Top 10 Must Reads for Interns and Gradudates


Martin Tang is the reading champion in Genesis – he is an avid reader and believes that reading the experiences of people who have gone before is one of the best ways to learn. As he always tells us, “a person who does not read is no different from a person who cannot read.”

If you aspire to a career in financial services, especially in the venture capital space, Martin recommends the following books to help you hit the ground running.


1. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters

Considered the first book that inspired many aspiring startup founders, this book delves into the new ways we can create value and innovation in any area of business. This comes from a very important skill that every entrepreneur must master – learning to think for yourself.


2. Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within by David Goggins

The author, a retired US Navy SEAL and ultra-marathon runner, shares his philosophy on how to master your mind, overcome physical and mental obstacles, and cultivate resilience to achieve one’s fullest potential.


3. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

A self-help classic, this book emphasizes the transformative power of positive thinking and offers practical tips to overcome self-doubt and cultivate success. It underscores the impact of one’s mindset on personal and professional achievements and is invaluable for individuals who are “feeling stuck”.


4. Start with Why by Simon Sinek

This book explores how successful leaders and organizations inspire action by communicating their “why” — the purpose, cause, or belief that motivates them. In contrast to businesses that focus on “what” they do or “how” they do it, the most influential and innovative ones start with a clear understanding of “why.” Sinek illustrates how a compelling sense of purpose can create a loyal following and drive success.


5. The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Art of Disruption by, Sebastian Mallaby

“The future is not predictable; it is only discoverable.” In his book ‘The Power Law,’ Sebastian Mallaby offers a behind-the-scenes look at the people who financed industry giants like Google, SpaceX, and Alibaba. It dissects the successes and failures and offers insights into the tech industry’s evolution and its global impact.


6. What It Takes: Lessons In The Pursuit Of Excellence by Steve Schwarzman (co-founder of Blackstone)

As you can tell, I am a big fan of Blackstone! Steve Schwarzman is the grand daddy of the investment industry. He took US$400,000 and co-founded Blackstone – a firm which manages US$684 billion (as of Q2 2021). He generously shares his expertise and insights on what it takes to achieve excellence. I am always re-reading this book because I find new wisdom every time.


7. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

This is an excellent book – backed by tons of deep data and research and is well-written. It is full of insights about why some companies go from good to great, while others fail for the same reasons. What intrigued me is the “curse of competence” that hinders companies from achieving greatness. I will not spoil it for you; read the book and find out!


8. Laughing at Wall Street: How I Beat The Pros At Investing (By Reading Tabloids, Shopping At The Mall And Connecting On Facebook) by Chris Camillo

Investment success is not mystical. It comes from being very observant of your surroundings and identifying trends. This book is full of engaging anecdotes and common-sense explanations.


9. David & Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits And The Art Of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

This is a classic Malcom Gladwell book where he sheds light on how we think about disadvantages and obstacles. We all know the story of how a shepherd boy, David, felled the mighty Goliath with a sling and a stone. The author challenges us to re-think about the “Goliaths” in our lives and what successes can arise out of adversity.


10. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Another classic by Malcom Gladwell. Backed by data, he traces the reasons for the success of some overachievers. What do Bill Gates and top football professionals have in common? Are they really that much more different from us normal folks? This book changed the way I looked at success.

We hope this list will help you become a more successful version of yourself.