The Essential Startup Reader: 10 Lessons In Entrepreneurship – GigaOM

As a blogger, I spend most of my time writing. But it is time spent on reading that is most satisfying. Here is a short (and by no means a complete) list of ten articles that encapsulate the art of the start-up. Most were published during 2009 and I found them educational and full of practical tips that we have applied to our business. They have also helped me think differently about start-ups and entrepreneurship. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

  1. What Startups Are Really Like by Paul Graham: This has to be single best essay I read during 2009. Every entrepreneur should begin the startup journey with this essay. It bottles the every essence of entrepreneurship and startups, and is chockfull of practical advise and tips that are applicable to anyone who dares to dream.

  2. Milestones to Startup Success by Sean Ellis: Sean Ellis explains the need for minimum viable product, aka MVP and then outlines how start-ups can go up his start-up pyramid to find success.

  3. Myth: Entrepreneurship will make you rich by Eric Ries: “One of the unfortunate side effects of all the publicity and hype surrounding startups is the idea that entrepreneurship is a guaranteed path to fame and riches. It isn’t,” writes Eric in this no holds barred essay about the challenges and pitfalls of being a start-up founder.

  4. What is the minimum viable product? By Venture Hacks: A great audio conversation on Venturehacks blog including a slide show.

  5. The power of continuous improvement by Mike Speiser: In a guest post for us, Mike talks about the importance of metrics, feedback and how they can drive continuous improvement. Mike’s rules have found eager takers amongst our team.

  6. Getting comfortable with People who make you uncomfortable by Mike Speiser: In this article Mike addresses the need for people who challenge conventional wisdom and make everyone around them uncomfortable. Which is why every company needs them.

  7. The Funnel Principle: Software & Making Money by Tony Wright: It is good to build great products, but in order to build great companies one needs to have more — clear path of monetization, an attention magnet and in general excellence at things beyond product development.

  8. Does every start-up need a Steve Jobs? by Andrew Chen: A dissection of how insanely great products are built by combining desirability, feasibility and viability. Read this post after reading Wright’s Funnel principle.

  9. Designing for Social Traction by Josh Porter

10: Startup Killer: the cost of customer acquisition by David Skok: A definitive essay on start-up business models, perils of over optimism and the importance of cost of customer acquisition. Skok is a three time entrepreneur with lifetime of experience.

Bonus Links:

must read stuff for entrepreneurs