR Nabisco. An enduring masterpiece of investigative journalism by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, it includes a new afterword by the authors that brings this remarkable story of greed and double-dealings up to date twenty years after the famed deal. The Los Angeles Times calls Barbarians at the Gate, “Superlative.”…


Book cover of Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed--and What to Do about It

Cyril Demaria Author Of Introduction to Private Equity, Debt and Real Assets: From Venture Capital to LBO, Senior to Distressed Debt, Immaterial to Fixed Assets

From my list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes.

Why am I passionate about this?

The financing of private firms is fascinating and a bit mysterious. It remains misunderstood and regularly gives birth to hype and excesses. I started my career working for a venture capital fund at the top of the Internet financial bubble, in 2000. This experience has imprinted my career and derailed my ambitions. It also fueled my thirst for knowledge. I started from essentially a virgin theoretical and academic land. I developed a body of practical and academic knowledge. Writing and publishing my books seemed to be the next logical step. I enjoy reading books on the sector and recommending them.

Cyril's book list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes

Cyril Demaria Why did Cyril love this book?

There is only one Silicon Valley – and there can only be one.

Harvard Professor Josh Lerner debunks enduring myths about replicating the success of this unique cluster dedicated to information technologies. He describes the different unsuccessful attempts of doing so by various public authorities and governments, and draws the lessons of such attempts.

He also identifies what are the conditions of successful local attempts to develop industrial clusters. In this context, this book provides a solid background to readers eager to understand the background of the emergence and development of private companies thanks to a complex web of interactions between public and private initiatives.

By Josh Lerner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Boulevard of Broken Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Silicon Valley, Singapore, and Tel Aviv - the global hubs of entrepreneurial activity all bear the marks of government investment. Yet, for every public intervention that spurs entrepreneurial activity, there are many failed efforts that waste untold billions in taxpayer dollars. When has governmental sponsorship succeeded in boosting growth, and when has it fallen terribly short? Should the government be involved in such undertakings at all? "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is the first extensive look at the ways governments have supported entrepreneurs and venture capitalists across decades and continents. Josh Lerner, one of the foremost experts in the field, provides…


Book cover of Private Equity Laid Bare

Geoff Meeks Author Of The Merger Mystery: Why Spend Ever More on Mergers When so Many Fail?

From my list on accounting for M&A.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an economics student I was told that corporate merger would typically enhance financial performance, because of scale economies, market power or the acquirer’s superior management. As an auditor of recently acquired firms I found disorganization, demoralised staff, and weak profits. As a researcher I found that most mergers had failed to boost profitability, a finding that was mostly replicated by researchers over the subsequent 40 years. In the meantime, helped by my co-author, one of my aims has been to provide an explanation of this evidence, recounted in ‘my book.’ I’m an academic ‘lifer’ at Cambridge University – latterly Professor of Financial Accounting and Acting Dean of Cambridge’s Judge Business School. 

Geoff's book list on accounting for M&A

Geoff Meeks Why did Geoff love this book?

With its "buy and sell" model, the Private Equity industry which commentators have variously described as the ‘billionaire factory’ and "irresponsible locust swarms" – is responsible for a large and growing share of M&A activity. The businesses held by just two of its members employ some one and a half million people.

Phalippou draws on many years of distinguished research to demystify the secretive industry’s methods and accounting – rigorous explanations leavened by fascinating case studies and appealing humour.

By Ludovic Phalippou,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Private Equity Laid Bare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is version 2.6 (both Kindle and hard copy; Audiobook is following the first edition)! Designed for an MBA course on private equity, this textbook aims to familiarize any reader with the jargon and mechanics of private markets using simplified examples, real-life situations and results from thorough academic studies. The intention is to have a book that can be read more like a novel than like a regular textbook. In order to have long-lasting impact on readers, I believe in making things as simple as possible, boiling everything down to the essence, going straight to the point, and, most importantly,…


Book cover of Investment Valuation: Tools and Techniques for Determining the Value of any Asset

Michael Samonas Author Of Financial Forecasting, Analysis and Modelling: A Framework for Long-Term Forecasting

From my list on financial modelling and valuation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I come from an engineering background and early in my career I discover financial modelling as I had to assess the viability of business plans. I deal with financial models the last 20 years of my professional carrier as a Group Financial Officer of SIDMA STEEL SA. Moreover, I am teaching financial modelling in the American College of Greece, Deree, at University of Nicosia in collaboration with Globaltraing and many other places abroad. I am a numbers person, and I am fascinated by financial modelling as it provides you a tool to support effective decision-making. 

Michael's book list on financial modelling and valuation

Michael Samonas Why did Michael love this book?

Another great resource for businessmen and students alike for Valuations.

Professor Damodaran (which gave praise on the back cover of my book) is considered as one of the world's foremost experts on the topic. He has built and provided, for free, a database at Stern NY University with data used in financial models for valuation purposes.

The book gathers a vast number of valuation techniques and gives great background and context for applying them and when they will tend to provide good information and when they can be misleading.

By Aswath Damodaran,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The definitive source of information on all topics related to investment valuation tools and techniques Valuation is at the heart of any investment decision, whether that decision is buy, sell or hold. But the pricing of many assets has become a more complex task in modern markets, especially after the recent financial crisis. In order to be successful at this endeavor, you must have a firm understanding of the proper valuation techniques. One valuation book stands out as withstanding the test of time among students of financial markets and investors, Aswath Damodaran'sInvestment Valuation. Now completely revised and updated to reflect…


Book cover of Viva the Entrepreneur: Founding, Scaling, and Raising Venture Capital in Latin America

Kusi Hornberger Author Of Scaling Impact: Finance and Investment for a Better World

From my list on investing for impact.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where I lead a lot of our finance and investment advisory work with development finance institutions, family offices, and impact investors. I also serve on several impact investment and field-building organization advisory boards and regularly contribute to the ecosystem through thought leadership and speaking engagements at leading conferences. Over the course of my 20+ year career, I have played the role of advisor, investor, and technical assistance provider on more than 200 individual projects across the globe.   

Kusi's book list on investing for impact

Kusi Hornberger Why did Kusi love this book?

This book is an excellent read for any entrepreneur who is looking for a firsthand account of the ups and downs of starting and growing a business in emerging markets.

I got to know Brian during my time living in Brazil and truly admire his story, as well as the candor and honesty that he brings to this book. Brian shares tons of funny and useful anecdotes, particularly as they relate to raising funding and negotiating with venture capital and private equity investors.

Filled with insight, this is a must-read for anyone starting a business or investing in startups that they hope to see scale and change the world. 

By Brian Requarth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Viva the Entrepreneur as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The entrepreneurial journey is lonely—especially if you’re looking to start a business in Latin America, where opportunities are ripe but resources are scarce. Brian Requarth is well acquainted with the challenges unique to this part of the world, having grown Viva Real from two people to over 500 employees, and tens of millions in dollars of revenue.

Now, Brian wants to help demystify the obstacles you’ll face, teach what you won’t learn in business school, and offer you inspiration and encouragement on your journey.

Viva the Entrepreneur shares the lessons Brian learned while building his company. He shows how to…


4 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Latin America, entrepreneurs, and Brazil?

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