15 best books every startup owner must read and re-read for potential success


Reading is good, but action is better.  As a startup, you will be carried away by the loads of work to be done and get lost most of the times in them. An excuse to not get some knowledge and inspirations from others who have thrived and been successful, will be denying yourself business and personal growth.

Many entrepreneurs have been on the same path you are finding hard but you’re only a book away to learn more from their stories.

These excellent books are written by successful and driven entrepreneurs – business moguls; and others by recommendations. They will shape your entrepreneurialism, business intelligence, habits, and give you in-depth insights to help lead your startup business to a peak.

Let’s warm up into the year by looking at some best books every startup entrepreneur must read and add to their bestselling collections.

  1. The $100 Startup: Fire your boss, do what you love and work better to live more – by Chris Guillebeau

If you are the kind who loves inspiring stories and moved into action by other’s successful deeds, this is a book for you. Turning passions into profitable ventures are what most entrepreneurs are living by these days. Chris Guillebeau will in a beautiful way push you beyond your limits to think creatively and big in this book.

  1. The Lean Startup – by Eric Ries

Many startup entrepreneurs have highly recommended this book. It’s quite a famous book: a personal experience of the author himself, Eric Ries. He believes startups can best organize the development of their products in a much better way than they are currently doing through the process of treating their startup businesses like an experiment.

A book I will recommend to challenge every startup entrepreneur’s continuous art of innovation and business success.

  1. 45 Effective Ways For Hiring Smart: How to predict winners & losers in the incredibly expensive people reading game –By Pierre Mornell

Startups need team contributions when scaling up. It is important for their expansion and growth. 45 effective ways for hiring smart will give you better dimensions to how best to achieve results when hiring. It is also an easy and straightforward book: quite an effective read for startup newbies.

  1. Making Ideas Happen – By Scott Belsky

Generating new ideas can be easy as running water, but quiet a task to execute. Making ideas happen will compel anyone with tones of innovative ideas but clueless on how to effectively turn them into visions and tangible outcomes.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard. This book helps you with the hard part.” – Guy Kawasaki, Former Apple Chief Evangelist. Startup founders with viable business ideas will achieve more with “Making Ideas Happens”.

  1. Business Stripped Bare – by Richard Branson

From an iconic entrepreneur, anything written by him is worth the read. Richard Branson – “The brave may not live forever – but the cautious do not live at all.” Talking about how you can succeed and make a difference, he shared the ‘inside track’ on his life in business and also reveals the truth about his most risky and brilliant deals. It’s a revealing invaluable advice and Virgin’s greatest achievements and setbacks.

  1. Zero to One – By Peter Thiel with Blake Masters

This incredible piece was recommended by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and Ellon Musk. Zero to One: Notes on startups or how to build the future will guide to drive your startup growth in the quest of business success.  Personally, one of my favorite books.

  1. Hooked: How to build habit forming products – by Nir Eyal

Another reading delight. This is an excellent book for every startup. On building the perfect product for customer or user engagement, Nir emphasized on how emotions can play a major role in driving behaviors. If you are looking forward to a potential startup success, this is a must pick.

  1. Traction: How any startup can achieve explosive customer growth – Gabriel Weiberg and Justin Mares

Traction is definitely resourceful. Achieving an exponential customer growth is an expectation of every business. An awesome guide to getting the customers. Most startups don’t fail because they can’t uniquely build a product but, because they can’t get traction. How do you get the customers? Get this book.

  1. Finding my virginity – By Richard Branson

First, I found it intriguing and at the same time mischievous: I just wanted to read it. It’s the latest from the renowned business man. You can’t expect anything less from this book. A candid detail of a lifetime of triumphs and failures and what he really thinks about his unique life and career is well captured.

Finding my virginity is a much more than a series of business adventures”.

This book, since its release, has been added to my favorite books list. It should do great for you.

  1. The Hard Thing About Hard Things – By Ben Horowitz

A success story from one entrepreneur to another. Ben shades some insights of his personal struggle and the understanding of no short cuts to knowledge. The need for every entrepreneur to know it is a tough business world out there: that, it is worth the hurdles and the thrilling stories of successful entrepreneurs who had been on similar path, will definitely boost your efforts towards your goals. His story makes this book a masterpiece.

  1. 18 Minutes: Find your focus, master distraction and get the right things done – by Peter Bregman

Bregman, works from the premise that the best ways to combat constant and distractive interruptions is to create a productive distraction of your own. Productivity is key in every startup business:18 minutes clearly helps define how you can find ways to stay focus on the key priorities in your life and cutting out the daily clutter distractions. To find balance between running your startup business and individual life, this book is recommended.

  1. Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace

The book Creativity Inc, will give you an insight into what it takes to continuously and persistently create incredible things.

  1. The E-Myth Revisited – By Michael E. Gerbber

There have been many deterring stories about building businesses. Some startups today are faced with many challenges because of these myths. Michael through valuable guide dispels these myths. This book gives a deeper insight that will get you through the conception stages, growth stages and the learning processes of running a business.

  1. The Power of Habit: We do what we do in life and business –  by Charles Duhigg

The power of habit gives readers understanding of human psychology that can be applied in everyday life, business and developing products. It will help you identify the extreme values necessary to make a product part of the customer’s habit. Habits are powerful and as much as the good ones will promote success, they can also serve as distractive tool for progress. Building great businesses today require the understanding of how people – customers think and act and factoring their most desirable concerns into your products.

  1. The Art of Startup Fundraising: Pitching investors, negotiating the deal, and everything else entrepreneurs need to know – By Alejandro Cremades

For startups, money means everything. This book throws light on the power of the new digital world of finance with some good tricks on raising good money and investing in startups. It also shows you how startups funding actually works; crafting your pitch, finding the right investors and importantly, getting access to the money you need to keep the business running. The advices are enormous on how to raise capital.

Finding it hard to read ideally any good books? Join our Startupreneurs –Reading Challenge to stay motivated, inspired and keep up with the reading gurus. Get weekly updates on collections and recommended books, share your collections and look forward to some give away business packages. To share your reading collections with us or ask for recommended books, send your emails to: [email protected]

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