10 Best books for startups that will take you from inspiration to success

March 22, 2023

Best books for startups you should read

Launching a startup is like embarking on a wild adventure with uncharted territories and unexpected turns. As a founder, you need a diverse skill set to navigate the rough waters of entrepreneurship. Fortunately, there’s a treasure trove of wisdom waiting for you in the form of startup books written by seasoned entrepreneurs and leaders.

In this article, we’ve plundered the seas of business literature to bring you the top 10 books that will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to steer your startup towards success. From funding to marketing, leadership to strategy, these books cover a wide range of topics that every entrepreneur needs to know.

Get ready to set sail and discover the secrets of successful startups. These books will challenge your thinking, broaden your perspective, and arm you with the tools you need to chart your own course in the business world. So, hoist the anchor, and let’s explore the 10 best books for startups that should be on every entrepreneur’s bookshelf.

Enrich your knowledge with these 10 must-read books for startups

Immerse yourself in a world of knowledge and unlock the secrets of running a successful startup with these must-read business books. From invaluable insights to practical tips and tricks, these books offer a treasure trove of information for entrepreneurs at any stage of their journey. Whether you’re a fledgling founder or a seasoned pro, these books are essential additions to your home library. So why wait? Take the first step towards achieving your startup dreams and dive into the pages of these transformative titles today.

The Startup Owner’s Manual: The step-by-step guide for building a great company

Written by Steven Blank and Bob Dorf, The Startup Owner’s Manual is a great resource of information for those who want to transform their business idea into a successful startup story.

Both authors concentrate on the issues facing today’s startups and they try to clarify upcoming questions and explain them with applicable solutions. The book covers detailed topics such as fundraising, advising how to build a team and find investors for your startup, and an in-depth research process into the early stages of starting a startup.

If you are willing to understand the entire process of founding and running a startup, then this handbook should always be at hand.

Never Too Late to Startup: How Mid-Life Entrepreneurs Create Wealth, Freedom, and Purpose

Never Too Late to Startup is a book intended for everyone who has always wished to start their own startup but didn’t dare to do that. Throughout the content, the author Rob Kornblum encourages all people, regardless of their age and employment background, to follow their dreams and try their hands at entrepreneurship.

The book is full of conversations and insights from CEOs who share their stories and who started their startups later in their lives. It also has a lot of practical tools and useful tips on how to run a startup and manage it through all the early stages of development.

All this information gathered in one place makes this book one of the best business books to be published in recent times.

The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business

David S. Rose is the man behind this marvelous title. The Startup Checklist is a powerful business book that covers the process of transforming a business idea into a successful startup story. From operation business plans, fundraising, and building a team of collaborators to marketing plans this book presents a complete business handbook for running a business.

The author’s goal is to help all aspiring entrepreneurs and founders learn the roadmap of running a startup from the very beginning and avoid wasting time and resources during the clean-up process.


In this New York Times bestseller book, authors Geoff Smart and Randy Street explain why hiring the right people should be the main focus of every company and how the company can improve its hiring process.

The essence of the book Who teaches you that regardless of whether you are recruiting a front desk manager, a marketing manager, or even an entry-level employee, you should always hire the best people with the best qualities and abilities. Because the most common mistake companies make is hiring the wrong people, and that move takes them a few steps backward.

If you are a founder who wants to have the best employees on the team, then this is a recommendation to read.

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days

Jessica Livingston has done a great job creating and publishing this title. Even though it’s a relatively old book, it’s still in good circulation.

Founders at Work is a collection of recorded interviews with well-known tech founders like Steve Wozniak the CEO of Apple, Sabeer Bhatia the CEO of Hotmail, Max Levich the CEO of PayPal, and many more. In the interviews, they talk about the early beginnings of their careers and the ups and downs in their early days.

The essence of the book says that, even though all of them are now successful and famous business people, they were once just ordinary people who had brilliant business ideas and a little more courage than others.

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

If you are a new founder who is still looking for their place in the business world, then Lost and Founder is a perfect book recommendation for you. 

Rand Fishkin the CEO of SparkToro, wrote this book as a guide for all the obstacles, pitfalls, ups, and downs that await you on the way as a startup founder. Even though he is brutally honest, his honesty will make you fall in love with this book and want to read it several times. 

Even though the content is brutally honest and terrifying, it will still serve as motivation for you to face all the challenges and keep moving forward toward your dreams.

Funding Your Startup

Funding Your Startup is a good recommendation for every startup founder or entrepreneur who wants to know about raising funds for startups. 

Both authors are Indian investors with extensive knowledge and decades of experience in startup investments that teach you how to get initial investment vendor capital and how to properly invest in your startup.

The book presents a roadmap divided into four sections, each section explains in detail the steps of raising funds and developing a sustainable business model. Also, there are several stories from successful startup founders who share their experiences including their ups and downs in the early days of their careers.

The Lean Entrepreneur

Authored by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, The Lean Entrepreneur is created after inspiration based on the book Lean Startup by Eric Ries. 

As the title suggests, this book elaborates on the lean methodology and how it can be used to build a lean startup. The book teaches entrepreneurs how to properly understand customer needs in order to build a product or service that resonates with the customers’ needs. 

Furthermore, the authors provide real-world examples of lean startups such as Zappos, Dropbox, and Airbnb that explain how these companies build their business models with the help of the lean methodology.

This book should be on the shelves of every entrepreneur’s home library who wants to learn more about lean startups’ principles and how the lean methodology is applied to building business models.

The Founder’s Dilemma: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup

In The Founder’s Dilemma, the author Noam Wasserman, reveals the common wrong decisions the founders make when starting a new startup. He also offers his solutions on how to avoid them so that you don’t end up in a death-end situation with your startup.

The book is divided into three sections and each section provides detailed explanations of the early stages of startup development and its growth. Throughout the book, you can find many examples that provide practical solutions of how to get out of a financial crisis, when to invest in your startup, how to find the right investors and co-founders, how to build a strong team of employees, and many more.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide that will help you make the right decisions and recognize red flags on time, then, this is the book you are looking for.

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Written by both Gabriel Wineberg and Justin Mares; Traction is a business book for every founder and entrepreneur who wants to achieve business growth and get more customers.

The book covers an overview of 19 different traction channels including email and content marketing, social media, and how to explore each channel and find the right one for your startup. 

Also, the book provides the readers with several interviews of successful startup founders and CEOs including Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia, Alexis Ohanian from Reddit, Dharmesh Shan from HubSpot, and others, from which you can take advice, and learn business strategies for building traction.

Whether you are just starting out or you are an experienced founder, Traction is a must-read book.


As we wrap up, it’s important to acknowledge that starting your own business can feel overwhelming. By tapping into the wealth of knowledge contained within the pages of these ten books, you can gain a better understanding of what it takes to launch and grow a successful startup.

Whether you’re struggling with funding, marketing, leadership, or strategy, these books provide invaluable insights that can help you overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. From actionable tips to inspiring case studies, they offer a roadmap to success that every aspiring entrepreneur should explore.

So if you’re ready to take your startup to the next level, we highly recommend diving into these must-read books. They’re the ultimate guide for anyone looking to sail through the complex and competitive world of entrepreneurship.

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