35+ Best Books for Entrepreneurs

Article by:
Mila Dliubarskaya
12 min
Are you a startup owner aiming to expand your business and boost profits, but feel like you're missing some key entrepreneurial know-how? Dive into our curated collection of best startup books, designed to help you grow.

Living in the era of information overload can be quite frustrating, right? Online libraries are overflowing with different books. Scrolling through endless lists of literature can be quite grueling since it's hard to decide which book to pick. Relatable?

We've curated a list of the best entrepreneur books and arranged them into 10 categories to simplify things. Keep in mind that some books span multiple categories and can offer valuable insights no matter where you start.

Make yourself comfortable and savor every bit of wisdom from the best books for startup founders!

37 Best Entrepreneur Books to Read in 2024

There are heaps of books for startup founders available on the Internet. But how do you choose the ones that truly bring value? To create this list of the best books for entrepreneurs, we've asked around and found the top picks of various professionals working at Upsilon and dived deep trying to allocate the ones that startup founders recommend. Feel free to snatch these to your reading list since they won't be a waste of time.

5 Best Books for Starting a Business 

According to the startup failure rate, 9 in 10 new startups make it through their first year, yet 90% end up in the junkyard in the following years. How do you make it among this successful 10 percent? What are the secrets to kicking your business venture off the right foot? 

Here are the best books to read for starting a business written by renowned entrepreneurs. They know exactly what you need to dive your first toes into the startup market teeming with risks and dangers.

Best Books for Starting a Business

Rework

By Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

Do you have to work 24/7 to build a successful business? Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson believe in an alternative approach to starting a business. "Work smart, not hard" is the book's motto. It will transform your outlook on entrepreneurship and make you reframe everything you know about launching a startup and running one. 

The Unicorn's Shadow

By Ethan Mollick

Ethan Millick, a Wharton School professor, reveals the myths around startups. He claims that most startup founders' journeys are different from those of Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, the so-called unicorns, we all look up to. He presents a brand-new approach to starting a business defining what makes a successful founder, how to generate startup ideas that are unique, ways to scale, and more.

The Lean Startup 

By Eric Ries

Knowing how to utilize your startup capital and workforce efficiently is an art. Eric Ries claims that keeping your startup "lean" is essential. Effective capital use and agility are key factors that can save your startup in times of uncertainty. It's considered one of the best books for starting a business, and you'll learn how to measure your progress effectively, cater to customers' needs, and get valuable feedback.

Zero to One 

By Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

It's never a bad idea to learn from the best. Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and an influential VC, shares the tricks to creating something truly unique in the business world in his transformative guide for entrepreneurs. "Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future" will elevate your startup from position zero to the number one business on the market.

The $100 Startup

By Chris Guillebeau

Do you know how to start a business without breaking the bank? Chris Guillebeau wrote one of the best books for starting a small business, he explains how to "Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future". It's here to share some tips and guide you through all the steps from opening a startup with just 100 bucks in your pocket to running a profitable business that brings millions.

4 Best Books for Startup Founders to Put on Their Desks

What must every startup founder know to thrive? Not everyone is naturally great at running a startup, managing staff, and handling all the inner processes. It all comes with experience. However, learning key strategies and tricks might work wonders. Here's a list of the best entrepreneur books filled with actionable advice on how to avoid common startup mistakes.

Best Books for Startup Founders

The Founder's Dilemmas

By Noam Wasserman

Is building a business with friends worth a try? Why might your team clash? Noam Wasserman covers the main problems that startups face and the possible solutions. "Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup", which is the full title of the book, lives up to expectations as the author considers the most common decisions of startup founders and classifies them into actionable dos or don'ts.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things 

By Ben Horowitz

This is one of the best entrepreneur books of all time, and its title is quite self-explanatory: running a startup is tough. However, Ben Horowitz knows what exactly makes you struggle and is eager to help you create a thriving business without any magic pills, just through hard work. He provides practical advice on how to overcome many challenges based on his personal experience as a CEO, entrepreneur, and founder.

Founders at Work 

By Jessica Livingston

What were the early days of Steve Wozniak from Apple or Max Levchin from PayPal like? "Stories of Startups' Early Days" describes the journey of top entrepreneurs from the bottom to the top sharing valuable tips and hacks. Discover where they found their business ideas, how they pitched to investors, the pitfalls they encountered, and how they overcame them.

