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Max Levchin

entrepreneur

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Max Levchin is a Ukrainian-born American software engineer. In 1998, soon after graduating from college, he co-founded the company that eventually became PayPal.
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Artemis
A Novel
by Andy Weir (Jul 02, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: humorlawthrillerfictionscience-fictionadventure
Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when ...
Max Levchin
May 02, 2019
This is another work by Andy Weir (author of The Martian), and it’s a very fun read that I would classify as part of the guilty pleasure section of my personal library     source
The Power of Habit
Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg (Jan 06, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: self-helpbusinesspsychologyreferencescience
OVER 60 WEEKS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LISTWith a new Afterword by the authorIn The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that...
Max Levchin
May 02, 2019
This month I finally got to reading The Power of Habit, a book published a few years ago that compiles a bunch of great academic neuroscience and applied psychology research on habit formation. It includes clear reporting and interviewing work by its author, Charles Duhigg, whose day job is reporting for The New York Times. The book uses the now-standard formula of beginning each chapter with an anecdote that’s later substantiated by research, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting (or useful). Plus, the bits detailing Paul O’Neill’s transformation of Alcoa are priceless reading for a CEO trying to build a mission-driven company.     source
Thinking in Bets
Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts
by Annie Duke (May 06, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businesspsychologymedical
Poker champion turned business consultant Annie Duke teaches you how to get comfortable with uncertainty and make better decisions as a result.In Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one of the most controversial calls in football history: With 26 seconds remaining, and trailing by four at the Patriots' one-yard line, he called for a p...
Max Levchin
Mar 20, 2019
This book definitely falls in the category I loosely refer to as, “self-help,” which I typically skim more than dive into, but I read this book all the way through because I found the premise so intriguing.     source
The Middleman
A Novel
by Olen Steinhauer (Aug 06, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: thriller
New York Times bestselling author Olen Steinhauer's next sweeping espionage novel traces the rise and fall of a domestic left-wing terrorist group. Told from the individual perspectives of an FBI agent, an undercover agent within the group, a convert to the terrorist organization, and a writer on the edges of the whole affair, this is another tight...
Max Levchin
Mar 20, 2019
Steinhauer brings a great writing style that makes you feel as though you’re peeling back the layers of an onion as the story progresses. You’re not really sure what you’re going to find until you get to the core. He does extensive homework to develop his characters and never settles for generic or stereotypical personalities. His writing lets you abandon instincts or assumptions about where you think a character or storyline is headed and instead lets you drift into the story and become absorbed by the narrative.     source
Lake Success
A Novel
by Gary Shteyngart (Jun 03, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: humorlawfiction
Narcissistic, hilariously self-deluded, and divorced from the real world as most of us know it, hedge-fund manager Barry Cohen oversees $2.4 billion in assets. Deeply stressed by an SEC investigation and by his three-year-old son's diagnosis of autism, he flees New York on a Greyhound bus in search of a simpler, more romantic life with his old coll...
Max Levchin
Feb 12, 2019
Lake Success is pretty outrageous too, but also extremely funny, and terribly sad, and very human     source
Black Edge
Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street
by Sheelah Kolhatkar (Jan 22, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: financepolitics
The story of billionaire trader Steven Cohen, the rise and fall of his hedge fund SAC Capital, and the largest insider trading investigation in history for readers of The Big Short, Den of Thieves, and Dark MoneySteven A. Cohen changed Wall Street. He and his fellow pioneers of the hedge fund industry didn t lay railroads, build factories, or inven...
Max Levchin
Feb 12, 2019
Black Edge reads more outrageous and fictional, such is the hubris of the many characters portrayed in it     source
Crucial Conversations
Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition
by Kerry Patterson (Sep 06, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: self-helpbusinessleadershipmanagementpsychologyrelationshipparentingreference
* * * Over 4 Million Copies Sold * * * The New York Times bestseller that changed the way millions communicate"[Crucial Conversations] draws our attention to those defining moments that literally shape our lives, our relationships, and our world. . . . This book deserves to take its place as one of the key thought leadership contributions of our ti...
Max Levchin
Feb 12, 2019
Last month I read Crucial Conversations, a now-venerable guide to having tough conversations in a way that engages the debaters. By defining a common goal through constantly trying to genuinely understand the needs and viewpoints of others, the conversations become less heated, and more productive. In a high-growth startup, such conversations can often be very stressful, and it is easy to lose track of your shared end goal when emotions flare up. Crucial Conversations covers many of the useful tactics in making sure these conversations are productive, and offers advice on improving relationships with your coworkers.     source
This book is also recommended by
Deke Bridges
The Innovator's Dilemma
When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
by Clayton M. Christensen (Jan 04, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: managementleadershipbusiness
The bestselling classic on disruptive innovation, by renowned author Clayton M. Christensen. His work is cited by the worlds best-known thought leaders, from Steve Jobs to Malcolm Gladwell. In this classic bestsellerone of the most influential business books of all timeinnovation expert Clayton Christensen shows how even the most outstanding compan...
