startup mistakes

My Top 5 Must-Reads for Startup Founders in 2015

There is a lot of information out there for startup founders. We recommend the 5 books that are chock full of practical advice to launch your startup!

Founders Can Find Practical Startup Advice in Books

When you’re just starting out, you have a lot to learn. These five inspirational and educational books for startup founders offer practical advice to help you get your startup off the ground:

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success – Shane Snow

You’ve undoubtedly heard stories about startups that raked in millions in a matter of months. You’ve also probably wondered how you could do just that. Join entrepreneur and journalist Shane Snow (of Fast CompanyThe New Yorker, and Wired fame) as he examines how Jimmy Fallon, Michelle Phan and Alexander the Great tore up the rulebook and climbed to the top in less time than it takes mere mortals to pluck up the courage to ask for a pay rise. Smartcuts looks to computer hackers for inspiration and leaves those leading a startup with practical ways to work smarter and achieve more.

Takeaway: An inside glance at Snow’s journey to becoming a respected entrepreneur and how you can use his methods to ensure your own success.

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century – Steven Pinker

As business founders, you may find yourself putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) a little more than you planned. You may eventually intend to outsource content creation to freelancers, but if funds are tight in the meantime, you’ll have to step up to the plate. Those blog posts won’t write themselves. If you aren’t much of a wordsmith, you need The Sense of Style. Steven Pinker, Harvard linguist and New York Times best-selling author, gives a much-needed facelift to Strunk and White’s 1959 classic, The Elements of Style.

Takeaway: A witty, personable and thoughtful guide to improving your writing, no matter what you have to say

The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users – Guy Kawasaki & Peg Fitzpatrick

Many people at the helm of a startup will be sufficiently technically minded knowing the role that social media can play in a company’s success. What you might not know is how to use social media to your advantage, how to maximize efficiencies from the platforms you choose, and how to see the results you want. In The Art of Social Media, Apple’s former chief evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, teams up with social media strategist, Peg Fitzpatrick, to offer more than 100 tips that will help get the social side of your startup performing as it should.

Takeaway: A nuts-and-bolts guide to the finer and lesser-known details of using social media to get a leg up in business.

Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind – Biz Stone.

If you seek inspiration, there are few more qualified people to dish it out than Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter and one of Time‘s most influential people in the world. Things a Little Bird Told Me recounts tales from Stone’s early career and personal life to offer exceptional insight into creativity, empathy, and opportunity. The book offers more than stories, though; Stone also delivers valuable lessons on corporate culture, ambition, failure and the value of vulnerability. By doing so, he has managed to deliver a business read that should appear on the shelf of any determined startup entrepreneur.

Takeaway: An uplifting read that will remind you of the importance of staying positive in business.

Creative Entrepreneurship – kbs+ Ventures

If you’re the type to choose a little of everything from a party buffet, Creative Entrepreneurship shapes up as a great read. The brainchild of early stage investment company, kbs+ Ventures, the book curates inspiring perspectives on startups into a veritable pick and mix for new business owners. Creative Entrepreneurship includes stories and advice from the likes of Blake Masters, Felix Salmon, Sarah Lacy and Seth Levine. If your startup has yet to hit the big-time and every cent counts, you’ll be pleased to know that Creative Entrepreneurship is available as a free download.

Takeaway: An evergreen resource for entrepreneurs that’s full of handy tips and hints that you’ll find yourself going back to time and time again.

One of the best habits of successful startup founders is being open to the wisdom of those who were once in your shoes. These books are an excellent place to start.

This article originally appeared on on January 6, 2015.

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