100 books like The Power of Creative Destruction

By Philippe Aghion, Celine Antonin, Simon Bunel , Jodie Cohen-Tanugi (translator)

Here are 100 books that The Power of Creative Destruction fans have personally recommended if you like The Power of Creative Destruction. 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 VC: An American History

William H. Janeway Author Of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State

From my list on venture capital and the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

After receiving my doctorate in Economics at Cambridge University, I embarked on a 35-year sabbatical as a venture capitalist focused on information technology. I learned about the critical role that the American state had played by sponsoring the computer industry. When the "Dotcom Bubble" of the late 1990s grossly overpriced my companies, because I had written my PhD thesis on 1929-1931 when the Bubble of the Roaring Twenties exploded, I had seen the movie before and knew how it ended. I returned to Cambridge determined to tell this saga of innovation at the frontier and the strategic roles played by financial speculation and the state in funding economic transformation."

William's book list on venture capital and the economics of innovation

William H. Janeway Why did William love this book?

I value this book as a comprehensive history of high-risk investing in America, from the Whaling Industry to Silicon Valley. 

Nicholas reveals the extraordinary skew and persistence in investment returns: a small number of investors are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the gains, and this holds true across widely varying institutional structures and technological domains.

And he explores the intimate relationship between the rise of the IT and Biotech industries and support from the U.S, Government. 

By Tom Nicholas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A major exploration of venture financing, from its origins in the whaling industry to Silicon Valley, that shows how venture capital created an epicenter for the development of high-tech innovation.

VC tells the riveting story of how the industry arose from the United States' long-running orientation toward entrepreneurship. Venture capital has been driven from the start by the pull of outsized returns through a skewed distribution of payoffs-a faith in low-probability but substantial financial rewards that rarely materialize. Whether the gamble is a whaling voyage setting sail from New Bedford or the newest startup in Silicon Valley, VC is not…


Book cover of Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970

William H. Janeway Author Of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State

From my list on venture capital and the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

After receiving my doctorate in Economics at Cambridge University, I embarked on a 35-year sabbatical as a venture capitalist focused on information technology. I learned about the critical role that the American state had played by sponsoring the computer industry. When the "Dotcom Bubble" of the late 1990s grossly overpriced my companies, because I had written my PhD thesis on 1929-1931 when the Bubble of the Roaring Twenties exploded, I had seen the movie before and knew how it ended. I returned to Cambridge determined to tell this saga of innovation at the frontier and the strategic roles played by financial speculation and the state in funding economic transformation."

William's book list on venture capital and the economics of innovation

William H. Janeway Why did William love this book?

I deeply appreciate the way that Lécuyer undermines the myth that a few genius entrepreneurs and venture capitalists invented Silicon Valley from nothing.

He documents the pre-history of Silicon Valley, showing how the “ham radio” operators of the early 20th Century found support from the U.S. Navy to build a micro-electronics industry in the San Francisco Bay Area before World War II. A skilled technical workforce was available when, partly by chance and partly through the initiative of Stanford’s Dean of Engineering, Frederick Terman (himself a radio engineer), the semiconductor industry found its home.

By Christophe Lecuyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making Silicon Valley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Making Silicon Valley, Christophe Lécuyer shows that the explosive growth of the personal computer industry in Silicon Valley was the culmination of decades of growth and innovation in the San Francisco-area electronics industry. Using the tools of science and technology studies, he explores the formation of Silicon Valley as an industrial district, from its beginnings as the home of a few radio enterprises that operated in the shadow of RCA and other East Coast firms through its establishment as a center of the electronics industry and a leading producer of power grid tubes, microwave tubes, and semiconductors. He traces…


Book cover of Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World

William H. Janeway Author Of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State

From my list on venture capital and the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

After receiving my doctorate in Economics at Cambridge University, I embarked on a 35-year sabbatical as a venture capitalist focused on information technology. I learned about the critical role that the American state had played by sponsoring the computer industry. When the "Dotcom Bubble" of the late 1990s grossly overpriced my companies, because I had written my PhD thesis on 1929-1931 when the Bubble of the Roaring Twenties exploded, I had seen the movie before and knew how it ended. I returned to Cambridge determined to tell this saga of innovation at the frontier and the strategic roles played by financial speculation and the state in funding economic transformation."

William's book list on venture capital and the economics of innovation

William H. Janeway Why did William love this book?

The theoretical work of Aghion and his colleagues is complemented by Breznitz's empirical examination of how a disparate set of innovative economies actually function and of the alternative bases for the competitive achievements. 

