The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

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Hello, everyone - I'm Josh Kaufman, the author. Honored to be here, and thanks for the mention, @jamestodd! "The Personal MBA" was my very first book - the working subtitle was "A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume." I wanted to create a book that highlighted and explained the most important ideas in business so that anyone, regardless of background, could understand what businesses really are, how they really work, and how to improve them over time. The research for this book was particularly intense - I read thousands of business books, isolated the most important ideas from each book, compiled the most essential concepts that apply to every business, then made sure those ideas were accessible for entrepreneurs and career professionals. The book has been very well received - over 300,000 copies sold to date worldwide. It's been particularly useful for non-business professionals like programmers, designers, attorneys, doctors, architects, etc - people who need to know the essentials of business, but don't tend to find traditional academic business programs very useful. (It's even been used as a college textbook at many universities, including Stanford.) You can find more information about the book (and the business book reading list project that started it all) at You can also find my essays and current research at Happy to treat this as an AMA - I'm a full-time working researcher / author, so if you have any questions about the book, business books, or publishing in general, I'd be glad to help.
I'd also like to introduce two wonderful people who helped me create "The Personal MBA" - @lisadimona (, one of the best business book literary agents in the world, and @davidmoldawer (, one of the best business book editors in the world. Thanks also to the team at Penguin Portfolio - they're an excellent business publisher, and I enjoyed working with them on this book.
Thank you, Josh Kaufman! I learn from you every day!
I've edited a lot of business books in my career, but working on this one pretty much taught me everything I needed to know.
@davidmoldawer The site has some of the most well-written copy I've ever read. Which kind of feels dumb to say... since you're an editor, what you write should be good, right? But damn. As a "worstselling" author myself, I hope people with great ideas find you and work with you. If the Personal MBA book is any indication, I know their work would be better, clearer, and helpfuller if you're a part of it.
It's the perfect starting point for anyone interested in business.
It's been a little while since your last book, @joshkaufman. What are you working on now? Is there a favorite essay on the site that is an especially good intro to your body of work?
1. I'm currently working on a follow-up to "The Personal MBA" about starting a new business by yourself, with no funding, co-founders, etc. There are many misconceptions about how new businesses are created, and a ton of opportunities for successful / sustainable founder-focused businesses. 2. I have a list of my current best essays available at A few of my personal favorites are,, and
@joshkaufman Wow! You're helping people start founder-run, high-impact, profitable, sustainable businesses with no/low funding? [sarc] That doesn't sound like anything all of the cool new startups on @producthunt would be interested in. [/sarc]