100 books like Backable

By Suneel Gupta, Carlye Adler,

Here are 100 books that Backable fans have personally recommended if you like Backable. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Muhammad Mashhood Alam Author Of Transforming an Idea Into a Business with Design Thinking: The Structured Approach from Silicon Valley for Entrepreneurs and Leaders

From my list on design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Who am I?

I've been driving innovation in various capacities with world’s leading companies and start-ups for the last 23 years in Silicon Valley. I've been granted six US patents, won two prestigious design awards including the Red Dot award, and published a book on transforming an idea into a business using Design Thinking. What I've learnt is that at the core of any successful business lies the value to the end user who uses the solutions. As I got exposed to Design Thinking earlier on in my career, I realized its immense power in delivering human-centered innovations. I regularly speak at several industry & entrepreneurial events and various business schools around the world. 

Muhammad's book list on design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship

Muhammad Mashhood Alam Why did Muhammad love this book?

The Lean Startup is a book that presents a new approach to entrepreneurship and innovation that focuses on creating products that meet the needs of customers while minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency.

Ries argues that many startups fail because they spend too much time and resources building products that customers don't want, and that a better approach is to quickly develop and test ideas using a process of continuous improvement.

Ries outlines a framework for implementing a lean startup approach, which includes identifying the target customer, creating a minimum viable product, and using rapid experimentation and feedback to improve the product.

He also emphasizes the importance of metrics and data analysis in guiding decision-making and measuring progress.

I have found it a practical and informative book that offers valuable insights and strategies for entrepreneurs and innovators looking to create successful and sustainable businesses.

By Eric Ries,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Lean Startup as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING SENSATION

'The Lean Startup changes everything.' - Harvard Business Review

----------

Most new businesses fail. But most of those failures are preventable.

The Lean Startup is a new approach to business that's being adopted around the world. It is changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Essential reading for any ambitious entrepreneur, The Lean Startup will teach you to identify what your customers really want. You'll learn how to test your vision continuously, adapting and adjusting before it's too late.

With over a million copies sold across the globe, now is your time…


Book cover of The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup

Kathleen Allen Author Of Entrepreneurship For Dummies

From my list on inspiring you to get off your butt and start a business.

Who am I?

I have a real passion for entrepreneurship, so much so that I married an entrepreneur and produced two children who became entrepreneurs. During my 25 years as a professor in the Greif Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Southern California, one of the top programs in the U.S., I had the privilege of inspiring and mentoring hundreds of new entrepreneurs. I found my passion in technology businesses. I had the business skills needed to help scientists and engineers raise funding, bring their inventions to market, and build their companies. I managed to start and run four ventures of my own as well as write several books about entrepreneurship.

Kathleen's book list on inspiring you to get off your butt and start a business

Kathleen Allen Why did Kathleen love this book?

For a couple years, Noam Wasserman was an entrepreneurship colleague of mine at the University of Southern California.

Founders Dilemmas is the first book to focus on the critical decisions founders of new ventures must make starting on day one. Wasserman studied nearly 10,000 founders including Tim Westergren of Pandora and Evan Williams of Twitter.

It should be no surprise that he found that people are the leading cause of startup failures. The best recommendation I can give is to tell you that Wasserman offers solutions that I have personally used and passed along to hundreds of founders, because they work.

This is not a fluffy book. It’s a serious book that is well worth your time to read. If you’re going to start a business, it’s required reading! And take notes!

Not only will it help you decide if you have what it takes, it will help you learn…

By Noam Wasserman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Founder's Dilemmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Often downplayed in the excitement of starting up a new business venture is one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs will face: should they go it alone, or bring in cofounders, hires, and investors to help build the business? More than just financial rewards are at stake. Friendships and relationships can suffer. Bad decisions at the inception of a promising venture lay the foundations for its eventual ruin. The Founder's Dilemmas is the first book to examine the early decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team. Drawing on a decade of research, Noam Wasserman…


Book cover of Why Startups Fail: A New Roadmap for Entrepreneurial Success

Patrick J. McGinnis Author Of The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job

From my list on for part-time entrepreneurs.

Who am I?

