Home Holiday Reading: 5 of This Year’s Best Books for Startups

Holiday Reading: 5 of This Year’s Best Books for Startups

Ideally, you’ll find some time over the next few weeks to curl up with a good story. Or hey, at least that’s what I look forward to on vacation. If you are looking for some books on entrepreneurship to read, or even to gift, here are some recommended books from 2010. There were a number of great business books published this year, many of which we reviewed here as part of ReadWriteWeb’s “Weekend Reading” series. But here are a few of the standouts, startup books we’ve chosen specifically because they are such great stories:

Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup

Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup is the recent book by TechStars co-founder David Cohen and Brad Feld. The book aims to share some of the insights gleaned from those who’ve participated in the TechStars accelerator program, and many of the chapters were contributed by TechStars’ mentors and entrepreneurs. The book, according to its authors, is like TechStars: “community-driven and mentorship-oriented.”

You can read an excerpt of the title chapter here.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion & Purpose

In Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, & Purpose, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, chronicles his life as an entrepreneur, even prior to his founding and sale of LinkExchange to Microsoft. In the book, Hsieh talks about the lessons he learned and the philosophies he developed in building Zappos’ unique company culture.

You can read our review here.


Rework was written by 37 signals founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, and it’s based on the lessons they’ve learned from running the company. The book stresses their minimalist approach to business – simple rather than bloated software. A call to “underdo the competition. Rework is a quick read (lots of pictures), but an enjoyable one.

You can read our review here.

The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

While the fictionalized account of Mark Zuckerberg’s life in The Social Network has been getting most of the attention and critical praise, David Kirkpatrick’s The Facebook Effect shouldn’t be overlooked. The founding of Facebook clearly makes a great story. Fitzpatrick had full cooperation from many key characters, including Mark Zuckerberg himself. It’s by no means Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay; it’s a very friendly assessment and detailed accounting of the history of Facebook, from the Harvard dorms to the 500 millionth member.

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From looks at what sorts of environments – in terms of nature and culture – may be most conducive to creativity. The book looks at “slow hunches” as well as accidental discoveries and contains dozens of stories of scientific, technological and cultural innovators, from Darwin to Brian Eno.

Photo credit: Flickr

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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