Here’s a loooong list of things that inspire me. Books, links on the web, concepts, people. The list tends on growing. Let’s see where this leads to.

Table Of Contents

The intelligent investor

by Benjamin Graham (updated and commentary by Jason Zweig)

THE holy grail written in the 1930s. If you want to invest money - for sure. But also of utter relevance if you own a company. It gives you a feeling what a “financial bubble” means and how it affects you. And that a stock market bubble is really a normal thing and has been there many times before. Benjamin tells us that companies have values and that values are the important thing - not the stock price or anything obscure. The comments of Jason make the book even more readable and lift the content to the 21st century.

How to Make Millions with Your Ideas: An Entrepreneur’s Guide

by Dan S. Kennedy

Dan wrote a timeless classic. A must read.

The four hour work week

by Timothy Ferriss

Also a must read. My advice: Make sure you read Dan’s book before. The funny thing is: Both authors talk about the same concepts. But Dan makes millions by working hard while. Timothy earns a living by working almost nothing.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber

Explains why McDonald’s is cool, and how you can apply the very same principles to your company.

The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building

by Matt Mochary

Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Handbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell

by Eric Schmidt , Jonathan Rosenberg

How Google works

by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg


In my opinion “Negotiating” is one of the most important skills in life. States negotiate about peace, People negotiate about price, companies negotiate about a takeovers. Negotiations are everywhere. So I guess everybody should have a basic understanding how the game is played.

Secrets of Power Negotiating: Inside Secrets from a Master Negotiator

by Roger Dawson

A practical book about negotiating. Roger’s style is sometimes a bit hard and rude - but - well - you have to know the tactics.

Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People

by G. Richard Shell

The book is a bit more scientific than Roger’s Power Negotiating.

Getting Past No

by William Ury

Getting past a deadlocked situation is really important. William focuses on that.

Leadership / Teams / Psychology

Well. The holy grail. As a single person we will never accomplish big things. Big things are always done by teams. Or teams of teams. And teams consist of humans (normally). And humans are difficult sometimes.

Company handbooks

It’s an extremely good practice to write down how your company operations. Many companies are open sourcing their handbooks - and they are a great inspiration

There’s also an awesome list at github about the topic:

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

by Arbinger Institute und William Dufris

Our perception of other people is biased. Biased by what we expect. This expectation horizon is called “The Box”. And this book is all about that phenomenon - and about ways to realize when we are in a box.

Software engineering leadership books

The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change

by Camille Fournier

A must read for everyone that is interested in management of a tech company. It has many tips and tricks on how to run teams, manage managers and lead on VP / CTO level.

Software Engineering at Google

Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency by Tom DeMarco

An elegant puzzle

by Will Larson

A must-read for anyone working on tech. Especially good content if you want to scale organizations and grow as a leader.

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister

The guide how to set up teams, projects and even offices for knowledge workers.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

The first ever published self-help book from 1937. The book has a funny title, but the concepts are really important. It is however not about cheating people. It is simply a guide for people that like the idea of cooperative leadership.

The magic of thinking big

by David J. Schwartz

Important topic. Think big and have big plans. This is what enables us to know where to go and what to do (aka project planning).

Team topologies

by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais

At some point in your career you will have to reorganize your IT department. For growing companies this will happen quite fast. Matthew and Manuel wrote the first book on how to structure your department (to my knowledge).

The four core topologies are: Stream aligned team, Enabling team, Complicated subsystem team, platform team.

Accelerate: The Science Behind Devops: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations

by Ph.D. Forsgren, Nicole, Jez Humble , et al.

Project management

Getting Things Done. The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

by David Allen

A timeless classic. The basic thing is: Write your tasks down and get them out of your head. Review them time by time and adjust them against bigger goals. Great reading.

Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management

by Scott Berkun, Mary Treseler, und Robert Romano

A well written book about project management in software industry. A timeless classic.

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less

by Richard Koch

Not easy to grasp. But the world is not in an equilibrium. It is unbalanced. And all processes are unbalanced, too. Often you get correlations such as: 20% of the products of a company yield 80% of the earnings. And that 80/20 principle is called the Pareto principle. Richard Koch introduces the principle and introduces how you might be able to exploit the principle to grow and analyse your company More about the principle:

Demand-Side Sales 101: Stop Selling and Help Your Customers Make Progress

by Bob Moesta and Greg Engle

Product development


by Jason Fried

Getting real

by Jason Fried and Daniel Heinemeier Hansson

INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (Silicon Valley Product Group)

by Marty Kagan

EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products (Silicon Valley Product Group)

by Marty Kagan

Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

by Steve Krug

Strong Product People: A Complete Guide to Developing Great Product Managers

by Petra Wille

Software Engineering

How Google Tests Software

by James A. Whittaker

The most inspiring book about testing. Combine that with the Google Testing Blog and you are ready to go.

Key takeaways

Effective Java

by Joshua Bloch

A long time ago this book taught me a lot of lesson on how to write good code. It is in my opinion still the best book about good code. It is very much focused on Java (JVM) topics but I think any programmer can get good takeaways.

Designing data intensive applications

by Martin Kleppmann

The book is a good high level primer about different types of system architectures. If you are working in tech for some time it won’t give you any new insights. I still found it useful as a refresher.

Move fast - How facebook builds software

by Jeff Meyerson

Jeff describes the journey of Facebook. From a totally chaotic small company to a company with thousands of engineers and stable processes.

Key takeaways

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

by William Zinsser

No matter if you are writing a proposal for a new microservice architecture, a RFC or OpenApi documentation for an API endpoint - writing well is a key asset to every engineer. Practice and become good at it.

The book really helps to understand what makes texts easy to digest for readers. Highly recommended.