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Best Business Books: The 30 Best Business Books of All Time

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL..
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Looking for the best business books of all time?

You’re in the right place.

Note: What You WON’T Find on This List

I’ve kept this list as focussed on business as possible.

Want more general books on e.g., communication, mindset or productivity?

Want more specific books on e.g., entrepreneurship, sales or leadership?

Click one of the links above to go to straight to those reading lists.

Or browse all my book recommendations for even more options.

And in the meantime, enjoy this list of…

The 30 Best Business Books of All Time

Why these best business books and not others? The best business books of all time below are the top picks from my long list of scores of books on entrepreneurship, ranked by a combination of Goodreads rating, number of Goodreads reviews and first publication date. The aim is to surface what’s most loved, what’s most popular and what’s proven timelessly relevant.

Think something’s missing? Leave a comment or email me and I’ll add it to the next round of updates. I honestly love hearing from you so please, do get in touch!

Books 1-10: The Top 10 Best Business Books of All Time

Here are the 10 best business books from my database…

Best Business Books: Good to Great
1. Good to Great – James C. Collins
Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
Published 2001 // 300 pages // Rated 4.1 over 148,600 reviews on Goodreads
Best Business Books: Competitive Strategy
2. Competitive Strategy – Michael E. Porter
Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors
Published 1980 // 432 pages // Rated 4.2 over 15,300 reviews on Goodreads
Best Business Books: The Goal
3. The Goal – Eliyahu M. Goldratt
A Process of Ongoing Improvement
Published 1984 // 384 pages // Rated 4.0 over 46,700 reviews on Goodreads
Best Business Books: Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
4. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind – Al Ries
How to Be Seen and Heard in the Overcrowded Marketplace
Published 1980 // 213 pages // Rated 4.0 over 15,900 reviews on Goodreads
Best Business Books: Business Model Generation
5. Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder
Published 2010 // 273 pages // Rated 4.2 over 47,100 reviews on Goodreads
Best Business Books: Built to Last
6. Built to Last – James C. Collins
Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
Published 1994 // 368 pages // Rated 4.0 over 50,400 reviews on Goodreads
Best Business Books: Competitive Advantage
7. Competitive Advantage – Michael E. Porter
Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance
Published 1985 // 592 pages // Rated 4.2 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads
Best Business Books: The Innovator's Dilemma
8. The Innovator’s Dilemma – Clayton M. Christensen
The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business
Published 1997 // 286 pages // Rated 4.0 over 31,300 reviews on Goodreads
Best Business Books: Principles
9. Principles – Ray Dalio
Life and Work
Published 2011 // 594 pages // Rated 4.2 over 19,700 reviews on Goodreads
Best Business Books: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
10. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries
Violate Them at Your Own Risk
Published 1993 // 143 pages // Rated 4.0 over 13,600 reviews on Goodreads

