Books Every Entrepreneur Needs To Read (this list is very venture capital heavy)

If it has not become 100% clear to everyone; I am obsessed with startups.  I like learning about ideas and how they turned into companies or products.  It always interested me what each person’s path was when creating their company.  That is part of reason why I created this blog, to share my obsession with the world and write articles about entrepreneurship and early-stage startup companies before they become well-known.  Below are a few of the books that I highly recommend entrepreneurs and people studying entrepreneurship should read (all of these books can be found on Amazon).

The Lean Startup – Eric Ries

I am in the process of reading this book now and let me just say, it is hard to put it down.  Without even being halfway through the book, I can already say that this is one of my favorite books ever!  Every entrepreneur should become well-versed with what is described as “lean thinking.”  Lean thinking or manufacturing was what really allowed Toyota to take off many years ago.  In this book, Eric Ries describes his own startup experiences and how (and why) lean thinking needs to be used.  Memorize this phrase – “Build-Measure-Learn.”  This phrase is one of the things that Eric Ries heavily discussing throughout the book (thus far at least).  I cannot wait to finish reading this book so that I can continue to learn a lot more about lean thinking.  Since I have just started the book, I can’t elaborate too much on its content (also I do not want to give anything away) – so go to Amazon and start reading this book today!

Venture Capital For Dummies – Nicole Gravagna & Peter K. Adams

I know what you are probably thinking…the name makes you not want to read this book.  However, the only thing dumb about this book is that you may have not read it yet.  Although this book is more of a reference than an interesting read, I still highly recommend it.  It gives a good, basic understanding of venture capital and can be very useful before reading more complex books that discuss venture capital and the process of raising money in general.

Mastering The VC Game – Jeffrey Bussang

Another great book for entrepreneurs to read is Jeffrey Bussang’s book, Mastering the VC Game.  Jeffrey Bussang has been on both sides of the field.  Early on in his career he was a successful entrepreneur and now he is a successful venture capitalist.  In the book, Jeffrey discusses his own entrepreneurial experiences and also uses conversations with successful startup founders and management to explain how they succeeded.  Some of the founders and mangers he speaks about in the book consist of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Christopher Westphal – Co-founder of Sirtris, as well as Gail Goodman – Former CEO of Constant Contact.  To learn more about this book, get it and start reading!

Term Sheets & Valuations – Alex Wilmerding

A lot of you are probably saying “Wow, this list includes a lot of venture capital books and not many about entrepreneurship.”  If you are thinking this, then you are probably correct.  The reason I place so much emphasis on venture capital-related books is because I feel that it is one of the most confusing parts of the whole entrepreneur process.  This book is a pretty dry read, but one that is so important.  It discusses the whole process of term sheets and valuations, thus allowing entrepreneurs to feel more confident when they are discussing them with venture capitalists.  Definitely read this book when you have a chance.

Honorable Mentions (books I haven’t read yet – but will read soon!)

The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau

Zero to One – Peter Thiel

Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Peter F. Drucker

The Startup Playbook – David Kidder

…and many more!


I suggest that you use Goodreads to organize what books you want to read – it links with Amazon and makes it easy to purchase books when the time comes.  Get out there and start reading more about entrepreneurship!

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