“Reading List” is an occasional series where we ask ecommerce professionals to name some of their favorite books and blogs and tell us why they read them.
For this installment, we corresponded with Mohammed Ali, founder and C.E.O. of Primaseller, a software-as-a-service, multichannel inventory management system based in Walnut, Calif.
5 Favorite Books
“The Hard Thing About Hard Things“ by Ben Horowitz
This is a founder’s bible. We’ve all heard stories about overnight successes. This is a refreshing, honest take on what it really means to set up a business and run it. What I love about this book is that most of the tips are easy to implement. And the author, Ben Horowitz, is the rare entrepreneur who doesn’t mind discussing the not-so-glamorous, often mundane, aspects of a business.
“Zero to One“ by Peter Thiel
Many of us are busy building businesses. This book offers a chance to evaluate the value we’re creating. Peter Thiel, PayPal’s legendary co-founder, is someone to learn from because he is the master of disruption. One reason why I read this book over and over is that it has some of the tough lessons that we all need to remember. For example, Thiel says there isn’t going to be another Mark Zuckerberg building another Facebook because there is little value in doing that.
“How To Win Friends & Influence People“ by Dale Carnegie
This book was published nearly 80 years ago. The fact that it remains in print is proof of its timeless advice. Successful entrepreneurs are good with people. This book is about getting along with people to succeed. Some observers may say that being so agreeable can harm more than help. But Dale Carnegie proves otherwise.
“The Lean Startup“ by Eric Ries
Can we leverage the human potential for better creativity, so that we spend less money on building a company? Businesses today operate under extreme uncertainty. Thus it’s critical to reach sustainability as cheaply and efficiently as possible. And the idea of putting out a product in the shortest time is very appealing.
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“ by Douglas Adams
Though a work of fiction, this book is a classic when it comes to the idea of perspective. It’s a personal favorite mainly because it teaches us not to take ourselves too seriously.
5 Favorite Blogs
Paul Graham, the co-founder of Y Combinator, writes on everything from startup founders to society and people. And his purpose is to challenge preconceived notions we all hold about one subject or another. His advice to entrepreneurs is priceless.
Building a tech product is a choice I made. TechCrunch keeps me in the loop while also offering inspiration. What’s more, this blog is a step ahead of its peers, publishing exceptional, researched articles in no time.
The Ken is India’s answer to proactive journalism, with in-depth stories that mainstream media misses. Founded by journalists who once worked with Mint, the personal finance platform, it is easy to see where the quality and standards come from.
Gary Vaynerchuk is the original growth hacker who is also brutally honest. He’s comfortable sharing his knowledge. His articles contain helpful advice that doesn’t leave you guessing about the next steps. Anyone who wants to have a career even remotely linked to digital marketing should read GaryVee.
Avinash Kaushik is web analytics pioneer. He’s also a popular author and speaker. His longtime blog, Occam’s Razor, is the best resource for explaining complicated analyses and otherwise cutting through data to see what matters.