This is an email I posted on the newsletter for The CEO Library, as part of a Startup Founder Reading plan. Here’s the entire 16 books list
I hope you had the time to read the first book I recommended, The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. A month should be more than enough :)
That being said, here’s my second book recommendation. I should mention, though, that this read should be the first one for every entrepreneur who decides to build a company around a product or service. Especially if it’s tech related in any way. The book is called The Lean Startup, written by Eric Reis. But don’t take my word for it, there are 29 other entrepreneurs that recommend this title on The CEO Library.
The Lean Startup talks about building a business around a product or a service, how to take that product/service to market fast, how to measure all the modifications and improvements you add to the product. Obviously, there is much more to the book than what I mentioned, but you need to read it in order to really understand why it’s recommended by a shitload of CEOs.
Among the entrepreneurs recommending the book is one of Facebook’s co-founders and initial CTO, Dustin Moskowitz – also co-founder at Asana – as well as the Chairman and co-founder of Intuit, Scott Cook. This is what they had to say:
Dustin Moskowitz: “At Asana, we’ve been lucky to benefit from Eric’s advice firsthand; this book will enable him to help many more entrepreneurs answer the tough questions about their business.”
Scott Cook: “Business is too important to be left to luck. Eric reveals the rigorous process that trumps luck in the invention of new products and new businesses. We’ve made this a centerpiece of how teams work in my company . . . it works! This book is the guided tour of the key innovative practices used inside Google, Toyota, and Facebook, that work in any business.”
Finally, if you want to know what the team at The CEO Library has to say about it, we actually read the book as part of our BookClub and you can listen to us here: Lessons Learned from The Lean Startup & How we Put them into Practice (Book Club Talk)
Look, me and my team used what we learned from the book while building Mavenhut. I read the book 4-5 times in the last 6 years. It’s the one book you should read before starting anything. And read it again in one year. You’ll see that the more your company grows, the more things become clearer as you read the book.
So even if you already read the book, read it again. With every re-read, you will have a deeper understanding of the lean startup concept. This is why, this month I won’t recommend another book, just in case.
P.S.: OK, OK, you’re twisting my hand. Here’s an alternative book, if you already read The Lean Startup or if you read fast. Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup by Rob Walling. It’s a good read about creating a side project, a product business on a smaller level, a, if I dare say, lifestyle business. It’s quite good and you should read this, as well, if you have the time.