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The Nine Books Sam Altman Recommends Everyone Should Read

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, shares the nine books he thinks will change your life. Get insights from the world’s best minds - in 15 Minutes or less.
by Daniel Thomas | Jun 7 2023

Reading is one of the most powerful ways to increase your knowledge and grow as a person. Sam Altman – CEO of the much-talked-about OpenAI tool – knows this. He has long professed admiration for books and believes that reading isn’t just a great way to relax after a long day — it also can help you understand some of life’s bigger questions.

From historical nonfiction examining Einsteins’ personal struggles to philosophical reads about exploring current-day societal themes surrounding the usage of artificial intelligence, his personal reading list is packed with incredible reads sure to open minds while posing thought-provoking questions about what lies ahead for humanity in a world shaped by technology.

Blinkist, the knowledge app that Apple ranks as one of the top apps for lifelong learning, has compiled a comprehensive overview of his all-time favorite books after carrying out an in-depth exploration of Sam Altman’s most beloved reads through interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles. Let’s take a look at what these nine books can do for you.

9 Books From Sam Altmans Reading List

1. Man’s Search for Meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is a psychological classic that examines the idea of finding meaning in life despite suffering unimaginable grief. Through his own experiences in the Holocaust, Frankl demonstrates how we can find our own unique purpose in any situation. Get the key ideas on Blinkist in just 17 minutes.

2. Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman explores how our brains think and make decisions. Kahneman draws on his Nobel Prize-winning research to explain how we process information and why intuition is sometimes less reliable than thought-out analysis. Get the key ideas on Blinkist in just 28 minutes.

3. Zero To One

Zero to One by Peter Thiel takes an unconventional approach to innovation. Thiel argues that it’s more important to create something new than it is to improve upon something that already exists. This book will change the way you think about innovation and creativity. Get the key ideas on Blinkist in just 22 minutes.

4. Brave New World

In Brave New World Aldous Huxley presents a future where happiness is manufactured, and individuality is lost. Follow the path of a man who dares to question this system, inviting you to reflect on this fascinating, complex narrative and its implications for our own society.Get the key ideas on Blinkist in just 29 minutes.

5. The Beginning of Infinity

The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch: This book is about the power of human reason and imagination. Deutsch argues that there are no limits to what we can achieve if we use our minds to their full potential. This book will change the way you think about your own potential and what’s possible in the world around us. Get the key ideas on Blinkist in just 20 minutes.

6. Blitzscaling

Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman explains how startups can rapidly accelerate their growth without sacrificing quality or long-term sustainability. Hoffman provides case studies of some of the most successful companies in history—including Airbnb, Facebook, and Google—to show how they achieved their massive growth. Get the key ideas on Blinkist in just 31 minutes.

7.  Superintelligence

Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom looks at the implications of artificial intelligence on humanity’s future – both positive and negative – and what we can do about it today. Ever wondered what happens when machines become smarter than humans? Bostrom explores the implications of this scenario and offers ways to ensure that AI remains under human control. Get the key ideas on Blinkist in just 15 minutes.

8. Winning

Winning by Jack Welch offers practical advice from one of the most successful CEOs in history on how to create an innovative organization that everyone wants to be part of. He provides insights into what it takes to build a winning team and culture within an organization. This is a challenging book that will make you rethink your assumptions about leadership and management. Get the key ideas on Blinkist in just 24 minutes.

9.  Secrets of Sand Hill Road

Lastly, Secrets of Sand Hill Road takes us behind the scenes of Silicon Valley’s most famous address—Sand Hill Road—to give us an inside look at how VCs operate and what they’re looking for in startups seeking funding. It provides a perspective from some of the top investors and will change the way you think about raising capital and pitching investors. Get the key ideas on Blinkist in just 19 minutes.

Get Insights From the Smartest People in the World

Want to read all of these books but don’t have the time between your job, the gym, and your social life? Find the knowledge you need, faster and easier, with Blinkist. This award-winning app breaks down densely packed non-fiction books into their core ideas for quick comprehension – giving you all the information you need in 15 minutes or less!

Get inspired and stay ahead of the competition by starting with one of the 6,500 titles in the 27 available categories. Whether you are interested in finding out more about human psychology or understanding the best productivity methods: the app has got you covered.

With the app, you can not only unlock the world’s best non-fiction books but also the collective wisdom of some of our world’s most innovative thinkers. Collections curated by people like Arianna Huffington, Elon Musk, and Oprah are all available for you to gain insight into revolutionary ideas that will help shape and change your future.

Blinkist has collections from the world’s CEOs, business leaders, and top thinkers.

The Learning Tool Made With On-The-Go Learners in Mind

Thanks to its audio function, it’s now easy for everyone to get in a few lessons wherever they may be. Listen to the explainers anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Blinkist made learning new information more accessible for you so you can listen to it, no matter if you’re commuting, at the gym, or cooking.

“As a wife, a mom of three, and a full-time entrepreneur, I yearn for some time to read for both personal and professional reasons. Blinkist is my car companion and pre-sleep friend! I love it.”
–Oula Farawati, Co-founder & CEO

Millions of People Read More Thanks to This App

With more than 30 million users, Blinkist is one of the most popular apps for professionals who are interested in learning more about the complexity of today’s world. It’s clear that users are satisfied as it currently has a 4.8-star rating. Just have a look at what some of the 90,000 5 star-reviews had to say:

“Most effective use of my time. Blinkist allows me to fill in the gaps during a hectic week and still absorb content that has allowed me to grow as a person, and therefore teach others how to grow.”
–iOS 5 Star review

According to Apple, This Is One of the Best Apps for Lifelong Learning

In addition to being named one of the best apps in the world by Apple, Blinkist has also been ranked in the top 20 apps for lifelong learning. It was also featured as the “App of the Day” on the App Store more than 500 times.

Next to Apple, Blinkist has received some of the highest honors, including awards from the UN for its contribution to the education field, and from Google, for its unique design. The app has also been praised by some of the biggest names in the industry, including Tim Cook who visited the employees in Berlin, as well as the New York Times.

Don’t have time to read Sam Altman’s favorite books? Read or listen to the explainers on the award-winning knowledge app Blinkist.
Blinkist explainers already help 30 million users learn new information 10x faster by:
  • Being comprehensive: you get the most important points in the book via “Key Ideas”
  • Cutting out the fluff: the expert curators of Blinkist have cut out all of the unnecessary details and information and only present you with the information most relevant to the topic.
  • And by being quick: You can get most of the key ideas in about 15 minutes or less.

Start learning from Sam Altman’s recommended books and take Blinkist for a test drive today. Download it for free on the App or Google Play Store.

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