The book that changed my life, by the Buzzacott tech and media team

Books can be pretty powerful things for innovators. In fact, the scientist who built the first liquid-fuelled rocket in 1926 was inspired by reading War of the Worlds. In honour of this year’s World Book Day, we’ve asked Cliff and Andy from our technology and media team to share the books that changed their lives.
Andy Hodgetts: Start It Up: Why Running Your Own Business is Easier Than You Think - Luke Johnson

Why this book?
You might not have heard of Luke Johnson, but you’ve probably eaten in at least one of his businesses. Over the past decades, he’s been involved in enterprises including Giraffe, Pizza Express and Patisserie Valerie. 
 
And in 2012, the serial entrepreneur shared his experience of the business world in his book, Start It Up. It was a book I actually first read after a friend gave it to me. Ultimately, I have ended up coming across Johnson’s investment fund here at Buzzacott. It is great to see someone investing in businesses to help them scale.
 
Luke Johnson offers a practical guide for entrepreneurs, on how to get the best out of your business and yourself. His advice is refreshing and pragmatic: you can make your business work, even if there are failures along the way, and attitude can be the most important asset that you have.
 
Why should we read it?
Start It Up is not a ‘how to’ of how to build a company but provides Johnson’s insights across a variety of business issues. Johnson has created incredibly successful businesses, and provides practical advice rather than pushing every entrepreneur to create a billion dollar business. 
 
I think that’s an incredibly important perspective for entrepreneurs: that not every business has to be a unicorn to be successful and valuable. Being authentic – and finding your niche – is often the most powerful approach.
Unlike some other excellent business books (such as Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things), Luke Johnson’s book is also very British take on business, making it a must-read for our business owners over here.

In three words: Practical, straightforward, home-grown 
 

Cliff Carter: A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking
 
Why this book?
As a child, I was absolutely fascinated with space – constantly pestering my parents about what was beyond Mars, our solar system, and the stars.
 
So when I was a bit older, I decided to “take a breather” after my exams by reading one of the most fascinating and best-selling books of its day: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.
 
In a nutshell, Hawking’s book does exactly what it says on the cover, exploring the origin, structure and even the eventual fate of the universe. While it’s a big premise, the book is designed to be understandable – and helped to spark general interest in physics and space long before Brian Cox graced our TV sets.
 
A Brief History of Time helped to feed my lasting love of space – and it’s something that I still follow today, whether it’s Elon Musk’s latest SpaceX launch or our plans to build a space colony on Mars.
 
Why should we read it?
For me, A Brief History of Time is a reminder that the only really important questions that we’re asking are the ones that we can’t answer.
 
This is something that drives my love of the technology industry: technology will be the catalyst for advancement in all fields, pushing boundaries in every aspect of the human experience, by constantly reimagining our daily lives, hopefully solving world issues, and eventually allowing us to understand the universe and our place in it. Technology itself is not the future but rather the key to a better one. 
 
In three words: Interesting, worthwhile, enlightening
 
For more from the Buzzacott tech and media team, check out the rest of our blog
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