Tom Peters: 2014 Reading List for Revolutionaries

By Scott Kirsner

When was the last time someone handed you a reading list? College? Grad school?

tompeters1At a small gathering held recently to mark the 20th anniversary of the business magazine Fast Company, Tom Peters, the management author and provocateur, circulated the latest iteration of his recommended reading list. It’s a fantastic collection of 52 books, predominantly from the past five years, that Tom considers essential reads. They cover everything from big data to robotics to gamification to loyalty to neurotechnology. I wanted to share them with you here. Tom singled out a few titles as extra-emphatic recommendations; those are marked with an asterisk.


Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas — Natasha Dow Schüll

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our WorldAutomate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World — Christopher Steiner

Big Data — Victor Mayer-Schönberger & Kenneth Cukier

The Circle — Dave Eggers

Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business — John Mackey

creating innovatorsCreating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World — Tony Wagner

Creation: How Science is Reinventing Life Itself — Adam Rutherford

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It — Richard A. Clarke

Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down — Vineet Nayar

Everything Bad is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter — Steven Johnson

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter — Tom Bissell

Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop — From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication — Neil Gershenfeld

Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping the World — David Burstein

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You — Eli Pariser

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Change in Life and in the Markets — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business — Kevin Werbach

The Future Arrived Yesterday: The Rise of the Protean Corporation and What It Means for You — Michael Malone

gamificationrevThe Gamification Revolution: How Leaders Leverage Game Mechanics to Crush the Competition — Gabe Zicherman

How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed — Ray Kurzweil

Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing Our World — George Gilder

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses — Eric Ries

Lords of Strategy: The Secret History of the New Corporate World — Walter Kiechel

Loyalty 3.0: How Big Data and Gamification are Revolutionizing Customer and Employee Engagement — Rajat Paharia

Makers: The New Industrial Revolution — Chris Anderson

Models Behaving Badly: Why Confusing Illusion with Reality Can Lead to Disaster on Wall Street and in Life — Emanuel Derman

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline…and the Growth of a New Economy — Daniel Gross

Nanotechnology for Dummies — Earl Boysen

Open Services Innovation: Rethinking Your Business to Grow and Compete in a New Era — Henry Chesbrough

The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office — Ray Fisman

The Power of Co-Creation: Build it With Them to Boost Growth, Productivity, and Profits — Venkat Ramaswamy

Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die — Eric Siegel

presentshockPresent Shock: When Everything Happens Now — Douglas Rushkoff

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking — Susan Cain

* Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy — Eric Brynjolfsson

Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World — Jane McGonigal

Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection — Ethan Zuckerman

Robot Futures — Ellah Reza Bourbakhsh

The Rise of the Creative Class — Richard Florida

* The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public — Lynn Stout

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t — Nate Silver

The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

Social Business By Design: Transformative Social Media Strategies for the Connected Company — Dion Hinchcliffe

The Startup of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself and Transform Your Career — Reid Hoffman

Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave: Finding Opportunities in Huge Data Streams with Advanced Analytics — Bill Franks

thinking* Thinking, Fast and Slow — Daniel Kahneman

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism — Evgeny Morozov

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet — Andrew Blum

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay — Frank Partnoy

What You Can Change…And What You Can’t: The Complete Guide to Successful Self Improvement — Martin Seligman

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the Twenty-first Century — P.W. Singer

You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto — Jaron Lanier


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