What is the single most influential book every entrepreneur should read?


What is the most important business book to you?

Books Entrepreneurs

asked Feb 19 '11 at 08:28
89 points
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13 Answers


I know you only asked for one...but here are my Top 6 books, read in this order for these reasons:

  1. Founders at Work -> To learn what you'll go through and decide if you're up for it
  2. Do More, Faster -> Bootcamp for a new entrepreneur
  3. Inbound Marketing -> So you can figure out how to get customers
  4. Rework/Getting Real -> A reality check for once you're deep into your business and starting to stray
  5. How to Win Friends and Influence People -> So you can communicate effectively with customers
  6. Delivering Happiness -> When you're bogged down and sad, you need a happy book to pick you up again
answered Feb 20 '11 at 04:03
Andy Cook
2,309 points
  • I'm reading Do More, Faster now and very much enjoying it. – Nick 13 years ago


  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People
  2. Think and Grow Rich.
answered Feb 19 '11 at 08:48
468 points


Atlas Shrugged.

It will help you defend your right to be an entrepreneur.

answered Feb 19 '11 at 09:01
Kort Pleco
891 points


Here is a Google Reader blog bundle that I subscribe and read to on a daily basis. Let me know what you think!

http://www.google.com/reader/bundle/user%2F16649001462035247274%2Fbundle%2FEntrepreneurship Includes all these blogs here:

  • Master of 500 Hats
  • You're the Boss
  • WorkHappy.net: killer resources for entrepreneurs
  • Startup Spark
  • Copyblogger
  • Feld Thoughts
  • 47 Hats
  • Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing
  • How to Change the World
  • OnStartups
  • SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog
  • Zen Habits
  • Small Business Trends
  • Software as Services
  • Flippa Blog Buy & Sell Websites
  • Startup Marketing Blog - By Sean Ellis
  • NYT > Start-Ups
  • Up and Running
  • Bruce Clay, Inc. - SEO
  • The Entrepreneurial Mind
  • Entrepreneur.com: Latest Articles
  • Entrepreneur.com: Starting a Business
  • Frank Addante's FounderBlog
  • Inc.com

  • Joel on Software About.com
  • Entrepreneurs-Journey

answered Mar 22 '11 at 10:50
1,171 points
  • Useful information. Thanks. – Appmaster 13 years ago
  • Glad I could help.. I know it's not technically a book but it keeps you consuming helpful inspiring information on a regular basis. – Nick 13 years ago


  1. ReWork
  2. Getting real
  3. Street Smarts
answered Mar 22 '11 at 18:39
Herr K
292 points
  • Can you provide a link to Street Smarts please, thanks – Anagio 11 years ago
  • http://www.theknack.info this is the authors website. Enjoy! – Herr K 11 years ago
  • Thanks I read the first two and will be getting Street Smarts soon – Anagio 11 years ago
  • Enjoy @Anagio, the book has several names AFAI Remember so pay attention to that detail. – Herr K 11 years ago


There are many books out there that will provide information on running startups, businesses and projects.

To recommend the single most influential book we have to define what is at the core of being an entrepreneur.

I would say that being an entrepreneur is the ability to look at what you have and work to improve it. Inc Magazine recently ran an article on how entrepreneurs think.

Therefore, the most influential book is one that spurs you on to improvement, drives you to work harder, and gives you the confidence and belief that you have the power to take control. It may not even be a business book.

I found that Steven Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is a good book for thinking about self improvement. You can read about the Seven Habits on Wikipedia.

answered Feb 20 '11 at 20:11
111 points


The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason

answered Feb 21 '11 at 00:16
Craig Pickering
111 points


E-Myth by Michael E Gerber

Its a complete outlook of a startup

answered Mar 22 '11 at 18:09
36 points
  • While I liked the E-Myth, I thought that applied more to people who found themselves transitioning a trade career to entrepeneurship (like a mason starting a masonry company or a baker starting a bakery) vs. someone starting something right from scratch. The concept of the book being, "Build a process". I guess that's probably helpful advice for coders too starting tech startups who fail to realize the importance of "all the other business stuff". – Nick 13 years ago


Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki

answered Feb 19 '11 at 09:16
Jeffrey Berthiaume
191 points
  • Really, anything by Guy Kawasaki -- and also his blog! – Jeffrey Berthiaume 13 years ago


I'm actually not that found of Guy Kawasaki. He is a great speaker, funny and all, he gives good advise but his track record is honestly not that impressive in terms of startup.. Try Steve Blanks book, which despite being visually old style (ugly..) it contains great insights that will influence the way you launch your startup and potentially succeed with it.

Book: The four steps to the epiphany


answered Feb 19 '11 at 09:48
Antony P.
714 points


Getting Real by 37 Signals. An agile business manifesto.

answered Feb 19 '11 at 21:08
Adrian Gray
133 points


Hackers and Painters - Paul Graham
http://www.paulgraham.com/hackpaint.html An entertaining insight to the mindset of hacking and entrepreneurship.

Emergency - Neil Strauss
http://www.neilstrauss.com/emergency/ It has nothing, and everything, to do with starting a company and being self-sufficient.

However, I don't think there is any "single most important" anything. Read what interests you, and always apply your own critical analysis to the content.

answered Mar 21 '11 at 20:42
Brian Karas
3,407 points


"The Innovators Dilemma" by Clayton Christensen

answered Feb 20 '11 at 06:22
Thom Pete
1,296 points

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