The Must-Read SlideShares of 2015

December 18, 2015

SLIDESHARE-COVER-v12015 was a record year for SlideShare. We reached more than 4 billion views to our site, thanks to users like you!

We saw powerful, insightful decks and videos on everything from entrepreneurship and leadership to marketing and design. Tech analyst Mary Meeker published her annual Internet Trends report; venture capitalist Ben Horowitz’s commencement speech at Columbia explained why you shouldn’t follow your passion; Greylock Partners shared Reid Hoffman’s Blitzscaling lecture series at Stanford; and Google’s Laszlo Bock revealed how to make work rule.

And of course, we can’t forget the professionals and companies who shared their expertise and experiences, from lessons they wished they had known early in their career; what the future holds in 2016; the current state of startups; and how to be a great product manager.

Check out the most memorable SlideShares from 2015 (to see more Editor’s Picks, click here).

The Deck Every Business Leader Should Download

How to Best Turn Around Yahoo!

This deck by investor Dr. Eric Jackson recently made headlines for accusing Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer of wasting company money. His 99-slide deck shares his nine-point plan for how to turn the flailing company around. Among them? Bring in a new CEO; take headcount down to 3,000; and focus on finance and sports (while still leveraging its PC biz).

Work Rules!

Whether you’re a recruiter, manager or entry-level employee, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn’t want to make “work rule.” And that’s exactly what this deck by Google’s Head of People Laszlo Bock aims to make possible. Bock offers “practical tools to improve work, no matter what you do.”

Best Video Series

Greylock's Greymatter

This series by venture capital firm Greylock Partners has featured everyone from Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia to Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker and John Lilly. Be sure to watch these videos for insights from “company builders.” (Tip: Make sure to watch each video through to the end to see bonus blooper footage of the founders).

Tech News Today

If you want the latest on the world of tech, make sure to check out Tech News Today’s channel, where they post daily interviews on the most important tech stories of the day.

Best University Accounts

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business publishes everything from their speaker series featuring guests like Oprah Winfrey to decks on the importance of mentorship:

Best Deck to Read Before Your Next Presentation

Ace the Pitch

30 million presentations are produced per day, says presentation ninja Marta Kagan. The problem? Most are boring. Check out her 3-part formula to help you create your perfect presentation sandwich.

Avoiding a Zombie PowerPoint

If you’re concerned about giving a monotonous presentation, this deck is for you. Assistant professor Eric Pesik shares how to leave your audience inspired with both your delivery and design.

Best Deck to Show Your CMO

Five Ways Brands Can Use Meerkat or Periscope For Marketing

As a marketer, it’s important to find opportunity in new places. Digital strategist Ross Simmonds shares how to leverage live streaming with Meerkat and Periscope. Bring these tips to your CMO and you’re sure to impress.

Search Ranking Factors in 2015

There’s no denying that the rules of SEO are always changing. Moz’s Rand Fishkin shares his takeaways from the year -- for example, links no longer have an overwhelming effect on ranking -- and the current state of modern SEO.

Best In-Depth Read for a Plane RIde

2015 Internet Trends Report

This year marked the 20th anniversary of tech analyst Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report. Among her insights? Mobile ads still have space to grow; millennials most value training and development in the workplace; and China local food delivery is one of the fastest growing on-demand services.

From Cable Killers to Messaging: 9 Important Insights for Tech and Media in 2016

Turns out work and sleep aren’t as important these days to the average American, who spends more time on tech and media, according to this 136-slide deck from Activate. The consulting firm delves into what’s next for an industry that will grow by more than $500 billion. View the nine surprising takeaways here:

Best Deck for Entrepreneurs

Blitzscaling Lecture 1: Household Stage

Blitzscaling, a class for Stanford students created by LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, can now be accessed by everyone. What is blitzscaling exactly? A specific growth tactic that enables tech and Silicon Valley startups to grow by leveraging networks. View the first lecture below (and check out the others here):

10 Explosive & Actionable Growth Hack Tactics

If you’re looking to grow your SaaS business, Rocketshp shares 10 growth hacks on how to do just that in this comic book-styled deck. Among their tips: Clone your audience using Facebook ads and cut straight to the action for new users:

Best Startup Research Reports

The State of Startups

This deck by VC firm First Round gathered more than 500 responses from a diverse set of founders to get their insights on the state of the startup. What did they have to say? 73% say we’re in a bubble, the power is shifting from entrepreneur to investor, and co-founder relationships change with age. See the rest of their insights here:

The Formula for a Perfect Pitch Deck: Lessons from 200 Startups Who Raised $360M

Documents analytics tool DocSend and Harvard Business School professor Tom Eisenmann interviewed 200 companies that went through their Series Seed and Series A rounds to figure out what it takes for a startup to get funded. What kind of pitches attract investors? How do you know when to give up? Get answers to these questions and more:

Best Advice for Millennials

Holy Crap! You Can Get Fired for Social Media Posts?

The answer to this deck’s title? Yes. 39% of recruiters use social media to find out more about candidates, but only 7% of Americans think their social presence affects their job search. Social media strategist Eric T. Tung shares how to create an online brand that will impress:

Don’t Follow Your Passion: Ben Horowitz’s Commencement Speech at Columbia University

“Don’t follow your passion.” It’s not a piece of advice normally shared, whether you’ve just graduated or have been working for 30-some years. But it’s exactly what investor Ben Horowitz told Columbia University graduates. View the full commencement speech here:

Best Deck for Aspiring Product Managers

Succeeding as a Product Manager

Greylock Partners’ Josh Elman, who has worked at companies like Twitter and Facebook, explains exactly what it takes to be a great product manager. Make sure to believe but listen, advocate for the user, and remember that shipping > perfection:

Best Insights From a Venture Capitalist

The Venture Capital Outlook for 2016

Upfront Ventures’ Managing Partner Mark Suster has been calling “the peak” for two years -- but is it coming to an end? While no one can know for sure, Suster says 50 new billion-dollar companies created in two years is “BS.” Suster shares trends from past years -- and what VCs can expect for 2016:

Best Deck for Designers

The Rising Role of Design in Tech and Startups

Design is a game changer in Silicon Valley and beyond, says KPCB’s John Maeda. After all, great design is no longer just about design -- it involves business and engineering, too. See why Maeda says “design in tech” will continue to grow in importance:

Best Deck for Software Engineers

How to Build Great Coding Culture

Coding isn’t just about programming languages. For engineers to be productive and happy, your company needs to build an engineering-focused culture first, says Atlassian’s Mark Halvorson. Halvorson shares how Atlassian did it -- and how you can, too:

How One Code Review Changed My Life

Stacy Kvernmo says her first code review was “painfully embarrassing” but gave her the most important lesson in her career. The UX designer shares how she turned her humiliation into success, and the important code review lessons to keep in mind no matter what language you’re using:

Best Deck to Take Into the New Year

The Ultimate Productivity Webinar: 101 Hacks

Best-selling author Andrew Griffiths and productivity authority Sam Harrop share 101 productivity hacks you can use in 2016 (or for ambitious readers, the remainder of 2015). A few of our favorites: “Write a ‘stop doing list,’” “decide to decide once,” and “say no and mean it."

2016 A-Z Culture Glossary of Must-Know Trends

Want to stay ahead of the curve in 2016? Check out agency sparks & honey’s culture glossary for the coming year (last year’s had an 83% accuracy rate). We can expect anti-artisanalism, increased appreciation of introverts, and theme park dystopia.