Experts Suggest: Top 10 Books Every Startup Founder Should Read

Anyone would agree that experience is a more solid source of education in entrepreneurship than books. But how many of you are lucky enough to get it? Everything that you can think of in entrepreneurship or related to startups has been done before in some variation. Some failed, some succeeded, and you don’t need to learn these lessons by testing them yourself. In that sense, books can help you get critical information. You discover expert entrepreneurs’ pitfalls and success strategies in well-written books for entrepreneurs who have just started their journeys. You’re in luck because you don’t have to go looking for the library of Alexandria to find all the books you need about startups. Here, we listed the 10 of the best books for startup founders to read—suggested by experts in the field.

Top 10 Books for Startup Founders

Zero To One

Goodreads rating – 4.18

Peter Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal and one of the first investors of Facebook. His book “Zero To One” is full of unique thinking, new and daring ideas. He co-wrote this book with American venture capitalist Blake Masters. The duo packed the book abundance of outstanding claims, such as that monopoly should be welcomed and can be used as the basis for invention. Thiel and masters substantiate these ideas with valid justifications. This book is a guide for founders looking to build tech companies.

The Lean Startup

Goodreads rating – 4.11

The Lean Startup is written by Eric Ries. Ries put forth his ideas on developing a startup company using minimum resources. He addresses how to tackle a vast number of possible challenges at extreme constraints. This is the book if you are starting your path in the world of tech entrepreneurship and have to push the boundaries of your innovation with minimal resources.

Ideal Executive

Goodreads rating – 4.38

Ideal Executive is written by Ichak Kalderon Adizes. Adizes in this book compares the mythical unicorn with the ideal manager. With this comparison, he tries to ground the expectations of the manager you select for your organization. A manager need not be the jack of all trades, and he argues that a manager doesn’t have to combine all the qualities that supersede the expectations of an organization.

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

Goodreads rating – 4.14

“The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” is written by Stephen Covey. Running a successful business is not easy. Convey in this book provides 32 principles that can be highly effective adapted to the daily habit. The appeal of this book is that it is not specific to one industry. It is an all-terrain book. No matter what industry you are in, this book will help you cultivate that habit that will render you effective in that industry. 

Tools Of Titans

Goodreads rating – 4.09

“Tools Of Titans” is written by Tim Ferriss. Ferriss, a respected advisor and intelligent investor, interviewed about two hundred world-class entrepreneurs, gathered their success tips, and compiled them into a 700-page book. The book is written with the idea of giving out tips and tricks but rather is an investigation of everyday problems and how you can solve them. Big moves, productivity, and motivation are other key subjects of this book.

The Startup Owner’s Manual 

Goodreads rating – 4.08

“The Startup Owner’s Manual” is written by Steve Blank, Bob Village. This book is the first book you should start with if you are just starting out with the startup game. Blank and Village answer burning questions related to startups today. They also explain them in a straightforward and practical approach. They also make sure to include forty helpful checklists for the different types of project phases. Even digital startups and spin-offs have a lot to gain from this book.


Goodreads rating – 3.93

“Who” is written by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. Smart and Street argue that most entrepreneurs ask themselves “what” went wrong when something in their business goes wrong aside from the question “Who.” This is a fundamental question as put forth by the duo as it is the answer to solving most of the problems in an organization. The book is based on 1300 hours of personal interviews with billionaires and CEOs. This book is instrumental for people to manage their human resources. 


Goodreads rating – 3.96

“Rework” is written by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson. This book is a very unique take on business management. Fried and Hansson dismiss seeking investors and business plans and studying competitors as secondary. Instead, rework focuses on actual action rather than contemplation. You will get a perspective on the other side of the business and work with this book. The book also packs advice to help you change your habits and usual methods.

Leading At The Speed Of Growth

Goodreads rating – 3.78

Leading At The Speed Of Growth is written by Katherine Catlin and Jana Matthews. This is one of the best books for female entrepreneurs. It is penned with the awareness that an exponentially growing business will make the founder anxious and happy at the same time. Many entrepreneurs would not know what to do in these times of unexpected growth. The author, therefore, guides the readers to understand the current situation and what to do about it.


Goodreads rating – 4.09

“Hooked’ is written by Nir Eyal. Eyal wrote this book by channelling his experience in research and consulting his clients. The author conducts an in-depth analysis of why some products succeed and why others fail. The main giveaway is the four-step process used to launch products by successful companies. These steps help you understand the user behaviour and hook your customers to the products. 

Books Are Friends of Founders

All the best books for startup founders mentioned above are an excellent source of information for you to guide your venture into the startup world. In addition, those books will offer industry-specific advice to a general gist on motivation and productivity. That being said, reading and rereading these books alone won’t create a successful startup. Instead, you have to put the guidelines you have learned from these books to read for startup founders into practice.