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Ask HN: Recommend books for a software developer opening a business
34 points by JamesReeves1988 on Aug 23, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments
Just about to release software and I was wondering what books are a good read to help me with all the business/finance side of the business.

I would recommend "Start Small, Stay Small." It was very useful for me when I starter a side business that two years later has billings in the range of $175,000/year in licenses. In my case, it is subscription-only offline software.

I also recommend this. Opened my eyes up to using VAs (Virtual Assistants) to help do things you probably shouldn't be working on.

i have recently read 'the e myth' which i would definitely recommend especially for the business/finance/planning side of things


If you are aiming for more than a lifestyle business, read The Curse of the Mogul [1][2]. It's a graduate level course in formal business strategy disguised as a fun and easily readable analysis of why the media industry is so broken. The author is a Columbia business school professor who specializes in business strategy. The book won't help you get your first customers but it will help you design a business that can stay on top once it gains that traction.

[1] https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Curse_of_the_Mogul.... [2] http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB100014240527487032980045744570...

What specific areas are you looking to cover? Ryan Holiday is really great for covering marketing and I really like Alexander Osterwalder for building a suitable business model - the business model canvas really gets you to think about all the processes within your organization.

I've pulled together a spreadsheet of some of the best business books available here (warning: there's over 380 on the list): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cjhp55VHRWyNjjQca2Wg...

- The Growth Hackers book - The books from Steve Blank - The Art of Profitability - The Checklist Manifesto - iCon - The Second Greatest Act in Business - The Narrow Road - A good book on Copywriting - The Mythical Man-Month - Peopleware - No Silver Bullet - Death March by Edward Yourdon - A Random Walk down Wall Street

And a whole bunch more - https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/9837702-hrishikesh-cho...

Full disclosure, this is my project.


We send out a book each month that matches the course you sign up for. The goal is to help people read more, but I also believe reading is one of the best ways to develop the soft skills needed in business. One book a month, every month, is compounding interest for your brain.

I'd recommend checking out Joel Spolsky's Reading List: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/FogCreekMBACurriculum... You might want to start with Guy Kawasaki's "Art of the Start" and Josh Kaufman's very useful "The Personal MBA"

http://www.sideprojectbook.com/ This is an ebook I put together where I interviewed 39 entrepreneurs who had built a successful side business without leaving their full time gigs.

Well, I wrote a book on how to monetize and price software products... http://taprun.com/pricing

I'm not sure I'd recommend that book today. Even the author said that it's out dated today because it was so tactical when it was published.

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