5 must-read books for startup founders in 2022

Published on July 12, 2022
Venkat Sridhar
Content Writer, Rafiki.ai

Startups evolve rapidly. New founders are left with no choice but to adapt quickly.

And one major consequence of this – many strategies related to startups fail to stand the test of time.

But there are some exceptions.

Certain time-tested pearls of wisdom related to startups are still available today in the form of books.

To borrow a popular quote – “It’s no secret that to learn more, one has to read more.”

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Yes, the best place to kickstart your learning about the startup ecosystem is ‘books.’ This collection of thoughts is a treasure trove of knowledge that teaches you everything and anything from managing time to managing your employees.

We also understand that as a startup founder, you will not have the luxury to search for books, read reviews, and zero in on these books.

So to cut you some slack, we have come up with 5 must-read books for every startup founder out there to have a successful run in the startup world.

#1 Zero to One

This book offers a deep glimpse of how startup ventures are meant to be. Authored by Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal and an early investor in Facebook, this book is full of challenging ideas backed by solid justifications that are apt for various startup scenarios.  

While this book is ideal for those building tech startups, there are a bunch of brilliant ideas that could contribute to your growth as a startup founder, irrespective of the domain.

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Going From Zero To One According To Peter Thiel

# 2 The lean startup

Authored by Eric Ries and a bestseller on Amazon, this book not only showcases how to operate your startup but also how to use minimal resources to do it. Most startups do not have adequate capital to fund their ventures in the initial days. This is where the Lean Startup comes in handy. 

This book is replete with ideas such as favoring experimentation over planning, customer feedback over assumptions, and iterative design over the traditional waterfall model. Many of the ideas proposed by this book, such as Minimum Viable Product and prioritizing customer feedback, have already made a mark in most modern startups. 

Eric Ries talks about his book at Google

#3 Blue Ocean strategy

This book is perfect for three kinds of startup founders –

  • The ones who love to adopt a customer-centric approach
  • Those who want to avoid competition when they set afoot in the startup world. 
  • Those who are already established but need to distinguish themselves from their rival brands

Yes, you guessed it right, basically this book is for every startup founder out there. This book encourages startup founders to stay out of the red ocean of competition by tapping into uncontested market spaces. This involves creating and capturing new demands, redefining market boundaries, etc.

The crux of the blue ocean strategy is value and innovation. This is not just about technology innovation or being the first to enter the market in a new category. Instead, it is all about redefining the problem, crossing market boundaries, and serving exceptional value to the buyers.

Blue Ocean Strategy

#4 Hooked

Questions like these race through our minds more often than not – 

  • How do some products capture widespread attention, while others fail?
  • What makes us like some products and not others?
  • Why do certain technologies hook us? 

The book Hooked has all the answers for you. Authored by Nir Ayal, this book is the end product of years of research, consulting, practical knowledge, and experience of the author. The book is for marketers, designers, product managers, and mainly startup founders who are keen to understand how products influence human behavior.

#5 Start with why

This book revolves around a simple but powerful quote – “People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do.” When you know why you do something, you have a sense of belonging, and customers resonate with that. This is a very important lesson for all newbie startup founders out there. The book tells you to communicate why, then follow it with how, and finally reveal what you actually do. 

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Starting with Why

Winding up…

The above-suggested books can greatly contribute to your startup growth. As a founder, your job is to pick valuable lessons from these books and apply them to your startup. 

Initially, all of your strategies come from customer feedback. As founders, you have to be on the ground with your customers helping them all the way through.  These details are critical to your business, but what if a tool records and helps you turn those insights into actions that have a significant business impact – that too with minimal intervention. That’s Rafiki for you.

Rafiki gives deep data about all conversations in the organization
Rafiki gives you deep, granular insights into all your conversations.

Rafiki records, transcribes, and analyses all your customer-facing meetings. The conversation intelligence platform creates automatic notes and allows your team to create meeting video snippets that they can use both internally and externally for following up on action items. Apart from creating a treasure trove of knowledge for your business, Rafiki also ensures that your meetings convert to closed deals by helping you deliver a seamless buying experience for your customers.

From automatically creating meeting notes to helping you develop a deal-winning strategy, Rafiki is the only tool that ensures all your customer conversations convert to closed deals. Want to know more? Book a free consultation with our product experts now.

P.S: Unlike other conversation intelligence solutions, Rafiki has no user minimums. It even has a metered pricing option, and special prices for startups.

⋙ Checkout how Rafiki helps SDR's to convert more leads

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