This is a list of books that I strongly recommend reading to help strengthen the fundamental skills you will need to start your company. It is an evolving list and I will add to it whenever I find great books.
|Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value
Pricing your product effectively is very challenging. This book gives you an in depth understanding of behaviorial economics which is the study of how people evaluate prices and make decisions about value. It is very well written and full of details backed up by scientific studies and practical examples that will give you a great start in pricing your products.
|Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Motivating yourself and your team is a critical factor in your success. This book reviews the relationship between productivity, creativity and happiness based on 25 years of psychological research. Using the methods in your book you should be able to keep everyone on your team happy, motivated and at peak productivity at the same time.
|The Lean Startup
This book started the Lean movement, which helps companies move towards Product/Market fit faster with less capital. The lower cost of running a business these days allows for more agile business growth and this book gives you a useful framework. There are many detractors of the approach, saying that is is too agile, but as long as you do not follow it to the letter it is a useful coach on how to stay lean.
|Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist
For many entrepreneurs, raising venture capital is an important part of growing their business. The venture industry has many nuances and you need to be sure you understand the deals you are making (and how they are made) if you work with venture capitalists. If you don’t know what the phrases “pro rata” or “fully diluted” mean, this book will give you the necessary background.
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
Negotiation is a critical part of building a company. Whether you are closing a deal with a customer, investor or hiring a new employee you need to be able to efficiently negotiation favorable terms. Roger Fisher was a researcher in negotiation at Harvard Law School and created the modern framework for negotiations. This book is considered the foundation of that framework and is very useful in many aspects of life.
Know of other books that I should add to this list? Let me know!
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Good list. I’ll have to check out “Pricing.” I personally like “Influence” by Cialdini a lot. I’m also working my way through “Hooked” by Eyal, and I think that will end up on my Top Books list, too. I haven’t read “The Four Steps to the Epiphany,” but I know a lot of startup founders who swear by it.
I’ll have to check out the first and second on the list. From a negotiation side, I reference The Heart and Mind of the Negotiator frequently.
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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencione: http://amzn.to/1ey5ZRt