For both first business owner or experienced entrepreneur, learning is a lifelong pursuit. Books are one of the best medium to deliver knowledge and new information.
Books also represent the next best thing to personally interacting with the author and knowing what the author thinks and experiences.
However, there is no perfect book or approach to learning. If we have to name a short and concise list of books, these are the titles that we would recommend. We chose these books because most experts in the field recommend them.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
This is the book that kickstarted the whole lean movement. In this book, Eric Ries shares his own experience of building a business with minimal resources and many constraints. It is a bestseller because it reframes all the “negative” things about starting a business into necessary constraints and paves the way for strategic-opportunistic thinking. The main premises of the book are quick and lean methodology.
Hooked by Nir Eyal
Anyone in the business for the long run game should read this book. The book’s central message is how to build the habit-forming product (or services) that makes the customer stay. The core theme here is understanding the customer well, and what (emotions & desires) drives them. Regardless of the nature of the business and where you are in the startup cycle, we highly recommend this book.
Starting a Business Quickstart Guide by Ken Colwell
If you need something essential and inspiring to fuel you through the first few months of business, then get this book. In this book, Ken provides a basic but high actionable framework in the form of a workbook. Additional resources are also available on the accompanying website. Our favorite parts of the book share real-world companies’ experiences and analyze what worked and what didn’t.
The Startup Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank
This 600-page book clearly distinguishes between startup and regular business by drawing a clear line dividing startups and stabilized companies. As the name implies, it focuses solely on startups, which is why we include it here. In this practice-oriented book, the author lays out each step any founders need to take to get the business into operation. For the process-oriented thinkers, it comes with 77 checklists and over 100 graphs to guide you through. This is one manual that you want to have on your bookshelf for quick reference.
Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull
This book speaks to both the creator and leader in you that wants to create amazing things consistently. It uses the power of story to share what it takes to make a company fresh and innovative. Amongst others, you learn the story with a fresh angle on Pixar, Disney & Steve Jobs, and how they overcame failures and became a cultural icon as what we know them today.