Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Walking the High-Tech High Wire: The Technical Entrepreneur's Guide to Running a Successful Enterprise by David Adamson, http://www.amazon.com/Walking-High-Tech-High-Wire-Entreprene...

The best tech startup book I've read, by a founder of a company that came up with a unique semiconductor device. They had to create their market (it had great advantages but they had to convince EEs to do something unconventional), they had to discover what made them money (selling parts or services (consulting)), etc.

If your company is going to have a lot of people and has repeatable processes (i.e. you're not developing software) The E-Myth by Michael Gerber or I suppose its revision (which I haven't read): http://www.amazon.com/E-Myth-Revisited-Small-Businesses-Abou...

He suggests that you build up any company of this nature as if you're going to franchise it.

He also has a lot of other good advice; one that comes to mind is to make sure that there's a head for every "hat", i.e. make sure every critical function is the responsibility of someone, don't let anything fall through the cracks simply because of oversight.

At the other end of the spectrum, it's no accident that Robert X. Cringely's Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date is still in print: http://www.amazon.com/Accidental-Empires-Silicon-Millions-Co...

Read/skim it if for nothing else but the lesson of how Intel, after it had gotten quite big almost died due to the innocent well intentioned actions of one man. He makes the point that high tech companies, even if they enter the Fortune 500, aren't like "normal" ones.

There's the conceit that when a company gets big enough, no one person can kill it. His example is only one of many you can find where screwing up at the technical level can with frightening speed put a high tech company on a terminal path (see the recent "When the elves leave Middle Earth" HN item for another example of this: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1007750).

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact