Bill Gates just recommended two books for everyone who wants to understand Artificial Intelligence. It’s a hot topic and very of the moment. But Bill Gates’ favorite business book, whose lessons Gates calls timeless, was published long before the PC, Microsoft or AI became a reality. The book, Business Adventures by the late John Brooks, was a gift to Gates from a guy named Warren Buffett back in 1991. The book was already old by then, but Buffett recommended it as his “favorite” business book. Now it’s Gates’ favorite too. When a book brings that kind of pedigree — and if you’re interested in business — maybe you should give it a whirl right? You’d read Dave Thomas’s and Ray Kroc’s favorite hamburger book, wouldn’t you?
Gates liked the style and the substance to be found in Brooks’s work, calling him a “masterful storyteller.” Brooks was part of the army of great prose stylists and curious minds that made The New Yorker the towering magazine that it was for much of its existence. And a few of the tales in Business Adventures can be had as stand-alone stories online, some of them free. Gates favorite — it’s a tech story, after all — is the free-to-download “Xerox, Xerox, Xerox Xerox.”