Read or Re-read these Books to Become an Unstoppable Entrepreneur in 2016
Omaha, NE (12/16/15) Written by Sabastian Hunt
Here is a good cross section of business books to help make you an unstoppable (or even more unstoppable) founder in 2016. These books are old and new and for early stage entrepreneurs and for seasoned vets alike. To the extent possible, I’ve attached reviews and links to purchase or read/watch for free.
Early Stage Founders
Business Model Generation — This is a great book for first time founders and even experienced founders working on new startups. This book gets in depth on how to come up unique business models and provides an efficient framework for how to think about generating your business model. Read reviews and download free.
The Lean Startup — Reading or at least being aware of the concepts in this book is a MUST. This book is to thank for the testing fetish we have over at Year of the Startup. Just read it if you haven’t. Read reviews and buy.
The 100 Best Business Books of All Time — This book is interesting because it gives an overview and analysis of the top business books ever made before 2011. This is great for the new founder and the seasoned founder to take a survey of the entire literature. Read reviews and buy.
How to Win Friends and Influence People —This is a timeless classic. This will make you a better salesperson and just a better person in general. There is a reloaded version of this book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age” that you can check out next. Read reviews and buy.
The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses —This is a personal favorite of mine — compiling the results of 1000’s of hours of surveys and analyzing data from founders of founders of the 100 fastest growing companies of the time. Read reviews and buy.
Nudge — read reviews and buy. This is a behavioral economics classic. This book introduces ideas such as libertarian paternalism and choice architecture. The ideas in this book are potent and data driven yet sometimes counter-intuitive making this book probably the most helpful on this list.
Blue Ocean Strategy — This book is all about creating uncontested market space and making the competition irrelevant. This book introduces an important analytical tool in the Strategic Canvas. Read reviews and buy.
4 Hour Work Week — I was really late to the party on this one and I’ve been kicking myself for not reading this one sooner! In this book, Tim Ferriss introduces hacks and tactics of the “new rich” that you can apply today to work smarter and live better. This book goes above and beyond and has tons of specifics to go along with theory it introduces. Read reviews and listen free.
Collective Genius — This book teaches you how to lead and manage the process of innovation. This book rejects the idea of the brilliant founder who recruits a team to execute his/her vision. Instead it says that innovation is by definition unpredictable and there is no “keeper of the vision” instead there are contexts which work better or worse for ushering in and sustaining innovation. Read reviews and buy.
The Revenue Growth Habit — To be honest, this is the only book on the list that I haven’t read but it’s next on my list. This was recommended by a friend who is a founder of a startup house in California. This book made the list because it seems to address one of the biggest problems in startups head on: how to achieve growth. This is a tactic heavy book with a 22 point action plan that I can’t wait to dive in to. Read reviews and buy.
The Creator’s Code — This book gets granular about the different methods and skills that creators leverage. You’ll definitely gain a huge appreciation for the “Pay Pal Mafia” after reading this and learning about the businesses that the early team built after disbanding from Pay Pal. This was the best book that I read in 2015. Read reviews and buy.
The Hard Thing about Hard Things — This book’s subtitle tells you everything you need to know about this book:”building a business when there are no easy answers.” This will be a classic. This gem is from Ben Horowitz, one half of the VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz. I like this book because it confronts the hard truth about starting up and gives lots of examples from Horowitz’s life. Bonus: each chapter opens up with a line from a rap song. Read reviews and buy.
Origin of Species — You may not think this Charles Darwin has much to do with entrepreneurship but this book partially inspired another book on this list, “Origins and Evolution of New Businesses.” Before reading this book re-imagine each species as a startup company trying to survive in a competitive marketplace. It’s an unusual framework but trust me on this one. Read reviews and listen free.
Structure of Scientific Revolutions — I would only recommend this book for founders in super technical/science-y startups and investor types. This book helps understand the how science/tech paradigms have shifted over time and paved the way for modern disruption. Read reviews and download free.
The 4 Hour Chef — This is really a book about learning under the guise of a book about cooking. The author, Tim Ferriss, uses cooking as a vehicle to provide a context for how to learn anything quicker. Read reviews and buy.
Got any other suggestions for books that should be on the Unstoppable Founder’s List for 2016? Let me know in the comments.