When we look at the top of the global entrepreneurial ecosystem, many of the great figures often recommend the books that help them grow their businesses and find new ways to change the world through entrepreneurship. In the case of Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder publishes a list of his five favorite books every year, a tradition he didn’t want to give up in 2021 either.
Reading was one of Bill Gates’ great passions, who as a child developed a curiosity difficult to find in a person his age. “He read so much that Bill’s mother and I had to make a rule: there are no books on the table,” his father admitted in an interview.
Among Bill Gates’ favorite genres, science fiction stands out. For this reason, his list of recommendations includes, among others on science and history, two works of this type in which entrepreneurs could find new business ideas adapted to the humanity of the future.
The 5 books recommended by Bill Gates in 2021
A thousand brains: a new theory of intelligence. Bill Gates’ first recommendation is this work written by Jeff Hawkins, one of the forerunners of mobile computing for the founder of Microsoft. The book introduces a new theory of machine intelligence, with a “layman-friendly” explanation that could completely transform some promising industries like medicine.
The Code of Life: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of Humanity. This book, written by the biographer of Steve Jobs either Albert Einstein, Walter Issakson, is a look back at the life of Jennifer Doudna, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who contributed to the discovery of gene-type editing, CRISPR. For Bill Gates, this is one of the most important discoveries in the industry for the next few years, and it would have great applications, although there needs to be a thorough ethical and moral review of its usefulness.
Clara and the sun. It’s a science fiction novel, one of the great genres that inspired Bill Gates. It tells the story of a robot keeping a sick girl company. “As I read the book, I couldn’t help but wonder which parts of it paint a picture of our likely future. One day we will have corporate and utility robots in our lives,” reflects the Microsoft founder.
Hamnet. This book is the second fictional story Bill Gates includes in his list of favorite works of 2021. In this case, it is a novel that imagines a world in which the untimely death of the son of William Shakespeare at the age of 11 it could have influenced his works. The entrepreneur has declared himself the writer’s lover on several occasions and has always had a special interest in his private life.
Ave Mary Project. This play tells the fictional story of a science teacher who teams up with an alien to save the solar system from a sun-eating microorganism. While it’s not a very scientific piece of work, Bill Gates says he finds it “exciting to think about what other life forms might exist,” but admits that “the likelihood of there being another sentient species in relative proximity gives, appears small”.