The 75 Best Books For SaaS Founders [2021]

The 75 Best Books For SaaS Founders [2021]

A great book can change your outlook on your business.

After interviewing thousands of founders, we put together a list of the most popular books for Software founders.

Here they are:

1. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

  • Written by: Eric Ries
  • Link: Amazon

Most startups fail.

But many of those failures are preventable.

Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

Founders that read this book:

64 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

We are big fans of the Lean Startup, which aims to eliminate market risk before technical risk. It basically says that the question is not "Can this product be built?" Instead, the question is "Should this product be built?". It’s right in the principles.

Auston Bunsen, CBlocks.io ($32K/month). Read the full interview ➜

We learned quickly not to create or source a lot of any one thing before testing to see if it would sell. We love the lean startup approach. Fail fast and go bigger only on the products we know will succeed. That allows us to minimize losses and maximize revenue.

David Dennis, Ventana Surfboards & Supplies ($8K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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Read this book ➜

2. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

  • Written by: Peter Thiel
  • Link: Amazon

If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.

The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create.

Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.

Founders that read this book:

50 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

I would recommend Zero to One by Peter Thiel to any entrepreneur who’s starting out. I could not put this book down and have re-read it several times.

Eddie Huai, Flyby ($200K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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3. How to Win Friends & Influence People

  • Written by: Dale Carnegie
  • Link: Amazon

'How to Win Friends and Influence People' is one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published.

Just after publishing, it quickly exploded into an overnight success, eventually selling more than 15 million copies worldwide, and pioneering an entire genre of self-help and personal success books.

This classic book will turn your relationships around and improve your interactions with everyone in your life.

Founders that read this book:

52 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

This is the staple of entrepreneur handbooks.

Adam Elliot, D*** At Your Door ($25K/month). Read the full interview ➜

One of my favorite books of all time. We got to where we are a lot of the time from networking, meeting people, and getting connected with others, and I think if you can learn the art of becoming a person that others connect with, you will open up yourself to a lot more opportunities in life and business.

Braydon Moreno, Robo 3D ($150K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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4. Rework

  • Written by: Jason Fried
  • Link: Amazon

Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business.

Read it and you'll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don't need outside investors, and why you're better off ignoring the competition.

You'll learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more counterintuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you.

Founders that read this book:

26 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

Rework by Jason Fried is my all-time favorite - it’s short, quick and impactful.

John James, Country Outfitter ($100K/month). Read the full interview ➜

I listen to this book every once in a while when I need inspiration or when I get stuck.

Janine Halloran, Coping Skills for Kids ($10K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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5. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't

  • Written by: Jim Collins
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

40 successful founders have read this book ➜

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6. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

  • Written by: Ben Horowitz
  • Link: Amazon

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.

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.

Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences.

Founders that read this book:

23 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

I love The Hard Thing About Hard Things. It just puts in perspective how in business there are no easy answers.

Justin Fenchel, BeatBox Beverages ($500K/month). Read the full interview ➜

Any entrepreneur will tell you that building a business is hard. In this book, Ben Horowitz walks through a variety of different types of challenges that you face and provides tangible advice on how to handle them. It’s real, it’s raw, and it’s great.

Hope Horner, Lemonlight ($600K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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7. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

  • Written by: Timothy Ferriss
  • Link: Amazon

How to reconstruct your life so it's not all about work.

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.

This new updated and expanded edition includes: More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled their income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point * Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating email, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than £5 a meal * How lifestyle design principles can be suited to unpredictable economic times * The latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either.

Founders that read this book:

84 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss helped me get out of the mindset of work for work’s sake.

Cesar Quintero, Fit2Go ($130K/month). Read the full interview ➜

The 4 Hour Work Week is a convicting read because it challenges you to stop just doing “work for work’s sake” or just working to make a lot of money. It encourages you to build a business that serves your life, not the other way around.

Graham Cochrane, The Recording Revolution LLC ($100K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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8. Think and Grow Rich

  • Written by: Napoleon Hill
  • Link: Amazon

This book contains money-making secrets that can change your life.

