John Cleese, Tech Startups, ‘How Google Works’: Michael Shamberg’s Hot Reads

Movie and TV producer Michael Shamberg – who is currently producing Freeheld, a drama starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon and Steve Carell – knows a bit about books: he’s adapted nine of them into films.

His other projects include this year’s A Walk Among the Tombstones (starring Liam Neeson) and three of the late Elmore Leonard‘s novels: Get Shorty, Be Cool, and Out of Sight. Shamberg has garnered two Oscar Best Picture nominations with Erin Brockovich (the film that won Julia Roberts her Oscar) and The Big Chill

Few know this about Shamberg, but he is also an author himself, having written the 1971 non-fiction book Guerrilla Television. Here is what he’s reading now:

So, Anyway By John Cleese (Random House)
“I like to understand how uniquely talented people got started so I read show business autobiographies. I love learning about where their talent came from. I’ve been lucky enough to work with John and this is insight into his early years.” (Shamberg produced A Fish Called Wanda).

How Google Works by Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg (Grand Central Publishing)
I’m an advisor to BuzzFeed and I study the relationship between how tech companies create versus how we do it in entertainment.  Google is a business that’s built on innovation.  This book has insights about how a corporation can support continuous creativity.

Hard Thing About Hard ThingsThe Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz (HarperBusiness)
“Horowitz is a partner in one of the pre-eminent VC firms (Andreessen Horowitz).  His book describes how to succeed in tech. Managing the problems of a start-up is not dissimilar to the unpredictability of producing a movie.”

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