Brian Armstrong's favorite books

  • Hackers & Painters

    Hackers & Painters

    Hackers & Painters

    Paul Graham
    Computers
    4.06 (8,411)

    The author examines issues such as the rightness of web-based applications, the programming language renaissance, spam filtering, the Open Source Movement, Internet startups and more. He also tells important stories about the kinds of people behind technical innovations, revealing their character and their craft.

    Brian Armstrong

    One of 14 books that changed the way I think

     — Source

  • The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

    The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

    The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

    Al Ries,Jack Trout
    Marketing
    4.05 (18,058)

    Ries and Trout share their rules for certain successes in the world of marketing. Combining a wide-ranging historical overview with a keen eye for the future, the authors bring to light 22 superlative tools and innovative techniques for the international marketplace.

    Brian Armstrong

    One of 14 books that changed the way I think

     — Source

  • The Wright Brothers
    Brian Armstrong

    A worthwhile read for all builders.

     — Source

  • The God Delusion

    The God Delusion

    The God Delusion

    Richard Dawkins
    Religion
    3.89 (248,401)

    A preeminent scientist—and the world's most prominent atheist—asserts the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11. With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe's wonders than any faith could ever muster.

    Brian Armstrong

    One of 14 books that changed the way I think

     — Source

  • Startups
    Brian Armstrong

    One of 14 books that changed the way I think

     — Source

  • Atlas Shrugged

    Atlas Shrugged

    Atlas Shrugged

    Ayn Rand
    Fiction
    3.69 (365,902)

    Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus: a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller—nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read. Who is John Galt? When he says that he will stop the motor of the world, is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he have to fight his battles not against his enemies but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this book. You will discover why a productive genius becomes a worthless playboy...why a great steel industrialist is working for his own destruction...why a composer gives up his career on the night of his triumph...why a beautiful woman who runs a transcontinental railroad falls in love with the man she has sworn to kill. Atlas Shrugged, a modern classic and Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism—her groundbreaking philosophy—offers the reader the spectacle of human greatness, depicted with all the poetry and power of one of the twentieth century’s leading artists.

    Brian Armstrong

    One of 14 books that changed the way I think

     — Source

  • Sperm Wars

    Sperm Wars

    Sperm Wars

    Robin Baker
    Psychology

    This classic work on the rules of sex -- updated for a new generation -- is still as provocative as the day it was published, providing simple explanations for any and all questions about what happens in the bedroom. Sex isn't as complicated as we make it. In Sperm Wars, evolutionary biologist Robin Baker argues that every question about human sexuality can be explained by one simple thing: sperm warfare. In the interest of promoting competition between sperm to fertilize the same egg, evolution has built men to conquer and monopolize women while women are built to seek the best genetic input on offer from potential sexual partners. Baker reveals, through a series of provocative fictional scene, the far-reaching implications of sperm competition. 10% of children are not fathered by their "fathers;" over 99% of a man's sperm exists simply to fight off all other men's sperm; and a woman is far more likely to conceive through a casual fling than through sex with her regular partner. From infidelity, to homosexuality, to the female orgasm, Sperm Wars turns on every light in the bedroom. Now with new material reflecting the latest research on sperm warfare, this milestone of popular science will still surprise, entertain, and even shock.

    Brian Armstrong

    One of 14 books that changed the way I think

     — Source

  • Don't Make Me Think
    Brian Armstrong

    One of 14 books that changed the way I think

     — Source

  • The Selfish Gene

    The Selfish Gene

    The Selfish Gene

    Richard Dawkins
    Science
    4.14 (151,975)

    With a new epilogue to the 40th anniversary edition.

    Brian Armstrong

    It was interesting

     — Source

  • Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
    Brian Armstrong

    I\'m reading this is as part of getting my private pilots license.

     — Source

  • The Dip

    The Dip

    The Dip

    Seth Godin
    Business & Economics
    3.81 (29,626)

    The author of Permission Marketing and Purple Cow shares insights into knowing when to support or fight corporate systems, explaining how to recognize and drop defunct practices to protect profits, job security, and professional satisfaction.

    Brian Armstrong

    One of 14 books that changed the way I think

     — Source

  • The Alliance
    Brian Armstrong

    it changed how we approach a few things at Coinbase.

     — Source

  • The Singularity Is Near

    The Singularity Is Near

    The Singularity Is Near

    Ray Kurzweil
    Social Science
    3.93 (10,310)

    “Startling in scope and bravado.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times “Artfully envisions a breathtakingly better world.” —Los Angeles Times “Elaborate, smart and persuasive.” —The Boston Globe “A pleasure to read.” —The Wall Street Journal One of CBS News’s Best Fall Books of 2005 • Among St Louis Post-Dispatch’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2005 • One of Amazon.com’s Best Science Books of 2005 A radical and optimistic view of the future course of human development from the bestselling author of How to Create a Mind and The Singularity is Nearer who Bill Gates calls “the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence” For over three decades, Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.

    Brian Armstrong

    One of 14 books that changed the way I think

     — Source

  • When I Say No, I Feel Guilty

    When I Say No, I Feel Guilty

    When I Say No, I Feel Guilty

    Manuel J. Smith
    Self-Help
    4.03 (1,986)

    The best-seller that helps you say: "I just said 'no' and I don't feel guilty!" Are you letting your kids get away with murder? Are you allowing your mother-in-law to impose her will on you? Are you embarrassed by praise or crushed by criticism? Are you having trouble coping with people? Learn the answers in When I Say No, I Feel Guilty, the best-seller with revolutionary new techniques for getting your own way.

    Brian Armstrong

    One of 14 books that changed the way I think

     — Source

  • Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    Ernest Cline
    Puzzles
    4.24 (958,639)

    Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read The worldwide bestseller--now a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg. In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines--puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win--and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

    Brian Armstrong

    A compelling picture of how VR might play out.

     — Source

  • Good to Great

    Good to Great

    Good to Great

    Jim Collins
    Business & Economics
    4.12 (148,027)

    The Challenge Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning. But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? The Study For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great? The Standards Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck. The Comparisons The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good? Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't. The Findings The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include: Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap. “Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.” Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

    Brian Armstrong

    One of 14 books that changed the way I think

     — Source

  • The Economics of Microfinance
    Brian Armstrong

    Much of this book was too dense, but it describes what works

     — Source