Dec 21

InSITE Fellows Winter Reading List

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite top 10 Books and Blogs that we wanted to share with our readers. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

1. Book – Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston 

A collection of interviews of well known founders of technology companies, including Apple, Flickr, Paypal, Yahoo!, 37Signals, etc. 32 lessons compressed and bound in 1 book. This is truly a gem; some of us ended up highlighting the entire book.

2. Blog – AVC by Fred Wilson

AVC is your go to guide to New York’s entrepreneurship and VC world. Fred Wilson’s post are not only thoughtful and insightful but they are educational and actionable. He is a leader in building and fostering the startup community in New York City (and anywhere, really) and often facilitates open source project, such as this one.  I bet if you took the all the content from his blog and made it into a textbook, you could easily place out of a couple of classes in your MBA program.

3. Book – Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham

Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham, explains this world and the motivations of the people who occupy it. The ideas discussed in this book will have a powerful and lasting impact on how we think, how we work, how we develop technology, and how we live. Topics include the importance of beauty in software design, how to make wealth, heresy and free speech, the programming language renaissance, the open-source movement, digital design, internet startups, and more. As O’Reilly stated about the book “if you want to understand what hackers are up to, this book will tell you. And if you are a hacker, you’ll probably recognize in it a portrait of yourself”. I strongly recommend reading this book and exploring the “intellectual Wild West” with Paul Graham.

4. Blog – by Maria Papova

Brainpickings is a cross disciplinary literary digital journal on anything from creativity, recycled design to philosophy and books. Maria Papova, its sole curator, is one of a kind thinker and proponent of old fashioned ideas and inspiration. Among all the noise in media, Brainpickings really stands out as a thought and creativity -provoking portal to feed any sorts of curiosity.  So if your resolution for New Years is to go on a diet, we highly recommend the information diet and BrainPickings is a great way to start.

5. Book  – Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation by Andrew Metrick and Ayako Yasuda

Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation by Metrick and Yasuda explains the finance behind venture capital. The discussion is both clear and concise with great examples applying the concepts. The topics include an overview of the industry and its players, term sheets, and valuation. Ted Schlein of Kleiner Perkins Caufied & Byers describes “until now there was no reference that could provide practitioners with a specialized grounding in finance. With clear explanations and practical models, Metrick’s book can fill this gap. I enthusiastically recommend this book to all venture capitalists.” This book is a great overview and guide to the inner workings of VC.

6. Blog – GigaOM by Om Malik 

GigaOm not only provides the most recent news in emerging technology but also the most relevant trends, industry research and startups that are disrupting these trends and industries. Personal favorite because Malik is great at detecting signals among all the noise in the industry. Need a place to start? Try here.

7. Book – What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

Try changing your perspective: What Technology Wants is a brand new view of technology. It suggests that technology as a whole is not just a jumble of wires and metal but a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. Kelly looks out through the eyes of this global technological system to discover “what it wants.”

8. Blog – Kurzweil Artificial Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil 

A peak into Kurzweil’s beautiful mind and a window in the future.

9. Book – Never eat alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Introvert or extravert, a few tips on networking can never hurt. Ferrazzi’s guide to networking in a healthy and mutually beneficial way is a helpful resource for anyone looking to

10. Lesson – Peter Thiel Class Notes 

Peter Thiel taught a class on startups at Stanford University last spring. One of the students, Blake Masters, typed up incredibly detailed notes for each class and put them online; they are fantastic.

Post contributions:  Brian Ballan, Adam Kalamchi,  An NguyenDavid Benhamou, Yusuf Roso, Thilmin Gee, Brian Galgay, Craig Wilson, Dontae Rayford, Lila Pla Alemany and Christina Yugai.

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