Influential Books

These books have significantly impacted the way I look at the world.

Guns, Germs and Steel (by Jared Diamond) – Describes why white people have ruled the world… so far.

Freakonomics (by two guys named Steven and Stephen, seriously) – Reinforces the major role that genetics plays in determining your path through life.

Mythical Man-Month (by Fred Brooks) – Throwing more people at a late project only makes it later. Did you hear that China? Not everything can be solved by throwing more people at it (Olympic opening ceremonies notwithstanding).

10 Lessons in Clarity and Grace (by Joseph Williams) – If you have something to say at all, it’s better to say it simply. I had to buy this book for an English class and it turned out to be the most valuable thing I read in university.

Visual Display of Quantitative Information (by Edward Tufte) – He is the king of information design. When I do my job, I try to be more like him; however, I often come up short.

Update: I forgot to include the Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things (by Don Norman) – This book taught me that the small stuff matters because too many little annoyances can add up to make people grumpy. It’s full of smart ideas like affordances.

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