Excellent Startup Resources

There is an overwhelming amount of startup resources out there today. Although that's not a bad thing the big question is where to start? I've read and listened to plenty of them and the quality can vary greatly.

Rather than provide an exhaustive list, I thought I would highlight some resources I've found useful and have also recommended to clients who are looking to immerse themselves in this space.

Running Lean - Ash Maurya (book)

Lean startup methodology has influenced not only startups but also been applied to larger corporations to help them be more nimble in releasing and iterating new products and services. ‘The Lean Startup’  by Peter Ries is basically the bible for running a modern startup.

The reason I’ve picked Running Lean over 'The Lean Startup' is that it takes the best of lean methodology and gives the reader a practical approach to implementing it within their business.

I recommend this book to every client I speak to who wants to take a practical approach to either scoping out the viability of their business idea or who needs a structure for bringing their idea to life and growing it. If you’re only going to read one book then start here.

Running Lean

Zero To One - Peter Thiel (book)

American entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel is startup royalty. He's the founder of PayPal and Palantir (big data analysis company), the first outside investor in Facebook (paying only $500,000 for a 10.2% stake!) and started VC funds Founders Fund and Valar Ventures.

In Zero To One, Peter’s categorises future looking business ideas into either horizontal or vertical progress. Horizontal progress comes from expanding on existing ideas and innovations. Vertical progress comes from creating something new which didn’t exist before - going from zero to one. He believes vertical progress and a monopolistic position is what a business should be striving for. In his opinion monopolies are good as they encourage strong innovation in order to break it, which in turn drives progress.

Thiel goes on to cover the elements he believes a big and profitable and company require to succeed. Overall, it’s an inspiring read into the mind and approach of a highly successful entrepreneur. 

Zero To One

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products - Nir Eyal (book) 

Hooked explains the psychology of how habits are formed, in order to show you how to build or enhance your own products to take advantage of this. Eyal argues that once a person develops a habit it’s hard for them to shake so habit forming traits in products lead to long term customers.

Eyal goes through a four step approach called the ’Hook Model’ to apply to your own product development or website which will develop habit forming behaviour in your customers. The result should be that your product builds a loyal user base who also recommend it to friends and colleagues... and then success!

It’s a great read that will have you analysing the behavioural psychology of your favourite go to apps and regularly used products.

Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products

The 20 Minute VC - Harry Stebbings (Podcast)

The idea behind this weekly podcast is to interview a prominent venture capitalist for 20 minutes. And the story of Harry Stebbings is just as interesting as his podcast.

At just twenty years of age Harry has been running this successful podcast for two years, born out of an obsessive interest in the startup industry. And it’s paid off for him with his profile and respect in the industry seeing him become the worlds youngest venture capitalist after taking on a VC role at Atomico. 

The 20 Minute VC podcast

Recode Decode with Kara Swisher (Podcast)

Recode Decode is hosted by highly respected tech journalist Kara Swisher. In each episode Kara interviews a highly influential tech or business leader.

What’s refreshing about this podcast is that Kara isn’t overawed by her subjects - rather she’s not afraid to ask the tough questions and likes to get their thoughts on current issues surrounding tech. It’s an essential weekly dose of thoughts from the minds who are shaping today’s technology scene.

Recode Decode podcast

Tomasz TUnguz (Blog)

Redpoint Ventures VC and ex Googler Tomasz Tunguz provides almost daily insight into the startup and venture capital worlds. There is a strong focus on SaaS startups but most of the information he shares can be applied to any startup.

No matter what the topic - fundraising, pricing strategies, data analytics or pressing current industry issues, Tomas provides a thoughtful perspective and a deep level of insight. 

Tomasz Tunguz blog


Additional Resources

Mixergy - Startup Stories (podcast)

Both Sides of The Table (blog)

Mattermark Daily (blog)

Startupland - Mikkel Svane (book)