Good Books to Read Before Doing a Web Based Startup


Here's a short list I compiled from some folks I've talked to.

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston

The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank

Getting Real by the guys from 37 signals (agile development for the non-technical)

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries (ok, it won't be published until Sept 2011)

I'm I missing any good ones?


asked Mar 21 '11 at 12:05
Mike Walsh
745 points

6 Answers


If you haven't done this before, then I would recommend:

  • "The Web Startup Success Guide " by Bob Walsh. It's about ~400 pages of practical "what to think of" advice, with helpful resources (an example could be links to free privacy policy builders) and interviews with other entrepreneurs who have been doing the same thing.
  • "Start Small, Stay Small " by Rob Walling. A shorter e-book, this one can be read quickly, but still has plenty of good introductory material on A/B testing, finding a need, etc. Walling's focus is on the micro-ISVs, i.e. companies that don't want to grow beyond a single person, but the advice is useful for others too. A good, actionable basic handbook on setting up websites, tracking users, etc.

Also see the Books tag.

answered Mar 21 '11 at 19:14
Jesper Mortensen
15,292 points
  • I agree on Bob Walsh's book. It's fantastic, and I highly recommend it. – Nick 13 years ago
  • He's my nephew. A bit full of himself but pretty intelligent. – Mike Walsh 13 years ago


The Tipping Point, Outliers, by malcolm gladwell. Watch mixergy, this week in venture capital, this week in startup. But at the end of the day, start your startup, don't get caught in the trap of thinking your accomplishing or "learning" just by reading a crap or watching a lot of business related videos, the best way to learn is to actually start your startup.

answered Mar 21 '11 at 12:23
131 points


Rework from 37 Signals and Poke the Box Workbook by Seth Godin (free download)

I'll summarise it for you - Go Do. Seriously you'll learn far more once you've started rolling than you ever will reading about it. If you believe your idea will fly, get on and fly it :)

answered Mar 21 '11 at 14:33
2,552 points
  • I agree with you. If you start to read you will want to read this and then that and then those.... So you will spend much time for reading. I am not against reading but you can read a few articles and then start your project. – Erkan Balaban 13 years ago


"Rework" also by the guys from 37signals (more about the business you must be in, even while developing)

"Getting Things Done" and "Making It all Work" by David Allen (because you are going to have a lot to do)

And Saad is right, you can only prepare for so long. Go, do.

answered Mar 21 '11 at 12:30
Kenneth Vogt
2,917 points


I'd add the New Rules of Marketing and PR by Robert Meerman Scott. We used this and it helped us shape a realistic launch plan with appropriate and effective use of social media, press, news releases, etc. for our start up.

answered Mar 22 '11 at 05:06
Warren E. Hart
2,181 points


A couple come to mind:

  • "Inbound Marketing" by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
  • "The Art of Innovation" by Tom Kelley
  • "Tribes" by Seth Godin
answered Mar 21 '11 at 22:14
Jarie Bolander
11,421 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics: