Bookshelf – Varadh Jain

Hi, my name is Varadh Jain. I grew up in a few different countries and studied at UCLA. I like building things,  photography, traveling, and reading. I also infrequently invest in early-stage ventures and make cameos in commercialsCurrently, I am working at Opendoor. Before that I was  PolymailApp (YC S16), Arena VC, Bruin Entrepreneurs. 

This blog consists of things I am thinking about, learning, and stories. 
Views expressed here are my own. 

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Currently Reading

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

Varadh’s favorite books »

Share book reviews and ratings with Varadh, and even join a book club on Goodreads.'s%20currently-reading%20book%20montage?cover_size=medium&hide_link=&hide_title=&num_books=10&order=d&shelf=currently-reading&sort=date_read&widget_id=1506447104

In No Particular Order

  • Elon Musk:Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance
  • The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, Chris Whipple
  •  Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Jane Mayer
  •  Mastery, Robert Greene 
  •  Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga, #1), Orson Scott Card
  •  Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son, George Lorimer
  •  The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph, Ryan Holiday
  •  Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, Marshall B. Rosenberg
  • Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, Joby Warrick [Get It]
  • Against the Double Blackmail, Slavoj Žižek [Get It]  
  • The Outsiders William N. Thorndike [Get It]
  • Hillbilly Elegy, JD Vance [Get it]
  • The Structure of Scientific RevolutionsThomas Kuhn [Get It]
  • Autobiography of Malcolm X [Get It]
  • Truth, Neil Strauss [Get It]
  • Shoe Dog, Phil Dog [Get It]
  • Monetizing Innovation, Madhavan Ramanujam & George Tacke [Get It]
  • Meditations, Marcus Aurelies (Gregory Hays translation) [Get It
  • The Art of Learning, Josh Waitzkin [Get It] 
  • The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday [Get It]
  • High Output Management, Andy Grove [Get It]
  • Ready Player One, Ernest Cline [Get It]
  • Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson [Get It


“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” –  Robert F. Kennedy

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” – by Theodore Roosevelt

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. – by Robert Frost

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw

 “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” – Vince Lombardi

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

 “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain