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  • Writer's pictureBusiness Books New Curator

Top 10 Best-selling Business Books for Entrepreneurs and Startups

Updated: May 7

Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup introduces a revolutionary take on the art of entrepreneurship. One that challenges the traditional ways of doing things, particularly in the world of startups. Ries introduces a newly defined ‘lean startup’ model built on an iterative approach that runs on experimentation and feedback. It’s a model that serves as an effective alternative to the narrative that old models are broken. A model that puts experimentation over perfection. Ries goes on to suggest that the most profitable startups have made at least one major pivot, an essential ingredient for business success in the modern world.

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Michael E. Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited looks into the reasons why small businesses tend to fail. For any small business, the principal factor lies in dealing with the challenges and pitfalls that occur at every stage, especially in the beginning. This book deals with ways, strategies and tactics to avoid such issues, or manage them with greater conviction. It takes readers across all the steps one takes in business, from the beginning to the growing and maturing stages, and the necessary lessons to be applied at each of these stages.

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Peter Thiel is a legendary entrepreneur; the founder and CEO of PayPal, one of the first investors in Facebook and so on. Peter Thiel's Zero to One is essentially a book about the art of creating value in the modern world. He suggests that the way to create value isn’t improving on existing things, but to create new things entirely. Implying that businesses often find success not on the smartest road, but the road less travelled. Thiel brings to light the different types of progress: vertical and horizontal progress. Horizontal progress is that which happens by duplicating and reiterating what is already successful. Vertical progress is the progress that happens when you create something new. He also talks about the idea that every moment in business happens only once. He points to references, suggesting that the next Bill Gates won’t build an operating system, the next Larry Page won’t make a search engine and the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. That copying isn’t going to lead you to the next revolutionary idea, originality will. So originality is what one ought to pursue. Book review here: Get your copy here:


Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup is a story on how passion and purpose can be a means to a good life. Traditional employment isn’t for everyone, some of us want to be more in control of what we want to do. To pursue something more meaningful and determined, based on our own specific intentions. It doesn't always take a rare breed of genius to turn ideas into income. Everyone can do it, and this book tells you how. It tells you how to create something from simple passions that offer values to small niches. With a bit of strategy and intent, this approach can lead to successful businesses that generate incomes. Book review here: Get your copy here:


Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crushing It! is a book that helps entrepreneurs prepare themselves for the new digital world. It’s a useful guide to achieving fame and fortune in the 21st century. Vaynerchuk draws a range of insights for aspiring entrepreneurs from real experiences of influencer and social media success stories. It’s a book that helps entrepreneurs establish and manage their businesses by creating strong personal brands, and how they can manifest across social media platforms.  Book review here: Get your copy here:


Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In brings insight and reasoning to account for why men hold the majority of leadership positions in business, industry and government. Which is a discussion, when women account for more than 50% of the graduates. This book brings to light the challenges women face and deal with, while offering practical advice on how to go about meeting those challenges, so they can go on to compete and achieve the kind of success that reflects their true potential. Sandberg’s insights are compelling, and come with authority and real experiences, given her credentials as the COO of Facebook. She’s also among the Fortune 500’s Most Powerful Women in Business, and is a perfect inspiration for women in many ways. From leadership advice and mentorship to negotiation techniques and more, this is a book that covers a range of chapters that can serve as a guide for achieving success in professional careers.


Jessica Livingston’s Founders at Work looks into the essence of startups, from the point of view of their founders. It looks at the power of delivering value as a means for startup founders to find their ground. Livingston looks into a range of startup founders: Apple’s Steve Wozniak, Flickr’s Caterina Fake, Lotus’ Mitch Kapor, PayPal’s Max Levchin, Hotmail’s Sabeer Bhatia and so on. She finds interesting and surprising stories that have influenced the foundation of these startups. Such as, what was the first idea, how did they go about pitching it to investors, how did they convince investors to show interest, back them with personal and professional support, the things that went wrong along the way and how they managed to recover and keep it.


Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha’s The Start-Up of You is a book about self-determination, helping one realize that they too can achieve professional success in ways they didn’t quite imagine. Drawing insights from the nature of startups, Hoffman and Casnocha inspire readers to manage themselves like a startup. Which entails aspects like risk-taking, managing uncertainty, being nimble and agile enough to change, seek interest and enthusiasm, while achieving success despite barriers and competing forces. Startups work with a certain friction, and have a lot to offer: the ability to adapt, stand out from others, strengthen networks, deal with life-issues, organize intelligence and make smart decisions. Book review here: Get your copy here:


Ben Horowitz is a legendary Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and is the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, a highly reputable venture capitalist firm that specializes in seed, start-ups, early, mid-stage, growth, and late-stage investing. Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a book that gets underneath the hard bits of running a startup, based on real-life examples encountered in Horowitz’s experiences in developing, managing, selling, buying, investing and supervising a range of startups. It is a great read for aspiring entrepreneurs to get a proper sense of what it takes to run a startup, and how it’s all done intricately. Book review here: Get your copy here:


Noam Wasserman is a professor of entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School. His seminal book on entrepreneurship, The Founder’s Dilemmas explores the type and kind of decisions that entrepreneurs have to take to succeed. Starting a new business is a tall task where one finds themselves dealing with a lot of questions on how to go about it, who to do it with, how to bring in others on the journey, and what sorts of people to hire and so on. Navigating such questions essentially makes or breaks a startup. Wasserman studies the common challenges and questions founders face and identifies ways to address them so founders get the best head start, and means to power through towards a success story. Wasserman draws from real examples, such as from Twitter to Pandora, and organizes thoughts based on looking at some 10,000 founders. Book review here: Get your copy here:



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