2023's Must-Read Business Books Ranked

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2023's Must-Read Business Books Ranked

2023's Must-Read Business Books Ranked
  16 December, 2023   Dr. Preeti Adhav

As 2023 draws to an end, it's time to announce the best business books that have reshaped perspectives, proposed groundbreaking strategies, and inspired innovation. For this list, we have considered a diverse array of books that encapsulate the evolving facets of business, ranging from pioneering tech advancements to insightful perspectives into the many discourses in the business world.


9. Elon Musk 

By Walter Isaacson

A #1 New York Times bestseller, this biography tracks the rise of the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk as one of the most influential and controversial figures of our times. Isaacson acquaints us with the challenges that Musk has encountered in his journey to billionaire innovator status and explores how Musk intends to disrupt the technological landscape through his pursuit of exciting projects such as electric vehicles, private space exploration, and artificial intelligence.


8. The Coming Wave

By Mustafa Suleyman and Michael Bhaskar

Shortlisted by the Financial Times for its Best Business Book of the Year Award, The Coming Wave explores the rise of generative AI, the technology to create anything from music to art to code. The book problematises the existence of generative AI as the double-edged sword it is, with the power to transform every aspect of society, from culture to politics to business, and pose unprecedented ethical and moral challenges. Drawing from the authors' extensive experience and research, it presents a strategy to harness the promise of this innovative technology, while steering clear of its dangers and pitfalls.


7. The Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple (But Not Easy)

By Admiral William H. McRaven

This is, strictly speaking, not a business book. But bear with us. Written by a former Navy SEAL and commander of the US Special Operations Forces, this book is based on Admiral McRaven’s four decades of military career and academic leadership experience. It is a repository of practical and inspiring advice on how to overcome challenges, manage crises, and lead with integrity. It’s the quality of universality that compels a diverse demographic to appreciate this title. Any business leader will appreciate learning from a highly respected and accomplished leader, who has faced some of the most difficult and dangerous missions in the world. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills.


6. Easy Money

By Ben McKenzie and Jacob Silverman

If you have been wary of cryptocurrency despite celebrity endorsement, you will probably feel vindicated after reading this book. Included in the Financial Times’ Best Business Book of the Year list, “Easy Money” exposes the fraud and deception behind what has been touted as the future of financial transactions. To investigate into the crypto industry, Ben McKenzie enlisted the help of journalist Jacob Silverman to interview some of the key players in the industry as well as victims and traders. An informative page-turner, “Easy Money” prompts us to be suspicious of financial schemes that seem too good to be true.


5. Material World 

By Ed Conway

“Material World” by Ed Conway masterfully unveils the captivating tales behind six essential materials that power our modern existence. From sand's pivotal role in tech to lithium's promise for a sustainable future, Conway's book exposes the hidden narratives that have shaped our world and continue to do so. 

"Material World" is more than acquainting us with the history and use of materials. It prompts readers to reconsider the everyday, fostering a newfound appreciation for the extraordinary within the ordinary. 


4. How Big Things Get Done

By Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner

Drawing on their vast expertise in megaprojects, Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner have created an illuminating guide revealing the keys to successful project execution. This book demystifies common misconceptions, offering a powerful framework for assessing, planning, and executing projects of any scale. It transcends industries, offering insights that will no doubt be appreciated by entrepreneurs, business leaders, and project managers alike, and empower them to navigate uncertainty and foster innovation.


3. Your Face Belongs to Us

By Kashmir Hill

This intriguing title lays bare the chilling reality of a facial recognition app called Clearview AI that was used by law enforcement, billionaires, and businesses to identify anyone from a single photo. While certainly a groundbreaking technology, this app encroached on privacy as we know it. With her extensive research and investigation, Hill delves into the alarming implications of this invasive tech, sparking urgent conversations about the existence of such innovative but concerning technologies.


2. Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well

By Amy Edmondson 

Business leaders and entrepreneurs are all too familiar with failures. For us to not only overcome them but to use them as a catalyst for improvement and success, we need to learn to transform our relationship with failure. Amy Edmondson's "Right Kind of Wrong" is a transformative guide to do just that and much more. Edmondson delineates the nuanced categories of failure—basic, complex, and intelligent—illuminating how each demands a distinct response, and advocating for reframing our mindset regarding failure. Edmondson's wealth of research and experience as a Harvard Business School professor renders "Right Kind of Wrong" a must-read for anyone seeking to thrive amidst adversity and cultivate resilience on their journey to success.


1. Cobalt Red

By Siddharth Kara

A chilling read, Cobalt Red by Siddharth Kara, is an exposé of the harrowing human rights violations and environmental devastation in Congo, where most of the world’s cobalt is produced. Kara's documentation of the exploitative conditions endured by miners, notably children, holds tech giants accountable for their complicity in modern-day slavery. The book is a powerful and shocking account of the hidden cost of our coveted gadgets, and a haunting call to action for consumers, corporations, and governments to end this flagrant violation of human rights.