Top 65 Best Startup Books For Entrepreneurs In 2021
Here we have an updated list of only the top best books you need to improve your personal development and grow your startup into a unicorn!
Last updated on January 26th 2021.
When you enter the world of entrepreneurship, you recognize that it is an ocean. There is some sort of essential guidance you need to survive in that ocean. This guidance is a must to keep you on the right track. Follow that path, and eventually, you will be able to reach the beautiful coastline.
If you do not acquire proper guidance and learning, it is highly likely to fail at your startup during the first year. Avoiding this disaster can be hard, but not when you have built a strong knowledge base about startups and entrepreneurship essentials.
You might know thousands of tips for startups, but effective learning about anything comes from reading. If you tend to confuse yourself with startup books and great books on startups, then you don’t need to worry anymore.
This article is a rundown of the best books for new startups and aspiring entrepreneurs.
These books will help you with many essential aspects of startups. Some of the top tier essentials are innovation, startup management, team management, startup growth, and financial management.
Best Books About Startups
- The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.
- The Startup Owner’s Manual – Steve Blank
The Startup Owner’s Manual guides you, step-by-step, as you put the Customer Development process to work. This method was created by renowned Silicon Valley startup expert Steve Blank, acknowledged catalyst of the “Lean Startup” movement, and tested and refined by him for more than a decade.
- The Four Steps To The Epiphany – Steve Blank
The book offers the practical and proven four-step Customer Development process for search and offers insight into what makes some startups successful and leaves others selling off their furniture. Rather than blindly execute a plan, The Four Steps helps uncover flaws in product and business plans and correct them before they become costly. Rapid iteration, customer feedback, testing your assumptions are all explained in this book.
- Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder
Business Model Generation features practical innovation techniques used today by leading consultants and companies worldwide, including 3M, Ericsson, Capgemini, Deloitte, and others. Designed for doers, it is for those ready to abandon outmoded thinking and embrace new models of value creation: for executives, consultants, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all organizations. If you’re ready to change the rules, you belong to “the business model generation!”
- The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau
In preparing to write this book, Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that group he’s chosen to focus on the 50 most intriguing case studies. In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.
- The Entrepreneur Mind – Kevin D. Johnson
In this riveting book written for new and veteran entrepreneurs, Johnson identifies one hundred key lessons that every entrepreneur must learn in seven areas: Strategy, Education, People, Finance, Marketing and Sales, Leadership, and Motivation. Lessons include how to think big, who makes the best business partners, what captivates investors, when to abandon a business idea, where to avoid opening a business bank account, and why too much formal education can hinder your entrepreneurial growth.
- The Startup Checklist – David S. Rose
The Startup Checklist is the entrepreneur’s essential companion. While most entrepreneurship books focus on strategy, this invaluable guide provides the concrete steps that will get your new business off to a strong start. You’ll learn the ins and outs of startup execution, management, legal issues, and practical processes throughout the launch and growth phases, and how to avoid the critical missteps that threaten the foundation of your business.
- Straight Talk for Startups – Randy Komisar
n Straight Talk for Startups they walk budding entrepreneurs through 100 essential rules—from pitching your idea to selecting investors to managing your board to deciding how and when to achieve liquidity. Culled from their own decades of experience, as well as the experiences of their many successful colleagues and friends, the rules are organized under broad topics, from “Mastering the Fundamentals” and “Selecting the Right Investors,” to “The Ideal Fundraise,” “Building and Managing Effective Boards,” and “Achieving Liquidity.”
- Running Lean – Ash Maurya
In this inspiring book, Ash Maurya takes you through an exacting strategy for achieving a “product/market fit” for your fledgling venture, based on his own experience in building a wide array of products from high-tech to no-tech. Throughout, he builds on the ideas and concepts of several innovative methodologies, including the Lean Startup, Customer Development, and bootstrapping.
Best Books About Entrepreneurship
- Think And Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
The most famous of all teachers of success spent a fortune and the better part of a lifetime of effort to produce the Law of Success philosophy that forms the basis of his books and that is so powerfully summarized and explained for the general public in this book.
- The Richest Man In Babylon – George Clason
Countless readers have been helped by the famous “Babylonian parables,” hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth. In language as simple as that found in the Bible, these fascinating and informative stories set you on a sure path to prosperity and its accompanying joys. Acclaimed as a modern-day classic, this celebrated bestseller offers an understanding of—and a solution to—your personal financial problems that will guide you through a lifetime.
- Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
- Start With Why – Simon Sinek
START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
- The 4-Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss
Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.
- Zero To One – Peter Thiel
The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.
