Startup thought leaders:
- @paulg (Paul Graham) – www.paulgraham.com – His essays are absolutely incredible. I especially recommend the ones on creating wealth, startups, and writing essays.
- @ericries (Eric Ries) – www.startuplessonslearned.com – He started the lean startup movement. If you are interested in startups and haven’t heard of the lean startup, stop reading and go there.
- @sgblank (Steve Blank) – steveblank.com/ – The author of 4 Steps to the Epiphany, his blog is always chocked full of great resources.
- @msuster (Mark Suster) – www.bothsidesofthetable.com – Just awesome. He brings a VC perspective to startup entrepreneurship that you won’t get from any of the people I listed above.
- The Innovator’s DNA – This lays out the foundation for innovative thinking.
- Business Model Generation – This book is incredibly valuable for anyone from the most novice entrepreneur to the most veteran. If someone came to me and said that they wanted to get into startup entrepreneurship but didn’t know where to start, this is one of the first books I would tell them they should read.
- The Four Hour Workweek – Tim Ferris provides a lot of practical information and resources about creating revenue streams. I absolutely recommend it because of the step-by-step instructions that may bring some non-techies up to speed on certain ways of creating value, but beware that it does portray some things as overly simplistic. Overall a good read.
- Medici Effect – While not a startup book, this book dives into investigating what a truly innovative idea looks like. It takes you back into history to explore the Medici family and their disruptive innovations in multiple fields during the Renaissance. If you’re still in the idea-developing stage, this might help you get to where you need to be.
- 4 Steps to the Epiphany – This is an absolutely crucial book to read for anyone starting a startup. He goes into a lot of detail and at some points it can be a little dry, but this book is the closest thing to a roadmap for a successful business yet. It’s an essential addition to any entrepreneur’s bookshelf.
- The Innovator’s Dilemma – This book is absolutely mind-blowing. Clayton Christensen is on the same level as Ayn Rand and Paul Graham with making complex ideas easy to comprehend. This is an absolute must-read for anyone in business. Regardless if you’re a startup founder looking to disrupt an industry or a Fortune 50 CEO trying to protect yourself from disruption, this book will help you to analyze the situation.
- Founders at Work – While not a “how-to” guide for business, this is a great resource for getting a feel for the mindset of an entrepreneur in the beginning days of a venture. Jessica Livingston interviewed over 30 entrepreneurs who have built successful companies and published them in this volume.
- Inbound Marketing – Dharmesh Shah lays out a brilliant framework for all aspects of internet marketing. While it does try to push their own software platform at Hubspot a bit much, the value derived is still enormous.
- Mastering the VC Game – If you’re even considering taking VC funding, you need to read this. It will give you an opportunity to see things from their side of the table while also laying out what you should be looking for in a deal.
- How to Win at the Sport of Business – This may seem out of place among it’s peers on this list, but this was a really fun read. If it were a fiction story I would recommend it as the protagonist is really someone you want to root for. But the fact that it’s nonfiction made me want to put the book down and start another business right away. Lots of useful insights.
- Elements of Style– Okay, it’s not a startup book, but it should still be on the bookshelf of any tech entrepreneur. If you live online, you need to know how to write.
Other useful miscellaneous resources:
- Mixergy Podcasts – I listen to these in the car every day. They are incredibly educational about different industries and markets, while also providing great insight into how successful entrepreneurs think.
- Lean Startup Circle – A great email community that discusses lean startup and customer development principles.
- Stanford Entrepreneur eCorner Podcasts – This can be hit and miss, but overall they have some great entrepreneurs giving intriguing lectures.