When we started our first company we realized we had no idea what we were doing and had to learn as much as we could, so we ended up doing a ton of reading.
This led us to create a company library, where we all share great books, blog, and essays that inspire and educate us as we go. Also, I get asked for advice on startups a lot, so I’ve found myself continually referencing and emailing these books, so I figured I’d just maintain a list here and update it appropriately.
There are a bunch that I love, but these are the ones that have helped me most in entrepreneurship.
Getting Real - mandatory read for building software
The Monk and the Riddle - career choices
Made to Stick - effective communication and avoiding the “curse of knowledge”
Good to Great - how to build a great company
Purple Cow - marketing genius
Deep Survival - awesome book on the mental game of ‘survival’ which is everyday in a startup
Crossing the Chasm - business development/market strategy
Let My People Go Surfing - by Patagonia founder, a very different view on business and building a great company culture
Sway - ‘The irresistible pull of irrational behavior’
Negotiation Genius - effective negotiation strategy/tactics
Do More Faster - simple guidance from people in the trenches
Peopleware - a MUST READ for managers especially, this has great advice on productive teams/projects
Steve Jobs - cliche, but it gives a sense of just how messy building a company can be, and is a great insight into an icon
The Hard Thing About Hard Things - very similar to the Jobs book in that the entrepreneurial story is incredible (though much shorter!), but the actionable advice is the real gold in this book
There are tons of blogs out there (some great, some awful), but these are the ones I return to most often.
Some random essays that are worth the time.
Cult Creation - on hiring and culture by Steve Newcomb - founder Powerset and many other companies
How to Minimize Politics in Your Company - on management by Ben Horowitz of Andreesen Horowitz
The Idea Maze - by Chris Dixon of Andreesen Horowitz
The Way I Work - on work/life balance by Paul English of Kayak
Wanted - on recruiting by Michael Lopp
A Veteran of SEAL Team Six Describes His Training - adapted excerpt from the book SEAL Team Six. mental inspiration.