When I started my business, I had no idea what I was doing and I spent a lot of time in the library reading books and listening to audio books whenever I was trapped in a car.
I’ve put together a list of 15 of my favorite books for entrepreneurs.
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries: Talks about the idea of staying lean and rapid iteration. Learn from the market and getting aligned with Product Market Fit.
- The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz: A quick read to anchor yourself in hard lessons to know as a CEO. It preps you for the difficult journey, the struggle, and what’s ahead—a great book to re-read on occasion that takes you on a journey through running and growing a company.
- Start with WHY by Simon Sinek: A fantastic book. Simon also has a great TED talk on this if you want to get a taste of what the book is about. I only wish I had learned this concept earlier in my own career.
- The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen: Looks at how new technology can disrupt organizations and how sometimes adopting new technology doesn’t always work.
- Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore: Addresses the concept of early adopters/late adopters and how companies transition from stage to stage.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: While this isn’t a business book per se, it’s a fantastic book on people, relationships, and how to work with people as a whole.
- Screw Business as Usual by Richard Branson: Richard is so unconventional in terms of his approach to both business and life. It’s great to understand his perspective and how you can apply his way of thinking to your own worldview.
- The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker: Introduces the idea of wildly important goals and how you can apply those goals as a focus area of your business.
- Measure What Matters by John Doerr: Focuses on the concept of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) as another way to track what’s important and keep focus on it.
- Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock: An inside look at the benefits and thought process of retaining and attracting talent at Google.
- Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh: A fundamental book on company values and how Tony built Zappos to be a customer-centric organization.
- The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath: Helps you think about how to make your interactions with employees/customers memorable. Rather than focusing on constant progress, this book reminds you to focus on those key moments in your growth and progress.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni: Tells a fable about team dysfunction. It’s a very short read but has some great fundamentals on psychology, commitment, team motivation, and addressing organizational dysfunction.
- Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss: A great book on negotiation and how to apply negotiation techniques to various aspects of your business.
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini: Deals with core concepts around scarcity, urgency, consistency, reciprocation. Many of these concepts are simple, but understanding them helps you understand the fuller picture of marketing your business.