8 books to read to fuel your entrepreneurial itch

So you have the itch.. the entrepreneur’s itch. Being in Silicon Valley it’s hard not to have it when you get to rub shoulders with many founders and investors on a weekly basis at the many meetup events organized by like minded individuals. There you hear many inspiring stories and adventures in entrepreneurship and how you too can walk that path when you set your mind to it. To get you rolling on this journey, here are my top 8 books which are sure to fuel your entrepreneurial itch!

Keys to the Vault: Lessons From the Pros on Raising Money and Igniting Your Business

by Keith J. Cunningham, the Real Rich Dad from Robert Kiyosaki’s popular series Rich Dad Poor Dad. Keith is also a speaker at Anthony Robbins Mastery University.

I purchased this book after being inspired by Keith during a presentation on business entrepreneurs. Keys to the Vault is The Formula, the recipe, for raising money and creating a successful business. No fat in this book, just pure step by step here’s how the industry works and here’s how you can do it yourself – step by step! My favorite of the lot.

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days

by Jessica Livingston, founding partner of the valley’s famous seed stage venture firm Y Combinator.

I purchased this book after being inspired at Startup School, by YCombinator. Founders at Work is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies about what happened in the very earliest days. Some of the companies in question include Apple, Flickr, PayPal, Gmail, Twitter etc. You will learn that these founders had no special human powers but persevered during hard times and worked hard towards their vision.

Never Get a “Real” Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke

by Scott Gerber, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, media personality, public speaker and the most-syndicated young entrepreneurship columnist in the world.

I purchased this book after being inspired by a very successful Silicon Valley CEO – his company is mentioned inside this book. Never Get a “Real” Job is straight to the point, no bullshit, that having a JOB (Just Over Broke) suxs! Being an employee is not rewarding enough as being an entrepreneur. This book is a wake up call and tells you how to make dramatic changes from an employee to an entrepreneur without going broke.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

by Peter F Drucker, who was a writer, management consultant, and self-described “social ecologist.”.

Peter shares with us an excellent framework for innovation providing some general guidelines for identifying innovative opportunities. The key take away is that successful entrepreneurs do not wait until having a “bright idea”; they go to work. He was ahead of his time, a man of pure genius!

Rework

by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of the very profitable and successful 37signals.

37signals business model of profits from the word go inspires me hence why I purchased this book. Rework is a collection of the best posts from Signal vs. Noise, a weblog by 37signals about design, business, experience, simplicity, the web, culture, and more. The book can be read in 2 hours and it damn straight to the point. It will make you extremely uncomfortable. But that’s why it’s so good because it breaks through all the bullshit and tells you how it really is.

The Monk and the Riddle : The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

by Randy Komisar, a new breed of executives who have been called “virtual CEO’s with a wealth of experience under his belt.

Randy takes the reader through a hypothetical Silicon Valley start-up and what it takes to get a business running, funded and profitable. This books reminds me of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny with a focus on Silicon Valley startup.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

by Daniel H. Pink, an American writer, speechwriter, and motivational speaker.

The holy grail of people management. Daniel shares with us the surprising truth. People want Autonomy (control over their work), Mastery (get better at what they do) and Purpose (to be part of something that is bigger than they are). It’s that simple. Yet many employers fail to see this and use old aged approaches. Here’s a fantastic 10 minute animated cap by RSA of what the book is about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

by John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and research consultant whom publishes fascinating insights on his Brain Rules website about what’s really going on inside our heads.

I am also a life hacker, and as such, this book had to sit in my book shelf. If workplaces had nap rooms, multitasking was frowned upon, and meetings were held during walks, we’d be vastly more productive. Brain Rules reveals – in plain English – 12 ways our brains truly work. Killer killer killer content – it will reshape how you do business and function on a daily basis.

ReadingList – what else am I reading?


If you like my suggestion of books I highly recommend you run my Facebook App called ReadingList where I share with my followers all the cool books I’m reading, my reviews and comments. Give it a shot, it’s a FREE app. Go there now: http://apps.facebook.com/readinglist

I love comments so don’t forget to say G’day to this Aussie in Silicon Valley.

~ Ernest