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11 biographies of successful entrepreneurs & founders

Biographies of successful entrepreneurs and founders are an important source of inspiration for many aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. We have looked at the best entrepreneur biographies and created a summary.


Shoe Dog: The Official Biography of the NIKE Founder

In the early 1960s, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father to start his own small business, which would become one of the most successful sports equipment manufacturers in the world. The story behind Nike is exciting and turbulent. Many times, Nike was on the brink of bankruptcy, but Knight and his team persevered despite all obstacles, believing in what they were doing – whether it was suddenly the American tax authority wanting money, millions of bills that couldn’t be paid, or business partners trying to undermine Nike. The autobiography is also fascinating because it shows what it was like to do business with Japan in the post-war period and how different the two cultures ultimately are. The biography demonstrates how important determination, camaraderie, and belief in a greater goal are.

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Steve Jobs: The Authorized Biography of the Apple Founder

Steve Jobs has shaped the world as an entrepreneur. His biography, written by Walter Isaacson, provides a deep insight into the dynamic and charismatic personality of Jobs, who always strived for perfection. After reading it, you will have a much better understanding of the company Apple as it was. All in all, it’s a very exciting, extraordinary, and above all, honest biography that shows the Apple founder with all his quirks.

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Losing My Virginity: The Autobiography

Richard Branson has become globally known as a serial entrepreneur and adventurer. His autobiography provides an overview of his life, characterized by an apparently unstoppable urge to try new things. The book, which reads almost like an adventure novel, tells of his successes but also his failures. He vividly recounts his first major failure in his school newspaper or how his record company made a hit by signing the artist Mike Oldfield.

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The Godfathers of the Internet: How the Samwer Brothers Built the World’s Largest Internet Empire

The Samwer Brothers are among the major players in the German online business and have become multimillionaires with ventures like Zalando, Alando, Jamba, and many others. They are smart and ambitious but also controversial due to their ruthlessness. Joel Kaczmarek has spoken to many trusted individuals of the Samwers and tells the success story of the trio of brothers in his book.

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The Everything Seller: Jeff Bezos and the Amazon Empire

Jeff Bezos is one of the great pioneers of online retail with Amazon. His biography impressively shows how Bezos managed to develop Amazon from a garage startup into a powerful global corporation. The foundation for the book was more than 300 interviews. The result is a truly readable biography that presents the full spectrum of Jeff Bezos as a person.

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The Red Bull Story: The Incredible Success of Dietrich Mateschitz

Dietrich Mateschitz launched Red Bull at the age of 21 and eventually turned it into a global brand. With clever marketing, Mateschitz positioned Red Bull in the extreme sports segment and built a unique brand image. Numerous ventures, from a Formula 1 team to a TV channel, demonstrate the entrepreneur Mateschitz’s willingness to take risks, forward-looking approach, and hunger for success. One weakness of the book is that it was not written in collaboration with Mateschitz, so it provides an outsider’s perspective.

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Elon Musk: How Elon Musk Is Changing the World – The Biography

Elon Musk stands for innovation. With PayPal, he revolutionized online payments, with Tesla, he made electric cars popular, and with SpaceX, he became the first private company to launch payloads into space. Author Ashlee Vance portrays the life of the visionary Elon Musk in this biography. During her research, she had access to Elon Musk himself and his close circle, resulting in an extraordinary and in-depth biography.

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Sam Walton: Made in America

This is the autobiography of successful entrepreneur and founder of Walmart, Sam Walton. The book describes the rise of Walmart to the world’s largest retail giant and explores the business philosophy and strategies of the entrepreneur that led to Walmart’s success. It offers insights into Walton’s mindset, his leadership culture, and his commitment to customer satisfaction and innovation. The reading is not only a business history but also a personal look at the values and principles of an influential entrepreneur.

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Direct from Dell: Strategies That Revolutionized an Industry

This is the inspiring autobiography of successful entrepreneur Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Dell Inc. In this book, Michael Dell shares his personal experiences and the business strategies that led him to start and lead one of the world’s most successful computer companies. Starting in his college dormitory with only $1,000, Dell developed a new approach to computer manufacturing and direct sales that fundamentally changed the entire industry. The book provides a deep insight into Dell’s thinking, decision-making, and the challenges he encountered on his path to global success. It is a fascinating portrayal of how vision, innovation, and customer-centric thinking can propel a company to the top of an industry. Dell imparts valuable lessons on growing a startup into a technology giant and the importance of adaptability and continuous innovation in the fast-paced world of technology.

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“Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s” by Ray Kroc

In this book, Ray Kroc tells the story of how he turned McDonald’s from a local restaurant in California into a global fast-food empire. Kroc, who originally became friends with the McDonald brothers as a milkshake salesman, took their efficient management system and built the McDonald’s franchise system on it. The book provides insight into Kroc’s philosophy of business management, his relentless work ethic, and the challenges he faced on his journey to global success. It is the story of perseverance, innovation, and the transformation of a company that revolutionized the fast-food industry.

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“Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul” by Howard Schultz

In this book, Howard Schultz shares his experiences as the CEO of Starbucks and how he led the company through a period of great challenges. After returning as CEO in 2008, Schultz faced an economic recession and internal issues. The book describes how he returned to Starbucks’ core values while introducing innovations to revive the company. It is a story of leadership, corporate culture, and the importance of authenticity and passion in the business world. Schultz shows how crucial it is to hold onto a company’s mission and values during difficult times.

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