Marc Andreessen’s favorite business and sci-fi books
photo: Wikimedia
Best business and sci-fi books suggested by famous entrepreneur, investor and the creator of Netscape
Buy on amazon "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries
- Marc’s review
If you want to read only one book on startups you should choose The Lean Startup. It's about one of the hottest startup theories today: startup is all about testing your ideas, hypothesis and then finding their best combination. Like a science, not casino
Buy on amazon "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World (An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Childen)" by John Wood
- Marc’s review
Wood has been compared to two influential Carnegie's – Dale and Andrew – in two different categories. The author clearly shows the influence of Dale Carnegie's class (author of classic business book list addition How to Win Friends and Influence People) in his approach to people. At the same time, his deep business insights have led to the San Francisco Chronicle's assessment of John Wood as the spirit of Andrew Carnegie let loose in third world countries, according to This is the story of Wood's rejection of the corporate for the developing world, via the startup of a non-profit designed to inspire the love of reading in children.
Buy on amazon “Glasshouse” by Charles Stross
- Marc’s review
This sci-fi thriller could be summed up in four words: censorship, virus, wormhole, and mindwipe. If ever a book needs to be turned into a Vin Diesel screenplay, this is it – especially because Robin crosses gender and also technological-mammalian boundaries (Robin spent time as a tank). Those who are intrigued by the confused surrealism of life, as depicted by Kafka and Tiptree, will want to find out if Robin can unravel the mystery of his own identity as he fights to escape assassination and the effects of demobilization.
Buy on amazon “Accelerando” by Charles Stross
- Marc’s review
Along the lines of a dystopian thriller, this singular shorts collection describes a post-human age that has produced a breeding ground of Artificial Intelligence. Molecular technology has mixed with extraterrestrial life and the Macx clan is caught in between (along with a cyber cat). From amplification techniques applied in business, to runaway indentured astronauts, there's enough plot and drama twists for three or four stories inside one novel. Programmers will appreciate the nods to their craft, and discerning readers will want to weaver their own connecting story loops between the nine separate short stories in this book.
Buy on amazon “Altered Carbon” by Richard K. Morgan
- Marc’s review
In four centuries, humans’ bodies will merely be holding shells for individual consciousnesses that get held in the intergalactic version of cloud computing until such time as a body is necessary for a download. Murder doesn’t quite have the same impact, and neither do sociological boundaries. The United Nations still exists in a much more Big Brother fashion, so when an ex-envoy gets transported to a new ‘sleeve’ (body), the resulting mystery surrounding the reason why he gets given a worn-out drug-addled sleeve are just the beginning of the conspiracy.
Buy on amazon “Revelation Space” by Alastair Reynolds
- Marc’s review
The annihilation of the Amarantins once prevented the miracle of space flight; Sylveste the scientist is determined to prevent a second annihilation standing between him and the solving of the mystery. Also, his survival against the shield mechanisms of the Shroud will come in handy with his struggles on board a lightship which houses an assassin and two bodiless beings. Sylveste is wanted by cyborgs to heal their captain from a deadly disease, and meanwhile – space is cold and unforgiving.
Buy on amazon “Spin State” by Chris Moriarty
- Marc’s review
Quantum physics and the state of the human heart don't seem like natural teammates, but Major Catherlne Li is a mixture in many ways. Secrets lay traps for the unwary, and Li walks a tightrope between keeping her own secrets and uncovering a few on her home planet that could lead to a power struggle between the U.N. and the Syndicates. Li is a complex character, and her struggles to recover a lost memory and uncover a troubled family history (involving clones) add a level of social consciousness unusual to a sci-fi futuristic thriller.
Buy on amazon “Blindsight” by Peter Watts
- Marc’s review
Watts' Hugo Award-winning work has resulted in many 'Best Science Fiction' lists on Goodreads, as well as 'best aliens', which is doubtless due to the extraterrestrial objects that shriek as they burn through Earth's atmospheric shield. The team from Earth, sent out to make contact with the aliens, are a mismatched crew: an MPD linguist, a cyborg biologist, a vampire recalled from the grave, and a peaceful warrior. Perhaps those who have been rejected by Earth can forge an alliance with those who may want to either befriend or dominate the planet.
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