Steve Blank
Customer Development & Secret History, Teaching at Stanford, Berkeley and Columbia
136 recommendations

Recommendations by Steve Blank

Steve Blank's Review:

If you’re in a large company, The Other Side of Innovation makes sense of how to actually insert innovation into an execution organization.  If you’re starting a medical device company Biodesign:The Process of  Innovating Medical Technologies is a must have. It has a great customer discovery process.

The other side of innovation is the closest recipe I’ve read for getting entrepreneurship right in large companies.

How large companies can stay innovative and entrepreneurial has been the Holy Grail for authors of business books, business schools, consulting firms, etc.  There’s some great work from lots of authors in this area but I’d start by reading the other side of innovation.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

.If you are in a large company and wondering why your company isn’t going anywhere your answers might be found in Good to Great.  Written by Jim Collins, the same author who wrote Built to Last, both are books that “you should be so lucky” to read.  What differentiates good companies versus great?  How do you institutionalize core values into a company that enable it to create value when the current management is long gone?  When I first read these, I thought they were only for companies that were lucky enough to get big.  Upon reflection, these books were the inspiration for the “Mission-Oriented Culture.”  Read these two books together.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

.If you are in a large company and wondering why your company isn’t going anywhere your answers might be found in Good to Great.  Written by Jim Collins, the same author who wrote Built to Last, both are books that “you should be so lucky” to read.  What differentiates good companies versus great?  How do you institutionalize core values into a company that enable it to create value when the current management is long gone?  When I first read these, I thought they were only for companies that were lucky enough to get big.  Upon reflection, these books were the inspiration for the “Mission-Oriented Culture.”  Read these two books together.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The metaphor that business is war is both a cliché and points to a deeper truth.  Many basic business concepts; competition, leadership, strategy versus tactics, logistics, etc. have their roots in military affairs. The difference is that in business no one dies.  At some time in your business life you need to study war or become a casualty.  Sun Tzu covered all the basics of strategy in The Art of War until the advent of technology temporarily superseded him. Also, in the same vein try The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi.  These two books have unfortunately turned into business clichés but they are still timeless reading.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Book of Five Rings
book
by Miyamoto Musashi

Steve Blank's Review:

The metaphor that business is war is both a cliché and points to a deeper truth.  Many basic business concepts; competition, leadership, strategy versus tactics, logistics, etc. have their roots in military affairs. The difference is that in business no one dies.  At some time in your business life you need to study war or become a casualty.  Sun Tzu covered all the basics of strategy in The Art of War until the advent of technology temporarily superseded him. Also, in the same vein try The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi.  These two books have unfortunately turned into business clichés but they are still timeless reading.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Every founding team should stop for 48 hours and read Lean Startup. Stop and read this book now.

Ref: https://twitter.com/search?q=%40sgblank%20review%20book&src=typd

Eric Ries was the best student I ever had. He took the Customer Development process, combined it with Agile Engineering, and actually did the first implementation in a startup. His insights about the combined Customer Development/Agile process and its implications past startups into large corporations is a sea change in thinking. His book, The Lean Startup is a “must have” for your shelf.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Alfred Sloan’s My Years with General Motors is a great read, but not for the traditional reasons.  Read it from the point of view of an entrepreneur (Durant) who’s built a great company by gut and instinct, got it to $200M and is replaced by the board.  Then watches as a world-class bureaucrat grows into one of the largest and best run companies in the world.  Make sure you read it in conjunction with Sloan Rules and A Ghost’s Memoir. If you’re an entrepreneur the one founder you probably never heard of but should is William Durant. Read Madsen’s biography.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Alfred Sloan’s My Years with General Motors is a great read, but not for the traditional reasons.  Read it from the point of view of an entrepreneur (Durant) who’s built a great company by gut and instinct, got it to $200M and is replaced by the board.  Then watches as a world-class bureaucrat grows into one of the largest and best run companies in the world.  Make sure you read it in conjunction with Sloan Rules and A Ghost’s Memoir. If you’re an entrepreneur the one founder you probably never heard of but should is William Durant. Read Madsen’s biography.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Alfred Sloan’s My Years with General Motors is a great read, but not for the traditional reasons.  Read it from the point of view of an entrepreneur (Durant) who’s built a great company by gut and instinct, got it to $200M and is replaced by the board.  Then watches as a world-class bureaucrat grows into one of the largest and best run companies in the world.  Make sure you read it in conjunction with Sloan Rules and A Ghost’s Memoir. If you’re an entrepreneur the one founder you probably never heard of but should is William Durant. Read Madsen’s biography.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Alfred Sloan’s My Years with General Motors is a great read, but not for the traditional reasons.  Read it from the point of view of an entrepreneur (Durant) who’s built a great company by gut and instinct, got it to $200M and is replaced by the board.  Then watches as a world-class bureaucrat grows into one of the largest and best run companies in the world.  Make sure you read it in conjunction with Sloan Rules and A Ghost’s Memoir. If you’re an entrepreneur the one founder you probably never heard of but should is William Durant. Read Madsen’s biography.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Alfred Sloan’s My Years with General Motors is a great read, but not for the traditional reasons.  Read it from the point of view of an entrepreneur (Durant) who’s built a great company by gut and instinct, got it to $200M and is replaced by the board.  Then watches as a world-class bureaucrat grows into one of the largest and best run companies in the world.  Make sure you read it in conjunction with Sloan Rules and A Ghost’s Memoir. If you’re an entrepreneur the one founder you probably never heard of but should is William Durant. Read Madsen’s biography.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Then I’d read the short Harvard Business Review articles. Eric Von Hippel work on new product introduction methodologies and the notion of “Lead Users” offer many parallels with Customer Discovery and Validation. But like most books on the subject it’s written from the point of view of a large company. Von Hippel’s four steps of 1) goal generation and team formation, 2) trend research, 3) lead user pyramid networking and 4) Lead User workshop and idea improvement is a more rigorous and disciplined approach then suggested in our book,

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Ironically, the best HR stuff for anyone in a startup to read is not a book.  It is the work James Baron at Stanford has done.    Download his slides on the Stanford Project on Emerging Companies.  Baron’s book, Strategic Human Resources – is a classic HR textbook. Finally, if you are working at a startup and wondering why the founder is nuts,The Founder Factor helps explain a few things.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Seth Godin “gets deeply” the profound changes the internet is having in the way we think about customers and communicating with them.  Godin’s All Marketers are Liars talks about the power of storytelling in marketing. His Permission Marketing book crystallized a direct marketing technique (permission marketing), which was simply impossible to achieve pre-internet.  Read his Ideavirus after you’ve read Permission Marketing

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Seth Godin “gets deeply” the profound changes the internet is having in the way we think about customers and communicating with them.  Godin’s All Marketers are Liars talks about the power of storytelling in marketing. His Permission Marketing book crystallized a direct marketing technique (permission marketing), which was simply impossible to achieve pre-internet.  Read his Ideavirus after you’ve read Permission Marketing

