Billionaire businessman, Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban started off selling PC software in Dallas in his 20s – and attributes his first $1 million to the reading of one particular book on saving. Like many successful entrepreneurs, Cuban’s an avid reader with a passion for knowledge and life-long learning.

In his 2011 book How to Win at the Sport of Business, Cuban wrote on the importance of reading to his early career: “I would continually search for new ideas. I read every book and magazine I could. Heck, three bucks for a magazine, twenty bucks for a book…One good idea would lead to a customer or a solution, and those magazines and books paid for themselves many times over.”

Cuban’s reading list includes work on nearly every aspect of business – from innovation and investing to social politics and behavioral economics. Find his favorites below, and complement with the book recommendations of Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and Bill Gates.


How to Retire by the Age of 35 by Paul Terhorst

“The whole premise of the book was that if you could save up $1 million and live like a student, you could retire. But you would have to have the discipline of saving. I believed heavily in that book. It was a big motivator for me.” -MC

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

“If given a choice between investing in someone who has read ‘Rework’ or has an MBA, I’m investing in ‘Rework’ every time.” -MC

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (also rec’d by Hunter S. Thompson)

“It encouraged me to think as an individual, take risks to reach my goals, and responsibility for my successes and failures. I loved it.” -MC

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

“This helped me make sense of why things worked and didn’t work in the technology industry.” -MC

Self-Made Success by Shaan Patel

The Great Revolt by Salena Zito and Brad Todd

White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America by Joan C. Williams

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer

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

Machine Learning for Dummies by John Paul Mueller

Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin by Fiona Hill

Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations by Amy Chua

The Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie

“This was a reading assignment in an MBA entrepreneurship class that I snuck into at Indiana University. Bottom line is that among the many patriotic things you can do, one is get rich and pay your taxes.” -MC

The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian

The Undoing Project by  Michael Lewis

Our Mathematical Universe by Max Tegmark

That’s What She Said by Joanne Lipman

Call Me Ted by Ted Turner

“I like to read biographies of successful people. Ted Turner’s bio was always big for me because he worked hard and played hard.” -MC

Self-Made Success: Ivy League Shark Tank Entrepreneur Reveals 48 Secret Strategies To Live Happier, Healthier, And Wealthier by Shaan Patel

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias

“This is the only investment guide I have read that truly made sense. Bottom line is that you can take a measure of risk on the $5,000 you have to invest in an attempt to earn 10% in the stock market, while praying that it all doesn’t disappear because someone bought too many yen derivatives. Or you can save 15% on the $5,000 a year you spend on replenishables, from toilet paper to cereal to who knows what, and put it in the bank on top of the original $5,000, earn an easy 5%, plus accrued interest, on the total and sleep very well at night.” -MC

Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work) by Stephan Schiffman

“This is a book that every CEO needs to read. If you can’t sell, you can’t survive. If you can sell- If you can figure out how to open doors and make your customers happy- you not only will always be able to eat and put a roof over your head but also thrive in any corporate or entrepreneurial environment.” -MC

Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

“It’s the book I wish I had as a young entrepreneur, stressing over not knowing what I didn’t know.” -MC

(via CNBC, Money, Inc & Favobooks)

Categories: Entrepreneurs

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