Think and Grow Rich, based on the author’s famed Law of Success, represents the distilled wisdom of distinguished men of great wealth and achievement.

If you learn and apply the simple basic techniques revealed here, you will have mastered the secret of true and lasting success—and you may have whatever you want in life!

Founders that read this book:

33 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

A book I have referenced and re-read over the past 30 years. I prefer non-fiction and stories of successful people and their journey to success. I have spent most of my reading time devoted to books on famous scientists and how they were able to make important discoveries but most importantly how they learned from the mistakes and unsuccessful experiments to pivot, design new experiments to get to answers to important biological questions.

Nathan S. Bryan, Pneuma Nitric Oxide ($0/month). Read the full interview ➜

This book is amazing for way too many reasons to explain, but if you're an entrepreneur and you want to be amazing it's just a must-read period.

Mitchel Matthews, Adrenaline Offroad ($45K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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9. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

  • Written by: Michael E. Gerber
  • Link: Amazon

An instant classic, this revised and updated edition of the phenomenal bestseller dispels the myths about starting your own business.

Small business consultant and author Michael E.

Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.

Founders that read this book:

44 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of business books, but if pressed, I’d say one of the most influential is The E-Myth by Michael Gerber because of its ideas about efficiency through processes and systems.

Parker Garlitz, True Leaf Market ($400K/month). Read the full interview ➜

The E-Myth by Michael Gerber helped me understand the difference between being a technician and an entrepreneur, and that I really wanted to create a business that runs without me.

Cesar Quintero, Fit2Go ($130K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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10. Outliers: The Story of Success

  • Written by: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Link: Amazon

Learn what sets high achievers apart -- from Bill Gates to the Beatles -- in this #1 bestseller from "a singular talent" (New York Times Book Review).

In this stunning book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful.

Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.

Founders that read this book:

15 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

Malcolm Gladwell has a great way of presenting ideas and methodology that translate well into my business.

Adam Elliot, D*** At Your Door ($25K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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11. Rich Dad Poor Dad

  • Written by: Robert T. Kiyosaki
  • Link: Amazon

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..

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.

Founders that read this book:

17 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad taught me that we are the owners of our destiny and that working for others was not for me. It also realigned me on the benefits of creating passive income.

Cesar Quintero, Fit2Go ($130K/month). Read the full interview ➜

Rich Dad Poor Dad convinced me that I was definitely on the right track when I picked up entrepreneurship as a passion. But it also showed me the need to create passive income and avoid depending on only one source of income.

Justin Anyanwu, Lazy Jar ($250/month). Read the full interview ➜

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12. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

  • Written by: John Doerr
  • Link: Amazon

Measure What Matters is about using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), a revolutionary approach to goal-setting, to make tough choices in business.

In 1999, legendary venture capitalist John Doerr invested nearly $12 million in a startup that had amazing technology, entrepreneurial energy and sky-high ambitions, but no real business plan.

Doerr introduced the founders to OKRs and with them at the foundation of their management, the startup grew from forty employees to more than 70,000 with a market cap exceeding $600 billion.

The startup was Google.

Founders that read this book:

12 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

Measure What Matters by John Doerr is the best book I’ve read this year, we’ve adopted OKRs at Engine, and this book was quite influential in helping establish the process.

John James, Country Outfitter ($100K/month). Read the full interview ➜

We actually purchased copies of this book to company managers when we began adopting Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). It provides great insights on a truly effective goal-setting system that encourages quantifiable processes and both transparency and collaboration between all levels and departments.

David Rosenberg, AeroFarms ($/month). Read the full interview ➜

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13. Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World

  • Written by: Rand Fishkin
  • Link: Amazon

Rand Fishkin, the founder and former CEO of Moz, reveals how traditional Silicon Valley "wisdom" leads far too many startups astray, with the transparency and humor that his hundreds of thousands of blog readers have come to love.

Everyone knows how a startup story is supposed to go: A young, brilliant entrepreneur has a cool idea, drops out of college, defies the doubters, overcomes all odds, makes billions, and becomes the envy of the technology world.