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Seth Godin “gets deeply” the profound changes the internet is having in the way we think about customers and communicating with them.  Godin’s All Marketers are Liars talks about the power of storytelling in marketing. His Permission Marketing book crystallized a direct marketing technique (permission marketing), which was simply impossible to achieve pre-internet.  Read his Ideavirus after you’ve read Permission Marketing

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Over the last few years we’ve discovered that startups are not smaller versions of large companies. The skills founders need are not covered by traditional books for MBA’s and large company managers. There are now a few books that specifically address founders needs. Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Generation is the first book that allows you to answer “What’s your business model?” intelligently and with precision. Make sure this one is on your shelf. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Bostworth’s Solution Selling and it’s successor, The New Solution Selling are must reads for any executive launching a new product.  Its articulation of the hierarchy of buyers needs as well its description of how to get customers to articulate their needs, makes this a “must read”, particularly those selling to businesses. Yet in his new book What Great Salespeople Do he says, ignore those books follow this advice

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Bostworth’s Solution Selling and it’s successor, The New Solution Selling are must reads for any executive launching a new product.  Its articulation of the hierarchy of buyers needs as well its description of how to get customers to articulate their needs, makes this a “must read”, particularly those selling to businesses. Yet in his new book What Great Salespeople Do he says, ignore those books follow this advice

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Bostworth’s Solution Selling and it’s successor, The New Solution Selling are must reads for any executive launching a new product.  Its articulation of the hierarchy of buyers needs as well its description of how to get customers to articulate their needs, makes this a “must read”, particularly those selling to businesses. Yet in his new book What Great Salespeople Do he says, ignore those books follow this advice

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

High-tech Ventures: The Guide For Entrepreneurial Success
book
by C. Gordon Bell, John E. Mcnamara

Steve Blank's Review:

Gordon Bells’ book High-Tech Venturesis incomprehensible on the first, second or third read.  Yet it is simply the best “operating manual” for startups that has been written.  (The only glaring flaw is Bell’s assumption that a market exists for the product and that marketing’s job is data sheets and trade shows.)  Read it in doses for insight and revelation and make notes, (think of reading the bible) rather than reading it straight through.

ef: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Future of Management
book
by Gary Hamel

Steve Blank's Review:

How large companies can stay innovative and entrepreneurial has been the Holy Grail for authors of business books, business schools, consulting firms, etc.  There’s some great work from lots of authors in this area but I’d start by reading the other side of innovation.Next I’d read The Alchemy of Growth to understand the three horizons of innovation and The Future of Mangement and consider its implications

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Alchemy of Growth: Practical Insights for Building the Enduring Enterprise
book
by Mehrdad Baghai, Steve Coley, David White, Stephen Coley

Steve Blank's Review:

How large companies can stay innovative and entrepreneurial has been the Holy Grail for authors of business books, business schools, consulting firms, etc.  There’s some great work from lots of authors in this area but I’d start by reading the other side of innovation.Next I’d read The Alchemy of Growth to understand the three horizons of innovation and The Future of Mangement and consider its implications

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

On War (Penguin Classics)
book
by Carl von Clausewitz

Steve Blank's Review:

The metaphor that business is war is both a cliché and points to a deeper truth.  Many basic business concepts; competition, leadership, strategy versus tactics, logistics, etc. have their roots in military affairs. The difference is that in business no one dies.  At some time in your business life you need to study war or become a casualty.Carl Von Clausewitz’s On War is a 19th century western attempt to understand war. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Carl Von Clausewitz’s On War is a 19th century western attempt to understand war. The “Boyd” book, The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War is a biography and may seem out of place here, but John Boyd’s OODA loop is at the core of Customer Development and the Pivot. Read it and then look at all the web sites for Boyd papers, particularly Patterns of Conflict

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 An Engineer’s Guide to Silicon Valley Startups is one of those quirky books that perfectly match Silicon Valley culture. If you’re an engineer in the valley or coming out, this is a useful read. It describes what types of startups are there, how to get a job at one, negotiating your salary, stock options, etc. Geek Silicon Valley is part history and part travel guide. Also useful.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

An Engineer’s Guide to Silicon Valley Startups is one of those quirky books that perfectly match Silicon Valley culture. If you’re an engineer in the valley or coming out, this is a useful read. It describes what types of startups are there, how to get a job at one, negotiating your salary, stock options, etc. Geek Silicon Valley is part history and part travel guide. Also useful.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

An Engineer’s Guide to Silicon Valley Startups is one of those quirky books that perfectly match Silicon Valley culture. If you’re an engineer in the valley or coming out, this is a useful read. It describes what types of startups are there, how to get a job at one, negotiating your salary, stock options, etc. Geek Silicon Valley is part history and part travel guide. Also useful.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The New Strategic Selling: The Unique Sales System Proven Successful by the World's Best Companies
book
by Robert B. Miller, Stephen E. Heiman, Tad Tuleja, J. W. Marriott

Steve Blank's Review:

Heiman’s books are a bit more tactical and are part of a comprehensive sales training program from his company Miller-Heiman.  If you are in sales or have a sales background you can skip these.  But if you aren’t they are all worth reading for the basic “blocking and tackling” advice.  The only bad news is that Heiman writes like a loud salesman – but the advice is sound. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The New Conceptual Selling: The Most Effective and Proven Method for Face-to-Face Sales Planning
book
by Robert B. Miller, Stephen E. Heiman, Tad Tuleja, John Philip Coghlan

Steve Blank's Review:

Heiman’s books are a bit more tactical and are part of a comprehensive sales training program from his company Miller-Heiman.  If you are in sales or have a sales background you can skip these.  But if you aren’t they are all worth reading for the basic “blocking and tackling” advice.  The only bad news is that Heiman writes like a loud salesman – but the advice is sound. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Nesheim’s book High Tech Startup is the gold standard of the nuts and bolts of all the financing stages from venture capital to IPO’s. If you promise to ignore the marketing advice he gives you, Baird’s book, Engineering Your Startup is the cliff notes version in explaining the basics of financing, valuation, stock options, etc.

ef: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The “Boyd” book, The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War is a biography and may seem out of place here, but John Boyd’s OODA loop is at the core of Customer Development and the Pivot. Read it and then look at all the web sites for Boyd papers, particularly Patterns of Conflict

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Regis McKenna has always been a favorite of mine. However, as you read Relationship Marketing separate out the examples Regis uses into either startups or large sustainable businesses.  What worked in one, won’t necessarily work in another.  Read these books first before you dive into the 21st century stuff like Seth Godin.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

These books are classics but timelessThe Entrepreneurial Mindset articulates the critically important idea that there are different types of startup opportunities.  The notion of three Market Types springs from here and Christensen’s work.  The book provides a framework for the early marketing/sales strategies essential in a startup.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Innovation and Entrepreneurship
book
by Peter F. Drucker

Steve Blank's Review:

Peter Drucker’s Concept of the Corporation was the first insiders view of how a decentralized company (GM) works. His Practice of Management defined “management by objective” and Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a classic. While written for a corporate audience, read it for the sources of innovation

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Concept of the Corporation
book
by Peter F. Drucker

Steve Blank's Review:

