Josh Elman

Josh Elman

Official Josh Elman Account. I have been very lucky to work on or invest in many products I still use today including this one. Let’s Build!


20+ Book Recommendations by Josh Elman

  • Bit Flip

    Mike Trigg

    @jeremygoodrich @mike_trigg This book talks about some of those mid life challenges.

  • Wanderers

    Chuck Wendig

    A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world's last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival. Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and are sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other "shepherds" who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead. For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them--and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them--the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart--or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.

    Summer reading is usually light, but I thoroughly enjoyed Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers - 800 pages on a brutal pandemic and complete fracture of US politics. Written in 2019 before COVID - prescient too

  • Hatching Twitter

    Nick Bilton

    The dramatic, unlikely story behind the founding of Twitter, by New York Times bestselling author and Vanity Fair special correspondent The San Francisco-based technology company Twitter has become a powerful force in less than ten years. Today it’s everything from a tool for fighting political oppression in the Middle East to a marketing must-have to the world’s living room during live TV events to President Trump’s preferred method of communication. It has hundreds of millions of active users all over the world. But few people know that it nearly fell to pieces early on. In this rousing history that reads like a novel, Hatching Twitter takes readers behind the scenes of Twitter’s early exponential growth, following the four hackers—Ev Williams, Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass, who created the cultural juggernaut practically by accident. It’s a drama of betrayed friendships and high-stakes power struggles over money, influence, and control over a company that was growing faster than they could ever imagine. Drawing on hundreds of sources, documents, and internal e-mails, Bilton offers a rarely-seen glimpse of the inner workings of technology startups, venture capital, and Silicon Valley culture.

    Today we are living the sequel, but you can go and read the prequel

  • Alternate Kennedys

    Mike Resnick

    A collection of twenty-five speculations asks `what if' the fortunes of the Kennedy family had been different, including an all-Kennedy rock group, JFK in the real Camelot, and much more. Original.

    @adamnash I cheered when they found water. Also I love me a good alternate history. One of my favorite books growing up:

  • Reap3r

    Eliot Peper

    Just finished Reap3r by ⁦@eliotpeper⁩ and can’t recommend it enough. A journey from TED to Venture Capital offices to the Galapagos and then racing across the bay bridge It comes out soon. Enjoy!

  • A venture capitalist draws on expertise developed at the premier venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, and as an executive at Uber to address how tech's most successful products have solved the dreaded "cold start problem"--by leveraging networks effects to launch and scale towards billions of users. Although software has become easier to build, launching and scaling new products and services remains difficult. Startups face daunting challenges entering the technology ecosystem, including stiff competition, copycats, and ineffective marketing channels. Teams launching new products must consider the advantages of "the network effect," where a product or service's value increases as more users engage with it. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants utilize network effects, and most tech products incorporate them, whether they're messaging apps, workplace collaboration tools, or marketplaces. Network effects provide a path for fledgling products to break through, attracting new users through viral growth and word of mouth. Yet most entrepreneurs lack the vocabulary and context to describe them--much less understand the fundamental principles that drive the effect. What exactly are network effects? How do teams create and build them into their products? How do products compete in a market where every player has them? Andrew Chen draws on his experience and on interviews with the CEOs and founding teams of LinkedIn, Twitch, Zoom, Dropbox, Tinder, Uber, Airbnb, Pinterest -- to provide unique insights in answering these questions. Chen also provides practical frameworks and principles that can be applied across products and industries. The Cold Start Problem reveals what makes winning networks successful, why some startups fail to successfully scale, and most crucially, why products that create and compete using the network effect are vitally important today.

    Every company and every business starts at zero customers, zero users. And grows from there. ⁦@andrewchen⁩’s book The Cold Start Problem is a masterclass in how to think about growth for your product and company.

