Book Recommendations

Books are a great way to learn about various things. From concepts to the experiences of others, there are so many ways in which books enrich us and provide us direction. We have create this recommendation section for books because we love to share the things that we have read and derived value from. We hope that you will read them as well as it is able to enrich and add value to you as well.

Startup Books

Traction

Traction is a brilliant book by the founder of the search engine DuckDuckGo outlining the various traction channels that a startup can put to use. 

Highly recommended for all startups and event businesses that want to make a mark for themselves.

The brilliant part about the book is that it focuses on enough channels to be relevant for various kinds of businesses.

Zero To One

Based on the talk that Peter Thiel gave at Stanford for the students who were part of the YC – How to Start a Startup Program, this book dives into the thought process of creating ventures that become monopolies in the market.

The book argues that entering a market should result in creating a winning position for the startup.

Cut the Crap and Jargon

Shradha Sharma and T.N. Hari take you though some of the basics that you need to keep in mind and know when you are starting a startup while interlacing them with their own personal experiences.

The book touches upon all aspects of starting up idea, team, funding, etc. 

A good read to cut your teeth into the startup space.

The Hard Things About Hard Things

Ben Horowitz shares his personal story of the venture that he build and how he founded the VC fund with his friend Marc Andreessen.

The second part of the book is more about the lessons that were learnt through this journey which is equally if not more interesting and thought provoking.

One of the best reads if you are starting a startup.

The Lean Startup

Considered a bible by many on the basics of how to get started with a startup. The Lean Startup lays down the principles of building a business that can go to market and prove itself quickly.

It is a mix of agile philosophy combined with data to create the most potent way to check the 

Measure What Matters

John Doerr is a legendary investors whose portfolio includes companies such as Google.

Having seen hundreds of startups go through their journey and seeing how they have managed to track their growth provides a framework to measure for managers.

Objectives and Key Results  (OKRs) used to drive the growth of an organisation employee by employee

Hooked

Twitter did not incentivise users or provide discounts to users. Then how did they get their user base? Network effect, where did it start? 

If you are building a product that requires your consumer to come back over and over how do you build it? This book answers the question in a step by step fashion.

The Golden Tap

How did the Indian Startup eco-system evolve from the time of Naukri.com to Ola. How did VC money start flooding the market and changed the face of Indian startups forever.

Kashyap takes us through the entire journey mixed with personal stories and experiences, while he watched all of it unfold right in front of him.

 

Purple Cow

You are riding in a train in Europe and watching the fields with cows. You find it beautiful and calming but after sometime you have just had enough of it. The only thing that will make you sit up and take notice is if you saw a purple cow!

Seth Godin weaves through several examples to show how you could make your business remarkable enough for people to notice.

 

Pre-Suasion

How do you get your customer persuaded. Are there ways by which you could persuade them even before you actually start.

Robert Cialdini, writer of the runaway hit Influence shares insights gleaned through economics, psychology and human behaviour to explain the process of persuasion.

ReWork

A very light and easy read, Jason takes you through the all the dont’s of setting up a startup.

It is a very practical book on all the things you need to do in order to get your business off the ground. No funding, no ramping of staff, no need to burn the candle at both ends.

 

 

The Startup Owner’s Manual

Steve Blank of the Business Canvas fame brings a guide to building a great company. 

The book lays out ways to build a startup, measure the metrics that guide the growth of the venture. A great read to learn about the mechanics of building a startup.

 

Chronicles

A Thought to a Million Dollars

The book chronicles the rise of Startups Club and what turned an eco-system initiative into a business.

The book is the story told from the perspective of two founders who went through the journey and experienced it in widely different ways.

 

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs disrupted more industries in 2 decades than many have managed to do in their entire lifetime. 

Steve Jobs is the official biography which tells the story of give rise, his fall and then his rise again without hiding any of his faults. 

A great read to learn from.

 

Delivering Happiness

The book chronicles the founding growth and eventual acquisition of Zappos.  

Tony Hseih took almost all the capital from his startup exit and invested it into Zappos. The book is gripping and gives all the ups and downs the company went through as it grew and floundered at certain steps.

A must read for anyone looking to start a startup

 

the Innovators

How did the computer age start? Who played the key roles in changing the world for it to become the way it is today?

Innovators is a lucidly written story of the rise and evolution of the industry while weaving individual stories and their contributions towards making it possible.

An absolute must read for anybody in the modern age of Internet technology.

 

The Inheritors

When you inheritor a business which is a well oiled machine is it as simple as just taking the steering?

With the context changing and markets and competitors coming in, it is important for the inheritors to struggle just as much as the original founders. This book chronicles the stories of many such inheritors.