Max Levchin
Nov 10, 2015
Q. - What's your favourite business book you'd advise to young entrepreneurs and why? M.L. -Some good ones from the "pure business" category: Zero to One, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, The Innovator's Dilemma, Good to Great, etc. Personally, I prefer less advice, more history. From my favorite business segment: Too Big To Fail, Ascent of Money, When Genius Failed, etc. Books on applied psychology (Influence, Predictably Irrational, etc) are another way to round out primarily technological education :)     source
Zero to One
Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
by Peter Thiel (Sep 15, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: economicsentrepreneurshipbusinessreference
If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things. Thiel begins with the contrarian premise t...
Max Levchin
Nov 10, 2015
Q. - What's your favourite business book you'd advise to young entrepreneurs and why? M.L. -Some good ones from the "pure business" category: Zero to One, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, The Innovator's Dilemma, Good to Great, etc. Personally, I prefer less advice, more history. From my favorite business segment: Too Big To Fail, Ascent of Money, When Genius Failed, etc. Books on applied psychology (Influence, Predictably Irrational, etc) are another way to round out primarily technological education :)     source
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
by Ben Horowitz (Mar 03, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businessleadershipmanagemententrepreneurship
A lot of people talk about how great it is to start a business, but only Ben Horowitz is brutally honest about how hard it is to run one.In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, draws on his own story of founding, running, selling, b...
Max Levchin
Nov 10, 2015
Q. - What's your favourite business book you'd advise to young entrepreneurs and why? M.L. -Some good ones from the "pure business" category: Zero to One, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, The Innovator's Dilemma, Good to Great, etc. Personally, I prefer less advice, more history. From my favorite business segment: Too Big To Fail, Ascent of Money, When Genius Failed, etc. Books on applied psychology (Influence, Predictably Irrational, etc) are another way to round out primarily technological education :)     source
Too Big to Fail
The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System--and Themselves
by Andrew Ross Sorkin (Sep 06, 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: economicshistoryfinanceunited-states
A brilliantly reported true-life thriller that goes behind the scenes of the financial crisis on Wall Street and in Washington. In one of the most gripping financial narratives in decades, Andrew Ross Sorkin-a New York Times columnist and one of the country's most respected financial reporters-delivers the first definitive blow- by-blow account o...
Max Levchin
Nov 10, 2015
Q. - What's your favourite business book you'd advise to young entrepreneurs and why? M.L. -Some good ones from the "pure business" category: Zero to One, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, The Innovator's Dilemma, Good to Great, etc. Personally, I prefer less advice, more history. From my favorite business segment: Too Big To Fail, Ascent of Money, When Genius Failed, etc. Books on applied psychology (Influence, Predictably Irrational, etc) are another way to round out primarily technological education :)     source
Predictably Irrational
The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
by Dan Ariely (Apr 26, 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: economicsbusinesspsychologyreferencemedicalscience
Why do our headaches persist after we take a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a fifty-cent aspirin? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save twenty-five cents on a can of soup? When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we? In this newly revised and expand...
Max Levchin
Nov 10, 2015
Q. - What's your favourite business book you'd advise to young entrepreneurs and why? M.L. -Some good ones from the "pure business" category: Zero to One, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, The Innovator's Dilemma, Good to Great, etc. Personally, I prefer less advice, more history. From my favorite business segment: Too Big To Fail, Ascent of Money, When Genius Failed, etc. Books on applied psychology (Influence, Predictably Irrational, etc) are another way to round out primarily technological education :)     source
This book is also recommended by
Derek SiversKeith Rabois
The Ascent of Money
A Financial History of the World
by Niall Ferguson (Oct 26, 2009)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: economicshistoryreference
A richly original look at the origins of money and how it makes the world go ?roundNiall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of our financial system, from its genesis in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. What?s more, Ferguson reveals financial history as the essential ba...
Max Levchin
Nov 10, 2015
Q. - What's your favourite business book you'd advise to young entrepreneurs and why? M.L. -Some good ones from the "pure business" category: Zero to One, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, The Innovator's Dilemma, Good to Great, etc. Personally, I prefer less advice, more history. From my favorite business segment: Too Big To Fail, Ascent of Money, When Genius Failed, etc. Books on applied psychology (Influence, Predictably Irrational, etc) are another way to round out primarily technological education :)     source
Influence
Science and Practice (5th Edition)
by Robert B. Cialdini (Aug 07, 2008)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: self-helpmotivationalbusinessleadershipmanagementpsychologymedical
Influence: Science and Practice is an examination of the psychology of compliance (i.e. uncovering which factors cause a person to say "yes" to another's request). Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a sales...
Max Levchin
Nov 10, 2015
Q. - What's your favourite business book you'd advise to young entrepreneurs and why? M.L. -Some good ones from the "pure business" category: Zero to One, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, The Innovator's Dilemma, Good to Great, etc. Personally, I prefer less advice, more history. From my favorite business segment: Too Big To Fail, Ascent of Money, When Genius Failed, etc. Books on applied psychology (Influence, Predictably Irrational, etc) are another way to round out primarily technological education :)     source
Good to Great
Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't
by Jim Collins (Oct 15, 2001)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businessleadershipmanagement
To find the keys to greatness, Collins's 21-person research team read and coded 6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project. The findings will surprise many readers and, quite frankly, upset others.The ChallengeBuilt to Last, the defining management study...
