Essential Reading, Listening and Viewing for Founders of Product Startups

I remember starting my first Software-as-a-Service startup 6 years ago.

It was difficult to know what to do because it was very different to anything I had experienced in the past.

Lucky for me though I came across Stanford e-corner, a selection of video interviews with very successful startup founders two years prior, where they share insights they’ve gained from taking technology to market. What a great resource!

My second stroke of luck was to be accepted into an accelerator programme in Australia, designed to support startups through the early stages of commercialisation.

I often come across first-time founders who are looking to learn and grow into competent Product Owners, but it’s difficult for them to know where to start.

Most of the time, the best way to help is to share with them the books that shaped my understanding of how startup works.

Today I’d like to share this list with you!

Startup Fundamentals

–  The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

–  Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works by Ash Maurya

–  Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll

–  The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

–  The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company by Bob Dorf & Steve Blank

–  The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman

Testing Ideas // Customer Development

–  The Four Steps to Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win by Steve Blank

–  Lean Customer Development: Building Products Your Customers Will Buy by Cindy Alvarez

–  The Mom Test: How to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you by Rob Fitzpatrick

–  Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz

Business Modelling

–  Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur

Product Management

–  The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback by Dan Olsen

–  Agile Excellence for Product Managers: A Guide to Creating Winning Products with Agile Development Teams by Greg Cohen

Sales & Marketing Strategy

–  Lean Marketing for Startups: Agile Product Development, Business Model Design, Web Analytics, and Other Keys to Rapid Growth by Sean Ellis

–  Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

–  Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini

Critical Soft-Skill Development

–  The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

–  Everything’s Negotiable: How to Get the Best Deal Every Time by Gavin Kennedy

The Lobbying Strategy Handbook: 10 Steps to Advancing Any Cause Effectively by Pat Libby

Venture Financing

–  Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson

Scaling Ventures

–  Growth & User Acquisition by Brian Balfour

–  Search Stanford eCorner’s thousands of videos, podcasts & articles  by Stanford University

Technology Management Courses

CBT Nuggets




Books aren’t everything, the experience is more important, but here are books that you will learn how to get the experience you need to succeed!

2.2 Perfect team, Eastern Europe
Written by
Tristan Senycia

Tristan Senycia is an ex-Product Manager at YouTeam.

He is also the founder of LeverPoint Advisory, which consults in the areas of commercialisation management, go-to-market strategy, High-Tech marketing strategy and customer development. 

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