The best books about building and growing a startup

The Books I Picked & Why

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

By Gabriel Weinberg

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Why this book?

There are many traction channels that we can try to leverage as founders and oftentimes it’s difficult to know which channel will work best. This book provides you with the framework to methodically discover and test different traction channels effectively and systematically grow your startup. If nothing else, this book is a great list of marketing approaches that you can use as a starting point for your growth efforts.


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The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need

By Anthony Iannarino

The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need

Why this book?

Selling is and always has been about the personal relationship between the buyer and the seller. People buy from people they know and trust. Iannarino does a fantastic job outlining the essential behaviors (self-discipline, accountability, competitiveness, resourcefulness, storytelling, diagnosing) for effective sales and these principles will be requisite for all startup founders.


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Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

By Greg McKeown

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Why this book?

As startup founders, we are often trying to do too much. By spreading ourselves thin, we lose. I love this book because McKeown provides a selective criteria framework for making decisions about what is important and essential -- decisions that any founder has to make on a daily, if not hourly, basis.


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The Entrepreneur's Guide to Keeping Your Sh*t Together: How to Run Your Business Without Letting it Run You

By Sherry Walling, Rob Walling

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Keeping Your Sh*t Together: How to Run Your Business Without Letting it Run You

Why this book?

The mental game is perhaps the most important part of being a successful founder while also living a sane and happy life. Sherry Walling is an entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and helps us understand how to properly equip ourselves for the startup journey. For full disclosure, I am married to Dr. Walling and credited as a contributing author since we collaborated on several of the ideas that served as the basis for this book. But this book is recommended far and wide by those who read it and understand the need to be aware of how difficult this journey can be.


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Strengthsfinder 2.0

By Gallup, Tom Rath

Strengthsfinder 2.0

Why this book?

Knowing yourself can be difficult, but essential for success as a founder. Instead of focusing on our weaknesses, Rath argues that we should double down on what makes us unique and he provides us with the tools to discover those strengths. We wear many hats as startup founders, so by understanding our own strengths, we can be more effective leaders and build a more balanced team.


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