The Startup Owner's Manual 

By Steve Blank, Bob Dorf 

Steve Blank, a renowned Silicon Valley startup expert, elaborates on product development. He shares invaluable insights on bringing tech startup ideas to life, identifying your target audience, and selling your product. You'll discover 9 deadly sins that could potentially disrupt your business. Plus, 77 checklists will assist you in getting your startup up and moving.

Entrepreneur Mindset Books: 4 Worth Reading 

Why is having the right mindset so important for making better decisions and achieving long-term success in business? The way you think and observe the world shapes many perspectives, while fears and insecurities are the main foes of any founder. Find out how to overcome your inhibitions in our collection of the best startup books for boosting your entrepreneurial mindset. 

Best Startup Books on Entrepreneurial Mindset

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

By Stephen R. Covey

How can startup owners stay at their peak effectiveness? Stephen R. Covey reveals the truth about the 7 habits that every successful entrepreneur should integrate into their life. After diving into these "Powerful Lessons in Personal Change", you'll uncover strategies to enhance morale, boost engagement within your company, and significantly improve your effectiveness.

STARTUP MINDSET: Help Me Start a Business 

By Pete Moon

Having the right mindset is crucial for running a successful business. Pete Moon argues that fears shouldn't hinder your business development. This book will help you overcome your prejudices, over-analysis, and fears of starting a business and guide you through all the steps needed to create your startup.

The Entrepreneur's Mindset

By M. Lalia Helmer

How do you find inspiration for your business? This question resonates with many entrepreneurs. Lalia Helmer, the author of  "How to Rewire Your Brain for Business Success", is ready to reveal the mental strategies used by renowned startup founders and CEOs to dodge challenges, maintain focus, and achieve their goals.  

Entrepreneur Revolution

By Daniel Priestley

Times have changed: it's no longer about the quantity but the quality of your work. And setting the right mindset can be crucial for achieving success. The book "How to develop your entrepreneurial mindset and start a business that works" is a great guide for reshaping your mindset. You'll learn how real-world entrepreneurs think, which startup business frameworks they use, as well as what habits they must have to stay effective and be able to manage their businesses without burning out.

5 Best Product Design Books for Startup Founders

Creating a decent design that'll be intuitive and guide users right where you want them to be isn't easy. Startup founders and teams have to know how to handle various areas of design, including product prototyping, which tools to choose, and how to approach usability testing. These are the top books for entrepreneurs regarding product design that can help your offering stand out, be pleasing to the eye, and be a breeze in usage.

Best Product Design Books for Entrepreneurs

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

By Nir Eyal

How come some products bring M$ while others end up in the junkyard? Nir Eyal assures you that mastering "hook cycles" will make your product thrive. It's among the best books for startups featuring a step-by-step guide for crafting lovable products that keep customers coming back. Regardless of your advertising strategy, the Hook Model is what you need to grab and retain customer attention.

The Design Of Everyday Things

By Don Norman

Have you ever caught yourself thinking "Hm, how do I switch on this device, or how does this door open?". It's not your fault, but the designers who failed to achieve their main goal: making a product intuitively easy to use. No matter how creative your product is, if your customer has no idea how to use it, it won't be a success. Discover how to approach product or MVP design. 

The Laws of Simplicity

By John Maeda

Improving the design isn't always about adding something new. John Maeda, a famous graphic designer, claims that successful design lies in simplicity. You don't need to create something extraordinary, but you should think things through using UX wireframing and other techniques. A huge number of extra features might scare away the user, while a simple balanced design is exactly what your customers want to see. 

Articulating Design Decisions

By Tom Greever

Have you designed a compelling product, but have no idea how to win your executives over to approve it? Getting approval can be quite tough, especially if people don't realize why this particular design is worth the investment. This book is just for you, as it covers tricks and hacks for discussing designs with non-designers.

Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design

By Jenifer Tidwell, Charles Brewer, Aynne Valencia

This is a go-to book for both seasoned and beginner designers. You'll discover compelling design patterns for different devices, user design needs, and best practices to solve some common design problems. It's also worth reading for non-designers to gain a better understanding of how design operates from UX discovery and beyond.

4 Best Finance Books for Entrepreneurs 

Money is an invaluable resource for business. But there are so many financial matters that founders and those running a company have to ace if they want to succeed. How do you extend your startup runway and stick to the budget? How should you approach startup equity and seek external funding? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg, so here are some of the best business startup books on finance that can give you the answers.

