Books Digest: 8 Books for Startup Founders

While there is a different story behind the launch of every startup, there are several excellent books for startup founders out there written by entrepreneurs, business consultants, and those who have been on the front lines of building businesses from scratch.

Let’s check out 8 books that tell the stories of founders to get your inner entrepreneur thinking about how you will take on marketing, management, and leadership responsibilities once you decide to take the leap into startup life.

And remember

Successful people read. Successful entrepreneurs read twice as much.

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferriss

Books for Startup Founders and EntrepreneursTim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, shares the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure book—a compilation of tools, tactics, and habits from 130+ of the world’s top performers. From iconic entrepreneurs to elite athletes, from artists to billionaire investors, their short profiles can help you answer life’s most challenging questions, achieve extraordinary results, and transform your life.

You will learn:

  • More than 50 morning routines—both for the early riser and those who struggle to get out of bed.
  • How TED curator Chris Anderson realized that the best way to get things done is to let go.
  • The best purchases of $100 or less (you’ll never have to think about the right gift again).
  • How to overcome failure and bounce back towards success.
  • Why Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton believes that the best art will always be the riskiest.
  • How to meditate and be more mindful (and not just for those that find it easy).
  • Why tennis champion Maria Sharapova believe that “losing makes you think in ways victories can’t.”
  • How to truly achieve work-life balance (and why most people tell you it isn’t realistic).
  • How billionaire Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz transformed the way he engages with difficult situations to reduce suffering.
  • Ways to thrive (and survive) the overwhelming amount of information you process every day.
  • How to achieve clarity on your purpose and assess your priorities.
  • And much more.
‘Your Best Year Ever’ by Michael Hyatt

Books for Startup Founders and EntrepreneursNew York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt wants readers to know that it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, he thinks that this is the year readers can finally close the gap between reality and their dreams.

In Your Best Year Ever, Hyatt shares a powerful, proven, research-driven system for setting and achieving goals. Readers learn how to design their best year ever in just five hours:

– three simple ways to triple the likelihood of achieving their goals;

– how to quit-proof their goals;

– what to do when they feel stuck;

– and much more.

Anyone who is tired of not seeing progress in their personal, intellectual, business, relationship, or financial goals will treasure the field-tested wisdom found in these pages.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Books for Startup Founders and Entrepreneurs

One of the most valuable skills in our economy is becoming increasingly rare. If you master this skill, you’ll achieve extraordinary results.

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way.

In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.

A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, DEEP WORK takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories — from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air — and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. DEEP WORK is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.

‘Rise and Grind’ by Daymond John

Books for Startup Founders and EntrepreneursNew York Times bestselling author of The Power of Broke and “Shark” on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank explores how grit, persistence, and good old-fashioned hard work are the backbone of every successful business and individual, and inspires readers to Rise & Grind their way the top.

Daymond John knows what it means to push yourself hard–and he also knows how spectacularly a killer work ethic can pay off. As a young man, he founded a modest line of clothing on a $40 budget by hand-sewing hats between his shifts at Red Lobster. Today, his brand FUBU has over $6 billion in sales.

Convenient though it might be to believe that you can shortcut your way to the top, says John, the truth is that if you want to get and stay ahead, you need to put in the work. You need to out-think, out-hustle, and out-perform everyone around you. You’ve got to rise and grind every day.

In the anticipated follow-up to the bestselling The Power of Broke, Daymond takes an up close look at the hard-charging routines and winning secrets of individuals who have risen to the challenges in their lives and grinded their way to the very tops of their fields. Along the way, he also reveals how grit and persistence both helped him overcome the obstacles he has faced in life and ultimately fueled his success.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Books for Startup Founders and EntrepreneursThe inspiring, life-changing bestseller by the author of LEADERS EAT LAST and TOGETHER IS BETTER.

In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY — the third most popular TED video of all time.

Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.  

START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

‘The Culture Code’ by Daniel Coyle

Books for Startup Founders and EntrepreneursThe author of The Talent Code unlocks the secrets of highly successful groups and provides tomorrow’s leaders with the tools to build a cohesive, motivated culture.

Where does great culture come from? How do you build and sustain it in your group, or strengthen a culture that needs fixing?

In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world’s most successful organizations—including the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six, IDEO, and the San Antonio Spurs—and reveals what makes them tick. He demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation, and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Drawing on examples that range from Internet retailer Zappos to the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade to a daring gang of jewel thieves, Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change. Coyle unearths helpful stories of failure that illustrate what not to do, troubleshoots common pitfalls, and shares advice about reforming a toxic culture. Combining leading-edge science, on-the-ground insights from world-class leaders, and practical ideas for action, The Culture Code offers a roadmap for creating an environment where innovation flourishes, problems get solved, and expectations are exceeded.

Culture is not something you are—it’s something you do. The Culture Code puts the power in your hands. No matter the size of your group or your goal, this book can teach you the principles of cultural chemistry that transform individuals into teams that can accomplish amazing things together.

Advance praise for The Culture Code.

“I’ve been waiting years for someone to write this book—I’ve built it up in my mind into something extraordinary. But it is even better than I imagined. Daniel Coyle has produced a truly brilliant, mesmerizing read that demystifies the magic of great groups. It blows all other books on culture right out of the water.”—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Option B, Originals, and Give and Take

“If you want to understand how successful groups work—the signals they transmit, the language they speak, the cues that foster creativity—you won’t find a more essential guide than The Culture Code.”—Charles Duhigg, New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

Books for Startup Founders and EntrepreneursMost startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable.  The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively.  Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs – in companies of all sizes – a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Books for Startup Founders and EntrepreneursYou can go after the job you want—and get it!

You can take the job you have—and improve it!

You can take any situation—and make it work for you!

Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you:

-six ways to make people like you;

-twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking;

-nine ways to change people without arousing resentment;

And much more! Achieve your maximum potential—a must-read for the twenty-first century with more than 15 million copies sold!


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