Peter Drucker’s Concept of the Corporation was the first insiders view of how a decentralized company (GM) works. His Practice of Management defined “management by objective” and Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a classic. While written for a corporate audience, read it for the sources of innovation

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies
book
by Paul G. Yock, Stefanos Zenios, Josh Makower, Todd J. Brinton, Uday N. Kumar, F. T. Jay Watkins, Lyn Denend, Thomas M. Krummel, Christine Q. Kurihara

Steve Blank's Review:

If you’re in a large company, The Other Side of Innovation makes sense of how to actually insert innovation into an execution organization.  If you’re starting a medical device company Biodesign:The Process of  Innovating Medical Technologies is a must have. It has a great customer discovery process.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Nancy Duarte’s two books, Slid:eology and Resonate are about presentation design. These are the two books I refer entrepreneurs to who want to build a killer customer presentation. The advice may not work for all audiences but it’s a great place to start. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Nancy Duarte’s two books, Slid:eology and Resonate are about presentation design. These are the two books I refer entrepreneurs to who want to build a killer customer presentation. The advice may not work for all audiences but it’s a great place to start. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Business Plans that Work
book
by Jeffry Timmons, Andrew Zacharakis, Stephen Spinelli

Steve Blank's Review:

Business Plans that Work summarizes the relevant part of Timmons’ New Venture Creation book and teaches how to write a document (the business plan) that no one ever reads. However, both books are worth having if you’re in a large company thinking about introducing follow-on products.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Anna Lee Saxenian’s Regional Advantage  is the definitive text of why Silicon Valley beat Boston as the hub of U.S. entrepreneurship.Startup Nation is the story of how the Israeli government engineered the country into becoming the hottest cluster outside the U.S. for startups.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Anna Lee Saxenian’s Regional Advantage  is the definitive text of why Silicon Valley beat Boston as the hub of U.S. entrepreneurship.Startup Nation is the story of how the Israeli government engineered the country into becoming the hottest cluster outside the U.S. for startups.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within
book
by Lois Kelly, Carmen Medina, Debra Cameron

Steve Blank's Review:

If you’re a mid-level manager in a company or government agency trying to figure out how to your ideas adopted, you need to own a copy of [email protected] – it will save your sanity. And Corporate Cultures is a classic about the stories, heroes, values, and rituals that build a corporate culture.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Term Sheets and Valuations is a great read if you’re faced with a term sheet and staring at words like “liquidation preferences and conversion rights” and don’t have a clue what they mean.  Read this and you can act like you almost understand what you are giving away.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

It’s impossible to implement any of this if you don’t understand Agile Development.Extreme Programming Explained by one of the pioneers of Agile, Kent Beck, is a great tutorial. If you don’t understand Values, Principles and Practices in XP it makes Customer Development almost impossible.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

If you don’t pay attention to the law from the day you start your company it can kill you. But most books (and lawyers) speak in their own arcane language. David Weekly’s An Introduction to Stock and Options should be your first read (unfortunately its Kindle only.) 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Nudist on the Late Shift is a book you send to someone who lives outside of Silicon Valley who wants to know what life is like in a startup. If you want to understand how the modern corporation formed Chandlers’ Strategy and Structure is the “Ur text.”

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Eboys is the story of Benchmark Capital during the Internet Bubble.  Ferguson’s book is a great read for the first time entrepreneur.  His personality and views of the venture capitalists and “suits” are a Rorschach ink blot test for the reader.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Eboys is the story of Benchmark Capital during the Internet Bubble.  Ferguson’s book is a great read for the first time entrepreneur.  His personality and views of the venture capitalists and “suits” are a Rorschach ink blot test for the reader.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Eboys is the story of Benchmark Capital during the Internet Bubble.  Ferguson’s book is a great read for the first time entrepreneur.  His personality and views of the venture capitalists and “suits” are a Rorschach ink blot test for the reader.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Inmates are Running the Asylum, is about product design. It had the same impact on me as Moore’s Crossing the Chasm – “why of course, that’s what’s wrong.”  It’s important and articulate.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 I put Sway here because great marketers know how to find these irrational behaviors Lakoff’s book, Don’t Think of an Elephant! while written for a political audience has some valuable insights on framing communications.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 I put Sway here because great marketers know how to find these irrational behaviors Lakoff’s book, Don’t Think of an Elephant! while written for a political audience has some valuable insights on framing communications.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Jeff Thull’s Mastering the Complex Sale has a lot of elements of Customer Discovery and Validation, but skip the first 50 pages. Many of the ideas of Customer Validation are based on the principles articulated by Bosworth, Heiman and Rackham. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Nudist on the Late Shift is a book you send to someone who lives outside of Silicon Valley who wants to know what life is like in a startup. If you want to understand how the modern corporation formed Chandlers’ Strategy and Structure is the “Ur text.”

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Nudist on the Late Shift is a book you send to someone who lives outside of Silicon Valley who wants to know what life is like in a startup. If you want to understand how the modern corporation formed Chandlers’ Strategy and Structure is the “Ur text.”

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

If you buy one book to understand how VC’s and fund raising works, Venture Deals is the one. Wish I had it when I did startups. Same for Mastering the VC Game. If you read two books about how to deal with VC’s start here

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

If you buy one book to understand how VC’s and fund raising works, Venture Deals is the one. Wish I had it when I did startups. Same for Mastering the VC Game. If you read two books about how to deal with VC’s start here

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
book
by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeff Cox

Steve Blank's Review:

I’ve yet to meet a manufacturing person that does not reference The Goal when talking about lean manufacturing principles first. It’s a book inside a novel – so it humanizes the manufacturing experience.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 If you have never experienced a startup first hand, Jerry Kaplan’s book Startup and Michael Wolff’s book Burn Rate are good reads of a founder’s adventure with the venture capitalists. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 If you have never experienced a startup first hand, Jerry Kaplan’s book Startup and Michael Wolff’s book Burn Rate are good reads of a founder’s adventure with the venture capitalists. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Brad Feld’s Startup Communities posits a big idea: startup communities are driven by entrepreneurs who are the leaders and everyone else is a feeder. Essential reading if you’re trying to build your own cluster

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Lean Analytics is a great discussion about metrics that matter for web/mobile startups. Predictable Revenue is one of those short, smart, tactical books that you need to read if you have a direct sales force.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Lean Analytics is a great discussion about metrics that matter for web/mobile startups. Predictable Revenue is one of those short, smart, tactical books that you need to read if you have a direct sales force.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth
book
by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor

Steve Blank's Review:

Innovator’s Dilemma and Innovator’s Solution helped me refine the notion of the Four types of Startup Markets.  I read these books as the handbook for startups trying to disrupt an established company.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Innovator's Dilemma
book
by Clayton M. Christensen

Steve Blank's Review:

Innovator’s Dilemma and Innovator’s Solution helped me refine the notion of the Four types of Startup Markets.  I read these books as the handbook for startups trying to disrupt an established company

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Delivering Profitable Value talks more about value propositions and value delivery systems than you ever want to hear again.  However, this is one of the books you struggle through and then realize you learned something valuable

