reading list

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’

Mastering the VC Game - by @bussgang - excellent insight into the VC world from the perspective of an entrepreneur turned VC

Negotiation Genius - effective negotiation strategy/tactics 

Do More Faster - simple guidance from people in the trenches

Business Model Generation - awesome book, at very least for the business model canvas [pdf]

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. (Fred Wilson - #1 VC in consumer web, and generally awesome blogger) (Brad Feld - entrepreneur/angel/VC) (Seth Godin - master marketer/entrepreneur) (Mark Suster - entrepreneur/VC) (Chris Dixon - entrepreneur/angel/VC) (Bijan Sabet - entrepreneur/VC) (Paul Graham - entrepreneur, founder of YCombinator)


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.