The New Rock Stars of Change

I used to be into music and spent 10 years in the art and music industry, in parallel to a portfolio management career.  I’ve had the pleasure to meet and perform with pretty much all of the bands I consider to be legends, Robert Plant, Iggy, Deep Purple, Brian Eno, Damon Albarn, Black Eyed Peas and about 87 others.  However, over the last 2 years I’ve purposely avoided all music which may sound strange but there’s a few reasons for this.

Firstly, most of today’s music feels like swimming in a diluted, plagiarized sea of mediocrity.  Secondly I’ve been focused on a new tech start up and this has taken all of my brain power and energy.  Thirdly, due to point 2 I’ve been listening to loads of start-up entrepreneurial audio books, and these have been incredibly inspiring.  In fact these books inspired me so much that I’ve now formed the view that, in the absence of original modern day rock stars equivalent to Elvis, or Robert Plant or Mick Jagger, that it is the entrepreneurs who are the real rock stars.  These people have a seed of an idea, and then passionately follows that idea and build something that changes millions of lives for the better.

With this entrepreneurial focus in mind I recently attended an event where some of the greatest minds on earth were talking.  People like Eric Schmidt, Travis Kalanick, Drew Houston,  Tony Hsieh and Edward Snowden to name a few.  These are all very different people, however they all had the same vibe about them – they all focused on adapting in an ever changing world, all had amazing passion for a greater good, all focused on the importance of culture within organisations and all of them had a clear vision that was matched with an incredible determination to make positive change… this is the stuff that made me tingle.

So with that in mind I thought I would share five audiobooks with you, audio books that have been incredibly inspiring for me over the past year.  Even if you’re not into tech start up’s or entrepreneurship, you’ll still find these useful and one thing is for sure, they will give you a more valuable listening experience than any X-Factor spawned album.

The Start-up of You by Reid Hoffman (the best audio book I’ve ever listened to)

Bold by Steven Kotler, Peter H. Diamandis

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Do More Faster by Brad Feld and David Cohen

Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters.


Feel free to add any that have inspired you this year.



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