Best Business Books of 2014

The following are the Amazon.com editors’ picks for the best books of 2014 in the category of Business and Investing (in best-selling order):

1. The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

by Walter Isaacson (Oct 7, 2014)
Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens.
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2. Capital in the Twenty-First Century

by Thomas Piketty (Mar 10, 2014)
What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, to uncover key economic and social patterns.
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3. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

by Peter Thiel (Sep 18, 2014)
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.
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4. Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

by Michael Lewis (Mar 31, 2014)
Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post–financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets.
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5. #GIRLBOSS

by Sophia Amoruso (May 6, 2014)
The first thing Sophia Amoruso sold online wasn’t fashion—it was a stolen book. She spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and dumpster diving. By twenty-two, she had resigned herself to employment, but was still broke, directionless, and working a mediocre day job she’d taken for the health insurance. It was there that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay.
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6. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

by Ed Catmull (Apr 8, 2014)
“What does it mean to manage well?” From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath. Forbes raves that Creativity, Inc. “just might be the business book ever written.”
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7. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

by Simon Sinek (Jan 7, 2014)
Why do only a few people get to say “I love my job”? It seems unfair that finding fulfillment at work is like winning a lottery; that only a few lucky ones get to feel valued by their organizations, to feel like they belong. Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled.
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8. Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain

by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (May 12, 2014)
The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally—to think, that is, like a Freak.
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9. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

by Greg McKeown (Apr 15, 2014)
Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized? Are you often busy but not productive? Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist. The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.
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10. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

by Ben Horowitz (Mar 4, 2014)
Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one.
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11. The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

by Daniel J. Levitin (Aug 19, 2014)
New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details. The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing things, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort to keep up.
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12. Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking)

by Christian Rudder (Sep 9, 2014)
An audacious, irreverent investigation of human behavior—and a first look at a revolution in the making. Our personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don’t need. In Dataclysm, Christian Rudder uses it to show us who we truly are. For centuries, we’ve relied on polling or small-scale lab experiments to study human behavior. Today, a new approach is possible. As we live more of our lives online, researchers can finally observe us directly.
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13. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds

by Carmine Gallo (Mar 4, 2014)
Congratulations Carmine – a CEO Refresher contributor – on having one of the best business books of the year!
Ideas are the true currency of the twenty-first century. So, in order to succeed you need to be able to sell yourself and your ideas persuasively. This is the single greatest skill that will help you accomplish your dreams. TED Talks have redefined the elements of a successful presentation and become the gold standard for public speaking.
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14. How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness

by Russ Roberts (Oct 9, 2014)
A forgotten book by one of history’s greatest thinkers reveals the surprising connections between happiness, virtue, fame, and fortune. Adam Smith may have become the patron saint of capitalism after he penned his most famous work, The Wealth of Nations. But few people know that when it came to the behavior of individuals, the Scottish philosopher had just as much to say.
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15. How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination

by Sally Hogshead (Jul 1, 2014)
Sally Hogshead believes the greatest value you can add is to become more of yourself. Hogshead rose to the top of the advertising profession in her early 20s, writing ads that fascinated millions of consumers. Over the course of her ad career, Sally won hundreds of awards for creativity, copywriting, and branding, and was one of the most awarded advertising copywriters right from start of career, including almost every major international advertising award.
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16. Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld

by Jake Halpern (Oct 14, 2014)
The Federal Trade Commission receives more complaints about rogue debt collecting than about any activity besides identity theft. Dramatically and entertainingly, Bad Paper reveals why. It tells the story of Aaron Siegel, a former banking executive, and Brandon Wilson, a former armed robber, who become partners and go in quest of “paper”—the uncollected debts that are sold off by banks for pennies on the dollar.
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17. Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less

by Robert I. Sutton  and Huggy Rao (Feb 4, 2014)
Bestselling author Robert Sutton and Stanford colleague Huggy Rao tackle a challenge that determines every organization’s success: scaling up farther, faster, and more effectively as a program or an organization creates a larger footprint. Sutton and Rao have devoted much of the last decade to uncovering what it takes to build and uncover pockets of exemplary performance, to help spread them, and to keep recharging organizations with ever better work practices.
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18. Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder

by Jim Clifton and Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badai (Sep 30, 2014)
What are the personality characteristics and behaviors that lead to venture creation and success? Can one learn to be an entrepreneur, or is it a quality a person is born with? The book attempts to answer these questions with the hope that if you are planning to start a business or are managing one, you can discover your entrepreneurial talents and in the process, increase your potential to start or grow your venture.
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19. The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age

by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh (Jul 8, 2014)
Introducing the new, realistic loyalty pact between employer and employee. The employer-employee relationship is broken, and managers face a seemingly impossible dilemma: the old model of guaranteed long-term employment no longer works in a business environment defined by continuous change, but neither does a system in which every employee acts like a free agent.
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20. Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations

by Dan Roam (Apr 10, 2014)
“If I tell you the truth, if I tell it with a story, and if I tell that story with pictures, I can keep you glued to your seat. Let me show you how.” For the vast majority of us, giving a presentation is an extremely difficult and nerve-wracking process. But according to Dan Roam, the visual communications expert and acclaimed author of The Back of the Napkin, it doesn’t have to be so hard.
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