Best Finance Books for entrepreneurs

The Art of Startup Fundraising

By Alejandro Cremades 

Securing startup funding has become increasingly challenging due to a 20% decline in startup investment dynamics in recent years. Alejandro Cremades shares some tips and tricks on raising funds across all stages of startup development. He explains how to build a step-by-step strategy tailored to the current landscape and helps entrepreneurs avoid some common mistakes. 

Profit First

By Mike Michalowicz

Mike Michalowicz, a renowned entrepreneur, questions the conventional accounting formula "Sales - Expenses = Profit". He argues that prioritizing profit over expenses is key to building a sustainable business. His insights show that even small startups can bring revenue, you just need to follow the right principles, from your startup pricing strategy to how you handle your expenses.

Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs

By Karen Berman, Joe Knight, John Case

Having a lack of financial management skills can lead to bankruptcy. The authors, who are financial coaches, have the expertise to teach you to read financial statements, assess your financial health, make a clear startup budget, and integrate financial intelligence into your team. Mastering finances will definitely help your startup stand on its own feet more confidently.  

Work Less, Make More 

By James Schramko

Are you an entrepreneur seeking to achieve greater efficiency and work-life balance without sacrificing financial success? James Schramko shares insights and actionable hacks on essential entrepreneurial qualities. The Profit Formula for boosting profits is exactly what you need to plan effectively and set the right goals. 

3 Best Marketing Books for Entrepreneurs

Building a product that people want is hard work. But letting the world know that it exists, actually acquiring your early adopters, and turning them into your brand advocates is an art and (at times, requires an even bigger effort). Learn how to establish an unmatched startup marketing strategy to promote your offering with these top books for startup founders.

Best Marketing Books for Entrepreneurs

The Tipping Point

By Malcolm Gladwell

What's the secret to making your product go viral? Malcolm Gladwell in "How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" compares marketing strategies to the outbreak of epidemics, sharing his "three rules of epidemics". He argues that everything begins with a small, targeted action, as this is how new trends are set.

Purple Cow

By Seth Godin

What makes Starbucks and Apple marketing legends? In "Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable", Seth Godin reveals their secrets and explains what differentiates remarkable products. Being boring is the death of countless startups. Learn how to generate unique ideas and create original products that have strong startup branding and sell themselves.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

By Robert Beno Cialdini 

Urging people to say "yes" is an art, but it can be taught. Robert B. Cialdini walks you through all the principles of being convincing that can enhance your marketing strategies. Remember, persuasion is the key factor that entices customers to buy your product, but you shouldn't be too pushy. Discover the perfect balance and create more effective marketing campaigns.

3 Best Books on Business Strategy

Strategic and forward-oriented thinking is a fundamental pillar of thriving businesses. However, how should you prioritize features and decide what to release? How do you form lasting connections with customers and remain steadfast in a constantly shifting market? These are a few of the best books for entrepreneurs on forming a solid business strategy.

Best Books on Business Strategy

Go Long: Why Long-Term Thinking Is Your Best Short-Term Strategy

By Dennis Carey, Brian Dumaine, Michael Useem, Rodney Zemmel

What makes going long-term a better strategy? The authors argue that long-term-focused companies bring more profits in the long run as they can build stronger customer relationships and adapt more effectively to market changes. Learn how to create a product roadmap that can be your first step in an extensive business journey. 

Crushing It!

By Gary Vaynerchuk

Social media platforms are great for finding potential customers, but understanding how they operate can significantly boost your loyal customer base and sales. Gary Vaynerchuk reveals essential business strategies, highlighting the importance of building a personal brand for profitability. It's one of the best startup business books, and this guide is useful for anyone seeking to establish a powerful online presence.

Tools Of Titans

By Timothy Ferriss

24 hours never seem enough to achieve all your business goals. Why not learn to make the most of it? Timothy Ferriss has interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs collecting insights on the best startup tools and strategies that can contribute to business development and boost your productivity. Discover the top tactics leveraged by the Titans. 

3 Best Product Management Books for Startups 

How does effective product management ensure successful ventures? Understanding the key communication rules, planning best practices, and product management metrics is vital to ensure your product meets its goals effectively. Kick off your journey with these best books for startup entrepreneurs.

Best Product Management Books for Startups

Sprint

By Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz

If you feel like your management is chaotic, it's time to master a pioneering approach created at Google. "How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days" helps to clear your mind of endless plans and stick to the pressing issues. Handling everything step-by-step and holding sprint brainstorming sessions with your team can benefit your progress. Work smarter, build MVPs, test your products, and boost your efficiency with this proven approach. 

