Universal Mentors Association

Top 7 Books Every CTO Should Read


Top CTO Books

Being a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) entails navigating the complicated environment of technology administration, strategic planning, and team leadership. It is critical to keep informed and inspired in order to perform at your best. This is when books come in handy. Their authors share their experiences and provide helpful ideas. So, what books should you add to your reading list? Let’s get started!

Books To Add To Every CTO’s Reading List

1. Joel Beasley On Navigating The CTO Journey: Modern CTO

Joel Beasley, a computer prodigy who began coding at the age of 13 and sold his first technology for a million dollars at the age of 18, wrote Modern CTO, a vital guide for every CTO. This book digs into Joel’s personal experiences, revealing the challenges and tribulations of a CTO. The book emphasizes an important truth: a developer may not be a natural CTO, but they can learn to be one. The move from developer to CTO is difficult, and this book will help you navigate it effectively. It provides real tips on how to manage people, deadlines, and terrible code, while avoiding common UX problems.

2. Michael Lopp’s The Comedic Guide to Management: Managing Humans

Michael Lopp, a well-known Silicon Valley engineering manager, has written Managing Humans, a hilarious yet enlightening examination of management experiences. This book, filled with stories from his time at Apple, Netscape, Borland, and Symantec, provides a unique viewpoint on people management. Lopp’s book is required reading for any CTO, whether they are aspiring, established, or just inquisitive about the profession. It goes into critical leadership features such as conflict resolution, recruiting practices, meeting management, motivation techniques, engineering personality understanding, and, most importantly, thriving in your profession.

3. Eric Ries’ Start-Up Bible: The Lean Startup

The Lean Startup is regarded the “Bible” of entrepreneurship by Eric Ries, a versatile writer, entrepreneur, innovator, and visionary. It provides a systematic method to launching and managing successful technology firms at a time when innovation is critical. This book avoids long business plans in favor of focusing on testing, adapting, and refining your vision in order to build a successful firm. It provides a technique for shifting gears with agility, and adjusting plans incrementally as needed, making it a must-read for any CTO.

4. Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Truth: The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected software entrepreneurs, delivers practical guidance on the obstacles of running a tech business in The Hard Thing About Hard Things. Unlike many business books that extol the virtues of starting a firm, this one concentrates on the harsh realities of running one. It delves into, among other things, daily obstacles, negotiations, hiring and firing decisions, and the development of a CEO attitude. The book is a must-read, delivering candid advice, business lessons, and a touch of levity.

5. Rorie Devine’s CTO’s Guide: The CTO CIO Bible

Rorie Devine, who has held over 20 permanent and temporary CIO/CTO posts, has produced The CTO CIO Bible, dubbed the “Bible for CTOs.” This book is a complete guide for every CTO, covering over 100 subjects linked to game-changing tactics and ideals. This book provides actionable ideas and humor on issues such as accountability, technology game changers, gaining a competitive advantage, managing relationships, professionalism, and Agile growth.

6. Erich R. Buhler’s Leading Change: Leading Exponential Change

Leading Exponential Change by Erich R. Buhler, an organizational change specialist, is a must-read for CTOs. The book examines the modern-day issues that businesses confront and emphasizes that having the appropriate personnel is not enough; you also need the proper attitude to drive transformation. This book presents new principles and tactics for building a responsive team that challenges traditional thinking in a world where AI, Big Data, and Agile methodology are driving disruptive transformation. It delves into issues such as organizational change and neurology, among others.

7. Jason Fried and David Hansson’s Unconventional Approach: Rework

Jason Fried and David Hansson, the inventors of project management tool Basecamp, explore a nontraditional approach to running a successful business in their book Rework. This book encourages you to pursue the path less travelled in order to achieve success. Rework is a vital manual for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, CTOs, and anybody who wishes to be successful, thanks to its plain language and creative methodology.


To summarize, forming a remote team or extending an existing development team can be a difficult undertaking!

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