Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

The books that changed the world's best business brains

By Charlotte Lytton, for CNN
updated 1:11 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Businessmen and women talk about a book that changed their thinking -- and sometimes their lives
  • Warren Buffet, Donald Trump, Bill Gates and others talk about how their business ideas were shaped
  • Some cite recent developments in business thinking while others return to the standard works of business literature

Editor's note: Smart Business explores the ways companies are thinking smart to thrive in our digitized world.

(CNN) -- At the foundation of many business empires is a well-stocked library.

From Warren Buffet to Donald Trump and Bill Gates, the world's best business brains have been inspired and transformed by books that not only address the business of making money, but of managing time, ethics and morality in business.

Strategizing supply chains, intelligent design, smart investment decisions and the power of positive thinking are just some of the critical business skills that top businesspeople have gained from reading books - in some cases lent to them by other business leaders.

Business genius, it seems, doesn't come fully formed but is learned, not just from one's own experience, but the experience of others. As 18th century physicist Isaac Newton once said: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants".

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:57 AM EST, Thu December 4, 2014
Faster, smarter, more productive...will you work harder when you've been micro-chipped?
updated 6:03 AM EST, Tue December 2, 2014
The population in Beijing has quadrupled in less than 10 years. China's game-changing taxi-hailing app is now making travel easier for millions.
updated 9:43 AM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Virtual reality is about to be unleashed into the world of business with brands using it to offer test drives and virtual showrooms.
updated 6:26 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
Music licensing company Loudr wants to take the guess work out of covering songs.
updated 5:34 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
Through next-generation climate analysis tools, the agriculture industry can thrive in extreme weather conditions.
updated 11:45 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Cities are getting crowded -- where's the next place to go? Underground.
updated 12:51 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
With working hours getting longer, business are turning to creative ways of increasing employee satisfaction.
updated 10:40 AM EST, Mon December 29, 2014
A new company are using tech to take the guess work out of buying the perfect bra.
updated 9:27 AM EST, Mon November 3, 2014
bti
The jobs market is facing difficulties but business matchmaking could be the solution.
updated 8:11 PM EST, Thu November 6, 2014
A poster for the movie
Creativity runs through the veins of the entertainment industry, but recent digital innovations are more experimental than ever.
updated 7:29 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
36KR, a website started by 26-year-old entrepreneur Liu Chengcheng, connects new start-ups with investors.
updated 10:37 AM EST, Mon December 29, 2014
The short lives of disposable tableware: convenient, yet wasteful. A small family business is offering a greener alternative.
smart business logo
How companies are thinking smart to thrive in our digitized world.
ADVERTISEMENT