A startup needs to be scalable to be a startup, according to Steve Blank “A startup is a temporary organization designed to look for a business model that is repeatable and scalable”. Every startup founder is looking for ways to scale their startup into a profitable company. The best way to do that is to learn from successful founders.
Here is the list of books we consider the 20 best books for startup founders
The Growth Hacking book: Most Guarded Growth Marketing Secrets The Silicon Valley Giants Don’t Want You To Know by Parul Agrawal & Rohan Chaubey
This book is a compilation of information and ideas that will help your current business or startup achieve more growth. You will learn from over 30 successful digital entrepreneurs who share their utmost knowledge, tricks, tips, etc on how they achieve massive growth from scratch in a quick time. If you are running or planning to run your startup, you’ll definitely keep on taking this book as your reference.
Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown
Sean Ellis is a brilliant growth hacker, and he first coined the word growth hacking In 2010. They pack this book with pieces of information on real practical advice, inspiring stories, and methods you can use to grow your startup with small tests at low risk to generate quick growth. If you are out there looking for a magic wand that would make your product go viral and make you money, he wrote this book for you. This playbook would show you the myth of growth hacking.
Growth Hackers Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday
Ryan focuses on successful startup who used growth hacking to help their company thrive. Throughout the book, Holiday uses examples from Airbnb, Facebook, Google, Uber, and Evernote, for each point, he makes a splendid example of a real-life situation to support it. This is clear that having a huge marketing budget isn’t necessary. This is a must-read book for every startup founder who wants to go beyond traditional marketing and use growth marketing to drive the startup to profitability with little more in a brief period.
The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier
Managing people is a tough job, and in a startup or tech company where everyone is a tech-savvy person, management is a lot more difficult. Camille will take you from the journey from an engineer to a technical leader. From monitoring interns to working with senior staff, tips and tricks and everything you need to know in tech leadership are all in fine words in this book. I highly recommend this book for the mid-level engineer to the way up to CTO.
Also, check her book 97 Things Every Engineering Manager Should Know for added knowledge.
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
Peter is the Cofounder of PayPal, in this book he challenges you not to model what everyone is doing but to create something new. In Peter’s words, “doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1. The act of creation is singular, as is the moment of creation, and the result is something fresh and strange.” This is an excellent book with a fresh perspective. This book can turn you into an entrepreneur if you are not and can make you, the entrepreneur who brings a change to the world.
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
This book gives you a comprehensive guide on how your startup should be ready for success. You will learn how to build a product the people want and stop wasting people’s time or money. Don’t just build a product you think people want, learn how to test and validate your idea or prototype before fully launching. Learn how to eliminate uncertainty about the product, work smarter, not harder, how to develop an MPV, and validate learning.
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
Chris takes you on a journey of having a business and having an adventurous life. Chris talks to over 1000 people who have built business earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment of $100 or less.
The 7 Day Startup: You Don’t Learn Until You Launch by Dan Norris
Do you a framework for your startup? Or you are getting overwhelmed with stuff that doesn’t really matter, Then this is for you; you will learn Why validation isn’t the answer 2. How to test your business idea 3. How to choose a business name, fast 4. How to build a website in 1 day for under $100 5. Ten proven ways to market a business quickly. Dan’s method for starting your online business uses the KISS principle: Keep it simple, stupid. You need not spend thousands of dollars to get that startup running.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
The CEO can influence everybody in a company, therefore every founder and CEO needs to get their mind right. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People would show you how to fix that and why your happiness depends on your own internal work and efforts. This is an excellent read to know how he habits effective people have in common.
The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki
If you are an entrepreneur or someone who love to read chances are, you might have come across the art to start 1.0 if you haven’t you can check it out, the author Guy Kawasaki doesn’t need an introduction. His advice and knowledge has helped thousands of successful people around the globe. In the area to start 2.0 guy talks about everything you need to from start-up in terms of legal, marketing, funding, partnering, how to set up a vision, etc. He has brought all his years of experience and every position he has been, from being an employee to starting a company.
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
A lot of businesses fall off because they can’t get traction if you ever come to the end of marketing this book would put you back on track. Marketing can make or break your business. The framework in this book would help you figure the right traction channel is for YOU.
This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin
Seth Godin has taught and inspired millions of entrepreneurs, marketers, leaders, and fans from all over the world. Here Seth shows you what marketing is all about and gives you a marketing framework to follow, how to set the right prices and build a tribe of buyers. It doesn’t matter if you are new to marketing or you are already an expert this body would challenge you to do more.
Ca$hvertising: How to Use More Than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone by Drew Eric Whitman
This is not just a book, it is an advertising toolkit; They pack it with research-based tips to help you write Ads copy, write a grand product description, sales latter & online copy to help you sell. You will learn how to create ads that would make your potential customer pull out their wallet and buy from you.
Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk
This a follow up on Gary’s book crush it, he shares stories from other entrepreneurs that have become wealthy. Gary believes that building your brands crucial for today’s business success, learn how to live life on your terms and still become financially free.
DotCom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online by Russell Brunson
Russell has package is years of experience in building a successful online business, this book gives you knowledge of how your potential customers think and how you can sell to them.
Rework by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried
Unfortunately, this not a book that gives you instructions on how to build a business, This is a book of principles. This book shows you how to work less and achieve more, it shows you how to set up and organize your small business.
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim ferries
The title of this book says it all, this book would teach you everything it says on the title and more. Who are the new rich? The new rich are me and you the startup founder, the e-commerce business owner, the bloggers and all other digital entrepreneurs. Learn how you can work from anywhere, outsource workers from anywhere and live anywhere in the world.
The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure By Grant Cardone
It back every idea and word up with years of experience, this is one book you would read out there that slaps the truth indoor face, work 10 times harder if you want to achieve 10 times the results. This book would challenge you to set realistic goals and not wishes.
Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston
From the partner of the Y Combinator and the wife of the father of founder, Paul Graham, this book offers insight, stories and knowledge from over 15 digital entrepreneurs on how they achieve business development, product development, product management, pricing, promotion, distribution, customer service, technical support, accounting, finance, hiring and technology choices; and dealing with venture capitalists, business partners, and actual or potential competitors.
Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation by Jay Samit
Here is a man who has disrupted unique businesses like eCommerce, digital video, social media, communication, and software industries. Jay explains how you can disrupt any business by pivoting your way from failure to success.
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
Michael breaks down all the myth you might have about starting a business, if you are wondering if starting a business is for you, this book would help you find the right answer and show you what you need to know before you leap.
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