I think reading is one of the most important activities of any entrepreneur. You can learn from the best of the world, and pay only USD10-20 to do so.
Below are my “entrepreneur reading list” – books that I’ve read and would recommend to other entrepreneurs. They cover topics from startup, sales, marketing, management, communications, and self-improvement.
If you are an entrepreneur and haven’t read any of the 5* or 5 rated books below, please read them, I promise you won’t regret it.
Ratings are out of 5:
- 5*/5 must read and re-read again, and again
- 5/5 must read
- 4/5 should read
- 3/5 barely worth reading once
- below that score I won’t recommend them, and therefore won’t put on here
Must read for anyone, GREAT book on self management and communication skills. If you were going to read only one book your entire life, I recommend reading this one.
great introductory book on business and entrepreneurship, talks about different stages of taking a company from 0 to 100M. must read.
Classical book by Dale Carnegie, although very old book, advices are timeless such as “don’t criticize”, “make others feel important”, great read for interpersonal communications
Great read for entrepreneurs, can’t quite remember the details though just remember it was good entrepreneurial contents
By silicon vally giant Peter Thiel of PayPal. A bit of a deep read, not really practical advise, but very inspiring stuff
Talks about how happiness indicates success instead of other way around, and how to go about achieving happiness; good book for personal improvement and managing others
Great book by famous self-help guru Tony Robbins, I think his materials are very inspiring and practical, anyone even non-entrepreneurial should read his stuff.
The book that started the Lean Startup revolution, easier to understand for beginner than Lean Startup by Eric Reis.
Basic concept is don’t waste time building shit nobody wants, focus on customers before products, and goes into detail about how to do customer discovery, validation.
Successful tech entrepreneurship Ben Horowitz gives a more “real” picture about entrepreneurship and gives the reader valuable advise based on his own experience
This is the first time I had read about Scrum. Very revolutionary methodology of how to approach project management and team management, a must read for someone who isn’t familiar with scrum already.
For a book on practical freelance advise, I think this would be as good as it gets. The author is a freelance writer herself, writes in a sort of cutesy way that makes it more fun to read.
Lots of advise are quite basic stuff, and also a bit outdated for 201x, as far as technology tool advise. However it’s still great for making mental checks, perfect for getting everything ready to get a freelance business started.
It WAS a great book for running a business, however many suggestions are outdated for today. Most important advise will always stays true though, his formula for success: “pig-headed determination”
Good entrepreneurship read, not great but might revisit later anyways
good read for those who need to go to business networking (which should be everyone in Entrepreneurship)
good beginner stuff, but very basic, only good for someone with no prior business background and experience
Expanded version of “Ready, Fire, Aim”, targeted mainly at entrepreneurs.
good business advices, some a bit outdated, not terribly useful for just starting out, but some nifty ideas to keep around regardless
More a fun read and personal improvement book than a marketing book as it was intended
get a bit boring at times, but a very inspiriting concept about self1/self2, definitely still worth reading
fun nice read on hiring, the author is quite funny
its a tough read for beginners I think, I didn’t really get much out of it the first time. Should read “4 Steps to Epiphany” and “Startup Owners Manual” by Steve Blank first before reading this one
Stories of 10 CEOs who are not alive anymore. Very cool stories, with some mixed “lesson” the author throws in, fun read.
Good perspective on the rapid changing market, how you cannot rely on job security and need to treat yourself like a startup, how to improve yourself and marketing yourself constantly
okay read for sales, a bit old school
Some mindset stuff, basically things like visualise what you want to have hard and long enough, and you brain will find ways to make it happen, kind of “will it into existence”, NLP/Tony Robbin stuff.
I think there’s some merit to the concept, but it goes pretty far end, with advise like keep a double bed and sleep on half to visualise having a wife.
Kind of interesting stuff anyways, but not too practical
(50%) Goes quite deep into copyrighting, very technical, kind of a hard read, a few good ideas I got out but couldn’t finish it. Not much value for generalist entrepreneur I think, maybe more useful for marketing specialised people.
(50%) Not that many great info, just a few useful ideas, a lot too basic, start out okay but get draggy and boring read
Good ideas here and there, but gets very repetitive and a bit boring
(70%) sort of decent read, just got bored with it
Good read on cold calling, but not too many useful applications today since very few companies can utilize cold call successfully
(60%) Started out quite well by explaining the wrong ways to approach networking, and pitfalls of traditional networking, such as low quality people looking for “business one-night-stand”.
However diving into what should be done, talks about forming an elite group around your clients and strong business partners, which is uesless advice to those who didn’t have a strong network of clients and partners to start with. It’s still a good read but only if you already got started and have some network, not if you are just starting out like when I am reading this.
Sell More Software – Patrick McKenzie
I really enjoy patrick’s teaching, which include his blog, podcast, and books. He’s a programmer that teaches programmer how to sell better. He’s very open with his numbers, and I like his stuff because he’s very real. He doesn’t make millions and millions, but he create software and makes a living from it. Highly recommend the book and his blog as well.
It’s a pretty short read, mostly concepts from Lean Startup about test early, learn as you go (which is why should launch in 7 days to start the learning).
Most things are already covered elsewhere, but I do think they are good concepts, and doesn’t hurt to have a reminder. It’s a nice short read that I think would be worth the time.
Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup
Rating: In Progress