Thomas Harsch, has joined Polymath Ventures as a Business Designer after working as an Entrepreneur in Residence for several Berlin -and Barcelona- based tech companies. He is currently Elenas‘ Co-Founder and CEO and has also launched Startup Notes, a podcast blog targeted at aspiring entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips from Europe’s most accomplished entrepreneurs and investors on how to successfully start a company.
From his entrepreneurial experience, he has shared with us readings that have inspired him. “Reading is one of the most powerful tools for life-long learning. I wanted to share a list of books, articles and other online resources that I’ve found very insightful and that changed my thinking.
- Sapiens – A short history of humankind (Yuval Noah Harari): One of the best books I ever read. Goes over the last 70,000 years of human history and explains how culture, language, money, etc. developed
- Influence (Robert Cialdini): Highly recommended. Great to understand the psychological foundations of persuasion, decision-making, marketing & sales
- Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse): Spiritual, great to reflect. The story of Siddhartha on his quest to find happiness.
- How to win friends and influence people (Dale Carnegie): Although the title is foolish, great, simple lessons for life and business
- The Happiness Advantage (Shawn Achor): Harvard lecturer Shawn Achor shares seven core principles of positive psychology that help to improve performance
- Guns, Germs and Steel (Jared Diamond): Explains why certain regions in the world developed earlier and faster than others
- Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell): Brilliantly written. Answers the question What makes high-achievers different?
- The hard thing about hard things (Ben Horowitz): Super hands-on book on the challenges one is faced with when leading a high-growth startup
- Give and take (Adam Grant): Explains why givers are ultimately more successful at work than takers
- Industries of the future (Alec Ross): Shows what changes are coming in the next ten years in areas such as robotics, cybersecurity, genomics, big data and blockchain technology
- The power of habit (Charles Duhigg): Explains why habits exist and how they can be changed
- When breath becomes air (Paul Kalanithi): Inspiring true story of a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and explores the questions of What makes life meaningful?
- HBR article “How will you measure your life?” by Clayton Christensen
- Tim Ferriss’ podcasts (//fourhourworkweek.com/
podcast/): Tim Ferriss explores the secrets of success of the world’s best performers, in areas such as finance, startups, sports, writing and others
- Lecture series “How to start a startup” (//startupclass.
samaltman.com/): High profile startup founders and investors talk about the most important stages and functions of a startup, e.g. marketing, culture, fundraising, user interviews
- Omid Scheybani’s blog “The positude”: (//www.omidscheybani.com/
thepositude/): Thoughts on practical philosophy, happiness and positive thinking by an ex-Googler. Short and very insightful reads.
- “Principles” by Ray Dalio (https://www.principles.com/): The world’s most successful hedge fund managers shares his approach to life and management
- Paul Graham’s essays (//paulgraham.com/
articles.html): Short essays on startups by the founder of Y-Combinator
- Chef’s Table on Netflix (https://www.netflix.com/de-
en/title/80007945): Profiles the world’s most renowned chefs
- Jiro dreams of Sushi (https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=Yu-RogMGslg): Documentary about Jiro, a sushi chef who owns a Michelin three-star, 10-seat restaurant in a Tokyo subway station
Also published on Medium.