 

How I almost blew it

No startup is a straight line and almost all of the deal with uncertainties, let downs and overcome them to win.

The book chronicles the stories of startup founders who built incredible startups and how their journeys meandered. 

Almost all of them blew it at some point of time and then came through those challenges to come out successful.

 

Shoe Dog

What was it like to build a business in the 1960’s?

Phil Knight takes you through his journey of building Nike at a time when the Second World War was not too far in the past. His journey from Oregon that resulted in him building one of the most successful businesses in the world.

This book is a must read.

 

The Everything Store

A company founded out of a garage meant to serve books to those who were willing to look for them online to building a retailing behemoth. What was the journey like?

Amazon did not always look set to succeed. This book tells the story of the challenges that Jeff Bezos came through to make Amazon what it is today.

 

The Google Story

A research project that turned into the hottest tech startup of the 90’s.

This book chronicles the journey of Google from a PhD project to the global behemoth that it went on to become and how it left everyone in its wake.

Google was also a company that spent $0 on marketing. A must read for all entrepreneurs.

 

Creativity Inc.

A computer graphic company that produced an animation just to show off its graphics capability, went on to delivery some of the greatest animation movies of all times.

How a rag tag group of animators and developers developed a culture of creativity to deliver movies that threatened Disney.

 

Elon Musk

Whether he succeeds or fails, Elon Musk has already managed to change the world and entire industries for better or for worse.

This book chronicles his journey and his investments that are now reshaping the space and transportation industry completely.

 

Quirky

It takes a certain kind of madness to make a difference. This book chronicles and compares those who made a difference and what traits in them made it possible for them to do so.

Quirky is a interesting read about the quirks of genius founders who change the world.

 

Self Development

Grit

Between those who succeed and those who fail perseverance plays a very critical role.

In order to persevere, it is important to be resilient to failures and rise above them. Those who are resilient have a great deal of grit in them.

This book unlocks the secrets of those who have grit and what they do for it.

 

Never Split the Difference

In a hostage situation when a person’s life is on the line, you cannot find a compromise, cannot split the difference. You need to get deal your way or you lose.

Rarely do we see business situations in life this way. A CIA negotiator reached you the tricks of coming out on top in a tough negotiation.

 

The Art of Thinking Clearly

There are several fallacies in our thought process. If we know all of the human thought fallacies we suffer from, we can act in accordance with the same.

Rolf Dobelli illustrates through examples all of the common thought fallacies in a book that describes 100 of them. 

A must read for every human.

 

Mindset

A book recommended by the likes of Satya Nadella, Mindset delves into the way one needs to view the world around them.

Why are some people able to achieve their potential while others fall much short of it?

Minset takes a look at every aspect of life and suggest how having the right mindset helps you maximise your potential.

 

The Zurich Axioms

What is the best way to invest? What is the best time to exit an investment? How long do you stay invested?

A very short book which very aptly describes the principles that one needs to keep in mind in order to make great investments and also to know when to get out of them. 

 

Give and Take

What is the best way to succeed in life? Taking from others or giving to others?

Adam Grant dives into the two philosophies of life and looks at research to provide the right answers to what has made certain people successful and when.

 

Other Books we love...

Thinking Fast and Slow

Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman condenses his his research from over 40 years into a brilliant and thought provoking book on human psychology and behaviour.

The book is a must read to deal with so many human situations that we come across in life. 

 

Factfulness

How do we look at the facts that are presented to us. All numbers do not constitute fact. How to look beneath the numbers. 

Factfulness dives into the world of facts with examples to help understand the ways in which you should interpret facts that populate the world around you.

 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck

An easy read which is at times funny and always very honest, this book takes a look at the  things that make us worry and why we should not.

Why should one make their thoughts filled with worry and what to do to stop caring about the things that do not matter.

A very interesting and light read. 

 

The Design of Everyday Things

Don Norman, a former Apple Design Head under whose watch Jony Ive was recruited, shares his insights on how we should think about design.

This is not a book about designing specific things but about design principles and the role that play across domains in how things are perceived. 

A brilliant read.

 

A Beautiful Constraint

The Google home page has one box and one button. It did not turn out to be as such due to brilliant design thinking; it was because that was all the coding the founders of Google knew!

It turned out great for them. The constraint is what made them successful.

This book talks about the need for constraint in success and illustrates how it brings out the best in us.

 

The Innovator’s Dilemma

The biggest hard disk manufacturers did not become the largest Pen Drive manufacturers. The largest carriage makers did not become car manufacturers.

Whenever a new wave of innovation has come the recumbents have lost despite vastly more resources.

This book explores why. Recommended by Steve Jobs, it is a brilliant read.