MUST READ startup books

Jeffrey Zhang
20 replies
I recently read Zero to One and my mind was blown. I don't know why this book wasn't part of my high school curriculum because it's absolutely brilliant. Are there more books like this?


Mr. Simi
Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Jeff Zhang
@mr_simi Why do you say this? What important insights have you abstracted from the novel?
Mr. Simi
@jeff_zhang5 I like the clarity of deliver of the different concepts and metrics to measure. But the most important insight I derived from the book was that have iterations (short ones), such that each iteration delivers a usable product for your user. And some critical questions should be asked at each iteration.
Tatiana Kukova, PhD
'Straight Talk for Startups' by Komisar and Reigersman; 'The Hard Thing About Hard Things' by Ben Horowitz; 'The Entrepreneur’s Identity Standard' by Tatiana Kukova, PhD; 'It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work' by Fried and Hansson; 'Startups and the Tech Revolution: The Essential Guide' by James McCann; 'It's About Damn Time' by Arlan Hamilton; 'Accelerated Startup' by Vitaly Golomb; 'Bad Blood' by John Carreyrou; 'Startup CEO' by Matt Blumberg; 'The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business' by David S. Rose Enjoy!
Jeff Zhang
@kukova_tatiana haha I'd love to read all that. But if you had to boil them down to 3, which ones are you choosing?
Tatiana Kukova, PhD
@jeff_zhang5 'The Hard Thing About Hard Things', 'The Entrepreneur's Identity Standard', and 'Startup CEO'.
Jeff Zhang
@kukova_tatiana Curious why you selected those in particular?
Tatiana Kukova, PhD
@jeff_zhang5 1. 'The Hard Thing About Hard Things' has been written by an entrepreneur with operational knowledge and a VC at the same time. Ben Horowitz explains his struggles, observations of others in the company and gives good advice. It is a great book recommended by many VCs and startup founders. 2. 'The Entrepreneur's Identity Standard' explains the essence of a startup entrepreneur: his or her identity standard. This is my own book which provides a groundbreaking understanding of the entrepreneur’s identity by solving the psychological problem of how tech startup entrepreneurs deal with strategic decision-making processes in their ventures based on how they see themselves. The book is grounded in the findings from a pioneering doctoral study, which I have conducted at Aston Business School in the UK by interviewing digital technology entrepreneurs at one UK tech incubator. That is why there is a significant number of real-life examples from the digital tech sector. 3. 'Startup CEO' is a straightforward account of every step that a startup CEO takes. It is more about operational knowledge of managing your startup.
Quinn Wang
This isn't a startup-specific book, but I've found The Big Leap (Gay Hendricks) very helpful in identifying mental blocks that might hold one back both personally and professionally.
David Tran
I found this book from a recommendation on HN. It is "The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want". It is a very short book. The whole principle in the book could be written in 1 page only but it changed my life.
Such a great book!
David Barneda
The Launch Pad: Inside YCombinator The $100 Startup Zero to One: Notes on startups The ultralight startup
Hwei Oh
"Product-Led Growth - How to Build a Product That Sells Itself" - by Wes Bush
Jeff Zhang
@hwei_oh What your main takeaway from that book? How did it help you?
Hwei Oh
@jeff_zhang5 Not only it is important to make it super easy for potential customers to try out your product (we have a freemium model), but you have to really understand your audience and user behavior, especially how they want to be supported along the way without feeling hassled or hounded. Wes's book takes you through how to determine the right model for your business and then what you need to consider with implementation and communicating the value you are bringing to your particular audience.
Prabhat Sahu
Should read Traction by Gabriel Weinberg