- The Personal MBA – Josh Kaufman
Josh Kaufman founded PersonalMBA.com as an alternative to the business school boondoggle. His blog has introduced hundreds of thousands of readers to the best business books and most powerful business concepts of all time. Now, he shares the essentials of entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, negotiation, operations, productivity, systems design, and much more, in one comprehensive volume. The Personal MBA distills the most valuable business lessons into simple, memorable mental models that can be applied to real-world challenges.
- Crush It – Gary Vaynerchuck
In Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses. Gary spent years building his family business from a local wine shop into a national industry leader. Then one day he turned on a video camera, and by using the secrets revealed here, transformed his entire life and earning potential by building his personal brand.
- Rework – Jason Fried
With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs they hate, victims of “downsizing,” and artists who don’t want to starve anymore will all find valuable guidance in these pages.
- The 10X Rule – Grant Cardone
The 10 X Rule unveils the principle of “Massive Action,” allowing you to blast through business clichŽs and risk-aversion while taking concrete steps to reach your dreams. It also demonstrates why people get stuck in the first three actions and how to move into making the 10X Rule a discipline. Find out exactly where to start, what to do, and how to follow up each action you take with more action to achieve Massive Action results.
Best Books About Management
- The E-Myth Revisited – Michael E. Gerber
Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business—from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed—and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.
- The Effective Executive – Peter Drucker
The measure of the executive, Peter F. Drucker reminds us, is the ability to “get the right things done.” This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mold them into results.
- The Essential Drucker – Peter Drucker
Containing twenty-six core selections, The Essential Drucker covers the basic principles and concerns of management and its problems, challenges, and opportunities, giving managers, executives, and professionals the tools to perform the tasks that the economy and society of tomorrow will demand of them.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.
- The One Minute Manager – Spencer Johnson
Now, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson have written The New One Minute Manager to introduce the book’s powerful, important lessons to a new generation. In their concise, easy-to-read story, they teach readers three very practical secrets about leading others—and explain why these techniques continue to work so well.
- Lean Thinking – James P. Womack
Expanded, updated, and more relevant than ever, this bestselling business classic by two internationally renowned management analysts describes a business system for the twenty-first century that supersedes the mass production system of Ford, the financial control system of Sloan, and the strategic system of Welch and GE. It is based on the Toyota (lean) model, which combines operational excellence with value-based strategies to produce steady growth through a wide range of economic conditions.
- The Toyota Way – Jeffrey K. Liker
In factories around the world, Toyota consistently makes the highest-quality cars with the fewest defects of any competing manufacturer, while using fewer man-hours, less on-hand inventory, and half the floor space of its competitors. The Toyota Way is the first book for a general audience that explains the management principles and business philosophy behind Toyota’s worldwide reputation for quality and reliability.
- Good to Great – Jim Collins
Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness — why some companies make the leap and others don’t.
- Built To Last – Jim Collins
Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework of practical concepts that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, Built to Last provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper long into the 21st century and beyond.
- High Output Management – Andrew S. Grove
Grove covers techniques for creating highly productive teams, demonstrating methods of motivation that lead to peak performance—throughout, High Output Management is a practical handbook for navigating real-life business scenarios and a powerful management manifesto with the ability to revolutionize the way we work.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.
Best Books About Marketing
- Traction – Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares
Weinberg and Mares know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution; every startup faces unique challenges and will benefit from a blend of these nineteen traction channels. They offer a three-step framework (called Bullseye) to figure out which ones will work best for your business. But no matter how you apply them, the lessons and examples in Traction will help you create and sustain the growth your business desperately needs.
- Crossing The Chasm – Geoffrey A. Moore
In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore shows that in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle—which begins with innovators and moves to early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards—there is a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. While early adopters are willing to sacrifice for the advantage of being first, the early majority waits until they know that the technology actually offers improvements in productivity. The challenge for innovators and marketers is to narrow this chasm and ultimately accelerate adoption across every segment.
- Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim
Recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written, Blue Ocean Strategy, now updated with fresh content from the authors, argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans”―untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.
- Breakthrough Advertising – Eugene Schwartz
It’s not on most entrepreneurs’ radar screens, that’s for sure – but it should be; Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz is one of the most mentioned “must-read” books on copywriters’ lists everywhere and the book many of its readers credit for adding an extra zero to their net worth.
- Confessions of an Advertising Man – David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy was considered the “father of advertising” and a creative genius by many of the biggest global brands. First published in 1963, this seminal book revolutionized the world of advertising and became a bible for the 1960s ad generation. It also became an international bestseller, translated into 14 languages. Fizzing with Ogilvy’s pioneering ideas and inspirational philosophy, it covers not only advertising, but also people management, corporate ethics, and office politics, and forms an essential blueprint for good practice in business.