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The New Lanchester Strategy is so offbeat that it tends to be ignored.  Its ratios of what you require to attack or defend a market keep coming up so often in real life, that I’ve found it hard to ignore.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The New Lanchester Strategy is so offbeat that it tends to be ignored.  Its ratios of what you require to attack or defend a market keep coming up so often in real life, that I’ve found it hard to ignore.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

I’m not sure how to characterize The Checklist Manifesto so I stuck it here. It’s a quick read with some insights that match why Business Model strategy need to be translated into Customer Development checklists.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Jeff Timmons’ New Venture Creation has too much great stuff in it to ignore. At first read it is simply overwhelming but tackle it a bit a time and use it to test your business plan for completeness. Business Plans that Work summarizes the relevant part of Timmons’ New Venture Creation book and teaches how to write a document (the business plan) that no one ever reads. However, both books are worth having if you’re in a large company thinking about introducing follow-on products.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law, 4th Edition
book
by Constance E. Bagley, Craig E. Dauchy

Steve Blank's Review:

The Entrepreneurs Guide to Business Law is the one book you ought to have on your shelf.  While not written explicitly for Silicon Valley startups it demystifies the most common areas you need to know.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

. If you write software you already know about Fred Brooks classic text the Mythical Man Month. If you manage a software company you need to read it so you don’t act like Dilbert’s pointy-haired boss.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The subtitle of Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital is the “dynamics of bubbles and golden ages”.  A must read to understand the long 50-year innovation cycle we’re in

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a series essays about what CEO face in the “Build” phase – the transition from searching for a business model into a company.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Michael Porter is the father of competitive strategy. His books Competitive StrategyCompetitive Advantage, and On Competition are still the standards.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Michael Porter is the father of competitive strategy. His books Competitive StrategyCompetitive Advantage, and On Competition are still the standards.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 Ed Catmull’s description of the Pixar innovation process in Creativity, Inc is a great synthesis of how founders in startup innovate translated into a corporate continuous innovation process.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Rackham’s Spin Selling is another series of books about major account, large ticket item sales, with again the emphasis on selling the solution, not features.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

SPIN Selling
book
by Neil Rackham

Steve Blank's Review:

Rackham’s Spin Selling is another series of books about major account, large ticket item sales, with again the emphasis on selling the solution, not features.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Nesheim’s book High Tech Startup is the gold standard of the nuts and bolts of all the financing stages from venture capital to IPO’s.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Crossing the Chasm
book
by Geoffrey A. Moore

Steve Blank's Review:

Crossing the Chasm made me understand that there are repeatable patterns in early stage companies. It started my search for the repeatable set of patterns that preceded the chasm

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer)
book
by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Gregory Bernarda, Alan Smith, Trish Papadakos

Steve Blank's Review:

Osterwalders follow-on book Value Proposition Design describes how to get product/market fit right.  It’s another “must have” for your bookshelf.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Schumpeter’s book Theory of Economic Development is famous for his phrase “creative destruction”  and its relevance to entrepreneurship.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Ries and Trout positioning books can be read in a plane ride, yet after all these years they are still a smack on the side of the head. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Jessica Livingston’s Founders At Work are the best case studies/vignettes without a PR rewrite of how founders really start companies

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing provides a great framework for thinking about “how much should I charge for this?”

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 Rita McGrath’s The End of Competitive Advantage shows companies how to take advantage of transient competitive advantage.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The One to One Future
book
by Don Peppers, Martha Rogers

Steve Blank's Review:

The One to One Future opened my eyes to concepts of lifetime value, most profitable customers and the entire customer lifecycle of “get, keep and grow.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Marketing High Technology
book
by William H. Davidow

Steve Blank's Review:

Bill Davidow’s Marketing High Technology introduced me to the concept of “whole product” and the unique needs of mainstream customers

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
book
by Al Ries , Jack Trout, Philip Kotler

Steve Blank's Review:

Ries and Trout positioning books can be read in a plane ride, yet after all these years they are still a smack on the side of the head.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 In contrast, Josh Lerner’sBoulevard of Broken Dreams describes the multiple ways governments can screw up a cluster.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

These books are listed in books to read under the section Culture/Human Resources. On Steve Blank's website: 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

These books are listed in books to read under the section Culture/Human Resources. On Steve Blank's website: 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application
book
by Jason Fried, Heinemeier David Hansson, Matthew Linderman

Steve Blank's Review:

Getting Real is web-focussed. Wasserman’s Founders Dilemma is essential reading to building a great startup team.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Getting Real is web-focussed. Wasserman’s Founders Dilemma is essential reading to building a great startup team.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

These books are listed in books to read under the section Culture/Human Resources. On Steve Blank's website: 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Founder Factor
book
by Nancy Truitt Pierce

Steve Blank's Review:

These books are listed in books to read under the section Culture/Human Resources. On Steve Blank's website: 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Tipping Point has made me realize that marketing communications strategies for companies in New Markets often follow the Tipping Point.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Cracking the Sales Management Code provides a best practice approach to on how to effectively manage a sales force.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Marketing Playbook gives marketers five strategy options, teaches you gap analysis and offer tactical marketing campaign advice.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Technology Ventures: From Idea to Enterprise
book
by Thomas Byers, Richard Dorf, Andrew Nelson

Steve Blank's Review:

Of all the texts, Technology Ventures is “the gold standard” of entrepreneurship textbooks. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Baseline Selling uses baseball metaphors but it’s an effective explanation of how to do consultative selling

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 I sure could have used the Complete Idiots Guide to Cold Calling when it was just me and the telephone.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Toyota Production System is the father of all lean manufacturing – it’s simple tone is refreshing.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 and InGenious are the books I give all young entrepreneurs

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 and InGenious are the books I give all young entrepreneurs

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Lets Get Real is of the Sandler School of selling (another school of business to business sales methodology.)

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Thomas Freese is the master of consultative selling. Both his books are a great start in understanding how a pro sells.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Thomas Freese is the master of consultative selling. Both his books are a great start in understanding how a pro sells.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Do More Faster identifies issues that first-time entrepreneurs encounter and offer useful advice

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World
book
by General Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, Chris Fussell

Steve Blank's Review:

Stanley Mcchrystal’s Team of Teams is a real world example of chapter 6 of the Four Steps to the Epiphany. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Blue Ocean Strategy
book
by W. Chan Kim

Steve Blank's Review:

Blue Ocean Strategy is a great way to look at what I’ve called “market type.”

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Lean Thinking is the best over all summary of the lean manufacturing genre.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Made to Stick gives you the tools to make your messages “sticky.”

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Startup Playbook  also does a good job of offering founders advice.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

These books tell the story of the formation of the Venture Capital Industry.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

These books tell the story of the formation of the Venture Capital Industry.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Jill Konrath has great strategies and insights for large sales. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Selling to Big Companies
book
by Jill Konrath

Steve Blank's Review:

Jill Konrath has great strategies and insights for large sales. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Bill Draper’s book is both history and advice from a VC pioneer.