Up or down the chain of command, at both early stage startups and mature companies, whether your trajectory is riding high or down in the dumps: this book can help solve your problems, and make you feel less alone for having them.

Founders that read this book:

7 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

It helped a lot to see that others also struggled to move the needle. It was truly valuable to me because it helped me push through my frustration and persevere.

Florin Cornianu, 123FormBuilder ($420K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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14. Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

  • Written by: Gabriel Weinberg
  • Link: Amazon

Founders and employees fail to spend time thinking about (and working on) traction in the same way they work on building a product.

This shortsighted approach has startups trying random tactics - some ads, a blog post or two - in an unstructured way that's guaranteed to fail.

This book changes that.

It allows you to think about which marketing channels make sense for you, given your industry and company stage.

Founders that read this book:

11 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

When it comes to marketing books, I really like Traction by Gabriel Weinberg. It gives you a bunch of marketing ideas, but more importantly, it shows you the mindset you need to test these different ideas.

Dennis Moons, Apes In Space ($1.34K/month). Read the full interview ➜

Traction was great for helping me wrap my head around customer acquisition channels. I expect to continue to lean on that book for inspiration as I grow.

Joe Stech, Compelling Science Press ($1.5K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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Read this book ➜

15. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

  • Written by: Simon Sinek
  • Link: Amazon

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.

It was their natural ability to start with why that enabled them to inspire those around them and to achieve remarkable things.

In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way—and it's the complete opposite of what everyone else does.

And it all starts with WHY.

Founders that read this book:

30 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

We just had the team read Start With Why. I think it help us hone our mission and brand vision and get everyone on the same page. I tend to read online articles on specific business or e-commerce topics.

Mike Scully, Lever Gear ($42K/month). Read the full interview ➜

This book provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

DShawn Russell, Southern Elegance Candle Company ($100K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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16. Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the Rest Don't (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)

  • Written by: Verne Harnish
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

11 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

This tightly written book completely changed my perspective on business efficiency. It helped me reevaluate and nuance my approach on HR, allowing me to get closer to and ultimately consolidate my teams; it helped us simplify our strategies in clearer, more relatable terms; it tightened and brightened our research and development processes, and it smoothed out the way to a more sound and relaxed business environment within the company.

Florin Cornianu, 123FormBuilder ($420K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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17. Steve Jobs

  • Written by: Walter Isaacson
  • Link: Amazon

From the author of the bestselling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, this is the exclusive, New York Times bestselling biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing..

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From the author of the bestselling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, this is the exclusive, New York Times bestselling biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

Founders that read this book:

11 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

Jobs is well written and outlines the sacrifice it takes to accomplish something great as an entrepreneur.

Dave Schools, Entrepreneur's Handbook ($1K/month). Read the full interview ➜

I found all 600 pages absolutely compelling reading. I love it that Jobs hated the term branding because he felt that it should be about informing customers, not convincing them.

Stacy Marking, Lemongrass Trading Company ($2.8K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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18. Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers

  • Written by: Geoffrey A. Moore
  • Link: Amazon

Here is the bestselling guide that created a new game plan for marketing in high-tech industries.

Crossing the Chasm has become the bible for bringing cutting-edge products to progressively larger markets.

It's essential reading for anyone with a stake in the world's most exciting marketplace.

Founders that read this book:

10 successful founders have read this book ➜

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19. Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

  • Written by: Gino Wickman
  • Link: Amazon

Don't let common problems run you and your business.

Get a grip and gain control with the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).

Based on years of real-world implementation, the EOS is a practical method for achieving the business success you have always envisioned.

Founders that read this book:

40 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

For those who have some ‘lift’ in your business, I strongly suggest the book Traction (Gino Wickman) to organize your business and its components as it grows in complexity. It’s an “entrepreneurial operating system” and what’s great is it helps you with some very practical tools that will help your team and processes be sustainable. Tip: the book is great, but don’t be afraid to customize/adjust the advice to suit your own needs.

Andy Hayes, Plum Deluxe Tea ($75K/month). Read the full interview ➜

I would also recommend for anyone looking to move beyond just starting out to either get Traction by Gino Wickman or Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. These are very good roadmaps to running a successful business.

