14 Books About Builders, Inventors, & Innovators

The transistor, world wide web, personal computer, Brooklyn Bridge, index fund, Uber, are just some of the inventions that had major impacts on society.

Here are 14 books that tell the founding stories behind such inventions. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or the back story, I recommend all of these books.

Crystal Fire: The Invention of the Transistor and the Birth of the Information Age

by Michael Riordan, Lillian Hoddeson

The story behind the invention of the transistor, one of the most important inventions that spawned the computer revolution.

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

by David McCullough

The story behind building the Brooklyn Bridge, at the time world’s longest suspension bridge.

Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web

by Tim Berners-Lee

The story behind the invention of the world wide web.

Steve Jobs

by Walter Isaacson

A biography of Steve Jobs, with stories about the invention of the personal computer, iPod, iPhone, and more.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

by Ashlee Vance

A biography of Elon Musk, with stories about the founding of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla.

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber

by Mike Isaac

The story of the founding of Uber.

Liar’s Poker

by Michael Lewis

The story of the creation of mortgage-backed securities in 1980s Wall Street.

The Education of Eva Moskowitz: A Memoir

by Eva S. Moskowitz

The founding story of Success Academy, a network of charter schools in New York City.

The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley

by Jimmy Soni

The story of the founding of PayPal.

Steve Jobs & The NeXT Big Thing

by Randall Stross

The story of when Steve Jobs left Apple and founded NeXT.

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture

by David Kushner

The founding of id Software, which produced some of the most popular computer games including Doom and Quake.

by Sam Walton, John Huey

The founding story of Wal-Mart.

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

by Brad Stone

The founding story of Amazon.

Stay the Course: The Story of Vanguard and the Index Revolution

by John C. Bogle

The founding story of Vanguard Group, and the invention of the Index Fund.