Deimos May 26, 2017 2:42 PM

I had trouble taking the list seriously after #1. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy By Douglas Adams.

LeeHamm May 26, 2017 3:41 PM

I had trouble taking the list seriously, as the Forbes page won’t let you view it without white-listing it. Adiós.

Rhys May 26, 2017 6:29 PM

I am with LeeHamm.

Have you seen an executive committee that doesn’t have a “free blood testosterone minimum”?

You know they have their own maxim between each other- “You do realize that I don’t have to outrun the bear, I only have to out run you.”

Books are dust collectors for them. Publishing cycle is too long regardless against the speed of adaptation today.

Journals, conventions (not Gartner’s), focus groups…though these are in contexts that are foreign/anathema to a Viking or conquistador life style.

Execs hire smart people to read those for them. Then to provide a cartoon balloon they can use for public speaking or to stand as insulation when a fire exit corridor is needed.

supersaurus May 26, 2017 6:53 PM

when I tried to open the article link I got a “cannot parse response” error.

Jarrod Frates May 26, 2017 7:41 PM


I’m not sure why HGTTG is problematic. While it’s a compendium of snark, sarcasm, and cynicism, it also takes a very different view of some very normal things, including how different people place different values on exactly the same event. I still read every book periodically–I’ve probably read the original more than a hundred times, including all the times I’ve picked up my copy of just that book and flipped to a random page. If all you can see is a funny book (or a funny, five-book [and one short-story]) trilogy, you’re very much missing Adams’s many points.


So executives don’t read books. (Or do they? My experience differs from yours.) What does your rejection of the list based on who the article says should be reading it say about your valuation of the individual components? There are a few that I question based on the titles (hyperbole in titles is often a warning sign for me), but I’m willing to at least have a look at the segments that Amazon presents.

Rhys May 27, 2017 1:20 AM


Were being well read an attribute for ascending the power structure of a business, how many sitting executives would you site as a share of US corporate leadership? How many would “ascribe” their ascendance based on the readings in, say, security? Or intelligence gathering?

Still- our headlines are filled with disgust of the Silverback culture that prevails in corporate leadership and cultures.

If leadership is doing the right things, not doing things right- that’s where a schism begins.

What executive or board has changed its position on uninsured liability as a result of the last 5 years worth of security events? (If reading doesn’t change anything- than what is the point? Which accounting rules on contingent liabilities are reflective of valuations or now identified in audits? Is Anthem’s Chair/CEO/still there? Are corporations still asking for government intervention/protection from internet vulnerabilities? Do we now have business models reliant wholly on freebooted information? Using tools that they howl about when subsequently applied to them? )

There aren’t bookshelves big enough to hold the number from a decade, or decades worth, of reading. Some read the publications in the language it was actually written in first.

Parading around a reading list is something closer to the value sets in “Dress for Success”. Or like the ‘ego wall’ with diplomas and accolades. (Lessons once given to all Si Ramo’s novitiates as unacceptable.)

Your reference to the use of hyperbole in the title being a material clue, hopefully, there are skills also to distinguish science from scientism.

keiner May 27, 2017 4:27 AM

Have a look at the link in your browser after clicking the link in the blog post. And: I never made it beyond the “proverb of the day”… No-script won’t let me visit such trash…

Publish the list here or got without such blog posts, my opinion.

ThaumaTechnician May 27, 2017 6:29 AM

I had no problem getting to the article.

Thank you, uBlock Origin.

Nes May 27, 2017 4:45 PM

heh. I just inspected the page and deleted the overlay elements.
Useless garbage. Of course, I’m also using scriptsafe, not no-script. (chrome)

Clive Robinson May 28, 2017 6:12 AM

@ Bruce,

It’s a weird list.

Not wishing to be nasty but it might be Forbes “logrolling” off of prominent authors, to get “reflected glory”.

Look at it this way, if all the authors or their agents highlighted this “award” then Forbes and their advertisers would see an increased page hit, thus income etc. Likewise other sites will comment and provide a link and thus give Forbes even more visits, thus more income.

I can not say anything about this award list in particular because Forbes is on my blacklist of sites for very unreasonable advertising policies and requiring javascript to be turned on (for most people).

Thus not only do I not visit their site, I discorage others from visiting as well, as I regard Forbes as something worse than something somebodies pet has left for the unwary on the pavement, that you would not want stinking your shoes up, and having to scrape off whilst not “up chucking”.

@ Figureitout,

You use the existing character set pictogrames can you remember of your head what the code is for the “doggy walnut whip” pictogram?

Martin Budden May 29, 2017 6:51 AM

Intersting. I wonder if they will publish a list: “13 Books Technology Executives Should Read”

Wesley Parish June 1, 2017 1:51 AM

I went to Forbes and got told off for not trusting Forbes implicitly … I regret not seeing the list: i was wondering if How computers do it by David G. Moursund would make it onto the list on the grounds that the (presumably) salacious content was worth the effort of opening the pages.

JG4 June 1, 2017 5:23 PM

My public service for the day. Can someone explain in one or two sentences how to make the title be a hot link? That would give a cleaner presentation. It would be ironic if goodreads is a front for Amazon to mop up Amazon haters. I like the part where they are fast and cheap, but I don’t want them to have my data, nor do I want any of the other Horsemen of the Tech Apocalypse to have it.

The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy By Douglas Adams

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays On Software Engineering By Frederick P. Brooks Jr.

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results By Gary Keller and Jay Papasan\

Systemantics: How Systems Work And Especially How They Fail By John Gall

The Goal: A Process Of Ongoing Improvement By Eliyahu M. Goldratt And Jeff Cox

Elon Musk: Elon Musk’s Best Lessons For Life, Business, Success And Entrepreneurship By Andrew Knight

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

Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model From The Sinister World Of Hackers By Josh Linkner

The Design Of Everyday Things: Revised And Expanded By Don Norman

Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating a Foundation For Business Execution By Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill And David Robertson

Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security In An Uncertain World By Bruce Schneier

Radical Candor: Be A Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity By Kim Scott

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action By Simon Sinek

Rachel June 2, 2017 1:36 AM


It would be ironic if goodreads is a front for Amazon to mop up Amazon haters.

Goodreads is featured on amazon kindle home screen to recommend books and offer book community participation. One can turn off that feature though.

Kindles can be rooted which may have some advantages, unsure how much control it offers over bloatware and the like

mostly harmful June 5, 2017 9:04 AM


Can someone explain in one or two sentences how to make the title be a hot link? That would give a cleaner presentation.

To link the text “Why doesn’t it work?” to Wikipedia’s page for PEBCAK, do this:

<a href=””>Why doesn’t it work?</a>

Include the above in your post, and after submission (or preview) the result will contain a link like this:

Why doesn’t it work?

(The page Scissors pointed you to does not look wrong, either. But, contrary to your specification, it is longer than a couple sentences.)

PP October 20, 2017 11:35 AM

Beyond Fear is also the book MBTA riders should have in their hands right next to the wagon’s door manufacturer description. The doors are labeled with the word Bombardier to describe who makes the doors ?

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