Top 5 Books for Start-up Founders
Once, when he was a teenager, Thomas Edison asked the librarian to lend him a book. “Which one?” — she asked. “All the same,” he replied. “What do you mean all the same? I have three thousand books here,” said the librarian. “All the same. I want to read them all anyway,” Edison replied.
Today, there are so many books on setting up and running a business that you will only manage to read a small proportion for the rest of your life. That’s why I’m going to recommend a few that I think you might find useful.
1. Zero to One — Peter Thiel
Every budding entrepreneur should read this book. Author of “Zero to One” warns against copying the ideas of Bill Gates, Larry Page or Sergey Brin, because every innovator and leader is unique — just like you. PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel advises to go your own way, learn from your own experiences and put practice above theory. According Thiel, if you do what has never been done and can do it better than anyone else, you have a monopoly — thus achieving success.
The famous billionaire also explains why education can be a barrier to success. There is nothing wrong with the great fun that is college, but the idea that what one learns on campus has anything to do with working in the real business world is nonsense.
2. The High Growth Handbook — Elad Gil
Stripe processes billions of dollars of transactions a year, Brex offers credit cards and cash management accounts to technology companies, Square handles mobile payments. What Airbnb and Pinterest do, probably doesn’t need to be explained to anyone. All of these companies are in the portfolio of Elad Gil, one of the most prominent angel investors of the last decade in Silicon Valley.