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Startup Book Review

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.

Fifteen books to start your business journey
  • The first four are foundational
    • The Lean Startup – Eric Ries talkes about the idea of staying lean and rapid itteration. Learn from the market and getting aligned with Product Market Fit.
    • The Hard Things About Hard Things – quick read to anchor yourself 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 takes you on a journey through running and growing a company.
    • Start with WHY – a fantastic book. Simon also has a great TED talk on this if you want to get a taste of what the books about. I only wish I had learned this concept earlier in my own career.
    • The Innovators Dilemma – looks at how new technology can disrupt organizations and the how sometimes adopting a new technology doesn’t always work.
  • Second bucket is once you’ve gotten started
    • The Innovators Dilemma – looks at how new technology can disrupt organizations and the how sometimes adopting a new technology doesn’t always work.
    • Crossing the chasm addresses the concept of early adopters / late adopters and how companies transition from stage to stage.
    • How to Win Friends and Infuence People – While this isn’t a business book per-say 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. I think it’s great to understand his perspective and how you can apply his way of thinking to your own world view.
  • The next two books are about metrics and keeping track of your business as it grows.
    • The effective executive – This book introduces the idea of wildly important goals and how you can apply those goals as a focus area of your business.
    • Measure what Matters – This book focuses on the concept of OKR’s. (Objectives and Key Results) as another way to track what’s important and keep focus on it.
  • The next set of five books. Is on operations and more specifically the people aspects of running a business:
    • Work Rules is 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 – 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 disfunction. It’s a very short read but has some great fundamentals on phycology, commitment and team motivation and addressing organizational dysfunction.
  • The last two books are on negotiation and marketing
    • Never split the difference is a great book on negotiation and how to apply negotiation techniques to various aspects of your business.
    • Influence – the Phycology of Persuasion. This deals with a lot of core concepts around scarcity/urgency/consistency/reciprocation. Many of these concepts are simple but understanding them help you understand the fuller picture of marketing your business.

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