Logan Christopher, Lost Empire Herbs ($300K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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20. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

  • Written by: James Clear
  • Link: Amazon

The instant New York Times bestseller.

Over 1 million copies sold! Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving--every day.

Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits--whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or achieve any other goal.

Founders that read this book:

21 successful founders have read this book ➜

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21. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

  • Written by: Nir Eyal
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

10 successful founders have read this book ➜

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22. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

  • Written by: David Allen
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

8 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

I have no idea how I was able to do anything without this book. My productivity skyrocketed after I used the system for a few weeks.

Paweł Kadysz, Tookapic ($2K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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23. The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you

  • Written by: Rob Fitzpatrick
  • Link: Amazon

The Mom Test is a quick, practical guide that will save you time, money, and heartbreak.

They say you shouldn't ask your mom whether your business is a good idea, because she loves you and will lie to you.

This book is going to show you how customer conversations go wrong and how you can do better.

Founders that read this book:

4 successful founders have read this book ➜

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24. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

  • Written by: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

9 successful founders have read this book ➜

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25. It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work

  • Written by: Jason Fried
  • Link: Amazon

In this timely manifesto, the authors of the New York Times bestseller Rework broadly reject the prevailing notion that long hours, aggressive hustle, and "whatever it takes" are required to run a successful business today.

In Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson introduced a new path to working effectively.

It’s a book showing you what they’ve done—and how any manager or executive no matter the industry or size of the company, can do it too.

Founders that read this book:

4 successful founders have read this book ➜

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26. Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com

  • Written by: Aaron Ross
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

4 successful founders have read this book ➜

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27. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition

  • Written by: Robert B. Cialdini
  • Link: Amazon

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings.

Dr.

Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

Founders that read this book:

16 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

According to Robert Cialdini, who studied the principle of social proof in-depth in his book, “we view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it”. So for example, if you’re uncertain about purchasing this one product but then you see that “insert famous celebrity name who you really like” posts something it, this would transfer the positive attributes they see in these “celebrities” to the product.

Eddie Huai, Flyby ($200K/month). Read the full interview ➜

I’m a really big fan of Psychology and how the human brain works, which is probably why I love marketing and advertising so much, as I’m able to position things in a way that will make someone want to do something by touching on specific queues that will trigger certain actions and responses. Here, Cialdini talks about the seven key influencers of persuasion (which are based on 35 years of evidence-based research). I highly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in what influences people to make the decisions they make.

Luis Camacho, Fantôm Agency ($25K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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28. Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business

  • Written by: Paul Jarvis
  • Link: Amazon

What if the real key to a richer and more fulfilling career was not to create and scale a new start-up, but rather, to be able to work for yourself, determine your own hours, and become a (highly profitable) and sustainable company of one? Suppose the better—and smarter—solution is simply to remain small? This book explains how to do just that.

Company of One is a refreshingly new approach centered on staying small and avoiding growth, for any size business.

In Company of One, Jarvis explains how you can find the right pathway to do the same, including planning how to set up your shop, determining your desired revenues, dealing with unexpected crises, keeping your key clients happy, and of course, doing all of this on your own.

Founders that read this book:

12 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

This book really changed my perspective on how I wanted to grow my business, but more importantly why.

Bobby Hoyt, Millennial Money Man ($88K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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29. Thinking, Fast and Slow

  • Written by: Daniel Kahneman
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

6 successful founders have read this book ➜

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30. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

  • Written by: Greg McKeown
  • Link: Amazon

Outlines a systematic framework for enabling greater productivity without overworking, sharing strategies on how to eliminate unnecessary tasks while streamlining essential employee functions.

By the co-author of the best-selling Multipliers..

By the co-author of the best-selling Multipliers.

Founders that read this book:

11 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

I got a lot of guidance from Essentialism; this especially helped me to not do things, in order to focus on more essential things. I also get a lot of inspiration from reading books about eastern philosophy, especially Zen.

