Startup founders know that they have to work hard and do their research in order to stand a chance at success. We know you’re busy growing your company—that’s why we’ve compiled this list of valuable information for you to peruse.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the best books, blogs, and other resources (in no particular order) that we’ve found to be highly useful for startups. Whether you’ve just made your first sale or you’re about to be acquired, the insights you find in the materials below are sure to be of use for startups big and small.
The 3 Best Books for Startups
1. Will It Fly? by Pat Flynn
Have an idea bouncing around in your head for your next startup, but aren’t sure whether it has legs? Rushing into business with a half-baked concept is one of the biggest reasons that startups fail—but you don’t want to miss out before someone else enters the market, either. Pat Flynn’s book “Will It Fly?” will help you ask the right questions to validate whether your business or product scheme is a viable one.
2. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The lean methodology is a management philosophy that has its roots in the Toyota manufacturing process of the late 20th century, emphasizing continuous improvement and the importance of the customer. In his book “The Lean Startup,” Eric Ries outlines how to run your company according to the lean methodology by shortening product development cycles and making smarter business decisions.
3. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Once your startup is up and running, it’s up to you to make the difficult choices that will shape the direction of your company. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ben Horowitz turned his popular blog into the book The Hard Thing About Hard Things, which discusses the complexities and problems that business leaders face on a day-to-day basis. If you’re looking for advice on hiring, firing, office politics, or selling your company, this book will help guide you along the way.
The 3 Best Blogs for Startups
AllBusiness is a hub of highly practical advice for small and medium businesses. The website publishes bite-sized articles written by business leaders who have distinguished themselves in their field, perfect for reading over breakfast or on your smartphone. Recent topics include “12 Things Startups Should Consider When Buying Health Insurance” and “The Most Common Mistake Companies Make With Social Media Marketing.”
QuickSprout is a blog run by British entrepreneur and web marketing guru Neil Patel. Readers of QuickSprout can find advice on every aspect of improving your company’s online presence: building a website or an e-commerce store, optimizing your site’s results in search engines like Google, running social media campaigns, and much more. As the Internet becomes increasingly crucial for startups of all types and industries, QuickSprout will help you get more web traffic and grow your business.
FeldThoughts is the personal and professional blog of entrepreneur and venture capitalist Brad Feld. The FeldThoughts website is a mix of content that makes for a captivating read: advice for startup founders, interesting books about entrepreneurship, news from the technology industry, travel diaries, and funny videos.
The 3 Best Resources for Startups
The aptly named StartUp podcast chronicles the stories of fledgling businesses that are struggling to make the big time, with one story per season. StartUp was turned into a short-lived TV show called Alex, Inc. starring Zach Braff. Replete with humor and valuable insights, StartUp makes for worthy listening when you’re in your car or at the gym.
2. “How to Start a Startup”
“How to Start a Startup” is a series of lectures freely available on YouTube that were originally given as a course at Stanford University in fall 2014. Featuring an array of renowned guest speakers who each bring their experience to the table, the “How to Start a Startup” series covers everything from hiring and product design to legal and accounting issues.
edX offers free online video courses from some of the world’s top universities, including MIT, Harvard, and the University of California Berkeley. The website includes valuable material on business-critical skills like programming, data science, management, and finance that can help get you up to speed fast.