- Start with Why – Simon Sinek
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Peter Drucker
- Zero to One – Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
- Venture Deals – Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson
- Mindset – Carol Dweck
- Traction – Gino Wickman
- Rocket Fuel – Wickman with Mark C. Winters
Based on my marketing consulting work with dozens of Founders, I am about to throw you a giant curveball:
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.
I like Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki. I like it because Guy was one of the earliest Apple employees and has advised startups throughout the years. He said this is basically his brain dump on building companies. I do feel it’s a little marketing-focused, but it has a lot of good nuggets in it.