Joris de Ruiter, ConvertCalculator ($20K/month). Read the full interview ➜

This book changed the trajectory of how I used my whole business. It was one of those books that came at the right time in my life— when I was completely overwhelmed and overcommitted in my business. I felt like I was carrying the load of the work because I was such a go-getter. I would sacrifice sleep and time with my family to complete projects for the business.

Jen Hansard, Simple Green Smoothies ($30K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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31. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement - 30th Anniversary Edition

  • Written by: Eliyahu M. Goldratt
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

7 successful founders have read this book ➜

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32. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

  • Written by: Al Ries
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

5 successful founders have read this book ➜

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33. Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great

  • Written by: Jim Collins
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

4 successful founders have read this book ➜

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34. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

  • Written by: Gary Keller
  • Link: Amazon

The One Thing explains the success habit to overcome the six lies that block our success, beat the seven thieves that steal time, and leverage the laws of purpose, priority, and productivity.

A non-fiction, self-help book written by authors and real estate entrepreneurs, Gary W.

Keller and Jay Papasan.

The book discusses the value of simplifying one's workload by focusing on the one most important task in any given project.

Founders that read this book:

19 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

Other marketing and advertising efforts haven’t been as successful for me so for now I am not worrying about them. I read The One Thing and realized that multitasking just means you are doing a lot of things poorly. It is better to wholeheartedly do one thing that works.

Jackie Burke, Tini Lux ($22K/month). Read the full interview ➜

When I was trying to do a bunch of things at once and was having trouble deciding what to focus on, this book helped a lot.

Zach Katz, Framed Tweets ($25K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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35. The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything: Guy Kawasaki

  • Written by: Guy Kawasaki
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

5 successful founders have read this book ➜

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36. Principles: Life and Work

  • Written by: Ray Dalio
  • Link: Amazon

1 New York Times Bestseller “Significant...The book is both instructive and surprisingly moving.” —The New York Times Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.

In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City.

Here, from a man who has been called both “the Steve Jobs of investing” and “the philosopher king of the financial universe” (CIO magazine), is a rare opportunity to gain proven advice unlike anything you’ll find in the conventional business press.

Founders that read this book:

12 successful founders have read this book ➜

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37. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

  • Written by: Scott Adams
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

2 successful founders have read this book ➜

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38. Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization

  • Written by: Dave Logan
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

3 successful founders have read this book ➜

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39. Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days

  • Written by: Jessica Livingston
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

2 successful founders have read this book ➜

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40. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

  • Written by: Alice Schroeder
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

3 successful founders have read this book ➜

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41. The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business

  • Written by: Clayton M. Christensen
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

8 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

This book is definitely an inspiring book for IdeaScale and the problem we’re trying to solve.

Rob Hoehn, IdeaScale ($750K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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42. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

  • Written by: Tony Hsieh
  • Link: Amazon

Pay brand-new employees $2,000 to quit Make customer service the responsibility of the entire company-not just a department Focus on company culture as the #1 priority Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business Help employees grow-both personally and professionally Seek to change the world Oh, and make money too .

.

Fast-paced and down-to-earth, DELIVERING HAPPINESS shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success-and how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own.

Founders that read this book:

21 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

Two great books have changed the direction of our company is Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, and The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.

Travis Richardson, Impressions Agency ($100K/month). Read the full interview ➜

A great story about company culture - it has inspired me on ways to incorporate it into Spuds.

Paul Dickey, Spuds ($15K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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43. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

  • Written by: Timothy Ferriss
  • Link: Amazon

The latest groundbreaking tome from Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek.

From the author: “For the last two years, I’ve interviewed more than 200 world-class performers for my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show.

It’s changed my life, and I hope the same for you.”

Founders that read this book:

11 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

I love this book, as it has a ton of great advice and perspectives from some of the world’s most successful people.

David Downing, ChipMonk Baking ($25K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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44. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!

  • Written by: Al Ries
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

3 successful founders have read this book ➜

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45. Badass: Making Users Awesome

  • Written by: Kathy Sierra
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

2 successful founders have read this book ➜

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46. Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (Exponential Technology Series)

  • Written by: Peter H. Diamandis
  • Link: Amazon

The authors document how four forces--exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the Technophilanthropist, and the Rising Billion--are conspiring to solve our biggest problems.