I never thought I would be an entrepreneur. In fact, I was happy in corporate life. But when my job in corporate America blew up, I realized that I need to rethink my entire approach to building my career and my life. The result of these efforts is The 10% Entrepreneur. Over the past decade, I have integrated entrepreneurship into my life on a part-time basis, reaping meaningful financial and psychic rewards in the process. In the process, I have taught hundreds of thousands of others that entrepreneurship does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition.

Patrick's book list on for part-time entrepreneurs

Patrick J. McGinnis Why did Patrick love this book?

As a professor at Harvard Business School, Eisenmann has taught a generation of entrepreneurs how to launch and scale businesses. He has then watched as some of these promising businesses fail. This book explores the 6 major patterns of failure in entrepreneurial ventures, shows how they play out in the real world, and gives you the tool to avoid a similar fate.

By Tom Eisenmann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Why Startups Fail as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you want your startup to succeed, you need to understand why startups fail.

“Whether you’re a first-time founder or looking to bring innovation into a corporate environment, Why Startups Fail is essential reading.”—Eric Ries, founder and CEO, LTSE, and New York Times bestselling author of The Lean Startup and The Startup Way

Why do startups fail? That question caught Harvard Business School professor Tom Eisenmann by surprise when he realized he couldn’t answer it.

So he launched a multiyear research project to find out. In Why Startups Fail, Eisenmann reveals his findings: six distinct patterns that account for the…


Book cover of Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive

Patrick J. McGinnis Author Of The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job

From my list on for part-time entrepreneurs.

Who am I?

I never thought I would be an entrepreneur. In fact, I was happy in corporate life. But when my job in corporate America blew up, I realized that I need to rethink my entire approach to building my career and my life. The result of these efforts is The 10% Entrepreneur. Over the past decade, I have integrated entrepreneurship into my life on a part-time basis, reaping meaningful financial and psychic rewards in the process. In the process, I have taught hundreds of thousands of others that entrepreneurship does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition.

Patrick's book list on for part-time entrepreneurs

Patrick J. McGinnis Why did Patrick love this book?

So many entrepreneurs work endless hours without finding a way to monetize their work. They achieve success on paper, but don’t actually reap the financial benefits. This book provides a roadmap to monetize your talents in a number of ways – from building your brand to figuring out how to get people to pay for your services. 

By Dorie Clark,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Entrepreneurial You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What does it take to create the career you want?

It's no secret that the world of work has changed, and we're shifting toward an ever more entrepreneurial, self-reliant, work-from-wherever-you-are economy. That can be a liberating force, and many professionals dream of becoming independent, whether by starting their own businesses, becoming consultants or freelancers, or developing a sideline.

But there's a major obstacle professionals face when they contemplate taking the leap: how to actually make money doing what they love. You may have incredible talent and novel ideas, but figuring out how to get started, building your reputation in a…


Book cover of Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

Brian Ahearn Author Of Influence People: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical

From my list on helping you influence people and hear “yes!”.

Who am I?

My career and life were changed by Robert Cialdini’s work on influence. There are only a dozen people in the world who have been personally trained, certified, and endorsed by Cialdini to teach his methodology on influence and persuasion. I’m fortunate to be in that very select group. I’ve authored three books and given a TED Talk on influence. My LinkedIn Learning courses around influence in sales and coaching have been viewed by more than 500,00 across the globe. I take Cialdini’s influence concepts and marry them with my 35+ years of business experience to give organizations practical ways to ethically influence people. 

Brian's book list on helping you influence people and hear “yes!”

Brian Ahearn Why did Brian love this book?

When it comes to your ability to influence people, sometimes what you do beforehand can make all the difference.

If you want someone to marry you, it’s probably best to have them in a romantic state of mind. That same logic applies to all other influence attempts. Cialdini says pre-suasion is, “Arranging for an audience to be receptive to your message before they encounter it.”

In the book he looks as why grabbing people’s limited attention, even if it’s only for a moment, is critical for pre-suasion. Next, he explores how to impact emotions, mindsets using triggers such as sights, sounds, and surroundings. Once you learn to set the stage with pre-suasion, your ability to hear yes will skyrocket!

By Robert B. Cialdini,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pre-Suasion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When it comes to persuasion, success can begin before you say a word.