I discovered Dan Breznitz's fieldwork on innovation first from his book on China, The Run of the Red Queenand then his comparative analysis of the different paths along which Israel, Taiwan, and Ireland moved from peasant levels of development to the technological frontier. He provides an essential complement to the more theoretical analysis of Aghion and his colleagues.

By Dan Breznitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Innovation in Real Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A challenge to prevailing ideas about innovation and a guide to identifying the best growth strategy for your community.

Across the world, cities and regions have wasted trillions of dollars on blindly copying the Silicon Valley model of growth creation. Since the early years of the information age, we've been told that economic growth derives from harnessing technological innovation. To do this, places must create good education systems, partner with local research universities, and attract innovative hi-tech firms. We have lived with this system for decades, and the result is clear: a small number of regions and cities at the…


Book cover of Ages of American Capitalism: A History of the United States

William H. Janeway Author Of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State

From my list on venture capital and the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

After receiving my doctorate in Economics at Cambridge University, I embarked on a 35-year sabbatical as a venture capitalist focused on information technology. I learned about the critical role that the American state had played by sponsoring the computer industry. When the "Dotcom Bubble" of the late 1990s grossly overpriced my companies, because I had written my PhD thesis on 1929-1931 when the Bubble of the Roaring Twenties exploded, I had seen the movie before and knew how it ended. I returned to Cambridge determined to tell this saga of innovation at the frontier and the strategic roles played by financial speculation and the state in funding economic transformation."

William's book list on venture capital and the economics of innovation

William H. Janeway Why did William love this book?

Jon Levy provides a hugely creative account of American history through the evolution of its distinctive institution, capitalism.

He relates the unstable dynamics of financial markets to the waves of investment in real capital incorporating innovative technologies and never loses sight of the tension between power accumulated and expressed in markets and the distribution of political power, always attentive to how the former can take over control of the latter.

Levy’s work has enriched my own understanding of this contested history.

By Jonathan Levy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ages of American Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A leading economic historian traces the evolution of American capitalism from the colonial era to the present—and argues that we’ve reached a turning point that will define the era ahead.

“A monumental achievement, sure to become a classic.”—Zachary D. Carter, author of The Price of Peace

In this ambitious single-volume history of the United States, economic historian Jonathan Levy reveals how capitalism in America has evolved through four distinct ages and how the country’s economic evolution is inseparable from the nature of American life itself. The Age of Commerce spans the colonial era through the outbreak of the Civil War,…


Book cover of Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World

Rita Gunther McGrath Author Of Discovery-Driven Growth: A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity

From my list on understanding how breakthrough innovation happens.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I first started in the field of strategy, all the cool kids were doing industry-level analysis. Order of entry, strategic groups, R&D intensity…anything you could get sufficient data about to run complex models was the order of the day. Those of us studying the ‘insides’ of corporations, particularly the process of innovation, were kind of huddled together for warmth! Today, strategy and innovation have come together in a remarkable way, but I find that most people still don’t understand the processes. One of my goals is to de-mystify the innovation process – these books will give you a great start in understanding the practices that are too bewildering for too many people.  

Rita's book list on understanding how breakthrough innovation happens

Rita Gunther McGrath Why did Rita love this book?

Just as no man is an island, today no company is, either. An ecosystem approach to strategy leads one to make entirely different choices about how to engage, when to compete, and which capabilities to build than you would make without such a perspective. The book engagingly opens with a retelling of the well-worn Kodak story, with a twist – it wasn’t that Kodak didn’t “get” digital, it's that they doubled down on printing when screens were getting good enough to make printing irrelevant. In its chapters, you’ll learn about how a mapping company survived when its competitors gave away its product for free; how Amazon got its Echo technology to be adopted as a standard by other organizations and how a clearly promising new ecosystem can be stillborn when its champions don’t play nicely together. 

By Ron Adner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How to succeed in an era of ecosystem-based disruption: strategies and tools for offense, defense, timing, and leadership in a changing competitive landscape.

The basis of competition is changing. Are you prepared? Rivalry is shifting from well-defined industries to broader ecosystems: automobiles to mobility platforms; banking to fintech; television broadcasting to video streaming. Your competitors are coming from new directions and pursuing different goals from those of your familiar rivals. In this world, succeeding with the old rules can mean losing the new game. Winning the Right Game introduces the concepts, tools, and frameworks necessary to confront the threat of…


Book cover of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work

Joshua Womack Author Of You are not that funny: Stories from Cleveland Stand-Up

From my list on discipline, writing, and disciplined writing.

