Are you fascinated by new technologies and want to make a dent in the universe?
You’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll review 10 of the best books for tech entrepreneurs, startup owners, and founders.
These titles will fill you with inspiration, show you what’s possible, and most importantly, equip you with the knowledge necessary to succeed in the competitive business world.
When you analyze the behavior of the most successful people in business, especially in the tech game like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg, you’ll quickly realize that they spend an inordinate amount of time reading.
But it’s not about how much you read, but rather the quality of the material that’s most important.
There are many books that promise that you’ll get rich fast, or turn your company around within a week. That’s mostly BS and that’s also why you have to sort through the fluff and concentrate on reading only books that contain applicable real-world knowledge.
In other words – always learn from experts with practical experience in the business world.
Maybe you’re still thinking about opening up your tech-related business. Or maybe you’re already on your way to creating a wonderful product that will change the world. Either way, you should consider absorbing the knowledge contained in these books.
Actually, one of my favorite ways to consume content is with Audiobooks. I strongly suggest you sign up for Audible if you haven’t already as this will double your learning speed.
Top Books For Tech Entrepreneurs
1. The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide For Anyone Starting Anything
This is a revised and expanded edition of the classic by Guy Kawasaki. The book is all about starting a new venture.
Now it has more information because it’s updated for the current volatile business environment. It has all the info you need about how to use crowdfunding, social media, cloud computing, and different online tools that will make your entrepreneurial journey faster.
But it’s not only about technical gimmicks and smart business tools. It’s also about the fundamentals such as building a team, creating a product that people will actually want, and facing the inevitable challenges related to the growth of your new company.
2. The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide: How to Bootstrap Your Startup, Lead Through Tough Times, And Cash in For Success
This book will help you gain a more realistic perspective on the tech startup world. You will quickly realize that only a tiny fraction of new ventures even reach the funding stage. And from those that do an even smaller number reach the big cash out the day.
What I like about this one, it’s that it’s written by an actual practitioner. Bernd Schoner built his company during the dot com bust era, then navigated it’s through the 2008 financial crisis. He ultimately sold his venture for millions of dollars to a multinational public technology company.
From the book, you will learn about the company life-cycles, and how to avoid fatal mistakes related to each of the stages of growth.
3. Inspired: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love, Second Edition
This book contains the secrets on how to develop extraordinary technology products, based on the processes used by companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Tesla. You’ll see that the process is so much different from how your regular startup founder approaches product development.
You will learn how to gather the right people for your product team, and how to create a product culture that will enable you to immediately leverage feedback from the market.
Another great thing about this title is that it’s not only meant for people already navigating mid-sized to big companies. It’s also for the startups that are looking for the right product-market fit, and growth stage companies that want to take their software to the next level.
4. The Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell
If you learn, always learn from the best. This book is written by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle, and teaches you management lessons from the legendary business executive Bill Campbell.
Campbell was a master coach, whose knowledge and experience helped many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to reach the heights of success. He played a crucial role in the development of companies such as Google, Apple, and Intuit.
Nothing will give you more inspiration in tough times than this book. It also teaches you a valuable business lesson. It’s that everyone needs a coach or a trusted advisor to make it through the tough times that will inevitably come.
5. Tuned In: Uncover The Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead To Business Breakthroughs
This book is the bible of product creation. By reading it you’ll see how to create something unique that will separate you from your competition. Instead of trying to get a slice of the market pie, you will create a whole new product category that will solve huge problems, ultimately lead to profits and growth.
It’s all about testing the market (that’s where the book is called “Tuned In”). You will learn how to use a 6 step process that will enable you to discover insights about any market. You’ll have a firm grasp on discovering unresolved problems, understanding market needs and creating breakthrough experiences.
In other words, this book will teach you how not to be just another tech startup, and instead to create something extraordinary in a category of its own.
6. Lost And Founder: A Painfully Honest Guide To The Startup World
This is one of the best business books I’ve ever read. It’s written by Rand Fishkin, the founder of one of the most successful SEO technology companies in the world.
It’s written in a heartwarming style and it presents the journey of the author who started in business as a web designer along his mum. Then he went on to build a great company with an original culture, which made a large contribution to the online business world.
The book will teach you that creating a unicorn (a start-up that ultimately achieves a billion dollar valuation), is nearly impossible. Also, you’ll learn the truth about working with venture capitalists, and how your best interest is not always their top priority.
It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to get an honest perspective on building a tech business from scratch.
7. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
This is already a classic of the tech startup world, but this doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. It starts with painful news – most startups fail. But it doesn’t mean that you have to go down that route. There are things you can do to prevent the collapse and adapt to the environment.
Business people of today face extreme uncertainty when starting their new ventures. Never before was there so much competition and so many new products coming out into the market every single day. That’s why you need to adopt the lean approach and test your ideas in the market as frequently as possible.
This instant feedback will then help you chart a new course. Forget about the business plan, and use the lean approach described in this book.
8. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How To Build The Future
This is another classic of the entrepreneurial genre. It’s written by the billionaire investor, Peter Thiel and if you haven’t read it you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s a book written for visionary business people. It will show you that you can only accomplish so much by basing your business on incremental improvement.
What you should do instead is to create a revolutionary technology that will shift the paradigm in which we operate. Think about companies like Uber or Tesla and how their groundbreaking innovations changed the world.
Of course, this kind of approach requires courage and the ability to think outside the box. But this book is written specially to stimulate your thinking.
9. Artificial Intelligence for Marketing: Practical Applications
Artificial intelligence is changing everything around us. It’s uber-important for entrepreneurs to understand how exactly the forces of AI will shape the world in the coming years. And there’s no area our this technology is going to be more applicable than marketing.
Using AI chatbots, natural language processing, smart AB testing programs, voice recognition, retargeting, autonomous marketing campaign management, ai-aided search engine optimization, automatic video editing, seamless translation, automatic content generation, and AI-enhanced e-commerce strategy will become the bread-and-butter of the entrepreneur of tomorrow.
By reading this book by Jim Sterne, you’ll grasp the contents of AI and its magnitude and actually apply it to your own advantage.
10. Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of The Blockchain Economy
This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in blockchain and the cryptocurrency based economy. According to the author, George Gilder, Google is not an indestructible company and it will fade into the annals of tech history, as a mammoth that refused to change when faced by competitors using blockchain.
The “free” content model, fueled by revenue coming from advertising is not going to survive over the next decade, which will create space for many innovations in terms of how we consume and produce content.
It’s a fascinating read and it enables you to grasp the vastness of today’s tech world, and perhaps give you an inspiration about how to change it yourself.
Develop a reading habit if you want to be a successful tech entrepreneur
The most successful CEO’s read one book a week on average, which translates to 50 – 60 books per year. These are mostly non-fiction titles written to help them understand the business world better and then bend the reality to their will.
It’s always great to do what other successful people are doing. But you might be wondering how will you ever find enough time to read a book a week. There are many ways to do that:
- Develop a reading habit
- Plan your reading sessions in advance
- Take a speed reading course
- Listen to Audiobooks at increased speeds
Do whatever it takes to stay ahead of the curve because the world of technology is a place where things are changing more rapidly than anywhere.
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