5 recommended startup reads

To be a successful entrepreneur, employee or freelancer, you need to be able to pick tons of information, contacts, ideas and opportunities. It is intense and challenging. The moment you want to take a break and relax in a cozy corner, a book might be the best friend.

At one of our Talent Garden campuses we spotted some members reading with their after-lunch coffee cup and asked to make an ultimate recommendations list.

Here are 5 recommended books every aspiring tech and startup lover should read:

1. Zero To One.

“If you’ve invented something new but you haven’t invented an effective way to sell it, you have a bad business—no matter how good the product.”

Perhaps, a venture capitalist Peter Thiel no longer needs an introduction as he co-founded widely used PayPal. The book Zero To One is a great easy-to-follow and inspiring reading about companies that are born out of nothing. We have a special note for you to look at the chapters on fortune – “You Are Not a Lottery Ticket” and definitely on the one acknowledging that most of the bets that venture capitalist make are real failures – “Follow the Money”.

2. Made To Stick.

“Creativity starts with templates”

We can’t make a count how many times this book by Heath Brothers was listed among the best ones, but even those who do not believe in best sellers should definitely take it into their hands. Made to Stick is full of playful, insightful and memorable examples that can transform the way you communicate your ideas and ‘make them stick’ in your audience mind. We highly recommend it to managers, entrepreneurs and marketers who want to understand better how to make their ideas survive and spread.

3. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

“79% of smartphone owners that check their device within 15 minutes of waking up every morning. Perhaps more startling, fully one-third of Americans say they would rather give up sex than loose their cell phones.”

Nir Eyal in his book explains in detail a 4 steps process embedded into the products of many successful and well-known companies. The model is about encouraging customer behavior, involvement and longer-term engagement. Highly recommended for product managers, designers, marketers, founders and the other curious ones seeking better understanding about product influence on consumer behavior.

4. Startup Growth Engines: Case Studies of How Today’s Most Successful Startups Unlock Extraordinary Growth

“Tweet and Like buttons isn’t word of mouth. Rather, word of mouth comes from content, thoughtfulness, solved problems, and ease of use—in short, the whole experience of a product or service.”

Valuable insights by Sean Ellis on agile and outstanding companies, such as Uber, Square, Snapchat, Evernote, Hubspot, Github and Yelp growth. It is a truly inspiring reading with many practical examples and detailed case studies on growth strategies. The book should be under radar of the growth hacking lovers and marketers who are seeking for innovative approaches to grow the users base.

5. Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management
“Budgets may count Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs), but great teams count on people.”

This book by Johanna Rothman and Esther Derby might be perceived as truly for managers but is definitely useful to everyone who is trying to improve the overall corporate culture. The guide covers various topics from feedback and goal-setting to internal mentoring and art of one-to-one meetings.

With all the recommendations we have received from our members we could continue this list to TOP 100, but these 5 ones captured our attention for its popularity. For the fast readers we can also suggest The Startup Lean, Focus, Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising, Business Model Generation, User Story mapping and last but not least – The Lord of Rings.

If you have any ideas or undiscovered readings to share with our community, feel free to send a comment at global@talentgarden.org

29 March 2016

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