  • 2034

    Elliot Ackerman

    From two former military officers and award-winning authors, a chillingly authentic, geopolitical thriller that imagines a naval clash between the US and China in the South China Sea in 2034--and the path from there to a nightmarish global conflagration. On March 12, 2034, US Navy Commodore Sarah Hunt is on the bridge of her flagship, the guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones, conducting a routine freedom of navigation patrol in the South China Sea when her ship detects an unflagged trawler in clear distress, smoke billowing from its bridge. On that same day, US Marine aviator Major Chris "Wedge" Mitchell is flying an F35E Lightning over the Strait of Hormuz, testing a new stealth technology as he flirts with Iranian airspace. By the end of that day, Wedge will be an Iranian prisoner, and Sarah Hunt's destroyer will lie at the bottom of the sea, sunk by the Chinese Navy. Iran and China have clearly coordinated their moves, which involve the use of powerful new forms of cyber weaponry that render US ships and planes defenseless. In a single day, America's faith in its military's strategic pre-eminence is in tatters. A new, terrifying era is at hand. So begins a disturbingly plausible work of speculative fiction, co-authored by an award-winning novelist and decorated Marine veteran and the former commander of NATO, a legendary admiral who has spent much of his career strategically out maneuvering America's most tenacious adversaries. Written with a powerful blend of geopolitical sophistication and literary, human empathy, 2034 takes us inside the minds of a global cast of characters--Americans, Chinese, Iranians, Russians, Indians--as a series of arrogant miscalculations on all sides leads the world into an intensifying international storm. In the end, China and the United States will have paid a staggering cost, one that forever alters the global balance of power. Everything in 2034 is an imaginative extrapolation from present-day facts on the ground combined with the authors' years working at the highest and most classified levels of national security. Sometimes it takes a brilliant work of fiction to illuminate the most dire of warnings: 2034 is all too close at hand, and this cautionary tale presents the reader a dark yet possible future that we must do all we can to avoid.

    I started with this Wired excerpt and couldn’t put down the book. Great read of a future that seems far too possible and one that we certainly don’t want.

  • If you came across an absolutely remarkable thing at 3 a.m. in New York City, would you walk away . . . or do the one thing that would change your life forever? The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship - like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armour - April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world, and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the centre of an intense international media spotlight. Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us. Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how the social internet is changing fame, how our culture deals with fear, and how vilification and adoration follows a life in the public eye.

    How much can I recommend the two book series An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by @hankgreen? Incredible sci fi stories of an intelligence that supersedes humanity and yet I felt like it could be happening right now. Still thinking hard about it

  • The Carls disappeared the same way they appeared, in an instant. While they were on Earth, they caused confusion and destruction without ever lifting a finger. Part of their maelstrom was the sudden viral fame and untimely death of April May: a young woman who stumbled into Carl's path, giving them their name, becoming their advocate, and putting herself in the middle of an avalanche of conspiracy theories

    How much can I recommend the two book series An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by @hankgreen? Incredible sci fi stories of an intelligence that supersedes humanity and yet I felt like it could be happening right now. Still thinking hard about it

  • How To Raise An Adult

    Julie Lythcott-Haims

    @sacca Great book 🙏🏽

  • The Outsiders

    William Thorndike

    It's time to redefine the CEO success story. Meet eight iconoclastic leaders who helmed firms where returns on average outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 20 times.

    @stevenjr76 Fantastic book claiming best CEOs are experts at capital allocation. Use your stock to acquire things when stock is high. Divest when you believe you have maximized value (for you at least) within a business.

  • Ghost Fleet

    P. W. Singer

    Two authorities on future warfare join forces to create a taut, convincing novel set in 2026 about a besieged America battling for its very existence."

    @ericvishria We need to have our own airplanes too - but people are vastly underestimating the importance of semiconductors in everything. There is a fun book called Ghost Fleet that starts with a discovery that China had been infiltrating our chips for decades. had to go back to old tech

  • Leadership and Self-Deception

    The Arbinger Institute

    "Since its original publication in 2000, Leadership and Self-Deception has become a word-of-mouth phenomenon. Its sales continue to increase year after year, and the book's popularity has gone global, with editions now available in over twenty languages. Leadership and Self-Deception shows how the problems that typically prevent superior performance in organizations and cause conflicts in our personal lives are the result of a little-known problem called self-deception. People who are in self-deception live and work as if trapped in a box. They can't see the reality around them--they're blind to the self-serving motivations that are sabotaging them on the job and at home. But there is a way out. Through an entertaining and engaging story, Leadership and Self-Deception shows what self-deception is, how it operates, the damage it does, and, most importantly, what can be done about it.This third edition includes new research about the self-deception gap in organizations and the keys to closing this gap so that people take responsibility for their own problems and for organizational problems. It also includes the first chapter from Arbinger's latest bestseller, The Outward Mindset"--