Why am I passionate about this?

The reason I’m so fascinated by stand-up and books on writing is because I have done both. For a brief time I was a comedian, and the lessons in creativity and writing I learned along the way helped me find the career of copywriting. I’m passionate about learning how great writers write, and more importantly, keep writing, even when they don’t feel like it. I like to be inspired with lessons I can bring with me to every Word doc I open up.

Joshua's book list on discipline, writing, and disciplined writing

Joshua Womack Why did Joshua love this book?

This book reinforces the notion to be brave enough to suck at something new.

We’re all experts in something, but chances are we can learn even more… even if we struggle at first. A really good message for those looking to shake things up in their career. “When we take a step down to gain momentum for the upward surge, for a time we will know less than those around us. This can deal a blow to the ego.”

The message? Don’t let your ego get in the way of learning!

By Whitney Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Thinkers50 Management Thinker of 2015 Whitney Johnson wants you to consider this simple, yet powerful, idea: disruptive companies and ideas upend markets by doing something truly different--they see a need, an empty space waiting to be filled, and they dare to create something for which a market may not yet exist. As president and cofounder of Rose Park Advisors' Disruptive Innovation Fund with Clayton Christensen, Johnson used the theory of disruptive innovation to invest in publicly traded stocks and private early-stage companies. In Disrupt Yourself, she helps you understand how the frameworks of disruptive innovation can apply to your particular…


Book cover of The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth

Stephen Wunker Author Of The Innovative Leader: Step-By-Step Lessons from Top Innovators For You and Your Organization

From my list on passionate innovators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an innovator. I’ve been one since I was a kid. Since then, I’ve started a couple of non-profits and four companies, and I’ve advised hundreds of clients on innovation opportunities. I’ve also led the team that created one of the world’s first smartphones. Over the past dozen years, I’ve written four books on the strategy and capabilities of innovation. Innovation is one of the essential characteristics that make us human. It can get the world into trouble, but it does more good than harm on balance. My mission is to make us better at innovation and make the world a better place.

Stephen's book list on passionate innovators

Stephen Wunker Why did Stephen love this book?

I read this book before a job interview with the author, and I kicked myself for not reading his works years earlier. Clay Christensen was a master of making the counter-intuitive simple and compelling and of showing why his theses really matter.

In this book, Clay laid out several of his most important theories—going well beyond the concept of Disruptive Innovation he’s most famous for. He illustrates the concepts with research and anecdotes, and his prose is always a joy to read. For anyone passionate about innovation, this book is simply a must. It’s a guidebook to success.

By Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Innovator's Solution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An innovation classic. From Steve Jobs to Jeff Bezos, Clay Christensen's work continues to underpin today's most innovative leaders and organizations. A seminal work on disruption--for everyone confronting the growth paradox. For readers of the bestselling The Innovator's Dilemma--and beyond--this definitive work will help anyone trying to transform their business right now. In The Innovator's Solution, Clayton Christensen and Michael Raynor expand on the idea of disruption, explaining how companies can and should become disruptors themselves. This classic work shows just how timely and relevant these ideas continue to be in today's hyper-accelerated business environment. Christensen and Raynor give advice…


Book cover of The Paper Trail: An Unexpected History of a Revolutionary Invention

John Gaudet Author Of The Pharaoh's Treasure: The Origin of Paper and the Rise of Western Civilization

From my list on the history of paper.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer, lecturer, biologist, ecologist, and two-time Fulbright Scholar (to India and Malaysia). I'm now a fiction writer, but I’ve always been a storyteller who writes in a historical framework. While I feel an almost compulsive obligation to keep faith with the facts, my main objective is to tell a story—as dramatically, suspensefully, and entertainingly as I can. My first non-fiction book, Papyrus: the Plant that Changed the World was featured as a clue on Jeopardy. It tells the story of a plant that still evokes the mysteries of the ancient world. My most recent book, The Pharaoh's Treasure is about the origin of paper and the rise of Western civilization.

John's book list on the history of paper

John Gaudet Why did John love this book?

Monro draws our attention to China and Islam and provides evidence of the spread of the Kingdom of Paper later in the 10th Century to China where millions were using Chinese pulp paper for money, scrolls, and other products. 