Books 11-30: 20 Good Business Books to Read Next

Here are the next 20 best business books from my database…

11. The Essential Drucker – Peter F. Drucker
Published 2000 // 368 pages // Rated 4.1 over 9,700 reviews on Goodreads
12. Made to Stick – Chip Heath
Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Published 2006 // 291 pages // Rated 4.0 over 61,600 reviews on Goodreads
13. The Personal MBA – Josh Kaufman
Master the Art of Business
Published 2010 // 416 pages // Rated 4.1 over 20,500 reviews on Goodreads
14. Orbiting the Giant Hairball – Gordon MacKenzie
A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace
Published 1996 // 224 pages // Rated 4.1 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads
15. Great by Choice – James C. Collins
Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All
Published 2011 // 183 pages // Rated 4.1 over 17,700 reviews on Goodreads
16. Rework – Jason Fried (Summary)
Published 2010 // 279 pages // Rated 4.0 over 135,400 reviews on Goodreads
17. In Search Of Excellence – Thomas J. Peters
Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies
Published 1982 // 392 pages // Rated 3.9 over 13,000 reviews on Goodreads
18. The Innovator’s Solution – Clayton M. Christensen
Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth
Published 2003 // 320 pages // Rated 4.0 over 12,300 reviews on Goodreads
19. Conscious Business – Fred Kofman
How to Build Value Through Values
Published 2005 // 325 pages // Rated 4.2 over 1,000 reviews on Goodreads
20. Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim
How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
Published 2004 // 240 pages // Rated 3.9 over 41,600 reviews on Goodreads
21. Purple Cow – Seth Godin
Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
Published 2003 // 160 pages // Rated 3.8 over 47,200 reviews on Goodreads
22. Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg
Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Published 2013 // 217 pages // Rated 4.0 over 184,100 reviews on Goodreads
23. The Infinite Game – Simon Sinek
Published 2019 // 272 pages // Rated 4.2 over 13,200 reviews on Goodreads
24. How to Measure Anything – Douglas W. Hubbard
Finding the Value of “Intangibles” in Business
Published 1985 // 287 pages // Rated 4.0 over 1,900 reviews on Goodreads
25. Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits! – Greg Crabtree
4 Keys to Unlock Your Business Potential
Published 2011 // 177 pages // Rated 4.2 over 1,000 reviews on Goodreads
26. Hooked – Nir Eyal
How to Build Habit-Forming Products
Published 2013 // 256 pages // Rated 4.1 over 14,300 reviews on Goodreads
27. Free – Chris Anderson
The Future of a Radical Price
Published 2009 // 288 pages // Rated 3.8 over 15,900 reviews on Goodreads
28. The Art of Strategy – Avinash K. Dixit
A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life
Published 1991 // 512 pages // Rated 3.9 over 1,800 reviews on Goodreads
29. What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School – Mark H. McCormack
Notes from a Street-Smart Executive
Published 1984 // 288 pages // Rated 3.7 over 2,100 reviews on Goodreads
30. Measure What Matters – John Doerr (Summary)
Published 2018 // 320 pages // Rated 4.0 over 13,600 reviews on Goodreads

BONUS: The 10 Best Business Biographies of All Time

These didn’t feel right to include above.

But the list also wouldn’t be complete without them.

So, here are the top 10 biographies of business leaders and companies of all time to get stuck into if that’s how you’d rather read about business…

1. Shoe Dog – Phil Knight
A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE
Published 2016 // 386 pages // Rated 4.5 over 134,000 reviews on Goodreads
2. Bad Blood – John Carreyrou
Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
Published 2018 // 339 pages // Rated 4.4 over 197,700 reviews on Goodreads
3. Creativity, Inc. – Ed Catmull
Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
Published 2009 // 368 pages // Rated 4.2 over 76,000 reviews on Goodreads
4. Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson
Published 2011 // 656 pages // Rated 4.1 over 934,900 reviews on Goodreads
5. The Ride of a Lifetime – Robert Iger
Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company
Published 2019 // 272 pages // Rated 4.4 over 50,400 reviews on Goodreads
6. How to Get Rich – Felix Dennis
Published 2007 // 352 pages // Rated 4.2 over 3,500 reviews on Goodreads
7. The Outsiders – William N. Thorndike Jr.
Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success
Published 2012 // 272 pages // Rated 4.2 over 8,700 reviews on Goodreads
8. Losing My Virginity – Richard Branson
How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
Published 1999 // 416 pages // Rated 4.0 over 44,600 reviews on Goodreads
9. Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh
A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Published 2010 // 246 pages // Rated 4.0 over 52,700 reviews on Goodreads
10. Giants of Enterprise – Richard S. Tedlow
Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built
Published 2001 // 544 pages // Rated 4.2 over 800 reviews on Goodreads

Best Business Book FAQs

What are the best books to read when starting a business?

Some of the best books to read when starting a business include:

Want more? Check out this list of the 30 best entrepreneur books of all time.

Enjoyed this list of the best business books of all time?

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Arthur Worsley
I founded TAoL to discover and share the best wisdom on how to live long and prosper. Before that I studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey. Still curious? Learn more or take my FREE productivity quiz.

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