It takes a huge leap of faith for founding a startup and the biggest hurdle is taking the first step. Fortunately there’s treasure chest of books on entrepreneurship available online to learn and get inspired from.
Despite all the books out there, it’s hard to know which ones entrepreneurs should read. The great thing about it is that investors and serial entrepreneurs are sharing their experiences. Meaning the knowledge gap for getting started with entrepreneurship is shrinking.
Best Books on Entrepreneurship
So what are the best books on entrepreneurship for aspiring startups?
In this post I list my personal favourites I’ve read over the years. I may have missed a few on the list, but the comments section below is open for your recommendations.
1. The Lean Startup
First up is The Lean Startup here, which happens to be one of the most popular books on entrepreneurship in the startup community.
The book is written by Eric Ries who speaks from the front lines having built his own startup. He explains how to quickly launch your product and get it in front of your target market.
Additionally, you’ll learn how to shorten your product development cycle and build a Minimal Viable Product.
2. Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Second, is an oldie, but a goodie and most likely read by every business student.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship was originally published in 1985 by Peter Drucker, who is considered the top management thinker of his time.
Even after 32 years, you’ll discover Drucker’s ideas are still relevant today. Drucker examines the sources of innovation and shares what’s required for developing an entrepreneurial culture within your startup.
3. The New Business Road Test
Looking to launch something new? The New Business Road Test is the book you need, to find out whether your business idea is viable. Moreover you’ll have everything you need for conducting interviews with your target audience.
Author John Mullins delivers a well packaged toolkit for doing market research and makes it easy for everyone to implement.
For getting your creative juices flowing, Gamestorming is the book for you.
Therefore, authors Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo have included over 80 games to help you develop strategies, improve collaboration and generate creative ideas.
All of which ensure your next meetings or workshop are productive and also include a bit of fun.
5. Talk Like TED
TED talks have redefined what is considered a successful presentation and have become the standard many aspire to achieve.
In this book, public speaking coach Carmine Gallo examines hundreds of TED talks to reveal the nine secrets of all successful TED presentations. As a result, Talk Like TED includes interviews with the most popular TED presenters and top researchers in the fields of psychology and communication.
Furthermore, each chapter explains one secret in depth, and provides a step-by-step guide which makes it possible for you to deliver an engaging, persuasive and memorable presentation.
6. THE $100 STARTUP
One of the most practical books on entrepreneurship I’ve read. The $100 Startup highlights how incredibly easy it is to get started with your own startup. You’ll find yourself in a constant state of bookmarking pages and taking notes.
Chris Guillebeau found 1500 people who built businesses with a modest investment and have been earning more than $50K. After analysing the entire group. He focuses on 50 individuals with the most intriguing stories and explains in detail what they did in their first weeks to generate revenue.
This book is packaged into an easy-to-use guide, where you will learn a lot about hustling.
7. Startup Communities
Startup Communities is all about cultivating a vibrant startup community in your city. There’s a reason why every city aspires to be the next Silicon Valley. And that’s because thriving startup community encourages working together to create and launch new products.
Brad Feld uses his 17 years experiences as an entrepreneur and investor to deliver a blueprint that can be customised for your city.
8. Managing Startups
A highly recommended book for people already in a startup or considering launching their own business.
In Managing Startups you’ll find a curated list of 72 articles from successful entrepreneurs and investors collected by Harvard Business School Professor Tom Eisenmann,
Moreover, the book is split into 13 parts which focus on topics guiding you through all the stages of building a startup.
9. The Art of the Start 2.0
Whether you’re launching a startup or a non-profit, Apple’s former Chief Evangelist Guy Kawasaki uses his decades of experience to guide you through the process in his second edition of The Art of the Start.
You’ll get through the book in no time, as Kawasaki explains concepts in a concrete and engaging manner. I personally stayed up until 4am to finish the book. By the end of the book, you’ll know how to effectively use everything you’ve learnt for your own venture.
10. Startup Nation
How does a country with a population of approximately 8 million have the most startup per capita in the world?
That’s the question authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer attempt to answer in Startup Nation. A book examining the factors fuelling Israel’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Authors Senor and Singer cover a wide range of factors, such as politics, culture, venture capital and economics contributing to the so-called “Israel Effect”.
11. Lean Analytics
It’s hard to make any sense out of all the data available to you. For this reason, Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz put together Lean Analytics to help you understand your analytics better. After interviewing 100 founders, investors and entrepreneurs Croll and Yoskovitz teach you how to make educated decisions based on data.
As a result, you’ll learn a great deal of best practices to incorporate, what metrics to track and how to evaluate your performance. The best part in Lean Analytics are the concrete examples it highlights using different business models.
12. The Innovator’s Dilemma
Companies large and small, might be doing everything by the book. But still fail to get their product off the ground. Why is that?
That’s the question Clayton Christensen answers in The Innovator’s Dilemma as he reveals when being too user-centric causes more harm than good.
While Christensen discusses how companies will miss the next big opportunity by being over reliant on what customers say. The book offers some useful advice how your startup could avoid a similar.
13. Reinventing Organisations
Before getting into the book, I’ve got to say hats off to Buffer for recommending this business book and for also making it available for free at the time.
Reinventing Organisation is a book which questions the status quo on how organisations are managed. Author Frederic Laloux demonstrates how humanity invents new ways to structure organisation whenever they’ve reached a new stage of consciousness.
In case you want a glimpse into what Laloux writes about. Then you may want to check out his one hour talk in the video below. His talk is then followed by Q&A which is filled with key insights about the emergence of companies who have moved into a new paradigm of management.
Nevertheless, Laloux discusses in detail the spectrum of paradigms and ideas organisations have evolved from and delivers a practical guide on how you can operate in a new paradigm.
If you’re interested in the overall investment and startup landscape, you may want to check out the blog at Valuer. While not a book, their blog is regularly kept up to date with resources about corporate innovation and touches upon many topics the books above cover too.
Did I miss your favourite book? Let me know which books on entrepreneurship you’ve read recently in the comment below.