He presents a detailed history of writing in China and the use of early media, esp. silk, and bamboo strips. Paper, whatever it was made of and wherever it appeared, was a writing surface cheap, portable, and printable enough that books and pamphlets began to be mass-produced and to travel more widely through the world from the time of Cheops’ early papyrus paper. 

Monro discusses how in the pre-digital age, paper aided the rise of both universal education and universal suffrage and refers to the ‘Republic of Letters’ which transcended national divisions. In modern times the multiple uses of paper, especially as wrappings, indicate that the Kingdom of Paper has…

By Alexander Monro,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Paper Trail tells the story of how a simple Chinese product has for two millennia allowed knowledge, ideas and religions to spread at an unprecedented rate around the world. Alexander Monro traces this groundbreaking invention's voyage, beginning with the Buddhist translators responsible for its spread across China and Japan, and follows it westward along the Silk Road, where it eventually became the surface of the Quran. Once paper reached Europe, it became indispensable to the scholars who manufactured the Renaissance and Reformation from their desks. As Monro uncovers, paper created a world in which free thinking could flourish, and…


Book cover of Personal and Organizational Transformation Towards Sustainability: Walking a Twin-Path

Bettina von Stamm Author Of The Other Side of Growth: An Innovator's Responsibilities in an Emerging World

From my list on today’s complex world and help our planet.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an innovation expert for over 30 years, I've been cautioning about the "dark side" of innovation and emphasized the importance of sustainability. Though in light of the urgency of our planet's situation, we need to shift our focus from sustainability to regeneration. The unprecedented complexity and connectedness of today’s world demand thinking in systems, and the kind of innovation that leads to the transformation of our current social and economic systems so we can live in harmony with nature. This requires us to question who we collaborate with, what we value, and how we create value. We need to work together differently, with different leadership, and to change our own ways of thinking.

Bettina's book list on today’s complex world and help our planet

Bettina von Stamm Why did Bettina love this book?

It is clear, at least to me, that significant, indeed transformation change is necessary if we are to preserve the beauty of our planet.

Well, not only the beauty, its ability to sustain life.

For such transformation to happen, we need to start with ourselves – most people will be familiar with the quote by Mahatma Gandhi: be the change you want to see in the world.

In her book Dorothea shares her own story, which is a journey of integrating the innovation and sustainability agendas for Philips, and of realizing the connectedness of the own personal development journey and the journey of developing as a leader.

By Dorothea Ernst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Personal and Organizational Transformation Towards Sustainability as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by the WBCSD Vision 2050 in which "all people live well within the limits of the planet", this book asks how do we achieve this bold ambition? Telling a story of personal growth and corporate transformation, it provides insights and tools for anyone driving sustainable development within their organizations and in their own lives. Discover how you can consciously use your professional role as a source of change. Learn how the consistent use of few, yet meaningful visuals, enables generative dialogue and communication for aligned problem solving within multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder teams. See how personal mastery can guide you…


Book cover of Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence

Art Kleiner Author Of The AI Dilemma: 7 Principles for Responsible Technology

From my list on understanding AI and its effect on people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a storyteller writing on business and technology. I specialize in clear views of complex systems. When Juliette showed me her research on tech companies and AI responsibility, I saw the power of a book – the book that ultimately became The AI Dilemma. The core dilemma is that in the right hands the technology is needed, and in the wrong hands it’s dangerous. When Juliette asked me to coauthor it, I jumped at the chance. As we worked, I realized that the topic brought into focus all the research and thinking I’d ever done about human, organizational, and machine behavior. 

Art's book list on understanding AI and its effect on people

Art Kleiner Why did Art love this book?

This is the book I suggest to people who worry that AI will take their jobs or control the world.

These U of Toronto economists make a case for AI as a disruptor of systems and power structures – not on their own, but because of the decision makers who control them. Those companies won’t necessarily be Alphabet, Amazon, or Meta. Their competitive advantage – access to data – will now be available cheaply.

It’s judgment that’s at a premium now. After reading this, I feel pretty trusting of AI. I’m just not so sure about people.   

By Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Disruption resulting from the proliferation of AI is coming. The authors of the bestselling Prediction Machines can help you prepare.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has impacted many industries around the world-banking and finance, pharmaceuticals, automotive, medical technology, manufacturing, and retail. But it has only just begun its odyssey toward cheaper, better, and faster predictions that drive strategic business decisions. When prediction is taken to the max, industries transform, and with such transformation comes disruption.

What is at the root of this? In their bestselling first book, Prediction Machines, eminent economists Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb explained the simple yet…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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