Best Biographies of the Tech Industry - Feature image

The Best Biographies of the Tech Industry 2020

by Sven Woltmann – October 19, 2020

On this page, I present some of the best and most interesting biographies of the tech industry. The biographies are also perfectly suitable as audiobooks. Of course, I have read or listened to all of them and present only those that one must have read as a technology enthusiast.

Are you more interested in pure software development? Here you can find the best books for programmers.

And under the following link, I present some of the best books about productivity, personality, and career development.

Did you like the stories of Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos? And are you thinking about becoming an entrepreneur? Then check here for my book recommendations on leadership, entrepreneurship, and management.

by Walter Isaacson

Link to the book at Amazon

Walter Isaacson's biography about Steve Jobs tells the story of his life starting with his childhood, the beginnings of Apple in the garage of his parents' house, the pioneering days of the personal computer, the Macintosh, his involuntary exit from Apple, the founding of NEXT and the financing of Pixar, the return to Apple and its rescue and transformation into one of the most valuable companies in the world through the development of the iMac, the iPod - and the related revolution of the music market, the iPhone and finally the iPad... until his retirement due to his illness and his death in 2011.

This unsparing bibliography describes one of the greatest visionaries of the IT age – a perfectionist with an unwavering sense of design, aesthetics, and usability – and an often ruthless genius in all his positive and negative traits.

Even without being an Apple fan and user myself, I found the book extremely worth reading and more entertaining and exciting than many a thriller.

Suitable as an audiobook? Yes, absolutely.

by Ashlee Vance

Link to the book at Amazon

This book tells the inspiring and exciting story of Elon Musk, who emigrated from South Africa to Canada when he was 17 and founded some of the world's most visionary companies. He got his starting capital from selling Zip2, an online city guide, to Compaq. He then founded X.com, an online payment service that later merged with PayPal and revolutionized online payment. With SpaceX, he made space travel affordable again through revolutionary ideas: he developed spaceships that landed back on earth and have since transported people into space, one day taking them to Mars and beyond. Since 2004, he has been shaking up the automobile industry with Tesla (which was not founded by him, but a year earlier by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning), and he has made electric cars suitable for the masses.

Elon Musk's story shows what people can achieve when they set themselves high goals and pursue them with an unconditional will and uncompromising commitment. Musk has repeatedly put his entire fortune at risk and has never let setbacks deter him.

The book addresses both his good and bad character traits, such as his lack of social skills and his expectation that all his employees show at least as much workaholic commitment as he does.

The biography is from 2015, and what Musk has achieved since then is no less impressive: With OpenAI, Neuralink, and The Boring Company, he has founded three more companies, and in May 2020, SpaceX was the first private company to fly people into space.

Suitable as an audiobook? Yes, absolutely.

by Brad Stone

Link to the book at Amazon

Brad Stone's biography begins with the childhood and youth of Jeff Bezos and his work on Wall Street, which inspired him to found Amazon.com in 1994. Starting in a garage – with doors from hardware stores as tables – Amazon has become one of the world's most valuable companies. The company's crises and how many stages of development were necessary to make it happen are something that the average Amazon customer today is no longer aware of.

With products like AWS, Amazon has virtually invented cloud computing. With the Kindle, Amazon has stirred up the book market just as Apple had shortly before stirred up the music industry with the iPad and iTunes.

Logistics centers spread across the entire country, which did not exist in this form before, have made next-day deliveries – and now even same-day deliveries – possible. And they paved the way to opening up Amazon as a trading platform for other companies.

Bezos' unwavering determination to grow and to always offer his customers the best possible service – as well as his long-term vision (Bezos planned from the very beginning that one day you could buy everything at Amazon) – were at all times more important to him than inflating Amazon's share price with short-term strategies.

It is impressive how Amazon first stood up to the publishing industry's giants and later to companies like Wallmart, who realized the relevance of online commerce too late. Those competitors who saw themselves as winners during Amazon's crisis at the beginning of the 2000s have been proven wrong by Bezos.

All in all, it's a great book that tells excitingly and entertainingly what outstanding achievements and sacrifices not only Bezos but all of its employees have made. And how they have turned existing business models upside down and created new business models to make Amazon what it is today: an "Everything Store."

Suitable as an audiobook? Yes, absolutely.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

About the author

I'm a freelance software developer with more than two decades of experience in scalable Java enterprise applications. My focus is on optimizing complex algorithms and on advanced topics such as concurrency, the Java memory model, and garbage collection. Here on HappyCoders.eu, I want to help you become a better Java programmer. Read more about me here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}