The Mom Test

By Rob Fitzpatrick

"Never ask your mom if your startup idea is good enough" is the book's motto as the odds of getting an honest answer are quite low. So, what makes customer conversations successful? Learn how to ask the right questions and pinpoint valuable insights from customer feedback. This book was recommended by Upsilon's CEO Andrew Fan, as our team uses the best practices covered in this book when developing products.

Escaping the Build Trap

By Melissa Perri

How do you avoid the so-called "build trap" while launching your MVP or product? Melissa Perri believes that concentrating on outputs rather than outcomes can lead to irreparable consequences. She explains why product management is the key component in meeting customers' needs and how companies can fill their products with true value. Dive into "How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value" to find the top product management principles that will make your startup thrive.

3 Best Change Management Books

Change management is an essential skill for any entrepreneur. In today's rapidly changing business landscape, adapting to new trends and realities is crucial for running a successful company. Although implementing new strategies can be quite challenging, how can you effectively guide people through these changes? Here's a list of the best business books for entrepreneurs on change management to help you make a smoother transition.

Best Change Management Books

Change (the) Management

By Al Comeaux

Looking at change management from another perspective can bring value to your startup. Al Comeaux gathered his experience as a change champion and senior executive to share insights on how changes can be implemented. He argues that leaders must be in charge of the change process, encouraging employees to go through it smoothly. 

You're It

By Leonard J. Marcus, Eric J. McNulty, Joseph M. Henderson, Barry C. Dorn

Crisis and change are inevitable obstacles on any entrepreneurial journey, but how can you go through them without visible losses? The book "Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When It Matters Most" is a transformative guide on taking tough but right decisions, leading people, and making a startup pivot during a time of crisis and change. Be prepared to handle potential problems before they actually occur.

Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos

By Darrell Rigby, Sarah Elk, Steve Berez

Reshaping a company's inner strategies is an intricate process that requires skill and knowledge. Entrepreneurs are always seeking ways to enhance the agility of their startups. By building an agile MVP, companies can innovate while maintaining control over product optimization. The book "Transformation Without Chaos" is what you need to make this transition less bumpy.

3 Best Books for Tech Startups that Want to Scale

It takes skills and effort to start a business, but taking it to the next level is another challenge that many entrepreneurs find difficult. What is the secret to successful startup scaling? Here's a collection of top books for startups that provide hands-on advice and proven strategies to elevate your business.

Best Books for Tech Startups that Want to Scale

Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business 

By Matt Blumberg

It's a great read on how to elevate your startup to the next level. Matt Blumberg is more than experienced to guide you through how to do it right. He consulted Return Path on their journey from a small startup to a company with 100$M in revenue. He provides advice on pitching your business, building a positive startup culture, and more.

Startupland

By Mikkel Svane

Have you ever wondered about the story behind Zendesk's success? The book "How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business" shares insights on the pitfalls every entrepreneur should be aware of before starting a tech startup. Mikkel Svane shares wisdom based on his years of experience on scaling a startup team, product, and company optimally.

Blitzscaling

By Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh

How do some startups transform into global titans? Blizscaling is key to scaling up your business. This strategy is based on the belief that speed is the only competitive edge you need. Dive into "The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies" to find out the top techniques for accelerating growth, hiring developers for a startup and finding the right people in general, as well as handling the challenges of an evolving company.

Need a hand with your startup's tech side?

Upsilon was once a startup too, so we can help build and scale your product!

Let's Talk

Need a hand with your startup's tech side?

Upsilon was once a startup too, so we can help build and scale your product!

Let's Talk

Have You Picked the Best Books to Read for Entrepreneurs?

Reading business startup books can equip you with essential knowledge and guide you through your entrepreneurial journey. You can learn from the mistakes of others, speed up your growth, and use the hacks and tips provided by those who've been there.

Our collection of the best books for aspiring entrepreneurs was created for those looking to bring their ideas to life, as well as for startup founders eager to scale up their businesses. Many of these books were written by real-world entrepreneurs who share their invaluable insights with the world.

And if you need an expert team that systematically puts such knowledge into practice, reach out to Upsilon's team of versatile professionals. We'll be happy to share our expertise and assist you with the tech side of your product. Feel free to turn to us for MVP development services or if you're seeking to augment your team during the growth stage or while scaling.

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