I have a hard time reading fiction, which frustrates my friends to no end. I struggled to keep my interest through Harry Potter, Ender’s Game, and Lord of the Rings. I’m not denying that those are great books, because they are and I enjoyed each of them. The issue is that reading them felt like a chore since I couldn’t directly connect with any of the stories. In stark contrast, I can devour non-fiction books that tell the true stories of how companies were formed and how products were. Here are a few of my recent favorites:
Books About Disney, Apple and Other Industry Changing Companies
I’m rereading this fantastic book for the third time. Masters of Doom tells the story of how id software, the developers of Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake was created, how John Romero and Tom Hall left the company after creating Quake, and the rise and fall of the company they then formed, Ion Storm. The writing style and detail that the author David Kushner provides puts you right in the middle of the events.
2. Steve Jobs
I’ll admit that this book is far from perfect but it’s still a must read for anyone in the tech industry. Walter Isaacson was given the opportunity of a lifetime to be the official biographer of Steve Jobs. Overall he did a great job, but I do wish he was more technical and spent more time on time events after Jobs came back to Apple.
The formation and success of Pixar is a surprisingly compelling story that involves George Lucas, John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, Alvy Ray Smith, Steve Jobs, Roy Disney, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Michael Eisner. I’m sure with that cast of characters you can imagine how drama filled and interesting this book is.
4. Disney War
Michael Eisner’s rise and fall as the CEO of Disney is a sad and cautious tale of how power ,combined with an unchecked ego, can nearly destroy a company.