Inside the Partnership between VC’s and Entrepreneurs by William H. Draper

These books tell the story of the formation of the Venture Capital Industry.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators
book
by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, Clayton M. Christensen

Steve Blank's Review:

The Innovators DNA rings true about the skills founders need to have.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

This book is recommended for Business history by Steve Blank

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

For your startup to be successful, you must understand your customers' pains

Steve Blank's Review:

Swimming with the sharks: It doesn't pay to be a nice guy

Steve Blank's Review:

Great HR advice from @fredwilson

Steve Blank's Review:

Aha! The reason you're getting out of the building

Steve Blank's Review:

Winners know how to get noticed

Steve Blank's Review:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Marketing Communications

Steve Blank's Review:

The danger of treating your startup like a big company

Steve Blank's Review:

Not all startups are alike. Here's why

Steve Blank's Review:

How to size up your startup opportunity

Steve Blank's Review:

How the Lean Startup Helped to Transform Science

Steve Blank's Review:

If your sales pipeline sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Steve Blank's Review:

How not to throw money in the street:

Steve Blank's Review:

Making the world a safer place @PeterANewell @stanford

Steve Blank's Review:

If you’re in a large company, The Other Side of Innovation makes sense of how to actually insert innovation into an execution organization.  If you’re starting a medical device company Biodesign:The Process of  Innovating Medical Technologies is a must have. It has a great customer discovery process.

The other side of innovation is the closest recipe I’ve read for getting entrepreneurship right in large companies.

How large companies can stay innovative and entrepreneurial has been the Holy Grail for authors of business books, business schools, consulting firms, etc.  There’s some great work from lots of authors in this area but I’d start by reading the other side of innovation.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

.If you are in a large company and wondering why your company isn’t going anywhere your answers might be found in Good to Great.  Written by Jim Collins, the same author who wrote Built to Last, both are books that “you should be so lucky” to read.  What differentiates good companies versus great?  How do you institutionalize core values into a company that enable it to create value when the current management is long gone?  When I first read these, I thought they were only for companies that were lucky enough to get big.  Upon reflection, these books were the inspiration for the “Mission-Oriented Culture.”  Read these two books together.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

.If you are in a large company and wondering why your company isn’t going anywhere your answers might be found in Good to Great.  Written by Jim Collins, the same author who wrote Built to Last, both are books that “you should be so lucky” to read.  What differentiates good companies versus great?  How do you institutionalize core values into a company that enable it to create value when the current management is long gone?  When I first read these, I thought they were only for companies that were lucky enough to get big.  Upon reflection, these books were the inspiration for the “Mission-Oriented Culture.”  Read these two books together.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The metaphor that business is war is both a cliché and points to a deeper truth.  Many basic business concepts; competition, leadership, strategy versus tactics, logistics, etc. have their roots in military affairs. The difference is that in business no one dies.  At some time in your business life you need to study war or become a casualty.  Sun Tzu covered all the basics of strategy in The Art of War until the advent of technology temporarily superseded him. Also, in the same vein try The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi.  These two books have unfortunately turned into business clichés but they are still timeless reading.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Book of Five Rings
book
by Miyamoto Musashi

Steve Blank's Review:

The metaphor that business is war is both a cliché and points to a deeper truth.  Many basic business concepts; competition, leadership, strategy versus tactics, logistics, etc. have their roots in military affairs. The difference is that in business no one dies.  At some time in your business life you need to study war or become a casualty.  Sun Tzu covered all the basics of strategy in The Art of War until the advent of technology temporarily superseded him. Also, in the same vein try The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi.  These two books have unfortunately turned into business clichés but they are still timeless reading.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Every founding team should stop for 48 hours and read Lean Startup. Stop and read this book now.

Ref: https://twitter.com/search?q=%40sgblank%20review%20book&src=typd

Eric Ries was the best student I ever had. He took the Customer Development process, combined it with Agile Engineering, and actually did the first implementation in a startup. His insights about the combined Customer Development/Agile process and its implications past startups into large corporations is a sea change in thinking. His book, The Lean Startup is a “must have” for your shelf.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Alfred Sloan’s My Years with General Motors is a great read, but not for the traditional reasons.  Read it from the point of view of an entrepreneur (Durant) who’s built a great company by gut and instinct, got it to $200M and is replaced by the board.  Then watches as a world-class bureaucrat grows into one of the largest and best run companies in the world.  Make sure you read it in conjunction with Sloan Rules and A Ghost’s Memoir. If you’re an entrepreneur the one founder you probably never heard of but should is William Durant. Read Madsen’s biography.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Alfred Sloan’s My Years with General Motors is a great read, but not for the traditional reasons.  Read it from the point of view of an entrepreneur (Durant) who’s built a great company by gut and instinct, got it to $200M and is replaced by the board.  Then watches as a world-class bureaucrat grows into one of the largest and best run companies in the world.  Make sure you read it in conjunction with Sloan Rules and A Ghost’s Memoir. If you’re an entrepreneur the one founder you probably never heard of but should is William Durant. Read Madsen’s biography.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Alfred Sloan’s My Years with General Motors is a great read, but not for the traditional reasons.  Read it from the point of view of an entrepreneur (Durant) who’s built a great company by gut and instinct, got it to $200M and is replaced by the board.  Then watches as a world-class bureaucrat grows into one of the largest and best run companies in the world.  Make sure you read it in conjunction with Sloan Rules and A Ghost’s Memoir. If you’re an entrepreneur the one founder you probably never heard of but should is William Durant. Read Madsen’s biography.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Alfred Sloan’s My Years with General Motors is a great read, but not for the traditional reasons.  Read it from the point of view of an entrepreneur (Durant) who’s built a great company by gut and instinct, got it to $200M and is replaced by the board.  Then watches as a world-class bureaucrat grows into one of the largest and best run companies in the world.  Make sure you read it in conjunction with Sloan Rules and A Ghost’s Memoir. If you’re an entrepreneur the one founder you probably never heard of but should is William Durant. Read Madsen’s biography.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Alfred Sloan’s My Years with General Motors is a great read, but not for the traditional reasons.  Read it from the point of view of an entrepreneur (Durant) who’s built a great company by gut and instinct, got it to $200M and is replaced by the board.  Then watches as a world-class bureaucrat grows into one of the largest and best run companies in the world.  Make sure you read it in conjunction with Sloan Rules and A Ghost’s Memoir. If you’re an entrepreneur the one founder you probably never heard of but should is William Durant. Read Madsen’s biography.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Then I’d read the short Harvard Business Review articles. Eric Von Hippel work on new product introduction methodologies and the notion of “Lead Users” offer many parallels with Customer Discovery and Validation. But like most books on the subject it’s written from the point of view of a large company. Von Hippel’s four steps of 1) goal generation and team formation, 2) trend research, 3) lead user pyramid networking and 4) Lead User workshop and idea improvement is a more rigorous and disciplined approach then suggested in our book,

