Building, running, and growing a startup is time-consuming and requires lots of hard work. While books are one of the best sources of gaining knowledge, reading books can also be time-consuming. That’s why finding the right books that will benefit you and your startup is key. Here are 10 of the best books for growing, building, and managing startups.

1.Traction: A Startup Gide to Getting Customers

by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

Traction brings startup founders and entrepreneur through a five-step process to getting customers and growing, called the “Bullseye Framework”. The book also shows you stories of successful founders of big companies Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Alexis Ohanian (Reddit), Paul English ( and Alex Pachikov (Evernote)

“Most startups end in failure. Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have is traction — real customer growth.”

2.Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

By Seth Godin

This book is about you, your choices, your future, and making an impactful difference in whatever you may do, or wherever you may be. Linchpins are the people and teams that figure out what to do without established paths, delighting customers, challenging peers, while loving their work and pouring themselves into what they do each day.

“The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.”

3.Startup Growth Engine

By Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown

Startup Growth Engine brings you informative and in-depth case studies of today’s fastest growing startups that use a new approach to marketing, termed growth hacking.

“Each case study shows you the specific strategies (we call them “growth engines”) that these companies used to grow, both in the early stages and later in their development. From the growth hacks they used, to the unique growth playbooks they employed, you won’t find a more detailed look at how startups achieve growth than through these case studies.”

4.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

 by Stephen R. Covey

This book aims to improve the business’, lives, and careers ofit’s readers while also teaching about living with integrity, service, dignity, and success.

“This is one of the rare books that has influenced presidents, CEOs, educators, and individuals all over the world not only to improve their businesses and careers but to live with integrity, service, dignity, and success in all areas of life. It has had an undeniable impact for the past 25 years–and will no doubt continue to be influential for many more.”

5.Scaling Up

By Verne Harnish

This book is a major revision of the previously published successful, “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” by Verne Harnish. It tackles the weight and complex events that come with building and growing a company. The book includes many additional resources like checklists, plans, and more. 

6.Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

By Paul Graham 

This book challenges living with our traditional ways: how we think, how we work, how we develop technology, and how we live. It covers many topics of startups, creating a wealth, open source movements, speech, software, digital design, and more. It is an effective resource for startup founders and budding entrepreneurs.

“The computer world is like an intellectual Wild West, in which you can shoot anyone you wish with your ideas, if you’re willing to risk the consequences.”

7.Lean Marketing for Startups

By Sean Ellis

Lean Marketing for Startups is about the process of marketing startups with awareness of the vast amount of risks involved. With looking at the risks involved, the book does not wander far from the amount of benefits and awards that are possible.

“I always begin a new startup marketing assignment by looking for any untapped existing demand. Demand harvesting is much easier than demand creation – and it has a faster sales cycle. You don’t have to convince someone they need your category of product, you just need to be easier to find/buy and have a better value proposition than the other guys. “

8.Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

By Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover

Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior.

“Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?” The book answers these questions in an informative and efficient manner with real-world examples and strategies.

9.The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

By Malcolm Gladwell

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate.

“This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.”

10.The Lean Startup

By Eric Ries

Inspired by lessons learned from lean manufacturing, the book takes on practices that improve and shorten product development cycles and learning to grow your plans, an inch at a time, minute by minute.

“Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable.  The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.”


What books do you recommend for startups and entrepreneurs? Share with us in the comments or on Twitter, @Startuplister!

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