Mark Zuckerberg’s Year of Reading Dangerously

Most of us have given up on our New Year’s resolution as the calendar turns to spring. But Mark Zuckerberg is well on his way to keep his promise to read a book every two weeks with the announcement of the sixth book in ‘A Year of Books’‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ by Thomas Kuhn. This is not Oprah’s Book Club. Aspiring entrepreneurs who one day hope to achieve Mr. Zuckerberg’s success are quickly learning that the content of his choices is not for the faint of heart.

Professor Kuhn argues in his book “that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of normal science.” 

Disruption? Didn’t a couple of Harvard professors invent that idea a few years ago? This is why we read books written 53 years ago. It humbles us with the realization that we are not the inventors, but actors in a greater historical narrative.

The other books picks have been published more recently and are thoughtful meditations on our humanity, creativity and change. I’m sure many are attempting to decode a pattern in the book selection rather than accepting that Mr. Zuckerberg is seeking a better understanding, as a reader, of the challenges we face, and as a leader, understanding the broader context of the global community that is his customer.

The first five books selected:

‘Creativity’  Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace

‘On Immunity’  Eula Bliss

‘Gang Leader for a Day’  Sudhir Venkatesh

‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’  Steven Pinker

‘The End of Power’  Moises Naim

Why do we read books recommended by leaders and celebrities? Maybe to get a sense of how their reading habits led to their success. That’s where we start. But it’s where we go from there that personalizes a reading list to expand our understanding of the world beyond our community.

Follow the tangents, the annotations you make in the margins to discover both the old and new in your world and your profession.

 

 

 

 

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