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Ironically, the best HR stuff for anyone in a startup to read is not a book.  It is the work James Baron at Stanford has done.    Download his slides on the Stanford Project on Emerging Companies.  Baron’s book, Strategic Human Resources – is a classic HR textbook. Finally, if you are working at a startup and wondering why the founder is nuts,The Founder Factor helps explain a few things.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Seth Godin “gets deeply” the profound changes the internet is having in the way we think about customers and communicating with them.  Godin’s All Marketers are Liars talks about the power of storytelling in marketing. His Permission Marketing book crystallized a direct marketing technique (permission marketing), which was simply impossible to achieve pre-internet.  Read his Ideavirus after you’ve read Permission Marketing

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Seth Godin “gets deeply” the profound changes the internet is having in the way we think about customers and communicating with them.  Godin’s All Marketers are Liars talks about the power of storytelling in marketing. His Permission Marketing book crystallized a direct marketing technique (permission marketing), which was simply impossible to achieve pre-internet.  Read his Ideavirus after you’ve read Permission Marketing

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Seth Godin “gets deeply” the profound changes the internet is having in the way we think about customers and communicating with them.  Godin’s All Marketers are Liars talks about the power of storytelling in marketing. His Permission Marketing book crystallized a direct marketing technique (permission marketing), which was simply impossible to achieve pre-internet.  Read his Ideavirus after you’ve read Permission Marketing

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Over the last few years we’ve discovered that startups are not smaller versions of large companies. The skills founders need are not covered by traditional books for MBA’s and large company managers. There are now a few books that specifically address founders needs. Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Generation is the first book that allows you to answer “What’s your business model?” intelligently and with precision. Make sure this one is on your shelf. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Bostworth’s Solution Selling and it’s successor, The New Solution Selling are must reads for any executive launching a new product.  Its articulation of the hierarchy of buyers needs as well its description of how to get customers to articulate their needs, makes this a “must read”, particularly those selling to businesses. Yet in his new book What Great Salespeople Do he says, ignore those books follow this advice

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Bostworth’s Solution Selling and it’s successor, The New Solution Selling are must reads for any executive launching a new product.  Its articulation of the hierarchy of buyers needs as well its description of how to get customers to articulate their needs, makes this a “must read”, particularly those selling to businesses. Yet in his new book What Great Salespeople Do he says, ignore those books follow this advice

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Bostworth’s Solution Selling and it’s successor, The New Solution Selling are must reads for any executive launching a new product.  Its articulation of the hierarchy of buyers needs as well its description of how to get customers to articulate their needs, makes this a “must read”, particularly those selling to businesses. Yet in his new book What Great Salespeople Do he says, ignore those books follow this advice

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

High-tech Ventures: The Guide For Entrepreneurial Success
book
by C. Gordon Bell, John E. Mcnamara

Steve Blank's Review:

Gordon Bells’ book High-Tech Venturesis incomprehensible on the first, second or third read.  Yet it is simply the best “operating manual” for startups that has been written.  (The only glaring flaw is Bell’s assumption that a market exists for the product and that marketing’s job is data sheets and trade shows.)  Read it in doses for insight and revelation and make notes, (think of reading the bible) rather than reading it straight through.

ef: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Future of Management
book
by Gary Hamel

Steve Blank's Review:

How large companies can stay innovative and entrepreneurial has been the Holy Grail for authors of business books, business schools, consulting firms, etc.  There’s some great work from lots of authors in this area but I’d start by reading the other side of innovation.Next I’d read The Alchemy of Growth to understand the three horizons of innovation and The Future of Mangement and consider its implications

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Alchemy of Growth: Practical Insights for Building the Enduring Enterprise
book
by Mehrdad Baghai, Steve Coley, David White, Stephen Coley

Steve Blank's Review:

How large companies can stay innovative and entrepreneurial has been the Holy Grail for authors of business books, business schools, consulting firms, etc.  There’s some great work from lots of authors in this area but I’d start by reading the other side of innovation.Next I’d read The Alchemy of Growth to understand the three horizons of innovation and The Future of Mangement and consider its implications

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

On War (Penguin Classics)
book
by Carl von Clausewitz

Steve Blank's Review:

The metaphor that business is war is both a cliché and points to a deeper truth.  Many basic business concepts; competition, leadership, strategy versus tactics, logistics, etc. have their roots in military affairs. The difference is that in business no one dies.  At some time in your business life you need to study war or become a casualty.Carl Von Clausewitz’s On War is a 19th century western attempt to understand war. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Carl Von Clausewitz’s On War is a 19th century western attempt to understand war. The “Boyd” book, The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War is a biography and may seem out of place here, but John Boyd’s OODA loop is at the core of Customer Development and the Pivot. Read it and then look at all the web sites for Boyd papers, particularly Patterns of Conflict

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 An Engineer’s Guide to Silicon Valley Startups is one of those quirky books that perfectly match Silicon Valley culture. If you’re an engineer in the valley or coming out, this is a useful read. It describes what types of startups are there, how to get a job at one, negotiating your salary, stock options, etc. Geek Silicon Valley is part history and part travel guide. Also useful.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

An Engineer’s Guide to Silicon Valley Startups is one of those quirky books that perfectly match Silicon Valley culture. If you’re an engineer in the valley or coming out, this is a useful read. It describes what types of startups are there, how to get a job at one, negotiating your salary, stock options, etc. Geek Silicon Valley is part history and part travel guide. Also useful.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

An Engineer’s Guide to Silicon Valley Startups is one of those quirky books that perfectly match Silicon Valley culture. If you’re an engineer in the valley or coming out, this is a useful read. It describes what types of startups are there, how to get a job at one, negotiating your salary, stock options, etc. Geek Silicon Valley is part history and part travel guide. Also useful.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The New Strategic Selling: The Unique Sales System Proven Successful by the World's Best Companies
book
by Robert B. Miller, Stephen E. Heiman, Tad Tuleja, J. W. Marriott

Steve Blank's Review:

Heiman’s books are a bit more tactical and are part of a comprehensive sales training program from his company Miller-Heiman.  If you are in sales or have a sales background you can skip these.  But if you aren’t they are all worth reading for the basic “blocking and tackling” advice.  The only bad news is that Heiman writes like a loud salesman – but the advice is sound. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The New Conceptual Selling: The Most Effective and Proven Method for Face-to-Face Sales Planning
book
by Robert B. Miller, Stephen E. Heiman, Tad Tuleja, John Philip Coghlan

Steve Blank's Review:

Heiman’s books are a bit more tactical and are part of a comprehensive sales training program from his company Miller-Heiman.  If you are in sales or have a sales background you can skip these.  But if you aren’t they are all worth reading for the basic “blocking and tackling” advice.  The only bad news is that Heiman writes like a loud salesman – but the advice is sound. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Nesheim’s book High Tech Startup is the gold standard of the nuts and bolts of all the financing stages from venture capital to IPO’s. If you promise to ignore the marketing advice he gives you, Baird’s book, Engineering Your Startup is the cliff notes version in explaining the basics of financing, valuation, stock options, etc.

ef: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The “Boyd” book, The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War is a biography and may seem out of place here, but John Boyd’s OODA loop is at the core of Customer Development and the Pivot. Read it and then look at all the web sites for Boyd papers, particularly Patterns of Conflict