"Abundance" establishes hard targets for change and lays out a strategic roadmap for governments, industry and entrepreneurs, giving us plenty of reason for optimism..

"Abundance" establishes hard targets for change and lays out a strategic roadmap for governments, industry and entrepreneurs, giving us plenty of reason for optimism.

Founders that read this book:

3 successful founders have read this book ➜

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47. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

  • Written by: Cal Newport
  • Link: Amazon

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.

It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.

He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four "rules," for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.

Founders that read this book:

8 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

This book has really helped me as I now use this technique on a daily basis. Since a lot of my time is spent on writing tutorials/articles, this helps me a lot.

Sumit Bansal, TrumpExcel.com ($10K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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48. Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days

  • Written by: Jessica Livingston
  • Link: Amazon

Now available in paperback—with a new preface and interview with Jessica Livingston about Y Combinator! Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies about what happened in the very earliest days.

These people are celebrities now.

How? What are the secrets that make successful startups so insanely productive? Read this book, and let the founders themselves tell you.

Founders that read this book:

5 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

This book gave me a lot of perspectives and I enjoyed it both from the technology side as well as the startup decisions.

Brad Agdern, TechKeys ($5K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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49. Anything You Want

  • Written by: Derek Sivers
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

4 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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50. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture

  • Written by: David Kushner
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

3 successful founders have read this book ➜

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51. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Good to Great)

  • Written by: Jim Collins
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

2 successful founders have read this book ➜

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52. The Secret

  • Written by: Rhonda Byrne
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

5 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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53. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

  • Written by: Mark Manson
  • Link: Amazon

A generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life.

A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

Founders that read this book:

13 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

I don’t really read business books anymore. I think it’s a lot more important to focus on the mental health and personal development side of things. For that, I recommend Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck.

Benjamin Hebert, Natural Stacks ($200K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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54. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

  • Written by: Ben Horowitz
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

8 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

This book is a good option for aspiring entrepreneurs. It offers essential advice on building and running a startup.

Thomas Oppong, Content Intelligence Media ($10K/month). Read the full interview ➜

This book didn’t just provide advice but helped me understand that it’s ok to fumble and get it wrong! It’s also just a fantastic read.

Louise Hendon, CoBionic ($8K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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55. Shoe Dog

  • Written by: Phil Knight
  • Link: Amazon

In this instant and tenacious New York Times bestseller, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight “offers a rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh” (Booklist, starred review), illuminating his company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

Bill Gates named Shoe Dog one of his five favorite books of 2016 and called it “an amazing tale, a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like.

Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the transformative power of sports, they created a brand—and a culture—that changed everything.

Founders that read this book:

50 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

Books like The Alchemist, Creativity Inc., Shoe Dog, and Blitzscaling have been incredibly insightful because they analyze the challenges founders and people have faced and how they overcome them.

Joel Montaniel, SevenRooms ($/month). Read the full interview ➜

This book taught me that if you want to go far, you must focus on building a team.

Dane Jensen, Sock Club ($1M/month). Read the full interview ➜

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56. Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies: Andreas M. Antonopoulos

  • Written by: ****
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

1 successful founder has read this book ➜

Read this book ➜

57. The 48 Laws of Power

  • Written by: Robert Greene
  • Link: Amazon

Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this multi-million-copy New York Times bestseller is the definitive manual for anyone interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control – from the author of The Laws of Human Nature.

In the book that People magazine proclaimed “beguiling” and “fascinating,” Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T.

In a bold and arresting two-color package, The 48 Laws of Power is ideal whether your aim is conquest, self-defense, or simply to understand the rules of the game.

Founders that read this book:

3 successful founders have read this book ➜

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58. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman

  • Written by: Yvon Chouinard
  • Link: Amazon

In this newly revised 10th anniversary edition, Yvon Chouinard--legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia, Inc.--shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally responsible companies on earth.

