We hope you’re enjoying a much needed summer break, to reduce the psychological toll the startup grind can bring in to your life. While you’re relaxing, which is a vital part of the creative process, you might also want to get some reading in to help you reflect, spark some ideas, and reconsider your business practices.
If you’re looking for some amazing reading material about startups during your holiday, here’s a short list of 10 must-read books:
Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman & Chris Yeh
Based on real life company success stories, Reid Hoffmand and Chris Yeh, explain how these companies managed to implement a set of practices they call Blitzcaling, for igniting and managing dizzying growth; an accelerated path to the stage in a startups’ life-cycle where the most value is created. It prioritizes speed over efficiency in an environment of uncertainty, and allows a company to go from startup to scaleup at a furious pace that captures the market.
Start Your Own Business: The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need by the staff of Entrepreneur Media Inc
Entrepreneur Media has been the biggest digital magazine in the entrepreneurial scene for the past few years. They’ve published books and courses in addition to their famous magazine. Now, they’ve printed a new edition of their book on the basics of how to start your own business. Whether you’re looking to earn extra money or are ready to grow your side hustle, Start Your Own Business is the first step toward entrepreneurship. The book uncovers what you need to know before taking the plunge – from securing finances, launching your venture, and growing your business from a startup to household name.
Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It… and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish
“The book addresses the second half of the venture ball game, something often lost in all the about incubating disruptive innovation during the first half. Half-time scores don’t matter, it’s all about how you finish the game, so get yourself into Vernes’ locker room for a great half-time pep talk, and then get yourself out on the field to play a great second half” – Geoffrey Moore, Author of Crossing the Chasm.
Harnish focuses on a company’s growth stage and shows you the step-by-step process to successfully grow your business by 10x, while recommending several other books throughout the volume. It’s a fabulous resource and reference; a curation of the best business information and guidance available today.
Zero To One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters
In this book, Peter Thiel explains how innovation occurs and how people successfully change the world with their startups. He argues that despite the constant upgrades on our smartphones, real innovation and progress come from thinking outside of the box. In a rather academic style, Thiel shows what makes a startup succeed by looking at where it fits in the grand scheme of the business landscape. Through this book he also helps you navigate a path to success, not with a formula to follow, but through an inherent understanding of how business is conducted and how consumers purchase. He shares his unique perspective on why some startups are able to achieve great success while similar competitors fail.
This is Marketing by Seth Godin
The best ideas aren’t always easy to sell. Putting stop lights at intersections and ice cream sundaes weren’t immediately popular; people resisted both. New things require change, and people naturally resist changing. Seth Godin says that “marketing is the act of making change happen.” This book is a compilation of material from previous workshops, in which Godin offers the kind of marketing wisdom that helps you change people’s behaviours – to buy your product, start a new habit, fight climate change, or whatever your venture seeks – by overcoming their resistance to do so.
Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue by Nick Mehta, Dan Steinman & Lincoln Murphy
Your business success is now forever linked to the success of your customers. Customer Success is the groundbreaking guide to the exciting new model of customer management. Business relationships are fundamentally changing. The revolution of the Cloud has brought power to the customers, consequently vendors must deliver success for their clients to achieve success for their own businesses. This book is a guide that shows you how to make this work in your company, and start empowering your customers.
Imagine you could bring the head of the FBI hostage negotiations department into your next meeting with an investor, or if you could have him train you to secure your next big client, or even if you were buying a piece of equipment for your business and you could call the best guy for reaching the ideal price. Through amazing stories and experiences, Christopher Voss, the former Head of the FBI hostage negotiations department, shares tools and methodologies to improve negotiation skills in your life.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
Adam Grant tells fascinating stories in this book about people who have made a positive impact in the world. He explains which traits and behaviours allowed them to make an impact, giving insights into how can you contribute and impact your job, your family, your community and your organization in ways you never imagined. The stories range from an entrepreneur who pitches his startups by highlighting the reasons not to invest in them, to a movie producer who saved Disney’s first animated film, showing us how we can do the same.
This book is like reading a tourist guide, but for the entrepreneurial journey. It’s a common saying that more than 90% of startups fail – often this happens because founders don’t understand the entrepreneurial journey or its phases. Howard Love shares his experiences on startups and the stages he has seen them in. Using clear explanations filled with details, Howard shows how the startup journey develops through time, and gives very good advice on how to navigate through each stage, helping founders reducing the risk of suffering the negative outcome the journey can take.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Ben Horowitz tells amazing stories about the rise, struggles, and shifts in IT companies during the tech bubble burst, showing how decision making and effective decisions were extremely valuable for leaders and founders. He explains that there are only two emotions you feel as a founder: euphoria and terror. He describes the challenges he faced and how making hard decisions to move forward, while embracing terror, and how following your gut will enhance your chances of success and getting back to euphoria.
Bonus: Essays on Startups by Paul Graham
Paul Graham is the founder of Y Combinator, one of the most famous incubators in the startup world. He has written several essays regarding his experiences with startups, and most of them cover a lot of the areas every entrepreneur needs to manage in his journey. He has helped a lot of entrepreneurs, to better understand entrepreneurship and develop their businesses much clearer.