Favorite Startup Reads

I’m more geeky than you might think. I find start up books more entertaining than any books about a girl with a dragon tattoo (disclosure, never read it!) Instead books that have me on the edge of my seat are about startups and real life business deals and scenarios. The following is my list of books I blazed through and wished for more.

Here’s my list of favorite business books:

Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal
by Nick Bilton.
Who needs a soap opera with a title like that? I’ve just started my own startup and am reluctant to re-read this one at this time… or perhaps ever again. I’ve never heard of so much back stabbing and dysfunction in one small company. Juicy read!

Delivery Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
Most people probably read this book for its promise of “path to profits” but I enjoyed it for the “passion” of the book. It reminded me of how crazy a startup can be and don’t waste time just to vest stock once you already have enough money. Keep on living with passion and purpose!

Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson
I know there’s been much controversy over this book but I think it shows Steve Jobs for exactly who he was — a driven man. It also shows that so much of his life was about timing and mistakes that serendipitously lead to future success.

Personal History by Katharine Graham
The history buff in me couldn’t put this one down. Katharine Graham became an “accidental leader” after her husband’s suicide as the legendary as the editor of the Washington Post.

Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook by Dan Shapiro
Truly this is the best book ever for anyone wanting to start their own venture backed company. It sounds dry but it was an enjoyable read. I am now on a mission to meet Dan Shapiro to personally thank him for writing this book. The book came out just as I was launching my own company and I’m positive it has saved me from gazillions of mistakes and has pointed me in the right direction. Also it was an extra fun read for me as I knew of many of the names mentioned in the book as my husband has been a serial Seattle entrepreneur, which is a small cast of characters. Not a choice read for anyone NOT starting a startup.

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
I must admit I was pissed for about two weeks after reading this book. I lamented the opportunities I let pass me by just by holding myself back without even realized I had done so! If only I had read this in teens perhaps I would be writing this from my already established empire… I recommend this book to anyone, male and female. In fact I’ll go so far as to say “required reading” for all Americans.

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Anyone who needs to price a product or service needs to read this book. Immediately.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Okay, so this one most likely won’t be found in the business category… and I never thought I’d pick out a book about a shepard, but I love this book. It reminded me to follow my passion and just reset my mind if/when I encounter failure.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
A classic. I even love the vintage kitschy examples. Hopefully I have more friends now and have influenced people since reading it 10 years ago.

My next read is one recommended by Dan Shapiro in the Hot Seat book:
Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People by G. Richard Shell.
Sounds like a real page turner, huh? I’ll keep you posted.