Otherwise you're going to end up with the same old stuff (SICP, Release It!, GEB, Code Complete, blah blah blah). Those books are actually good but they are on every single list and even worse, some "modern classics" are actually complete dreck. You might impress your developer friends but you won't advance yourself.
For example when I was studying for my PhD in signal processing and machine learning (before machine learning became popular again) I had to learn a lot about functional analysis. I also needed to learn a small amount of measure theory; and to go appreciably deeper in to time-frequency analysis, probability, and statistics, than I had before.
I discovered many masterpieces of my own accord. I never would have seen them because one lesson I learned during my literature review and actually doing research is that very few people actually read the books and articles they cite. They merely copy bibliographies from one ancestor article to another without knowing why.
Given how expensive textbooks are, it's well worth taking a bunch out and deciding if you actually want to buy any of them. Especially books outside your field (eg as a physicist I would take out CS books).
I tend to buy the books they are throwing out as they're only 20p each.
To be fair, there is a lot of terrible books but there's always the odd hidden gem in there.
I'd never have found any of them in a search or a review site... gotta love the analog world.
I don't get it. If these are good books and you have not read them, how will you not advance yourself by reading them?
It illustrates in the most logical progression a set of easily implementable steps to ensure that your own confirmation bias doesn’t sink your company.
You're welcome :)
My favorites, which I read only after I launched a product:
Rework. About improving a product.
"This is Marketing" from Seth Godin. To get the right mindset about who the audience is.
"Great how-to guide about being a micropreneur: an entrepreneur running many small but profitable businesses."
Here's a Sivers summary of the book
I’ve been meaning to update this for years but hard to find the time. Right now MicroConf and TinySeed are keeping me busy, but it continues to be on my long-term list.
It's about identifying the difference between dips (good business ideas facing inevitable challenges) and cul-de-sacs (poor ideas that are not going anywhere).
> Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations
> Extraordinary benefits also accrue to the tiny majority with the guts to quit early and refocus their efforts on something new
> Quit the wrong stuff. Stick with the right stuff. Have the guts to do one or the other....the opportunity cost of investing your life in something that’s not going to get better is just too high
The beauty of autobiography books is that we need to aggregate (generalize) these key insights based on the raw story ("subjectively raw" of-course) and our current situation.
The most valuable part for me is about overcoming hard problems.
The #1 book in my list is "Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight (The Founder of Nike). There is also an audiobook where Phil himself is read the first chapter.
As the exact target audience, it's kind of neat to me.
This guy is productive and successful, and likes to share knowledge and ideas.
“Then, just two weeks before the launch, Marc, without telling Mike or me, revealed the entire strategy to the publication Computer Reseller News. I was livid. I immediately sent him a short email:
To: Marc Andreessen
Cc: Mike Homer
From: Ben Horowitz
Subject : Launch
I guess we’re not going to wait until the 5th to launch the strategy.
Within 15 minutes, I received the following reply:
To: Ben Horowitz
Cc: Mike Homer, Jim Barksdale (CEO), Jim Clark (Chairman)
From: Marc Andreessen
Subject: Re: Launch
Apparently you do not understand how serious the situation is. We are getting killed killed killed out there. Our current product is radically worse than the competition. We’ve had nothing to say for months. As a result, we’ve lost over $3B in market capitalization. We are now in danger of losing the entire company and it’s all server product management’s fault.
Next time do the fucking interview yourself.
Build Your Saas
Product Hunt Radio
Start Ups for the Rest of Us
Everyone Hates Marketers
The Art of Product
Masters of Scale
This entire book is literally about companies that focus on deliberately growing but still staying excellent. Many were profitable and didn't raise a lot of outside funding. Many also were strongly owned by employees.
Having 100% make me think the target audience are MBA students and not "hackers"
Andrew Grove’s High Output Management
John Brooks’ Business Adventures
Brad Felds and Jason Mendelson’s Venture Deals
Antifragile is on the list, but Fooled by Randomness is better I think as it’s shorter and contains almost all the ideas.
The War of Art is undoubtedly a self-help book, and so is How to Make Friends and Influence people. Both contain little more than trivial platitudes IMO. I have not read the other books, but from the abstracts it looks like several more can be considered self-help books.
I was hoping for hands-on books like "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz & Hill or similar.
It largely refers to software developers who make a living from one-or-more revenue-generating businesses they've built themselves.
This type of person is distinct from people who are employed full-time (or on a long-term contract) or who fund a business with major outside investment.
The key values of the indie-hacker community seem to be around building sustainable businesses that can fund an individual or small team to build valuable products for a small-but-substantial niche of customers, as distinct from the "boom or bust" approach of VC-funded, rapid-growth-focused startups.