'An instant classic.' Forbes
'Utterly fascinating.' Adam Grant, author of Originals and Give and Take
'Shockingly insightful.' Chip Heath, co-author of Switch and Made to Stick

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In his global bestseller Influence, Professor Robert Cialdini transformed the way we think about the craft of persuasion. Now he offers revelatory new insights into the art of winning people over: it isn't just what we say or how we say it that counts, but also what goes on in the moments before we speak.

This is…


Book cover of Influence Is Your Superpower: The Science of Winning Hearts, Sparking Change, and Making Good Things Happen

Melina Palmer Author Of What Your Employees Need and Can't Tell You

From my list on having more influence at work.

Who am I?

The more I learn about the brain, the more I want to dig in and discover more. Why do we procrastinate? Why do people buy things? Why do some people naturally seem to have more influence than others? As an applied behavioral economist, I love unlocking these topics weekly on The Brainy Business podcast (where each person on this list has been a guest) and sharing those insights with the world. Three of the most downloaded episodes (in over 300) featured increasing influence (and authors showcased here), a key factor of being more impactful in life and at work. Enjoy your newfound influence!

Melina's book list on having more influence at work

Melina Palmer Why did Melina love this book?

There are countless amazing insights from Influence Is Your Superpower, by Yale’s Zoe Chance.

Three that stick with me the most for applying these insights at work are: 1) Zoe’s Magic Question of “What would it take?” This little question is so powerful in coming up with innovative solutions that increase buy-in from the person you are asking (and Zoe of course explains why in the book). 2) people are more likely to say yes to you than you may think, so simply asking is important to increasing your influence. 3) saying “no” is key to success (and isn’t as hard as it seems).

She encourages a 24-hours of “no” challenge that can help anyone get more comfortable with saying no. 

By Zoe Chance,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Influence Is Your Superpower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Get what you want without compromising who you are: the new rules of persuasion to influence others for good

We're all nice. In fact, we're told we're too nice and we have to change to succeed: 'Play the game!'; 'Beat them down!'; 'Toughen up!'. Do we have to choose between betraying our own values and being left behind without a voice? Absolutely not. We can naturally be persuasive and successful every day without making enemies of ourselves or other people.

Influence is a science and renowned Yale professor Zoe Chance will help you master it in this fascinating book. Drawing…


Book cover of You Have More Influence Than You Think: How We Underestimate Our Power of Persuasion, and Why It Matters

Melina Palmer Author Of What Your Employees Need and Can't Tell You

From my list on having more influence at work.

Who am I?

The more I learn about the brain, the more I want to dig in and discover more. Why do we procrastinate? Why do people buy things? Why do some people naturally seem to have more influence than others? As an applied behavioral economist, I love unlocking these topics weekly on The Brainy Business podcast (where each person on this list has been a guest) and sharing those insights with the world. Three of the most downloaded episodes (in over 300) featured increasing influence (and authors showcased here), a key factor of being more impactful in life and at work. Enjoy your newfound influence!

Melina's book list on having more influence at work

Melina Palmer Why did Melina love this book?

Do you ever feel like everyone is watching you? What about all those other times when you feel like a fly on the wall – observing while not being noticed? Which is true? Are we invisible or is the world critiquing our every move?

It turns out…people notice us much more than we think (and, much less than we think). And as tends to happen with brain tricks, it is the opposite of how we think it should work. Once you understand this, you can easily leverage those insights to increase your influence.

As Vanessa shares in this great book, even being in the audience at a presentation can impact what the speaker says and how their own perspectives will change. Great news for the introverts – silent influence is real.

By Vanessa Bohns,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Have More Influence Than You Think as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether attending a meeting, sharing a post online or mustering the nerve to ask for a favour, we often assume our actions, input and requests will be overlooked or rejected. However, as behavioural psychologist Vanessa K. Bohns reveals, people see us, listen to us and agree to do things for us much more than we realise.

In You Have More Influence Than You Think, Bohns draws from original research to illustrate why we fail to recognise the influence we have already and how that lack of awareness can lead us to miss opportunities or accidentally misuse our power. She offers…


Book cover of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Jonquil Lowe Author Of Be Your Own Financial Adviser

From my list on insights for managing your money wisely.

Who am I?