Max Levchin
Nov 10, 2015
Q. - What's your favourite business book you'd advise to young entrepreneurs and why? M.L. -Some good ones from the "pure business" category: Zero to One, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, The Innovator's Dilemma, Good to Great, etc. Personally, I prefer less advice, more history. From my favorite business segment: Too Big To Fail, Ascent of Money, When Genius Failed, etc. Books on applied psychology (Influence, Predictably Irrational, etc) are another way to round out primarily technological education :)     source
The Art of Computer Programming, Vol. 1
Fundamental Algorithms, 3rd Edition
by Donald E. Knuth (Jul 16, 1997)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: programmingreferencemath
The first revision of this third volume is the most comprehensivesurvey of classical computer techniques for sorting and searching. It extends thetreatment of data structures in Volume 1 to consider both large and smalldatabases and internal and external memories. The book contains a selection ofcarefully checked computer methods, with a quantitati...
Max Levchin
Nov 10, 2015
Tech-wise, I have a certain permanent love for Knuth's magnum opus.     source
This book is also recommended by
Dave Winer
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
by Harold Abelson (Aug 31, 1996)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: scienceprogramming
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs has had a dramatic impact on computer science curricula over the past decade. This long-awaited revision contains changes throughout the text. There are new implementations of most of the major programming systems in the book, including the interpreters and compilers, and the authors have incorporat...
Max Levchin
Nov 10, 2015
Tech-wise, I have a certain permanent love for Knuth's magnum opus (The Art of Computer Programming), but find Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs easier to read end-to-end quickly      source
This book is also recommended by
Paul GrahamPatrick Collison
The Master and Margarita
by Mikhail Bulgakov (Mar 18, 1996)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: fictionclassicpolitics
The first complete, annotated English Translation of Mikhail Bulgakov's comic masterpiece.An audacious revision of the stories of Faust and Pontius Pilate, The Master and Margarita is recognized as one of the essential classics of modern Russian literature. The novel's vision of Soviet life in the 1930s is so ferociously accurate that it could not ...
Max Levchin
Nov 10, 2015
My favorite non-tech book is Master & Margarita     source
The Coddling of the American Mind
How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
by Greg Lukianoff (Aug 19, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: healthscience
A finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction A New York Times Notable BookBloomberg Best Book of 2018The New York Times bestseller!Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak hon...
Max Levchin
Highlights the need to continue to have such discussions about sensitive topics instead of ignoring them for the sake of comfort.     source
This book is also recommended by
Glenn BeckVinod KhoslaRenee DiResta
Middleman
by Olen Steinhauer (Jun 03, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: thriller
"The Middleman is smart and entertaining and consistently intriguing..." --Scott Turow, The New York Times Book ReviewOne of Entertainment Weekly's hottest summer thrillersWith The Middleman, the perfect thriller for our tumultuous, uneasy time, Olen Steinhauer, the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, including The Tourist and The Cair...
Max Levchin
Explores a scenario involving domestic terrorism in the U.S. and tackles the complex question of how crises like this benefit the parties involved.     source
High Growth Handbook
by Elad Gil (Jul 16, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: entrepreneurshipbusiness
Well-known technology executive and angel investor Elad Gil has worked with high growth tech companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Google, Instacart, Coinbase, Stripe, and Square as they've grown from small companies into global brands. Across all of these break-out companies, a set of common patterns has evolved into a repeatable playbook that Gil has c...
Max Levchin
The author has no-nonsense, highly applicable advice to any operator transitioning a company from the proverbial garage to the next stage and beyond.     source
This book is also recommended by
Brian ArmstrongKeith RaboisJoe Martin
Tags: self-helpbusinessleadershipmanagementrelationshipparenting
The New York Times and Washington Post bestseller that changed the way millions communicate"[Crucial Conversations] draws our attention to those defining moments that literally shape our lives, our relationships, and our world. . . . This book deserves to take its place as one of the key thought leadership contributions of our time."--from the Fore...
Max Levchin
A now-venerable guide to having tough conversations in a way that engages the debaters.     source
This book is also recommended by
Stewart Butterfield
The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-4A Boxed Set
by Donald E. Knuth (Mar 02, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: programming
"The bible of all fundamental algorithms and the work that taught many of today's software developers most of what they know about computer programming.""--Byte," September 1995 Countless readers have spoken about the profound personal influence of Knuth's work. Scientists have marveled at the beauty and elegance of his analysis, while ordinary pro...
Max Levchin
I have a certain permanent love for Knuth's magnum opus.     source
When Genius Failed
The Rise and Fall of Long Term Capital Management
by Roger Lowenstein (Dec 31, 2001)
Goodreads Rating
Max Levchin
Favourite business book advise to young entrepreneurs.     source
Isaac Asimov
The Complete Stories, Vol. 1
by Isaac Asimov (Sep 30, 1990)
Goodreads Rating
Max Levchin
The Last Question is a famous sci-fi short story, and quite possibly one of the best sci-fi stories ever written. The author’s degree of forward-thinking is something to behold.     source