What are good books on management and organization to excel as a startup COO?


Preferably specifically targeted for startups in Tech/IT.

I seem to find a lot about large corporations, but very little good literature about scaling from a small/midsize into a large corporation, and all the challenge that entails.

Background: I've just recently transitioned from CTO to COO at our company (24 ppl, 400% growth in 8 months). I'm eager to get this sorted out quickly as we're starting to build the other teams (today we're 80% engineering).

Management Books Organization Scaling

asked Jun 23 '11 at 23:05
John Sjölander
2,082 points

3 Answers


Here's a few of my favorites for managing in a small company:

  • Peopleware, Demarco
  • Topgrading, Smart (great for understanding how to hire... and fire.)
  • Four Steps to the Epiphany, Blank
  • The Lean Startup, Ries
  • Running Lean, Maurya
  • Mastering The Rockefeller Habits, Harnish (kinda obscure, but attended the guy's seminar. Very practical, useful stuff.)
  • The Truth About Managing People, Robbins
answered Jun 24 '11 at 01:30
1,383 points


Adding this separately, because it may be controversial and I don't want the above downvoted because of it. :)

In a tech-heavy company where the CIO is (should be?) a major source of strategy and a determinant of processes rather than just a manager of internal tech services, the COO role is a thing of the past. Look for discussions on merged CIO/COO role. There's a growing overlap in many companies between what the CIO is best able to deliver, and what the COO traditionally monitored.

See this article as a thought-provoking link, more than I can type here.

answered Jun 24 '11 at 01:45
1,383 points


"What books or authors have had the greatest impact on you as a business professional?" *note from me to Jay Grinney, CEO of Healthsouth (He's turned around the company that was once caught up in scandals the likes of Enron, Worldcom, etc.)

"Execution by Larry Bossidy is one of the best books I've ever read" was his response in an email three days later.

Bossidy shows how to develop a "performance" culture. He's specific, straightforward, and methodical in his approach.

answered Jul 29 '11 at 21:45
314 points

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