If you could recommend just ONE, most important book, blog post or any other reading for startup founder - what would it be?
Founders at Work provides a lot of perspectives from different successful start up founders. It's entertaining but also has a lot of useful wisdom.
"The Four Steps to the Epiphany" -- Steven Blank.
Excellent advice for starting a tech company: How to discover who your customers really are and to create a repeatable sales process for them.
I think the biggest challenge starting up is managing your time. The 4-Hour Workweek is one of the best resources for time management that I have ever found. In it, you will learn to focus on the following:
"Is it worth doing?
Will it matter in the long haul?
What was my impact?"
Well, since you asked :), let me plug my own book that came out in July:
The Web Startup Success Guide (http://www.amazon.com/Web-Startup-Success-Guide/dp/1430219858 )
The publisher, Apress, makes Chapter 6: Social Media and your Startup available free at: http://apress.com/book/view/1430219858
I think Guy Kawasaki's Art of the Start is the one I would recommend.
Paul Graham's essays - try
What Start-ups are Really Like or
How to Start a Start Up I think all his essays are required reading.
For me hands down it's Guy Kawasaki's book "Reality Check". It gives an excellent, easy to digest overview of all things startup. From there you can dive into great books taking you deeper into any particular area. But this gives a great overview.
Hands down, Bo Peabody's "Lucky or Smart". This book is rocket fuel for the serial entrepreneur.
I loved it so much, I wrote this review.
I personally really dig Jim Collin's Good to Great. I think it's a really important piece (although I seldom hear people attribute that book to building startups).
Getting Real If you are web-based startup...the book for the rest of us....
blog.guykawasaki.com. I read Art of the Start and gave it to four clients (serial entrepreneurs) as Christmas gifts. Consensus was 3 out of 4 stars.
Clayton Christensen "The innovators Dilemma"
Sorry got to go two answers on you. Art of the Start is good at getting you motivated and confident around an idea and E Myth is excellent in getting you focused on being a smart and effective business owner. Some of the other books are decent, but I prefer those that closer to entrpreneurship and making it happen. You should be reading Harvard Business Review & Inc magazine as well. Those are awesome real-time lessons in success and failure and will get the fire going and your brain working overtime. Good luck.
Even though it's not explicitly about startup live and starting a business I would recommend getting "The Black Swan, The impact of the highly improbable ". I've found it to be an interesting read and quite motivating.
(Note I'm using the author's Amazon link as found on his website.)
Uhmn, I'm late to this party.
A off-beat and to some perhaps provocative choice: "Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure " by Jerry Kaplan. It details life on the inside of GO, a venture capital backed startup with huge ambitions. It has a sombre, sad tone most of the time -- GO computer went bankrupt. The book begins with the bankruptcy auction, and then goes on to detail the journey.
If you after reading this book still think "I want to try!", then you're truly an entrepreneur at heart.
And you're motivated to prep before launching, i.e. read some of the other fine books already mentioned here.
The "E" Myth Revisted by Michael Gerber. Great read and a roadmap to success.
I agree with most of the books mentioned above, two of my favorites are definitely The Art of the Start and Founders at Work.
I will add to this list the book Go BIG or Go HOME by Wil Schroter, it is easy to read and I love the examples it provides.
Dale Carnegies "How to win friends and Influence People".
For blog post I'd have to say check out Mark Suster's blog Both Sides of the Table