10 Books Every Startup Founder Should Read

Poppy Higgins
Poppy Higgins
books every startup founder should read

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10 books every Startup founder should read

These 10 books serve up a multitude of great advice and processes every entrepreneur should take on board, but not only that, they will bring a welcome break from the relentless task of building a startup and throw up fresh ideas that can be easily implemented.
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Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.

Harry Truman

“Venture Deals” by Brad Feld

“My biggest nightmare is taking advantage of an entrepreneur without even realizing it. It happens because VCs are experts in financings and most entrepreneurs are not. Brad and Jason are out to fix that problem with Venture Deals. This book is long overdue and badly needed.” —Fred Wilson, Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures
“The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande

The New York Times bestselling author of Better and Complications reveals the surprising power of the ordinary checklist

An intellectual adventure in which lives are lost and saved and one simple idea makes a tremendous difference, The Checklist Manifesto is essential reading for anyone working to get things right.

“How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products” by Poornima Vijayashanker

This guide includes time-tested strategies and tools that entrepreneurs love: Over 13 case studies with the inside scoop on companies like, AirBnB, and Zappos. The exact systems and tools Poornima and other startup founders have used to build rock-solid products.

“The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz

In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, draws on his own story of founding, running, selling, buying, managing, and investing in technology companies to offer essential advice and practical wisdom for navigating the toughest problems business schools don’t cover.
“The Sprint Book” by Jake Knapp
According to Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz, all partners at Google Ventures, a sprint is a process for solving a business challenge in a week. The idea is that without the distractions of working on several projects at once, a small group of the right people can resolve a difficult problem in significantly less time.
“The Startup Owner’s Manual” by Steve Blank & Bob Dorf
The Startup Owner’s Manual is a step-by-step, near-encyclopedic reference manual or “how to” for building a successful, scalable startup. Want to know what to do the first, week, month or year? What’s the right distribution channel for your product? How to get traffic to your web site? …and how to activate customers or users on arrival?
“Start With Why” by Simon Sinek
“Any person or organization can explain what they do; some can explain how they are different or better; but very few can clearly articulate why. WHY is not about money or profit – those are results. WHY is the thing that inspires us and inspires those around us.”
“Build Your Dream Network” by J. Kelly Hoey
If you think of networking as schmoozing at boring cocktail parties or scrolling through LinkedIn for new contacts to add, think again. In the social media age, you need a modern roadmap for creating and cultivating meaningful connections to stand out from the crowd and achieve any of your goals, no matter how big or small.
“The 10X Rule” by Grant Cardone
Achieve “Massive Action” results and accomplish your business dreams! While most people operate with only three degrees of action-no action, retreat, or normal action-if you’re after big goals, you don’t want to settle for the ordinary. To reach the next level, you must understand the coveted 4th degree of action. This 4th degree, also know as the 10 X Rule, is that level of action that guarantees companies and individuals realize their goals and dreams.
“The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell presents the three aspects that he considers essential to create a social phenomenon; rare birds, adherence and context. It is when these three factors align that a situation will reach its ‘tipping point’; the phenomenon will grow spontaneously and snowball into a social epidemic. Over 1.7 million copies of The Tipping Point have been sold to date, and Time magazine named Gladwell one of its 100 most influential people in 2005.

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