- The Boron Letters – Gary Halbert
A series of letters by history’s greatest copywriter Gary C. Halbert, explaining insider tactics and sage wisdom to his youngest son Bond. Once only available as part of a paid monthly premium, The Boron Letters are unique in the marketing universe and now they are a bona fide cult classic among direct response marketers and copywriters around the world. The letters inside are written from a father to a son, in a loving way that goes far beyond a mere sales book or fancy “boardroom” advertising advice… It’s more than a Master’s Degree in selling & persuasion… it’s hands-down the best SPECIFIC and ACTIONABLE training on how to convince people to buy your products or services than I have ever read.
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries
In The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Ries and Trout offer a compendium of twenty-two innovative rules for understanding and succeeding in the international marketplace. From the Law of Leadership, to The Law of the Category, to The Law of the Mind, these valuable insights stand the test of time and present a clear path to successful products. Violate them at your own risk.
- Dot Com Secrets – Russell Brunson
Inside this book will find the actual playbook we created after running thousands of tests and perfecting what works online. You now have access to all of the processes, funnels and scripts that we used to scale companies online. DotComSecrets will give you the marketing funnels and the sales scripts you need to be able to turn on a flood of new leads into your business.
Best Books About Sales
- How To Win Friends And Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you six ways to make people like you.
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini
Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”―and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.
- The Ultimate Sales Machine – Chet Holmes
The Ultimate Sales Machine shows you how to tune up and soup up virtually every part of your business by spending just an hour per week on each impact area you want to improve – sales, marketing, management, and more.
- The Psychology of Selling – Brian Tracy
Double and triple your sales—in any market. The purpose of this book is to give you a series of ideas, methods, strategies, and techniques that you can use immediately to make more sales, faster and easier than ever before.
- Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale – Zig Ziglar
Doctors, housewives, ministers, parents, teachers…everyone has to “sell” their ideas and themselves to be successful. This guide by America’s #1 professional in the art of persuasion focuses on the most essential part of the sale—how to make them say “Yes, I will!”
- Way of the Wolf – Jordan Belfort
Written in his own inimitable voice, Way of the Wolf cracks the code on how to persuade anyone to do anything, and coaches readers, regardless of age, education, or skill level, to be a master sales person, negotiator, closer, entrepreneur, or speaker.
- Never Split The Difference – Chris Voss
Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles―counterintuitive tactics and strategies―you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.
- Predictable Revenue – Aaron Ross
This is NOT another book about how to cold call or close deals. This is an entirely new kind of sales bible for CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales VPs to help you build a sales machine. What does it take for your sales team to generate as many highly-qualified new leads as you want, create predictable revenue, and meet your financial goals without your constant focus and attention?
- Cracking the Sales Management Code – Jason Jordan
Cracking the Sales Management Code is a groundbreaking book for sales managers and executives who want greater control over sales performance. Based on new research into how world-class sales forces measure and manage their sellers, it provides a best practice approach to identify and implement the critical activities and metrics that drive business results. It is not a book on organizational leadership, nor is it a book on interpersonal coaching. It is a book on how to effectively manage a sales force.
Best Books About Venture Capital
- The Startup Game – William H. Draper III
For more than 40 years, venture capitalist Bill Draper has worked with top entrepreneurs in fabled Silicon Valley, where today’s vision is made into tomorrow’s reality. From the VC who saw the value in Skype, Zappos, and many other companies, comes firsthand stories of success. In these pages Draper explores: how to evaluate innovative ideas and the entrepreneurs behind those ideas (lessons from Yahoo, Baidu, Tesla Motors, Activision, Measurex, and more)
- Term Sheets & Valuations – Alex Wilmerding
Term Sheets and Valuations provides information on term sheets and valuations. It covers topics such as defining and examining a term sheet, valuations, and East Coast and West Coast rules. In addition, it includes an actual term sheet from a leading legal firm with line-by-line descriptions of each clause; a discussion of what can and should be negotiated; and an explanation of the most important points. This is a must-have book for any executive, entrepreneur, or financial professional.
- Venture Deals – Brad Feld
Whether you are an entrepreneur, lawyer, student or just have an interest in the venture capital ecosystem, Venture Deals is for you. The book dives deeply into how deals are constructed, why certain terms matter (and others don’t), and more importantly, what motivates venture capitalists to propose certain outcomes. You’ll see the process of negotiating from the eyes of two seasoned venture capitalists who have over 40 years of investing experience as VCs, LPs, angels, and founders. They will teach you how to develop a fundraising strategy that will be a win for all parties involved.
