McKinsey and FT Pick the Best Business Book of 2020

“No Filter” is named the best business book of the year

The Financial Times and McKinsey & Co. have named Sarah Frier’s No Filter as the winner of its 16th annual Business Book of the Year award.

The award celebrates books that provide “the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues,” said Roula Khalaf, editor of the Financial Times and chair of the judges panel, at the virtual award ceremony Dec. 1. Frier’s book tells the story of the rise of Instagram and how it became the social and cultural influence it is today.

“The No Filter story is timeless because it’s ultimately about the pursuit of success ... As we learn from the founders of Instagram, that pursuit is not always a happy story in the end,” Frier said in a pre-recorded video shown during the ceremony. 

The panel of eight judges also selected five finalists from the more than 400 entries received. The finalists explored themes of corporate culture, the future of work, technology, and the U.S. economy. The runners-up will all receive a £10,000 cash prize, while Frier will receive £30,000 for the accomplishment.

The judges also compiled a 15-book longlist in August that highlighted the top books among the entrants.

Here are the 15 books selected for the longlist:

  • Uncharted by Margaret Heffernan
  • Radical Uncertainty by Mervyn King and John Kay
  • Reimagining Capitalism by Rebecca Henderson*
  • Deaths of Despair by Anne Case and Angus Deaton*
  • Trade Wars are Class Wars by Matthew Klein and Michael Pettis
  • No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer*
  • Winning Now, Winning Later by David Cote
  • If Then by Jill Lepore*
  • No Filter by Sarah Frier*
  • Samsung Rising by Geoffrey Cain
  • Flash Crash by Liam Vaughan
  • Blood and Oil by Bradley Hope
  • Money for Nothing by Thomas Levenson
  • A World Without Work by Daniel Susskind*
  • The Double X Economy by Linda Scott

*Selected titles for the finalist shortlist

Separately, The Financial Times and McKinsey presented The Bracken Bower Prize to Steven Boyle, head of data at Lloyds Banking Group. The prize is awarded to the best business book proposal from authors under age 35. Finalists included Dr. Rola Kaakeh, CEO of Salus Vitae Group, and Siddarth Shrikanth, an MBA/MPP candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Harvard Kennedy School.

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  1. Financial Times. "FT/McKinsey business book of the year shortlist announced."

  2. Financial Times. "Business Book of the Year Award 2020 — the longlist."

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