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Regis McKenna has always been a favorite of mine. However, as you read Relationship Marketing separate out the examples Regis uses into either startups or large sustainable businesses.  What worked in one, won’t necessarily work in another.  Read these books first before you dive into the 21st century stuff like Seth Godin.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

These books are classics but timelessThe Entrepreneurial Mindset articulates the critically important idea that there are different types of startup opportunities.  The notion of three Market Types springs from here and Christensen’s work.  The book provides a framework for the early marketing/sales strategies essential in a startup.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Innovation and Entrepreneurship
book
by Peter F. Drucker

Steve Blank's Review:

Peter Drucker’s Concept of the Corporation was the first insiders view of how a decentralized company (GM) works. His Practice of Management defined “management by objective” and Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a classic. While written for a corporate audience, read it for the sources of innovation

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Concept of the Corporation
book
by Peter F. Drucker

Steve Blank's Review:

Peter Drucker’s Concept of the Corporation was the first insiders view of how a decentralized company (GM) works. His Practice of Management defined “management by objective” and Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a classic. While written for a corporate audience, read it for the sources of innovation

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies
book
by Paul G. Yock, Stefanos Zenios, Josh Makower, Todd J. Brinton, Uday N. Kumar, F. T. Jay Watkins, Lyn Denend, Thomas M. Krummel, Christine Q. Kurihara

Steve Blank's Review:

If you’re in a large company, The Other Side of Innovation makes sense of how to actually insert innovation into an execution organization.  If you’re starting a medical device company Biodesign:The Process of  Innovating Medical Technologies is a must have. It has a great customer discovery process.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Nancy Duarte’s two books, Slid:eology and Resonate are about presentation design. These are the two books I refer entrepreneurs to who want to build a killer customer presentation. The advice may not work for all audiences but it’s a great place to start. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Nancy Duarte’s two books, Slid:eology and Resonate are about presentation design. These are the two books I refer entrepreneurs to who want to build a killer customer presentation. The advice may not work for all audiences but it’s a great place to start. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Business Plans that Work
book
by Jeffry Timmons, Andrew Zacharakis, Stephen Spinelli

Steve Blank's Review:

Business Plans that Work summarizes the relevant part of Timmons’ New Venture Creation book and teaches how to write a document (the business plan) that no one ever reads. However, both books are worth having if you’re in a large company thinking about introducing follow-on products.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Anna Lee Saxenian’s Regional Advantage  is the definitive text of why Silicon Valley beat Boston as the hub of U.S. entrepreneurship.Startup Nation is the story of how the Israeli government engineered the country into becoming the hottest cluster outside the U.S. for startups.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Anna Lee Saxenian’s Regional Advantage  is the definitive text of why Silicon Valley beat Boston as the hub of U.S. entrepreneurship.Startup Nation is the story of how the Israeli government engineered the country into becoming the hottest cluster outside the U.S. for startups.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within
book
by Lois Kelly, Carmen Medina, Debra Cameron

Steve Blank's Review:

If you’re a mid-level manager in a company or government agency trying to figure out how to your ideas adopted, you need to own a copy of [email protected] – it will save your sanity. And Corporate Cultures is a classic about the stories, heroes, values, and rituals that build a corporate culture.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Term Sheets and Valuations is a great read if you’re faced with a term sheet and staring at words like “liquidation preferences and conversion rights” and don’t have a clue what they mean.  Read this and you can act like you almost understand what you are giving away.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

It’s impossible to implement any of this if you don’t understand Agile Development.Extreme Programming Explained by one of the pioneers of Agile, Kent Beck, is a great tutorial. If you don’t understand Values, Principles and Practices in XP it makes Customer Development almost impossible.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

If you don’t pay attention to the law from the day you start your company it can kill you. But most books (and lawyers) speak in their own arcane language. David Weekly’s An Introduction to Stock and Options should be your first read (unfortunately its Kindle only.) 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Nudist on the Late Shift is a book you send to someone who lives outside of Silicon Valley who wants to know what life is like in a startup. If you want to understand how the modern corporation formed Chandlers’ Strategy and Structure is the “Ur text.”

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Eboys is the story of Benchmark Capital during the Internet Bubble.  Ferguson’s book is a great read for the first time entrepreneur.  His personality and views of the venture capitalists and “suits” are a Rorschach ink blot test for the reader.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Eboys is the story of Benchmark Capital during the Internet Bubble.  Ferguson’s book is a great read for the first time entrepreneur.  His personality and views of the venture capitalists and “suits” are a Rorschach ink blot test for the reader.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Eboys is the story of Benchmark Capital during the Internet Bubble.  Ferguson’s book is a great read for the first time entrepreneur.  His personality and views of the venture capitalists and “suits” are a Rorschach ink blot test for the reader.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Inmates are Running the Asylum, is about product design. It had the same impact on me as Moore’s Crossing the Chasm – “why of course, that’s what’s wrong.”  It’s important and articulate.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 I put Sway here because great marketers know how to find these irrational behaviors Lakoff’s book, Don’t Think of an Elephant! while written for a political audience has some valuable insights on framing communications.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 I put Sway here because great marketers know how to find these irrational behaviors Lakoff’s book, Don’t Think of an Elephant! while written for a political audience has some valuable insights on framing communications.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Jeff Thull’s Mastering the Complex Sale has a lot of elements of Customer Discovery and Validation, but skip the first 50 pages. Many of the ideas of Customer Validation are based on the principles articulated by Bosworth, Heiman and Rackham. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Nudist on the Late Shift is a book you send to someone who lives outside of Silicon Valley who wants to know what life is like in a startup. If you want to understand how the modern corporation formed Chandlers’ Strategy and Structure is the “Ur text.”

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Nudist on the Late Shift is a book you send to someone who lives outside of Silicon Valley who wants to know what life is like in a startup. If you want to understand how the modern corporation formed Chandlers’ Strategy and Structure is the “Ur text.”

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

If you buy one book to understand how VC’s and fund raising works, Venture Deals is the one. Wish I had it when I did startups. Same for Mastering the VC Game. If you read two books about how to deal with VC’s start here

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

If you buy one book to understand how VC’s and fund raising works, Venture Deals is the one. Wish I had it when I did startups. Same for Mastering the VC Game. If you read two books about how to deal with VC’s start here

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
book
by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeff Cox

Steve Blank's Review:

I’ve yet to meet a manufacturing person that does not reference The Goal when talking about lean manufacturing principles first. It’s a book inside a novel – so it humanizes the manufacturing experience.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 If you have never experienced a startup first hand, Jerry Kaplan’s book Startup and Michael Wolff’s book Burn Rate are good reads of a founder’s adventure with the venture capitalists. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 If you have never experienced a startup first hand, Jerry Kaplan’s book Startup and Michael Wolff’s book Burn Rate are good reads of a founder’s adventure with the venture capitalists. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Brad Feld’s Startup Communities posits a big idea: startup communities are driven by entrepreneurs who are the leaders and everyone else is a feeder. Essential reading if you’re trying to build your own cluster

