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What are the books you recommend startup founders read?

12.09K viewsStartupsadvice books entrepreneurship lessons startups

Greatly appreciate a little Cliffs Notes, why that book that you love?

Paul O'Brien Answered question September 18, 2023

Based on my marketing consulting work with dozens of Founders, I am about to throw you a giant curveball:

Scientific Advertising
Book by Claude C. Hopkins

This book is a century old. And yet the concepts for how to think about marketing strategically that work over time have not changed. Just the vocabulary by people who need to sell books.

When I got my M.S. in database marketing in 2003, I quickly realized the concepts I was being taught were laid out by the Wunderman agency – and the man was a genius.

And he freely admitted he cribbed openly from that original text.

Then in the Internet onset, developers in Silicone Valley “invented” a new vocabulary for concepts that we’ve all known.

And on and on.

Read the master. But start with this. If a 2% email click-through rate is success, then a 98% non-click rate is success. Easy to say. Hard to bring into your thinking every day.

Paul O'Brien Changed status to publish September 19, 2023

The Essential Drucker by Peter F. Drucker

Exactly What To Say by Phil M. Jones

Mastery by Robert Greene

Richard Leon Posted new comment December 12, 2022

Hey man! good to see you!

Miss your face brother. Hope to see you again soon.


Top Three:

Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

Story Brand by Donald Miller

How To win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Angel Zuniga Martinez Answered question May 29, 2022

Hard Things about Hard Things, Founder’s Dilemma, Lean Startup, Play Bigger, Reboot, Start with Why, Zero to One

Danny Feltsman Answered question May 16, 2022

My $.025

  1. Start with Why – Simon Sinek
  2. Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Peter Drucker
  3. Zero to One – Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
  4. Venture Deals – Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson
  5. Mindset – Carol Dweck
  6. Traction – Gino Wickman
  7. Rocket Fuel – Wickman with Mark C. Winters

And I put together some thoughts for perspective, on my LinkedIn newsletter, Startup Studio

Paul O'Brien Posted new comment April 5, 2022

I had your first three. But having difficulty getting the introduction the VC say I must h ave to get in front of them or for them.

Welcome to the community Joe.
Need for an intro is a myth. I write a lot about connecting with VCs over on my personal site, here’s one place to start that might help: https://seobrien.com/secret-to-funding-customers-needed-before-contacting-vcs

And a more recent methodology we teach in our incubators, the flywheel: https://mediatech.ventures/raising-capital-the-process-is-a-flywheel/

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