From his youth as the son of a French Canadian handyman to the thrilling, ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for the sport's equipment, Let My People Go Surfing is the story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life-a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

"This is the story of an attempt to do more than change a single corporation--it is an attempt to challenge the culture of consumption tat is at the hear of the global ecological crisis." --From the Foreword by Naomi Klein, bestselling author of This Changes Everything From the Trade Paperback edition.

Founders that read this book:

11 successful founders have read this book ➜

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59. Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist

  • Written by: Brad Feld
  • Link: Amazon

An engaging guide to excelling in today's venture capital arena Beginning in 2005, Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson, managing directors at Foundry Group, wrote a long series of blog posts describing all the parts of a typical venture capital Term Sheet: a document which outlines key financial and other terms of a proposed investment.

Since this time, they've seen the series used as the basis for a number of college courses, and have been thanked by thousands of people who have used the information to gain a better understanding of the venture capital field.

Includes a breakdown analysis of the mechanics of a Term Sheet and the tactics needed to negotiate Details the different stages of the venture capital process, from starting a venture and seeing it through to the later stages Explores the entire venture capital ecosystem including those who invest in venture capitalist Contain standard documents that are used in these transactions Written by two highly regarded experts in the world of venture capital The venture capital arena is a complex and competitive place, but with this book as your guide, you'll discover what it takes to make your way through it.

Founders that read this book:

5 successful founders have read this book ➜

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60. The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition

  • Written by: Don Norman
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

3 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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61. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

  • Written by: Seth Godin
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

9 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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62. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

  • Written by: Susan Cain
  • Link: Amazon

The book that started the Quiet Revolution At least one-third of the people we know are introverts.

They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams.

Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content

Founders that read this book:

3 successful founders have read this book ➜

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63. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

  • Written by: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Link: Amazon

THE BESTSELLING CLASSIC ON 'FLOW' – THE KEY TO UNLOCKING MEANING, CREATIVITY, PEAK PERFORMANCE, AND TRUE HAPPINESS Legendary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow.

During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.

"Explores a happy state of mind called flow, the feeling of complete engagement in a creative or playful activity." —Time

Founders that read this book:

2 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

You know when you get so immersed in a project that hours go by and you don’t even notice? That’s flow. This book is about how you can train your mind and body to have a better/easier way to fall into that and become more productive.

Adam Elliot, D*** At Your Door ($25K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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64. The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

  • Written by: Robert Iger
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

6 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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65. Zero To Sold: How To Start, Run, And Sell A Bootstrapped

  • Written by: ****
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

1 successful founder has read this book ➜

Read this book ➜

66. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

  • Written by: Phil Knight
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

9 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike is really a well-told story that makes you realize creating a hugely successful business is a combination of luck, perseverance, and pretty much all the stuff typical startup founders deal with.

Gino Ferrand, TECLA ($85K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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67. What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture

  • Written by: Ben Horowitz
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

2 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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68. This Is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See

  • Written by: Seth Godin
  • Link: Amazon

Godin offers the core of his marketing wisdom in one accessible, timeless package.

At the heart of his approach is a big idea: Great marketers don't use consumers to solve their company's problem; they use marketing to solve other people's problems.

Truly powerful marketing is grounded in empathy, generosity, and emotional labour.

This book teaches you how to identify your smallest viable audience; draw on the right signals and signs to position your offering; build trust and permission with your target market; speak to the narratives your audience tells themselves about status, affiliation, and dominance; spot opportunities to create and release tension; and give people the tools to achieve their goals.

Founders that read this book:

15 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

Another book that I suggest to read - regardless of the kind of business you have or want to start - is “This is Marketing” by Seth Godin. It is an essential reading for everyone who is involved in marketing!

Nicholas Figoli, EatTiamo ($10K/month). Read the full interview ➜

A great book for startups.

Ben Keene, Rebel Book Club ($13K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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69. Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

  • Written by: Keith Ferrazzi
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

3 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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70. The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

  • Written by: Grant Cardone
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

10 successful founders have read this book ➜

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71. The Alchemist, 25th Anniversary: A Fable About Following Your Dream

  • Written by: Paulo Coelho
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

2 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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72. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

  • Written by: Brené Brown
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

4 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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73. Man's Search for Meaning

  • Written by: Viktor E. Frankl
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

4 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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74. The Alchemist

  • Written by: Paulo Coelho
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

11 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

This book is important to me at various stages of my life journey and helped me understand more about the world around me.

