High School Mini MBA Book List

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I have posted a bit on social media about an idea that I’m playing around with to have my rising 9th grader engage in a “mini MBA” program, whereby she reads various business books throughout her high school years. If you know my kid, this will come as no surprise.

I recently had the opportunity to browse some titles in the Business section, and I stumbled across some that were business specific. Because of the complexity of the concepts in Business books in general, I think that we will start out with some of these books that focus specifically on individual business models or concepts. Because my kid has formed brand loyalty with some of these places, I think that will make the content more compelling.

Here’s what I’m thinking so far:

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul

Description: ” Offering you a snapshot of the recession that left no company unscathed, the book shows in riveting detail how one company struggled and recreated itself in the midst of it all. In addition, you’ll get an inside look into Schultz’s central leadership philosophy: It’s not about winning, it’s about the right way to win. Onward is a compelling, candid narrative documenting the maturing of a brand as well as a businessman. Ultimately, Schultz gives you a sense of hope that, no matter how tough times get, the future can be more successful than the past.”

TARGET STORY (The Business Storybook Series)

Description: “Imagine if you could be a fly on the wall  as a family enterprise becomes one of the most successful companies in the world. The Target Story will help you understand and adopt the competitive strategies, workplace culture, and daily business practices that enabled the big box store to become the retail giant it is today.”

The Value Flywheel Effect: Power the Future and Accelerate Your Organization to the Modern Cloud

This one I intend to review further, as there’s a good chance its too advanced for now.

Description: “Today, every business is a technology business; every leader is a technology leader. As we enter this new era, organizations must learn to harness technology to drive innovation and power change. In The Value Flywheel Effect, David Anderson, Michael O’Reilly, and Mark McCann enable leaders to create an adaptive organization built upon embracing strategic thinking, team focus, and reduced time to value to drive business results and navigate a migration to the modern cloud.”

The Spotify Play: How CEO and Founder Daniel Ek Beat Apple, Google, and Amazon in the Race for Audio Dominance

Description: “In The Spotify Play, now adapted into an upcoming Netflix Original series, Swedish investigative tech journalists Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud, who covered the company from its inception, draw upon hundreds of interviews, previously untapped sources, and in-depth reporting on figures like Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker, Steve Jobs, Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Pony Ma Huateng, and Jimmy Iovine. They have captured the riveting David vs. Goliath story of a disruptive innovator who played the industry giants in a quest to revolutionize the consumption of sound, building today’s largest online source of audio, with more than 50 million songs, one million-plus podcasts, and over 300 million users.”

Bezonomics: How Amazon Is Changing Our Lives, and What the World’s Best Companies Are Learning from It

Description: “Like a giant squid, Amazon’s tentacles are squeezing industry after industry and, in the process, upsetting the state of technology, the economy, job creation and society at large. So pervasive is Amazon’s impact that business leaders in almost every sector need to understand how this force of nature operates and how they can respond to it. Saying you can ignore Jeff Bezos is equivalent to saying you could ignore Henry Ford or Steve Jobs in the early years of Ford and Apple. These titans monumentally changed how we do business, redefining the rules on a global scale. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the new disruptor on the block. He has created a 21st century algorithm for business and societal disruption. He has turned the retail industry inside out, is swiftly dominating cloud computing, media and advertising, and now has his sights trained on every other domain where money changes hands and business is transacted.

But the principles by which Bezos has achieved his dominance – customer obsession, extreme innovation and long-term management, all supported by artificial intelligence turning a virtuous-cycle ‘flywheel’ – are now being borrowed and replicated. ‘Bezonomics’ is for some a goldmine, for others a threat, for still others a life-shaping force, whether they’re in business or not.”

Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built

I started reading this one over the summer, and it was really good. I had checked it out from the library, so I didn’t have a chance to finish 😀

Description: “In just a decade and half Jack Ma, a man who rose from humble beginnings and started his career as an English teacher, founded and built Alibaba into the second largest Internet company in the world. The company’s $25 billion IPO in 2014 was the world’s largest, valuing the company more than Facebook or Coca Cola. Alibaba today runs the e-commerce services that hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers depend on every day, providing employment and income for tens of millions more. A Rockefeller of his age, Jack has become an icon for the country’s booming private sector, and as the face of the new, consumerist China is courted by heads of state and CEOs from around the world.”

She’ll also likely enroll in the Mr. D Math Economics for High School Course.

Lastly, and not necessarily related, she will likely be reading this book, by her favorite author.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (A Memoir of the Craft)

There are many versions of this, and the covers differ slightly.

Description: “Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.”

This list is subject to change. It may be the case that she reads one case study per semester? I’m not sure how the pacing will go. I would also like to enroll her in future business classes, so if I find any that look particularly interesting, I think what I will do is go back and edit this post, so that it serves as a livestream (of sorts) of our current plans.

Thanks for reading!

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