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I strongly and passionately disagree. I’ve read many many startup books. They are all completely and utterly useless in my opinion.

If you want to know something specific say accounting, read a book about that specific area. If you want to know more about the “general” aspects of startups - listen to interviews of founders about which unique chellenges they faced.

I strongly discourage anyone starting a business to not listen to Sam Altman’s advice or anyone who gives generic “strategic” advice. These books are akin to “How to become a millionaire”. Yes, I’m talking about books such as “Lean Startup”, etc.

You get so much value from reading about specific aspects than from general startup books. Learn how each LEGO piece works and learn it well. You know, you’re going to have to rely on these specifics to actually get your business rolling. Strategic advice - you can consult your friends, discuss and determine the best course of action through your own acumen based on data that you have. That startup book on your shelf is not going to help at all.






I disagree. Many people doing startups for the first time have no experience running a business and no idea what the actual building blocks are. I think YC's library of advice are a goldmine for them, because of the simple lessons like "validate the market" or "get feedback from people who are not friends or family". It doesn't seem like they're hearing that anywhere else.

See my comment and discussion in this thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17189254

I’m a big fan of “just in time” learning. When I’m facing a specific challenge I look for books and articles that will educate me more about potential solutions (eg your accounting book example).

However, for many founders, myself included, there’s an aspect of “you don’t know what you don’t know” and in these cases I find the generalist books quite helpful. For these topics, it is extremely helpful to have a wide but shallow understanding of business, strategy, law, etc so if you encounter a problem you at least understand enough to know where you can dive deeper (or know you need to hire someone else). The advice in general business strategy books certainly lacks nuance. But for anyone who is not already enmeshed in the many many aspects of running a complete business themselves, they are great guides to gain a 10,000 foot view very quickly.


I agree with you ,and I also share your opinion.



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