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Best Business Books 2020

In Marker. More on Medium.

Best Business Books of 2020

We looked through all the lists so you don’t have to

An illustration of 5 different books, some opened and others closed. Behind the books are sparkles and bracket style outline.

This year, I read fewer business books than I usually do. You probably did, too. The category’s sales are down 20% since March, according to NPD’s Bookscan.

It’s not hard to understand why. A lot happened this year to distract us from our usual routines: a pandemic, a recession, an election.

Faced with these upheavals, it might not have seemed like books, particularly business books, would have much advice on how to navigate a world that, on many fronts, was hard to recognize. Many of the books published this year were written before Covid-19.

And yet, this was also a…

Best Business Books of 2020

Three economists started competing forecasting businesses in the early 20th century. They all got the Great Depression wrong.

Roger W. Babson points to a graph titled “Physical Volume of Business”

Author’s note: I regularly find myself assailed by questions about the future from business leaders, colleagues, and friends. They ask about companies, elections, technology, their own lives. Their questions imply that the future is knowable, hidden like the Wizard of Oz behind a curtain that only the fearless or gifted can pull aside. This strikes me as magical thinking, not least because research shows that the time horizon for accurate forecasting is shrinking: 400 days if you’re rigorous, closer to 150 days if you’re not.

This is a huge change whose impact few individuals or organizations have fully absorbed or…

Best Business Books of 2020

An interview with Erin Meyer, co-author of ‘No Rules Rules,’ one of Marker’s ‘5 Best Business Books of the Year’

A view of the Netflix logo on the exterior of its corporate office at Sunset Bronson Studios in Los Angeles.

In Marker’s analysis of the “best of 2020 business books” lists, the book that appeared on most lists from the business media and booksellers was No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer. Hastings, co-founder and co-CEO of Netflix, and Meyer, a professor at the business school INSEAD and author of The Culture Map, take turns narrating this book about how Netflix’s unique organizational culture evolved and how it works.

Built around maxims like “We are a team, not a family” and “Adequate performance gets a generous severance,” doing away with controls like vacation limits and expense approvals, and…


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