Best Startup Books for Entrepreneurs to Read in 2020

best books for startups

If you are already aware of the facts of the current startups,  you would know that around 50% of them fail in their incorporating year.

And why do you think the reason for same is?

That’s because they are not using the right tricks and tips to make their business successful. And the most important factor is that they avoid reading.

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We already know that a person who reads is considered as learned because he gets armed with the knowledge that he can apply and practice to be the best of himself. Similarly, when a person starting a new business is knowledgeable, he would be able to make his business successful, and this reading for the new startup owners is a must.

In this article, we have listed some of the popular and best books for new entrepreneurs so that they can make their startups successful. You might already know that there many lists of tricks and tips about startup growth, but the easiest and preferred learning way is by reading the experience of others because following and learning from their insight would help you to lead your startup to success.

So to help you out with the long list, we have, in this article listed on the best 20 books you can read for your startup.

20 Best Books for Startups that all entrepreneurs should read

Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Reviewed by Forbes as “Just might be the best business book ever written.”

Creativity Inc. is a manual that anyone who actually wants to dive in the Pixar Animation world prefers to read. It gives you an insight into what it takes to continuously break the mold to persistently create amazing things.

If you know that the Pixar has dominated the world of animation for over two decades now and producing such amazing animation films that have set am astounding box-office records and have many Academy Awards.

And to know the in-depth of such an amazing company, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired and profitable. And hence Creativity Inc. stands first in our list.

Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

Reviewed as “This book delivers completely new and refreshing ideas on how to create value in the world.”
by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

“Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how.” by Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla,

Zero to One is a must-read book if you want to build a better future. The legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create new things as he includes the contrarian premise that we live in i.e. an age of technological stagnation, he explains how information technology has improved rapidly, but now there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers as it can be achieved in any industry or area of business.

We recommend Zero to One as it presents an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

Reviewed as “Gawande deftly weaves in examples of checklist successes in diverse fields like aviation and skyscraper construction.” By New York Times Book Review

“This is a brilliant book about an idea so simple it sounds dumb until you hear the case for it. Atul Gawande presents an argument so strong that I challenge anyone to go away from this book unconvinced.” by The Seattle Times.

The Checklist Manifesto is definitely a book that applies to any field. It is from the point of view of a medical surgeon but the author Atul Gawande shows what the simple idea of the checklist reveals about the complexity of our lives and how we can deal with it.

In the modern world, there is stupendous know-how but still avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry and in almost every realm of organized activity, that’s because the volume and complexity of knowledge today have exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people.

In the book, the author reveals what checklists can do, what they can’t, and how they could bring about striking improvements in a variety of fields, from medicine and disaster recovery to professions and businesses of all kinds, and hence we strongly recommend the book.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Reviewed as “The Lean Startup is the book whose lessons I want every entrepreneur to absorb and apply. I know of no better guide to improve the odds of a startup’s success.” by Mitchell Kapor, Founder, Lotus Development Corp.

The Lean Startup is a book where Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. The Lean Startup tries to approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively and it enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Further, the book offers entrepreneurs a way to test their vision continuously, and to adapt and adjust before it is too late for the change. Additional we recommend these books as the author Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston

Founders at Work is the Story of early days of some startups. For the new startups, this book offers both wisdom and engaging insights straight from the source of some multi-billion dollar companies. This book is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies about what happened in the very earliest days.

These people are celebrities now as they own multi-billion dollar companies. What was it like when they were just a couple friends Founders like Apple’s Steve Wozniak, Flickr’s Caterina Fake, Lotus’s Mitchell Kapor, PayPal’s Max Levchin and Hotmail’s Sabeer Bhatia tells us in their own words about their surprising and often very funny discoveries as they learned how to build a company, Where did they get the ideas that made them rich?

How did they convince investors to back them? What went wrong, and how did they recover? And hence we recommend this book as it is the closest you can come to being a fly on the wall at a successful startup, to learn how it’s done.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Reviewed in 2014 as “More than any other business book released this year, “Hard Things” gives an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to lead and scale a startup.” by Insider’s Best Business Books of 2014.

The Hard Thing About Hard Thing is about the journey of authors success. In this book that author doesn’t exactly gives you any secret formula for the successful startup but he shares his struggle on details and that helps you to have your own insight.

The two very important lessons of this book are, first to understand the need for separate facts from perception and second to understand that there are no short-cuts to knowledge. We recommend this book as the author shares profound insights into what it takes to build a successful startup with tremendous flair.

Hooked by Nir Eyal

Reviewed as “Hooked gives you the blueprint for the next generation of products. Read Hooked or the company that replaces you will.” by Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress.

Hooked is a book that is to be read at least once by all startup founders who are looking to build a product that will heavily engage users by understanding how the actual emotions play a major role in driving behaviour. All the questions such as Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop?

What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?, Is answered by the author Nor Eval in this book and also he includes a Hook Model that is four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behaviour.

The book is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting and practical experience, not as an abstract theory, but as a how-to guide for building better products. The book is mainly useful for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence someone’s behaviour.

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

As reviewed by Fortune, “Gerber loves to exhort people to develop powerful visions for their companies“, The E-Myth Revisited is a book that helps startups to develop in a predictable and productive way.

The E-Myth stands for the entrepreneurial myth, that means the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs with the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work.

The book dispels the myths about starting your own business as the author is a small business consultant and, who has gained a sharp insight from years of experience and points out how common assumptions, expectations and even technical expertise can get in the way of running a successful business. We recommend this book as it helps you grow your business in a productive and assured way.

The $100 StartUp by Chris Guillebeau

Reviewed by Tony Hsieh the New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos as “In this valuable guide Chris Guillebeau shows that transforming an idea into a successful business can be easier than you think. You are in charge of which ideas deserve your time, and this book can help you wake up every morning eager to progress to the next step.”.

The $100 Startup is a book that can be read easily as it is consists of various inspiring stories of entrepreneurs who have found ways to turn their life’s passions into income. It is aimed at small businesses and motivates big ones to think creatively, encouraging them to push beyond their limits.

In this book Chris explains you in a better way that it is always about finding the intersection between your expertise and you and you don’t exactly need an MBA degree, a business plan or even employees, to run your startup, because all you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do anyway, people willing to pay and a way to get paid.

Screw it, Let’s do it by Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson is the CEO of Virgin group of companies and heads more than 400 companies and hence we recommend his book. In Screw It, Let’s Do It, the author shares the secrets of his success and the invaluable lessons he has learned over the course of his remarkable career.

As the world keeps on struggling with the twin problems of global recession and climate change, Sir Richard explains why it is up to big companies like Virgin to lead the way in finding a more holistic and environmentally friendly approach to business.

The author reveals the new and exciting areas into which his company Virgin is presently moving, including biofuels and space travel and also gives you important lessons, good advice and inspirational adages that have always helped him for gaining success.


We know it’s quite difficult and overwhelming to read all these books and choosing a one from it is a big task as all these books have great knowledgeable content for the startups, but trust us and give it a try. You would definitely see the changes you can make in your startup and make it more successful.

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