Michael Moloney, FilterGrade ($30K/month). Read the full interview ➜

I read this back in high school and it’s still one of my favorite non-fiction books. It’s perfect for anyone who is looking to start a business. There’s a lot of wisdom and golden nuggets to be gained from this book.

Gilberto Rosas, Maverick Media Lab ($10K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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75. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time: Library Edition

  • Written by: Brian Tracy
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

2 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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76. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

  • Written by: Patrick Lencioni
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

3 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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77. The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility" (Incerto)

  • Written by: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Link: Amazon

Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series is an investigation of luck, uncertainty, probability, opacity, human error, risk, disorder, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand, in nonoverlapping and standalone books.

All four volumes—Antifragile, The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and the expanded edition of The Bed of Procrustes, updated with more than 50 percent new material—are now together in one ebook bundle.

With a rare combination of pointed wit and potent wisdom, Taleb plows through human illusions, contrasting the classical views of courage, elegance, and erudition against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness.

Founders that read this book:

5 successful founders have read this book ➜

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78. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Incerto)

  • Written by: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

2 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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79. Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!

  • Written by: Tony Robbins
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

3 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

One of my favorite books is the classic Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins. This book was very inspirational and great to read at the beginning of the dream stage. It motivated me and helped me stay focused on the dream.

Anastasia Andreani, Vizio Makeup Academy ($235K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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80. Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

  • Written by: Gabriel Weinberg
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

6 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

An easy book to read and remember. The bullseye chart of the different distribution channels alone will improve your business.

Jae Jun, GORILLA ROI ($12K/month). Read the full interview ➜

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81. The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company (DIATEINO): Steve Blank

  • Written by: Steve Blank
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

2 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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82. The Art Of War: Sun Tzu: 9781599869773: Books

  • Written by: ****
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

1 successful founder has read this book ➜

Read this book ➜

83. How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital: The Four Rules You Must Break To Get Rich

  • Written by: Nathan Latka
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

2 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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84. How to Start an Online Business: A Step by Step to Make Money from Your Computer Even If Your Starting from Scratch! (How to start an Online Business, ... Startup, Online Business for Beginners): LR Smith

  • Written by: ****
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

1 successful founder has read this book ➜

Read this book ➜

85. Sam Walton: Made In America

  • Written by: Sam Walton
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

9 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

I found this book to be very inspiring – I find it really interesting to understand others’ experiences and insights when it comes to business and management.

Ofer Tirosh, Tomedes ($0/month). Read the full interview ➜

article

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86. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

  • Written by: Angela Duckworth
  • Link: Amazon

In this instant New York Times bestseller, Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” “Inspiration for non-geniuses everywhere” (People).

The daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Angela Duckworth is now a celebrated researcher and professor.

This is “a fascinating tour of the psychological research on success” (The Wall Street Journal).

Founders that read this book:

5 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

The importance of hard work and determination and how it can overpower any kind of natural talent. Very applicable in the startup world. Some founders pivot too early, in my opinion.

Gino Ferrand, TECLA ($85K/month). Read the full interview ➜

article

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87. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

  • Written by: Chris Voss
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

7 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

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88. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

  • Written by: Don Miguel Ruiz
  • Link: Amazon

Identifies four self-limiting beliefs that impede one's experience of freedom, true happiness, and love..

.

Identifies four self-limiting beliefs that impede one's experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

Founders that read this book:

6 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

Read this book ➜

89. The One Minute Manager

  • Written by: Kenneth Blanchard Ph.D.
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

5 successful founders have read this book ➜

article

Read this book ➜

90. Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds

  • Written by: David Goggins
  • Link: Amazon

Founders that read this book:

9 successful founders have read this book ➜

What founders are saying:

This book showed me that anything is possible, despite your past.

Drew Laine, PenaltyBox Sports ($400K/month). Read the full interview ➜

article

Read this book ➜

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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