    Thanks to a rec from @nikhyl I recently read - the concepts of self-betrayal, not thinking of others as people, and then justifying actions is both obvious and surprising. Causing more reflection than anything I’ve read in a while

  • Penetrating analysis of the functions and organization of city neighborhoods, the forces of deterioration and regeneration, and the necessary planning innovations

    6 books (current list - though 2 are re-reads and the one on top is brand new) 6 tags @scottbelsky @eliotpeper @liveink @jarroddicker @lpolovets @brezina

  • A New York Times Bestseller In latest bestseller, Atul Gawande shows what the simple idea of the checklist reveals about the complexity of our lives and how we can deal with it. The modern world has given us stupendous know-how. Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry--in almost every realm of organized activity. And the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people--consistently, correctly, safely. We train longer, specialize more, use ever-advancing technologies, and still we fail. Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument that we can do better, using the simplest of methods: the checklist. In riveting stories, he reveals what checklists can do, what they can't, and how they could bring about striking improvements in a variety of fields, from medicine and disaster recovery to professions and businesses of all kinds. And the insights are making a difference. Already, a simple surgical checklist from the World Health Organization designed by following the ideas described here has been adopted in more than twenty countries as a standard for care and has been heralded as "the biggest clinical invention in thirty years" (The Independent).

    6 books (current list - though 2 are re-reads and the one on top is brand new) 6 tags @scottbelsky @eliotpeper @liveink @jarroddicker @lpolovets @brezina

  • Messy Middle Mrexp

    Scott Belsky

    6 books (current list - though 2 are re-reads and the one on top is brand new) 6 tags @scottbelsky @eliotpeper @liveink @jarroddicker @lpolovets @brezina

  • Truth Machine

    James Halperin

    The creator of a Truth Machine that promises to revolutionize the criminal justice system in the America of the year 2004 must conceal his own shocking act of treachery from his own creation or face his execution. Reprint.

    6 books (current list - though 2 are re-reads and the one on top is brand new) 6 tags @scottbelsky @eliotpeper @liveink @jarroddicker @lpolovets @brezina

  • Transformational Parenting

    Jennifer Johnston-Jones

    Life-Changing Magic... Transformational Parenting is a revolutionary approach to parenting that turns the idea of "parenting" as we know it upside-down. By teaching parents psychological tools for personal growth as well as evidence-based parenting tools, in-book exercises, and tools for everyday life, parents and children can together transform into the best version of themselves. Within these pages, you will learn: Why children misbehave and what to do about it How to free yourself from the nagging and monitoring of traditional "parenting" How to let go of anxiety, sadness and anger and help your children let go too How to raise your child to his or her full potential and much more... Transformational Parenting may just be the only parenting book you will ever need. If you are ready to create a better life for yourself and your child, then this book is for you. ​ Jennifer Johnston-Jones, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and the founder and executive director of Roots & Wings Institute for Personal Growth and Family Excellence. She's helped countless families transform their lives through her therapy practice, work in hospitals and non-profits as well as her speaking engagements for parents, clinicians and educators. Dr. Johnston-Jones lives in the Los Angeles area with her family, whom she absolutely adores. You can learn more, and sign up for her newsletter at:

    6 books (current list - though 2 are re-reads and the one on top is brand new) 6 tags @scottbelsky @eliotpeper @liveink @jarroddicker @lpolovets @brezina

  • Veil

    Eliot Peper

    Someone has hijacked the climate in this character-driven speculative thriller set in a near-future shaped by geoengineering. Veil grapples with the power and consequences of technology and what it means to find a renewed sense of agency in a world spinning out of control.

    6 books (current list - though 2 are re-reads and the one on top is brand new) 6 tags @scottbelsky @eliotpeper @liveink @jarroddicker @lpolovets @brezina

  • Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel

    Just want to say - as awful as this crisis is, I think we are very lucky that the virus isn’t even worse and more virulent. It’s tragic how many are dying but it could be so much worse. I have read books like Station Eleven that scare the hell out of me.