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David Cancel’s List of Books Every Startup CEO Should Read

david cancel book recommendations

I read Sam Walton’s book called “Made in America.” It’s still my favorite business book to this day. It’s a book you can pick up on Amazon for $5 or $6. It’s a paperback.

David Cancel is a serious serial entrepreneur and 5x founder. Seriously, here’s his portfolio: Performable, Ghostery, Lookery, Compete and now Drift.

So when he says he’s got a list of books EVERY Startup CEO should ready, well, you better freaking listen up.

Here’s 6 books he’s read the most.

  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things — The only “real” business book. This book captures what it is like leading a startup.
  • Made in America — The story of how Sam Walton created Wal-Mart and became the richest man in the world. I have stolen many concepts from this book including the concept of Servant LeadershipRead 3x.
  • Seeking Wisdom — I can’t remember how I first found this book years ago, but it’s been on my nightstand ever since. I continuously read this book finding new gems each time.
  • Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service — If you care about creating agreat customer experience read this book.
  • Managing Oneself — buy this tiny book by Peter Drucker and re-read it every five years.
  • Behind the Cloud — The story of Salesforce from its founder & CEO, Marc Benioff.

If that’s not enough of a reading list for ya, he’s got 11 more on his list.

He just had an unreal interview with Andrew Warner on Mixergy where he goes in-depth on why he loves Made in America:

It’s a great book. I’ve reread that book four times at least, most recently a couple months ago. This is a book written by one of the, if not the richest person of our time.

So, he’s my model. He’s my idol if you ask why I still do this because I have to something to learn. Why did Sam Walton run around interviewing people trying to learn from every little store that he would run into?

He said that all his great ideas he would steal from someone else and he would obsess about, “I’m in Ohio. I’m in this city. I’m in LA. I’m going to check out this store here on the corner. I’m going to look at the way they have shelves. I’m going to measure the aisles. I’m going to see how long it takes to ring out,” because he was obsessed with serving the customer and getting better and I have the same obsession.

This is a killer interview and you should go listen to the whole thing right now!

SEPT 9, 10, 11, 2016