The best 5 books every startup founder should read
Angelica A.
April 7, 2020
  |  

The best 5 books every startup founder should read

Angelica A.
April 7, 2020
  |  
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Isn’t quarantine the best to get ahead on our pending readings? Juice your confinement, boost your business leisure, and crank up your overall reading time by looking at the best 5 books every startup founder should read.

Beyond the basics

There’s always the essential insight of Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start and Paul Graham’s Hackers & Painters, to mention a few examples. 

Aside from the above, Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup also makes heavily referenced reading material in startup business management. Yet, all of these are already amidst the most common list of books on most entrepreneurs’ minds. We’ll skip these, then, to give you a new, innovative, and relevant compilation of the best 5 books every startup founder should read. 

If you haven’t read them, maybe start there. Yet, as you likely have, let’s take a look at the new mentions below now. 

Lessons from PayPal’s co-founder

Peter Thiel’s name might be familiar to you already. It can be tied to him being the CEO that ran PayPal when it sold out to eBay back in 2002 for $1.5 billion. Or you can connect it out of him being one of the first outsiders to back Facebook up as an angel investor. As Zuckerberg has acknowledged, this is a man to have helped his company on the verge of 2008’s economic crisis. 

Did you know Thiel managed to turn his initial $500K into a couple billion with that investment? He was also a partner at YCombinator for a while there. Either way, Thiel’s reputation is solid as an entrepreneur. 

And when it comes to publishing, he doesn’t only suit daring entrepreneurs who can embrace innovative ideas. He’s also able to work his way into considerable justifications for the claims he makes. Tech companies will undoubtedly find this reading most profitable. 

Going over this book will expose you to the concept of monopoly, believe it or not. And those surprisingly count as a strategy for company expansion to circumvent competition. Yet, what’s of most value to founders in regards to this book must be the questions with which Thiel inevitably faces entrepreneurs. 

From incremental improvements related to innovative tech measures to timing, market, and shares, along with a bit of an eye placed on the future in necessary terms, this VC authors his way into making readers think about unique opportunities for the better. 

We genuinely believe it’s a bit of general knowledge to insert Thiel’s famous literary production as a critical portion of the best 5 books every startup founder should read. 

Do you remember Netscape?

Well, whom do you know to have that company, Airbnb, Twitter, and Skype in common? Do any names ring a bell? 

That’s right! Ben Horowitz, the co-founder of Silicon Valley’s Andreeson Horowitz’ VC firm, is the next author we’d like to highlight as part of the best 5 books every startup founder should read. 

Horowitz’ The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a zone of comfort for those tough decisions all entrepreneurs are likely to face at some point in their business careers. From how to build toward how to run a startup appropriately, this book focuses on that super valuable practical knowledge that can only derive from a long line of business experiences. 

This guy goes into the hard stuff. It’s not a typical business school management book, which we would hardly be recommending over a top 5 pick. Yet, it’s also a delightful compendium of insight from a VC on how to run, buy, sell, and invest in tech businesses. 

The nice twist to Ben Horowitz’s storytelling? Rap lyrics. 

Say, who?

Yep, that’s right. Change the question around from the typical “what?” or “how?” to “who?” now. That’s Joff Smart and Randy Street’s main prescribed question to lower costs and diminish business risks. How this people-oriented focus works as per this New York Times Bestseller is by allowing a consideration not only of a startup’s team in itself but also to direct hiring, new clients, and expansion of a company’s target audience. 

Of course, the book analyzes responses to all these questions on the human factors of a business. Yet, it’s moreover a lesson on hiring processes that comes from a fabulous duo out of a management consulting firm. The authors present methods for hiring based on what even the most public of book reviews assert as “more than 1,300 hours of interviews with more than 20 billionaires and 300 CEOs.” Quite the background, no?

If you’re thinking this book focuses too heavily on a Human Resources aspect of starting a company, go back to the primary definition of why this book is essential. Changing your main query around is what this reading might give you as a profit for your long-term entrepreneur efforts. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

How about a manual for startup owners?

That’s precisely the daring proposition behind Steve Blank and Bob Dorf’s The Startup Owner’s Manual: The step by step guide for building a great company. And they go through the Business Model Canvas (BMC) in detail, for example, in trying to extensively cover Blank’s personal Customer Development process and more tips on how to build a scalable business. 

The benefit behind this read is tapping into ways that avoid the most common of startup failures. It also advises on a wide range of products. With great insight into product-market fit and keeping as well as growing customer figures, this book also goes over metrics that matter for any startup. 

As you go through the info, there are also checklists to help you along with tasks. And if this part excites you, then the accompanying textbook might also be a fascinating and unique counterpart to it in your case. 

Spice it up with creativity

As innovation is such a pivotal factor to startup businesses, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace is just a book to get. 

This piece of literature is the opportunity to delve into the heart center of Pixar Animation’s co-founder directly. That allows readers to not only learn about creativity from the most popular animated movie makers but also to grasp business lessons from this company’s tactics and ideas. 

If the above doesn’t resonate with you, perhaps the long list of awards might call your attention. The New York Times listed this publication as a bestseller. And Catmull’s co-creation also made it to a wide range of best books of the year lists. The Huffington Post, Financial Times, and Library Journal are just a few of those mediums. 

We think this makes for a perfect combination to top the best 5 books every startup founder should read. Why don’t you give these all a peek and let us know what you think?

Are you looking for pitch deck reading material?

Before you work further on cranking your business presentations to the maximum with our business templates, take a look at our other list of the best pitch deck books every founder should read. Those are also an excellent complement to your startup pitch decks that directly influences your company’s fundraising opportunities. Keep up the great job!

Help me with my Pitch Deck