3 Books Every Startup Employee Should Read

Tate Galbraith
Nov 8, 2019 · 3 min read
Photo by Ajda Berzin on Unsplash

If you’re working for a small startup and curious to learn more about the business or product side of the house, or you’re just curious about some business fundamentals this list is for you.

Whether you want to hone your skills and switch career paths or just understand more of what goes on inside the business machine, each one of these will help you build a better knowledge foundation.

Lets get started!

This is at the top of the list for a reason. This book is by far one of the best accounts of Silicon Valley tech as a whole. It chronicles the work of Antonio Garcia Martinez as he traverses the precarious world of startups, social media and advertising.

This has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in social media advertising or not, this story will keep you going page after page.

Some of the best information throughout the book is about the breakdown of topics like equity negotiation, venture capital financing and company politics. These topics are explained in terms of real figures that Antonio actually worked with or was offered. Curious how much Twitter offers you when they want to buy your company?

The author recounts gripping negotiation sessions that play out like an action movie. The story not only keeps you interested, but educated as well. The author wants you to know the brutal details of company politics and business through the lens of Silicon Valley.

You’re guaranteed to find parallels with some your own work inside this fantastic novel.

This one might seem a little out of place, but stick with me. In small companies you are exposed to the financial inner workings far more than a larger company. You might even work directly with valuation and funding or payroll on a daily basis. Having a basic understanding of finance and economics benefits you because you’ll be able to view and make decisions on issues with regard for the bigger picture.

Payroll and budget decisions might make more sense now that you understand how they play into inflation and cost of living.

I highly recommend this book because it breaks down a broad, complex subject like economics into a concise read with fantastic examples and explanations.

Marc Benioff is a controversial figure in Silicon Valley with his highly outspoken attitude regarding big tech companies and their motivations. Whether you agree with him or not, he is an inspirational voice and an extremely intelligent businessman. The content of his most recent novel is no exception, Trailblazer is an incredibly inspirational read from start to finish.

Salesforce is one of the largest and most successful businesses on the planet, so while this isn’t chronicling a startup exactly, it is imparting a solid foundation of values-first business practices in the reader.

The book is peppered with motivational, uplifting writing that is backed up by concise, gripping stories. Each value and idea that Benioff explains is powerful, it doesn’t feel forced or fake. Everything in the book is backed up by positive outcomes and actions instead of projections or theories.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of my recent favorite books. I hope you get something meaningful out of each one and apply the newfound knowledge to your own career or business in the future.

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Tate Galbraith

Written by

Software Engineer @mixhalo & die-hard Rubyist. Amateur Radio operator with a love for old technology. Tweet at me: https://twitter.com/@Tate_Galbraith

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +785K followers.

Tate Galbraith

Written by

Software Engineer @mixhalo & die-hard Rubyist. Amateur Radio operator with a love for old technology. Tweet at me: https://twitter.com/@Tate_Galbraith

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +785K followers.

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