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M&A Holiday Reading List

Dec 23, 2015

M&A Holiday Reading List

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Dear Clients and Friends:

‘Tis the season!  For many, this is a time to catch up with friends and family – and perhaps on a bit of reading.  In that spirit, the M&A team has complied a short list of what we are reading this holiday season. It’s an eclectic mix, with some intended to help us become more savvy leaders, some focused on  elevating our entrepreneurship skills, some teaching us something new about the world; and a few just for fun.

Share your thoughts with us below and let us know if there’s a good read we should add to our list.

From Ken Marlin

1. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredibly Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Endurance and perseverance in the face of opposing forces is one of the critical traits of a good leader and a good investment banker. Ernest Shakleton’s ability to not only survive, but also motivate his crew to survive and lead them to safety is one of the most incredible and inspiring tales.

2. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Hire people smarter than you and let them do their job was a mantra of Ronald Regan. But how do you know what to do when those smart people have diametrically opposing views? This biographical account of Abraham Lincoln sheds light on Lincoln’s leadership style, his understanding of human behavior and motivation, and the way he reconciled conflicting personalities and factions.

3. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Just because it’s a great read.  A heart-wrenching and funny story of family, love, loyalty, hope— the art of racing in the rain – and never quitting – something of a theme with us – as told by an aging Labrador Retriever.

From Jason Panzer

4. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

by Daniel James Brown

This is an exciting story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class depression era boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.

From Michael Maxworthy

5. Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises

by Derek Lidow

Deredk Lidow was a client a few years ago and now he has written a great book. Startup Leadership is for everyone who wants to start a business or non-profit (or is just interested in this world), and for all those people who want to make the businesses they have already started more successful. The book provides hands-on help for improving the performance of every team you work with, at any company you run or want to start.

From: Jeffrey Trongone

6. Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why It Matters by Bill Dancer

Dancer, a data analyst at Hitwise / Experian Marketing Services, writes on the massive data collected through online searching/activity and the value of this data to marketers. Incredibly interesting and relevant to anyone in our business (especially FinTech).

7. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

A powerful book for entrepreneurs that details Ries’ experiences as a tech entrepreneur and advisor and outlines key steps to follow when starting a business or driving innovation in a large corporation. Well recognized by entrepreneurs and VCs in the valley.

From Paul Friday

8. The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz, Horowitz offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover. For those that tune into his popular blog, you’ll love this read.

9. Venture Deals: Be Smarter than your Lawyer and VC by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson

Essential elements of the venture capital term sheet – from terms related to economics to terms related to control, this book provides a level of transparency to a process that is rarely well understood.

10. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Through decades of research on achievement and success, Stanford University psychologist Dweck explains that it’s not just abilities and talent that bring success, but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset.

Added bonus – from Jonathan Kaufman

11. Meru (documentary) by Jimmy Chin

Chin’s documentary, which premiered at Sundance this year, is a different kind of climbing movie. Entrepreneurs looking for motivation to persevere in the face of adversity may enjoy it.  It’s set in Meru, India’s Gharwal Himalayas, which has been called the “anti-Everest” by Jon Krakauer. The documentary spans multiple years and records the triumphs and failures of three climbers. It is a story of incredible technical skill – and one of incredible perseverance.


We wish you and your families a holiday season filled with joy and a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.



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