“Reading List” is an occasional series where we ask ecommerce professionals to name some of their favorite books and blogs and tell us why.
For this installment, we corresponded with Charlie Casey. He is CEO and co-founder of LoyaltyLion, a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform.
“Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike“ by Phil Knight
“I love biographies and reading about other people’s struggles and hearing what motivated them to overcome what appeared to be insurmountable challenges. I usually avoid business biographies as it always feels that the authors have a vested interest in presenting a positive image of their business. ‘Shoe Dog’ is different. Phil Knight wrote it after stepping down from Nike. He focuses mainly on the early years — before Nike was Nike. There are many implementable business and ethical lessons for anyone thinking about running (or running a company).”
“As someone who studied economics and is fascinated by human physiology, I love how this book proved time and again that people regularly make suboptimal decisions. We are not, as Adam Smith believed, all acting in our self-interest to maximize our utility. We’re tricked by marketing practices into making decisions that aren’t in our interests.”
“The Alchemist“ by Paulo Coelho
“I read this when I was at the lowest point in my startup journey and very close to returning to the more secure, less challenging corporate world. This book and some well-earned rest helped me get the energy to take a step back and try again. Two months later, I closed our first seed round investment.”
“What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People“ by Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins, Ph.D.
“A guide from an ex-FBI agent may seem like overkill for a startup founder. But this book has had a big part in building the team we have in my business today. As humans, we retain only 7 percent of what we hear. Gut feeling and instinct is crucial. What people say is often less important than how they say it. So understanding body language is vitally important.”
“The Complete Short Stories“ by Roald Dahl
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Roald Dahl. These stories provide the perfect break from work and stirring my imagination. It’s important to have times where your mind is entirely elsewhere.”
“Finally, having looked at my Amazon history, the first three business books I bought as I started on LoyaltyLion’s journey were ‘Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers,’ ‘The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses,’ and ‘Web Design in easy steps.’”
“This is a great resource for startup leaders who want to hear from those who have been there and done it. Tomasz Tunguz is a venture capitalist at Redpoint Ventures and has a lot of good advice for young SaaS businesses.”
“This blog is handy for understanding what will help you attract talent to your business. Delian is a principal investor at Founders Fund and has a great portfolio for entrepreneurs to learn from. ”
“Tim Jackson is an investor in LoyaltyLion. His blog covers every entrepreneurial topic you can think of — from the day to day of things like objectives and key results and team motivation to the bigger questions such as how to know when to give up on your startup.”
“A thorough commentary on all aspects of SaaS life, SaaS Capital is motivational reading for anyone in the tech business. Their advice is tangible and covers every stage of an entrepreneur’s journey.”