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Top 10 Books for Startups in 2021

Avatar of Ricardo Glencasa Ricardo Glencasa | Aug 17, 2020
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In these challenging times, startups and entrepreneurs need all the inspiration and guidance they can get! These are some of our top books for any business owner or startup entrepreneur to read and get motivated to make great decisions and rise to success.

1. The Lean Startup: Eric Ries

This book was written in 2011, but it is especially relevant now and startups find new and creative ways to run their businesses in light of the global pandemic. “The Lean Startup” is a guide for entrepreneurs to help them innovate and create new managing methods for their startups. This is highly recommended for anyone who wants to think differently about the way they do business.

2. Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg

According to author Gabriel Weinberg, there are 19 different channels any startup should consider when building their client base. This book will help any struggling startup expand their reach and find the most people who are interested in their products or services. Accompanied by anecdotes, examples and personal lessons, this book is a great mentorship guide for any startup that needs a boost and a broader reach.

Photo of The Lean Start Up and Traction

3. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t by Nate Silver

We all face more uncertainty now than ever before in recent memory. That’s why this book from renowned statistician Nate Silver comes highly recommended. It’s important to track trends and patterns to predict outcomes in this uncertain time, and Silver’s wisdom is applicable not only to business, but in nearly any field where bets and decisions are made based on percentages and odds. Forecasting is a tricky business but to some extent it is necessary for any startup to have a good grasp of predicting market needs and trends.

4. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

There are certainly no easy answers now for many startups, making this book a must-read for anyone who has made mistakes or wants to know the best way to adapt and react to challenging circumstances. No business is perfect, no matter how much predicting or planning you do...so knowing how to persevere through it is very important. This is a great resource from a person who has been there and led huge corporations through very difficult decisions.

Photo of The Signal and the Noise and the Hard thing

5. Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston

There is perhaps no better teacher than the lived experience of those who have done it before. This is a great collection of impactful stories from some of today’s most well-known companies that began as small startups. Reading about their process, their journey, their struggles, and their path to success is a great way to set your own blueprint and determine the best course for your own startup.

6. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

Being needed and indispensable is the best way for you to advance your career and convey your value to your peers. In the startup world, this characteristic is especially important for anyone who wants to take their business to the next level and stand out from the crowd. Seth Godin’s take on the value of being indispensable has many board applications for startups as they seek to cement their footing in an increasingly competitive market.

Photo of Founders at Work and Linchpin

7. Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age by Paul Graham

For tech startups, this book is a must-read. Paul Graham takes you through the lessons and stories of the early tech industry and how these startups grew to the colossal giants they are today. You’ll also learn a lot about tech trends and past happenings so you can better predict what might be coming in the future.

8. The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture by John Battelle

This is a thoroughly researched book with information from over 350 interviews, including with some of today’s top tech executives. The focus is on Google and how they became an indispensable part of everyday life and basically “took over” the internet. This story is illuminating and fascinating as it can help current startup owners see the inspiration and successes from what was once a very small and ambitious group of savvy individuals.

Photo of Hackers & Painters and The Search

9. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

This book takes us on a journey of discovery behind some of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time, and what it is that sets them apart. Rather than focusing on their personal character traits, this book explores the background and history of these unique individuals to help explain their extraordinary rise to the upper echelon of the business world. There are lots of lessons to be taken from these individual success stories, and anyone looking to emulate their success should surely give Gladwell’s “Outliers” a close look.

10. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This is a timeless classic that deals with the all-important characteristics needed for any ambitious startup to succeed. Being likeable, memorable, networking and getting people on board with your vision, and having the confidence and drive to do whatever it takes—these are just some of the issues you’ll read about in “How to Win Friends & Influence People.” The lessons in this book go beyond just startups and into the successes of our everyday lives, our social and family life, and our personal growth.

Photo of Outliers and How to win Friends

Conclusion

All in all, it’s great to read up on all these amazing authors to get a better sense of how to succeed in the modern era. Researching and learning from other people’s mistakes and successes is a great way for any startup to do well in the next few years.


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WRITTEN BYRicardo Glencasa

I'm an expat from Canada living in Vietnam.

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