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Ask HN: What's one book or article I should read before starting a company?
12 points by sowhatquestion 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments
Classic story for HN I assume. I'm a developer with an idea for a SaaS trying to figure out what's in store for me if I pursue it. My question in a nutshell: What are the current best practices around product development and growing a SaaS startup?

Neal Stephenson's template business plan (lifted from the cryptonomicon): http://avsport.org/microcomm/admin/busplan.pdf

Still a fun read and should inject a dose of realism in your own plans.

Startup playbook covers all the basics, but not in detail: https://playbook.samaltman.com/

Product development is straightforward. Build something a few people love, not something a lot of people kinda like. Landing sites, sign ups, questionnaires, focus groups.. all that is meaningless. The litmus test is how much money they throw at you. The early adopters often have already hacked together a solution that is ugly and unstable, and if you can build something better, they'll happily give you money. Launch your solution early, take note of criticism, and quickly fix it.

[random internet remarks]

Reading a book is easier than finding customers. Without customers, all the books in the world won't matter. Reading books is useful in school. It's useful before interviews. It's not a substitute for facing face to face rejection. Reference: Before the startup http://www.paulgraham.com/before.html

Read nothing. Fill Guy Kawasaki's 10-slide pitch desk.

Find my full comment on this here:


Well, I think a book to motivate you and get you out there, making something the quickest, is RE:WORK. It was written by the Ruby on Rails creator and his co founder at Basecamp. It’s pretty different than most books and most ideas are 1-2 pages long and I found that it got me motivated to build faster than any other book.

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