We live in a world of rapid growth and continuous innovation. Depending on what side of the fence you stand on – this can be a good or bad thing. However, for today’s entrepreneurs, there’s one indisputable fact. Self-education and lifelong learning are absolutely essential to success in the new economy.
Abraham Lincoln once famously declared, “All I have learned, I learned from books.” If you want to stay ahead of the curve and grow in mind and in practice – do it the old-fashioned way and download these ebooks onto your Kindle cloud as soon as possible.
Here are some of the books I found useful from both tactical and strategic perspective as an entrepreneur. In your startup journey, you will have tough days when you question everything. I hope these can help you traverse them.
The Lean Startup by Eric Reis
If you are starting without external funding you should read this book before you start recruiting developers and finding cofounders for building your product. Starting a business in a world that is constantly shifting takes creativity and innovation. The old model of production makes it difficult to keep up. New entrepreneurs need to pivot, adapt and execute with efficiency in order to thrive in the modern marketplace. This is the playbook for doing exactly that.
The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
Most people wouldn’t mind being millionaires. However, is it the money that people really want, or the lifestyle? This book will show you ways to be part of the New Rich, and help you design a life of true freedom. One primary tool you get from this book is testing and iterating. Without mastering that concept, please don’t waste your time.
Good to Great by James Collins
There are a lot of good companies that exist in the world, but few can be called great. Many settle into the comfort of goodness and never make the leap forward to true excellence. In Good to Great, James Collins analyses how successful businesses have risen from the dredges of mediocrity and became remarkable.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
There are many aspects of owning a company that business school usually skims over. Running day to day operations as a founder, CEO or manager involves many unpleasantries that don’t get talked about in many lecture halls. The Hard Thing About Hard Things is the textbook for the real-life hurdles you might come across along the way.
The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail by Clayton M. Christensen
Henry Ford once declared, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Success in business depends on satisfying consumers. In most industries, advancements are happening at breakneck speed. Failing to incorporate new technologies can mean the death of your company. Clayton M. Christensen has great advice on when to stay committed to popular models, systems, and technologies – and when to move forward.
The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman
Countless successful startups have ended in failure. Noam Wasserman explains how common missteps in the creation of a new venture can lead to its eventual demise. The Founder’s Dilemmas will help you make wiser choices at the very beginning so your business can flourish for the long haul. This is not exactly a book for entrepreneurs. But if you are going to disrupt the Trillion dollar market and wondering why nobody else is doing it, you might see some pearls in it.
Slicing Pie: Fund Your Company Without Funds by Mike Moyer
Startup equity division among founders is a difficult decision. Slicing Pie gives you a framework to use to address this uncomfortable task. Mike Moyer gives advice on how to get cash flow for your business by leveraging equity and how to divide that equity among business partners and investors at various stages of a company’s lifecycle.
Founders at Work: Stories of Startup’s Early Days by Jessica Livingston
Jessica Livingston tells the stories of legendary founders. Find out what it was like to create a company like Apple and Paypal in the earliest stages, from the people who made it happen.
The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company by Steve Blank
The Startup Owner’s Manual has been used by ivy league schools and international organizations to help create successful businesses. Steve Blank takes you step by step through the process of building a profitable company.
Startup CEO by Matt Blumberg
Matt Blumberg has been a CEO for over a decade. He wrote this book to help other first time CEO’s run their businesses successfully.
The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki
One of the most trusted names in entrepreneurship wrote The Art of the Start to help anyone put big ideas into practical action.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
What makes a business or idea leap from the sea of obscurity and into the public spotlight? Malcolm Gladwell explains the phenomenon of the tipping point, and how small actions can push a message in front of the masses.
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
Tony Hsieh is the founder of Zappos. In Delivering Happiness he shares how he built his billion dollar business around the concept of creating a great “Company Culture”. Generating money is important to a company’s prosperity – but making a positive impact on the lives of millions is the truest definition of success.
Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition by Guy Kawasaki
A lot of entrepreneurs get wrapped up in industry fads and build businesses on principles that won’t last long. This book tells founders how to avoid the bandwagons and gravy trains of passing trends and build an innovative business on solid ground.
This book list will help entrepreneurs at any stage in their career. Whether you’re just beginning or have started several businesses, it’s important to keep reading and learning to stay ahead and continue to grow. If you feel there should be other books in this list, let me know.