Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read (davidcancel.com)
95 points by oliver_olsen on Aug 26, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 21 comments

Link dead for me. Found the list republished here: http://thenextbigtechthing.com/10-books-every-entrepreneur-s...

"The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Law" -- LLC vs C-corp vs S-Corp? Founder’s vesting? Liquidation Preferences? Equity vs Debt financing? This book will educate you enough to be able to answer these and many other important questions.

"Bootstrapping Your Business" -- From the founder of RightNow. The amazing story of how a geographically-challenged (Montana) entrepreneur built a world class business.

"Purple Cow" -- Dead simple premise, the key to marketing is to build something remarkable.

"The Art of the Start" -- The Art of Pitching, Marketing and Funding your Startup.

"The Innovator’s Dilemma" -- If your startup beats all the odds and becomes hugely successful prepare yourself for the innovator’s dilemma, cannibalize your product before someone else does.

"The E-Myth Revisited" -- How-to create a business not a job.

"Permission Marketing" -- The greatest marketing asset your startup can build is the permission to market to your customers and prospects.

"Growing a Business" -- Sincere advice for creating a company culture that your team and customers will love.

"The Cluetrain Manifesto" -- Successful marketing is a conversation.

"Bottom-up Marketing" -- Pure bottoms-up execution. Marketing tactics to grow your business.

I'm sure it's a good list of books, but you can't really talk about entrepreneurship without mentioning Steven Gary Blank's "Four Steps to the Epiphany"

Any entrepreneurship reading list without "Four Steps to the Ephphany" or "Crossing the Chasm" is suspect.

Didn't care for Purple Cow, and, in general, find Godin's books to be filled with often ambiguous (and sometimes contradictory) anecdotes.

OTOH Rob Walling's Start Small, Stay Small has tangible, actionable, information.

the site is hackernews-ed! thanks for the summary.


> If the original title begins with a number or number + gratuitous adjective, we'd appreciate it if you'd crop it. E.g. translate "10 Ways To Do X" to "How To Do X," and "14 Amazing Ys" to "Ys." Exception: when the number is meaningful, e.g. "The 5 Platonic Solids."

Could we crop the title please?

If I read every 'must read' book I'd never have any time to actually do the thing in question!

Skip over the anecdotes, then most self-help business books are about 50 pages of text…

And the points they make are even less than that. I've worked places with a subscription to get abstract:


Very nice; you can just subscribe to the business books feeds, read the 3-page PDF summaries, and decide if you care to read any deeper.

I really liked Kindle's samples in this regard. Most of it is a few pages from the introduction, and most of the time that's very representative for the those types of books. If it starts with a recollection of the author's childhood or the experiences of a client, you can ditch it most of the time…

I was thinking the same thing, which in turn reminded me of the ultimate productivity blog (linked from Coding Horror):


I would add personal MBA by Josh Kauffman to that. It's a high level summary of all areas an entrepreneur should know about.

Meh, I didn't find it that great. I thought the reading list was great but 'skin deep generalizations' is equivalent to 'high level summaries' in my opinion.

Someone please add "Building Scalable Websites" to that list, as his site appears to have stopped doing so and the link is now dead

Start Small, Stay Small


Prehaps entrepreneurs should stop reading and start doing. Some things are just impossible to learn from a book, and even the things that can be learned from a book can be learned faster and better through personal experience.

That's way too broad and general. The problems that hit entrepreneurs along the way are often things they don't know they should be learning before it's too late. By that point, the only thing you're learning from is your mistakes, and that's no way to learn if you can avoid it.

Didn't care much for Purple Cow, but Art of the Start and Innovators Dilemma are solid.

Just finished reading Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt. Very good book.

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham.

Great book for investment principles, not sure how good it would be for entrepreneurs except in a very circumstantial way

This is a list of books for people who wanted to know how Entrepreneur works.

Entrepreneur should do 2 things:

1) Work

2) Stop doing stupid things.

Applications are open for YC Summer 2018

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