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Lean Analytics is a great discussion about metrics that matter for web/mobile startups. Predictable Revenue is one of those short, smart, tactical books that you need to read if you have a direct sales force.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Lean Analytics is a great discussion about metrics that matter for web/mobile startups. Predictable Revenue is one of those short, smart, tactical books that you need to read if you have a direct sales force.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth
book
by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor

Steve Blank's Review:

Innovator’s Dilemma and Innovator’s Solution helped me refine the notion of the Four types of Startup Markets.  I read these books as the handbook for startups trying to disrupt an established company.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Innovator's Dilemma
book
by Clayton M. Christensen

Steve Blank's Review:

Innovator’s Dilemma and Innovator’s Solution helped me refine the notion of the Four types of Startup Markets.  I read these books as the handbook for startups trying to disrupt an established company

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Delivering Profitable Value talks more about value propositions and value delivery systems than you ever want to hear again.  However, this is one of the books you struggle through and then realize you learned something valuable

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The New Lanchester Strategy is so offbeat that it tends to be ignored.  Its ratios of what you require to attack or defend a market keep coming up so often in real life, that I’ve found it hard to ignore.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The New Lanchester Strategy is so offbeat that it tends to be ignored.  Its ratios of what you require to attack or defend a market keep coming up so often in real life, that I’ve found it hard to ignore.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

I’m not sure how to characterize The Checklist Manifesto so I stuck it here. It’s a quick read with some insights that match why Business Model strategy need to be translated into Customer Development checklists.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Jeff Timmons’ New Venture Creation has too much great stuff in it to ignore. At first read it is simply overwhelming but tackle it a bit a time and use it to test your business plan for completeness. Business Plans that Work summarizes the relevant part of Timmons’ New Venture Creation book and teaches how to write a document (the business plan) that no one ever reads. However, both books are worth having if you’re in a large company thinking about introducing follow-on products.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law, 4th Edition
book
by Constance E. Bagley, Craig E. Dauchy

Steve Blank's Review:

The Entrepreneurs Guide to Business Law is the one book you ought to have on your shelf.  While not written explicitly for Silicon Valley startups it demystifies the most common areas you need to know.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

. If you write software you already know about Fred Brooks classic text the Mythical Man Month. If you manage a software company you need to read it so you don’t act like Dilbert’s pointy-haired boss.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The subtitle of Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital is the “dynamics of bubbles and golden ages”.  A must read to understand the long 50-year innovation cycle we’re in

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a series essays about what CEO face in the “Build” phase – the transition from searching for a business model into a company.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Michael Porter is the father of competitive strategy. His books Competitive StrategyCompetitive Advantage, and On Competition are still the standards.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Michael Porter is the father of competitive strategy. His books Competitive StrategyCompetitive Advantage, and On Competition are still the standards.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 Ed Catmull’s description of the Pixar innovation process in Creativity, Inc is a great synthesis of how founders in startup innovate translated into a corporate continuous innovation process.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Rackham’s Spin Selling is another series of books about major account, large ticket item sales, with again the emphasis on selling the solution, not features.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

SPIN Selling
book
by Neil Rackham

Steve Blank's Review:

Rackham’s Spin Selling is another series of books about major account, large ticket item sales, with again the emphasis on selling the solution, not features.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Nesheim’s book High Tech Startup is the gold standard of the nuts and bolts of all the financing stages from venture capital to IPO’s.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Crossing the Chasm
book
by Geoffrey A. Moore

Steve Blank's Review:

Crossing the Chasm made me understand that there are repeatable patterns in early stage companies. It started my search for the repeatable set of patterns that preceded the chasm

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer)
book
by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Gregory Bernarda, Alan Smith, Trish Papadakos

Steve Blank's Review:

Osterwalders follow-on book Value Proposition Design describes how to get product/market fit right.  It’s another “must have” for your bookshelf.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Schumpeter’s book Theory of Economic Development is famous for his phrase “creative destruction”  and its relevance to entrepreneurship.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Ries and Trout positioning books can be read in a plane ride, yet after all these years they are still a smack on the side of the head. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Jessica Livingston’s Founders At Work are the best case studies/vignettes without a PR rewrite of how founders really start companies

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing provides a great framework for thinking about “how much should I charge for this?”

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 Rita McGrath’s The End of Competitive Advantage shows companies how to take advantage of transient competitive advantage.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The One to One Future
book
by Don Peppers, Martha Rogers

Steve Blank's Review:

The One to One Future opened my eyes to concepts of lifetime value, most profitable customers and the entire customer lifecycle of “get, keep and grow.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Marketing High Technology
book
by William H. Davidow

Steve Blank's Review:

Bill Davidow’s Marketing High Technology introduced me to the concept of “whole product” and the unique needs of mainstream customers

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
book
by Al Ries , Jack Trout, Philip Kotler

Steve Blank's Review:

Ries and Trout positioning books can be read in a plane ride, yet after all these years they are still a smack on the side of the head.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 In contrast, Josh Lerner’sBoulevard of Broken Dreams describes the multiple ways governments can screw up a cluster.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

These books are listed in books to read under the section Culture/Human Resources. On Steve Blank's website: 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

These books are listed in books to read under the section Culture/Human Resources. On Steve Blank's website: 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application
book
by Jason Fried, Heinemeier David Hansson, Matthew Linderman

Steve Blank's Review:

Getting Real is web-focussed. Wasserman’s Founders Dilemma is essential reading to building a great startup team.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Getting Real is web-focussed. Wasserman’s Founders Dilemma is essential reading to building a great startup team.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

These books are listed in books to read under the section Culture/Human Resources. On Steve Blank's website: 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

The Founder Factor
book
by Nancy Truitt Pierce

Steve Blank's Review:

These books are listed in books to read under the section Culture/Human Resources. On Steve Blank's website: 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Tipping Point has made me realize that marketing communications strategies for companies in New Markets often follow the Tipping Point.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Cracking the Sales Management Code provides a best practice approach to on how to effectively manage a sales force.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

The Marketing Playbook gives marketers five strategy options, teaches you gap analysis and offer tactical marketing campaign advice.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Technology Ventures: From Idea to Enterprise
book
by Thomas Byers, Richard Dorf, Andrew Nelson

Steve Blank's Review:

Of all the texts, Technology Ventures is “the gold standard” of entrepreneurship textbooks. 

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Baseline Selling uses baseball metaphors but it’s an effective explanation of how to do consultative selling

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

 I sure could have used the Complete Idiots Guide to Cold Calling when it was just me and the telephone.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Toyota Production System is the father of all lean manufacturing – it’s simple tone is refreshing.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 and InGenious are the books I give all young entrepreneurs

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 and InGenious are the books I give all young entrepreneurs

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Lets Get Real is of the Sandler School of selling (another school of business to business sales methodology.)

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Thomas Freese is the master of consultative selling. Both his books are a great start in understanding how a pro sells.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/

Steve Blank's Review:

Thomas Freese is the master of consultative selling. Both his books are a great start in understanding how a pro sells.

Ref: https://steveblank.com/books-for-startups/