I’m an economist who started out in stockbroking. But that felt like an exploitative industry and, looking for a more positive role, I moved to the consumer organisation Which? There, I cut my teeth helping people make the most of their money and then started my own freelance business. Along the way, I’ve worked with many clients (including financial regulators and the Open University where I now also teach), taken some of the exams financial advisers do and written 30 or so books on personal finance. The constant in my work is trying to empower individuals in the face of markets and systems that are often skewed against them.

Jonquil's book list on insights for managing your money wisely

Jonquil Lowe Why did Jonquil love this book?

Cialdini is a social psychologist who set out to explore what makes us comply with requests from strangers.

He did this from the inside by taking jobs where he was trained by various organisations to sell their wares. What makes this book so valuable is that Cialdini not only identifies six key methods of persuasion that are routinely deployed but also offers guidance on how to defend yourself against them. This has huge relevance for personal finance.

As banks and other financial institutions increase their fraud detection systems, criminals increasingly see you, the individual, as the weak link they can exploit to defraud you. Cialdini’s book is a great tool to help you detect and rebuff scammers intent on parting you from your money.

By Robert B. Cialdini,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked Influence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The foundational and wildly popular go-to resource for influence and persuasion-a renowned international bestseller, with over 5 million copies sold-now revised adding: new research, new insights, new examples, and online applications.

In the new edition of this highly acclaimed bestseller, Robert Cialdini-New York Times bestselling author of Pre-Suasion and the seminal expert in the fields of influence and persuasion-explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these insights ethically in business and everyday settings. Using memorable stories and relatable examples, Cialdini makes this crucially important subject surprisingly easy. With Cialdini as a guide, you don't have…


Book cover of Influence: Science and Practice

Keith Ellis Author Of Magic Bullet

From my list on help us know ourselves.

Who am I?

We live in the age of selfies, when it’s easy to snap a picture of ourselves in the day-to-day activities of our lives. But a deeper and far more satisfying journey is to take a selfie of our inner selves to better understand who we are, what we want, and how to get it. I’ve spent a lifetime on this journey. Self discovery and self understanding, and through them self-empowerment, these are the essence of my work. As a #1 bestselling author, my purpose is to help others discover their purpose, and live it. The five books I’ve recommended here have helped me greatly along that path.

Keith's book list on help us know ourselves

Keith Ellis Why did Keith love this book?

Entire industries exist to manipulate us based on characteristics of human psychology that nature has programmed into us. An important part of knowing ourselves is to know these characteristics and understand how to use them for our benefit, instead of the benefit of those who would use our human nature against us.

By Robert B. Cialdini,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Influence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Influence: Science and Practice is an examination of the psychology of compliance (i.e. uncovering which factors cause a person to say "yes" to another's request).

Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say "yes." Widely used in classes, as well as sold to people operating successfully in the business world, the eagerly awaited revision of Influence reminds the reader of the power of…


Book cover of Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact

Alan Stein Jr. Author Of Raise Your Game: High-Performance Secrets from the Best of the Best

From my list on maximizing potential and improving performance.

Who am I?

I’m a professional keynote speaker and author that has studied the pillars of high performance for most of my life. This journey started through basketball, as I was able to work with, work alongside, and observe many of the game’s top players and coaches and witness firsthand the disciplines, rituals, and routines they modeled in pursuit of optimal performance on and off the court. That transitioned into the business world where I not only watched these foundational principles be applied by executives and entrepreneurs… but I applied them to my own life and business as well. 

Alan's book list on maximizing potential and improving performance

Alan Stein Jr. Why did Alan love this book?

The brilliance of Exactly What to Say is in its brevity and simplicity. It was built on the premise that when you ‘change your words you change your world’ and how what we say heavily impacts our ability to influence others. It is full of practical, actionable concepts on word choice and phrasing that can be implemented immediately by anyone looking to the effectiveness of their communication. While this book is a quick read–it is incredibly profound and powerful. 

By Phil M Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Exactly What to Say as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Often the decision between a customer choosing you over someone like you is your ability to know exactly what to say, when to say it, and how to make it count. Phil M. Jones has trained more than two million people across five continents and over fifty countries in the lost art of spoken communication. In Exactly What to Say, he delivers the tactics you need to get more of what you want.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in persuasion, influence, and interpersonal communication?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about persuasion, influence, and interpersonal communication.

Persuasion Explore 21 books about persuasion
Influence Explore 15 books about influence
Interpersonal Communication Explore 38 books about interpersonal communication