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The 10 Best Startup Books Every Founder Should Read

Are you looking for guidance on getting your new startup off the ground? Maybe you and your co-founder need help to construct your business plan so you can pitch to potential investors?

Either way, you can never get enough knowledge and information on your course to see your startup succeed…what is one of the best ways of getting the education you need to build your business? Books, of course.

That’s why we here at Geekdom put together our list of the top 10 best startup books for any new founder.

Happy reading!

The 10 Best Books for Any Startup Founders or New Businesses

1. Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish

The Rockefeller Habits or Scaling Up (as newer editions are called) are the set of guidelines, principles and systems that any business should implement for producing fast and effective growth.

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This book is the ultimate guide and reference book for setting up the “system” that is your business. Starting with Harnish’s “One Page Strategic Plan,” use the tools, resources and powerful case studies provided to begin structuring and setting up your business for optimal growth.

For me, as an entrepreneur, this is a book I keep on my bookshelf close by, as I’m constantly referencing back whenever I approach a new hurdle in my businesses.

Learn more about the book and start getting free resources at https://scalingup.com/.

2. The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch


Want to know the secrets of achieving more but by doing less? Yeah, sounds crazy right?

Well, through reading this epic book by Richard Koch and understanding what the 80/20 principle is all about, you and your team will be able to do more with less as you begin to identify which actions you are taking in your business are leading to the most positive outcomes.

Any successful startup founders need to learn how to do more with less. Learn about the imbalances and inequalities in cause and effects and start maximizing your output (and success).


3. The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

Perhaps one of the best books on systems management and improvement, The Goal, is an essential read for any startup founder.

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See the world in a different way after this read, as your focus will drive to what is called the “bottleneck” in your business. The Goal provides a formula for continuous improvement so the business you are running, all the way from sales to delivery of your product/service gets better and better over time.

4. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

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Want to know how to create a product that is not only innovative but highly valuable in the market? In this book, you’ll learn how to find what the authors refer to as the “Blue Ocean” space of any market, the areas that customers still find a tremendous amount of value but where the competition is limited.

With step by step processes and tools, Chan Kim and Mauborgne use plenty of real-life case studies of businesses that have found the “Blue Ocean” and thrived, making this a must-read for any startup founders as the battle the product development sphere.

5. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

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The Lean Startup is an important book for any startup team. Essentially a step by step guide to creating a sustainable business in the leanest way possible, Reis gives you all you need to know to launch a successful enterprise.

Learn what business model you need to employ to hit the market fast, share in epiphany from customer feedback and adapt your products to be more valuable.

6. Zero to One by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters9780804139298 p0 v4 s1200x630

A bold variant on the preachings of producing a “sustainable business” in Zero to One, Peter Thiel advises startup founders look to bring into existence what has never existed before.

Truly innovative (and ultimately profitable) companies Thiel believes, come from finding areas of the market where no solution existed…and now one does.

This book, originally a series of talks Thiel gave to Stanford students will surely inspire you and your startup team to wildly innovate on your course to creating a successful business.

7. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

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Ben’s book is an interesting take on the psychology of running a business. Throughout much of the book, Horowitz talks about the difficulties CEOs experience and how to overcome them.

Highly recommended for developing the mental toughness it requires to start and run a successful business. A business book for those looking to push their mental fortitudes.

8. Good to Great by Jim Collins


Wondering what makes a small business great?  Good to Great, by Jim Collins is a classic business book that depicts greatness in not just business but as well in life and the roadmap to get there.

Take your business plan and turn it into an inspiring story of massive success as Collins will challenge you and your co-founder to ask not, “Why greatness?” but “What work makes you feel compelled to try to create greatness?”

9. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

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Does your business require you on a daily basis just to keep the lights on? The central concept of this classic by Michael Gerber is to focus on building a business that doesn’t need you to run on a daily basis. Otherwise, you are creating yourself a job. 🙂

Learn the difference, and learn how to ensure you are setting your business up in such a way that you aren’t needed to hold things together, but rather drive value, innovation and install the cultural values and story a new startup needs to thrive!

10. The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande 71CwWiCJhuL

Curious about what drives many of the issues, errors and failures in medicine? Wonder why airlines are so efficient, safe and an extremely secure way of travel? Checklists!

And while the title of this book may give you the complete message, the thoughtful and valuable data-driven case studies Gawande shares help give you the real-world examples of implementing process and procedure into your day to day.

As a startup founder you need stop wasting your mental energy on repeatable tasks and focus your critical cognitive capacities on the creative thinking it requires to run your startup!

Conclusion: Read & Achieve

Which book will you start with? Are there any books that have really helped you in your business pursuits that need to be added to our list??

Let us know in the comments below!

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