After reading president Barack Obama's summer reading list on Facebook today, I figured a small experiment would be worth doing. My experiment thesis: Do people care about what startup founders are reading? As for the five books I've read this summer, I believe their common theme is relevance. Relevance for me as a startup CEO, relevance for being a Silicon Valley startup, and relevance for the stage of our business.
So let's get started: Here is my summer reading list for 2018.
by Oren Klaff
I read Pitch Anything on a suggestion from Suraj Mehta ( 500 Startups) to help with our fundraising strategy. It's proven to be one of the more relevant and useful books I've read this year so far. In a nutshell: Own the room with frame control, it really is about status, and eradicate neediness. See also: Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff: My Takeaways
by Nick Mehta, Dan Steinman and Lincoln Murphy
On a recommendation from Roger Manson, our Senior Director of Customer Excellence, I picked up Customer Success. I found it to be timely and useful for where we are as a business. For example, it answered my questions about Revenue Churn and how to develop a Customer Health Score.
High Growth Handbook
by Elad Gil
I first heard about High Growth Handbook from a Justin Kan tweet. After pre-ordering it on Amazon, I ingested the book less than a week after its arrival, which for me is a fast clip. In a nutshell: If your startup has customers, revenue and traction- it's a must read. Also, Stripe is also a book publisher? Caveat: I found five or six typos in the book. I think it was rushed to print.
Very good so far pic.twitter.com/zGs0CaEDB4— Hoala Greevy (@HoalaGreevy) July 29, 2018
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
by John Carreyrou
This book was hard to put down! Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup is written by WSJ reporter John Carreyrou. Once valued at $9B, it was Carreyrou's October 2015 article in the Journal that first blew the lid off the Theranos scandal. I devoured it in three days, most of it at Caffe Trieste in San Francisco's North Beach. In a nutshell: The situation at Theranos was much worse than I thought and the movie promises to be superb.
The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership
by Richard Branson
A division of Virgin recently became a customer of ours, so I figured it would be a good idea to learn how Sir Richard Branson thinks. Turns out I already had The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership on hand, so I picked it out of my book queue and finished it. In a nutshell:
- The Virgin Way really is 'Screw it, let's do it!'
- Greatly admires Steve Jobs and Sir Winston Churchill
- April Fools pranks can only be done between midnight and noon on April 1st (official fool rules)
- Is dyslexic