- #BreakIntoVC: How to Break Into Venture Capital – Bradley Miles
#BreakIntoVC: How to Break Into Venture Capital And Think Like an Investor gives you the insight to understand technology investing without endlessly scouring the internet or having access to the top venture firms in the industry.
- Mastering the VC Game – Jeffrey Bussgang
Jeffrey Bussgang is one of a very few people who have played on both sides of this high-stakes game. Now he draws on his unique perspective to offer high-level insights, colorful stories, and practical advice gathered from his own experience as well as from interviews with dozens of the most successful entrepreneurs and VCs. He reveals how to get noticed, perfect a pitch, and negotiate a partnership that works for everyone.
- The Art of Startup Fundraising – Alejandro Cremades
This book helps you navigate the online world of startup fundraising with easy-to-follow explanations and expert perspective on the new digital world of finance. You’ll find tips and tricks on raising money and investing in startups from early stage to growth stage, and develop a clear strategy based on the new realities surrounding today’s startup landscape.
- Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups – Jason Calacanis
Over the past twenty-five years, Jason Calacanis has made a fortune investing in creators, spotting and helping build and fund a number of successful technology startups—investments that have earned him tens of millions of dollars. Now, in this enlightening guide that is sure to become the bible for twenty-first century investors, Calacanis takes potential angels step-by-step through his proven method of creating massive wealth: startups.
Best Books About Productivity
- The 80/20 Principle – Richard Koch
The 80/20 Principle shows how we can achieve much more with much less effort, time, and resources, simply by identifying and focusing our efforts on the 20 percent that really counts. Although the 80/20 principle has long influenced today’s business world, author Richard Koch reveals how the principle works and shows how we can use it in a systematic and practical way to vastly increase our effectiveness, and improve our careers and our companies.
- Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy
Eat That Frog! shows you how to organize each day so you can zero in on these critical tasks and accomplish them efficiently and effectively. The core of what is vital to effective time management is: decision, discipline, and determination. And in this fully revised and updated edition, Tracy adds two new chapters.
- Deep Work – Cal Newport
In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.
- Tools Of Titans – Tim Ferriss
This book is the result of Tim Ferris Show podcast in which he interviews with ultra-successful figures. The material is divided in three section: Health, Wealth, and Happiness.
- Thinking Fast And Slow – Daniel Kahneman
In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.
- 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People – Stephen Convey
One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of presidents and CEOs, educators and parents—in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations across the world. This twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Stephen Covey’s cherished classic commemorates his timeless wisdom, and encourages us to live a life of great and enduring purpose.
- Millionaire Success Habits – Dean Graziosi
Millionaire Success Habits is a book designed with one purpose in mind; and that is to take you from where you are in life, to where you want to be in life, by using easy to implement “Success Habits” into your daily routine.
- The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande
Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument that we can do better, using the simplest of methods: the checklist. In riveting stories, he reveals what checklists can do, what they can’t, and how they could bring about striking improvements in a variety of fields, from medicine and disaster recovery to professions and businesses of all kinds. And the insights are making a difference. Already, a simple surgical checklist from the World Health Organization designed by following the ideas described here has been adopted in more than twenty countries as a standard for care and has been heralded as “the biggest clinical invention in thirty years” (The Independent).
- The Productivity Project – Chris Bailey
Chris Bailey turned down lucrative job offers to pursue a lifelong dream—to spend a year performing a deep dive experiment into the pursuit of productivity, a subject he had been enamored with since he was a teenager. After obtaining his business degree, he created a blog to chronicle a year-long series of productivity experiments he conducted on himself, where he also continued his research and interviews with some of the world’s foremost experts, from Charles Duhigg to David Allen. Among the experiments that he tackled: Bailey went several weeks with getting by on little to no sleep; he cut out caffeine and sugar; he lived in total isolation for 10 days; he used his smartphone for just an hour a day for three months; he gained ten pounds of muscle mass; he stretched his work week to 90 hours; a late riser, he got up at 5:30 every morning for three months—all the while monitoring the impact of his experiments on the quality and quantity of his work.
- 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management – Kevin Kruse
New York Times bestselling author, Kevin Kruse, presents the remarkable findings of his study of ultra-productive people. Based on survey research and interviews with billionaires, Olympic athletes, straight-A students, and over 200 entrepreneurs—-including Mark Cuban, Kevin Harrington, James Altucher, John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, Grant Cardone, and Lewis Howes—-Kruse answers the question: what are the secrets to extreme productivity?