5 Startup Books for Entrepreneurs

In his recent Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, Bill Gates, billionaire and Microsoft co-founder, was asked what advice he’d offer to a young person looking to „make a positive impact“ on the world. His answer seems quite suprising:

Pick up a book. The ideal thing is to read a lot and hopefully find a skill you enjoy that can have [an] impact“.

Gates is a known beliefer in reading as he is convinced that reading is essential to discovering a variety of new interests and potential skills, which you can then use to put your stamp on the world. And he is not alone. Science has proven that reading can reduce stress, enhances our ability to concentrate, improves our linguistic and rhetorical skills and first and foremost grants us access to the world’s most brilliant brains allowing us to learn new things and enhance our knowledge.


Thus, you might want to check out the five books Rick Kettner recommends for young entrepreneurs and startup founders:

  1. THE STARTUP J-CURVE by Howard Love: The Start-Up J Curve can help you put common challenges into context. It explains how the startup journey unfolds in a predictable six-step pattern. By understanding each stage of the journey, you increase your odds for success. Instead of feeling lost when you face setbacks, you’ll have a clear sense of how to move your idea forward.

  2. THE LEAN STARTUP by Eric Ries: The Lean Startup can help you figure out the right thing to build, the product that customers want and are willing to pay for, as quickly as possible. The book stresses the value of identifying key assumptions early on, so you can test those assumptions quickly and inexpensively. When done right, this approach can help you turn your idea into a sustainable business faster and with far less waste along the way.

  3. THE MOM TEST by Rob Fitzpatrick: The Mom Test explains how to properly talk with people to get honest and useful feedback. It can help you ask the right questions in the right way to gather the information you need to validate or improve your idea. And it can help you avoid misleading feedback that could send your startup in the wrong direction.

  4. THE HARD THING ABOUT HARD THINGS by Ben Horowitz: The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a collection of advice, practical wisdom, and humbling experiences that can help founders prepare for difficult challenges. It tackles tough topics like firing friends when they’re no longer a fit, poaching employees from competitors, and dealing with the potential of bankruptcy.

  5. ZERO TO ONE by Peter Thiel: Zero To One is about how to turn a startup idea into a valuable business. While much of the advice is geared towards wildly ambitious startups, many of the insights can be applied to smaller, niche-based startups or even small businesses.

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