Ripple’s List of Summer Must Reads

Since we published our last reading list two years ago, the blockchain industry has grown dramatically and with it, the list of books, articles, newsletters and other valuable resources to learn about the space. In this time, the industry has also grown and become more mainstream with dozens of companies looking to provide enterprise use cases for the technology.

The importance of deploying blockchain for real use-cases requires a deeper knowledge of the history of the technology itself together with broader business and economic know how to get the job done. Here’s three books that we think are critical to your summer reading consumption with this goal in mind.

“The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything” by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey is a deep dive into blockchain technology. Vigna and Casey go all the way back to the Middle Ages, to provide context on why the technology has so much potential. The authors believe that the decentralization of the technology, a distributed new layer of trust unreliant on any central authority, provides potential to change broader economics as we know it. The book provides depth into some of the most promising and exciting projects using blockchain along with the history and detail to really underscore to the reader why it’s so groundbreaking.

The technology behind digital assets might have seemingly exponential potential, but harnessing it requires also understanding how to apply it for real use-cases and real customers. That’s why we’re recommending the next two books; they offer broad learnings and recommendations for entrepreneurs and business leaders in any industry.

A book once recommended by the late Steve Jobs, “The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business” by Clayton M. Christensen provides a thoughtful outline of why every company, even those that develop new technology must be aware of its applications and limitation, especially when it’s time to move on. This book challenges readers to think critically about their industry but remain introspective about their business objectives and operations.

The last book, “Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms” by David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee is at the top of reading lists for top business leaders and entrepreneurs. The two economists break down the mechanics of what powers the business of the biggest players in the digital economy. The authors outline why multi-sided platforms that “matchmake” are so successful.

The concept of matchmaking isn’t new and examples of businesses that have done this successfully include everything from your local mall to high-tech leaders of the gig economy, like Airbnb. Yet, the authors stress this is only the beginning, arguing that the smartest and most successful companies continue to build on the original connections they forged — bringing together new users and amplifying network effects.

For more features like this be sure to follow Asheesh Birla for the launch of his newsletter BUIDL. We also plan to publish new recommendations each quarter, so visit us again this fall, and happy reading!

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