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 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”
Atlas Shrugged - fiction, but inspiring story about capitalism/entrepreneurship
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
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 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.