Startup Books


The Bibles of the lean or smart startup are:

1.) Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder


Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow’s enterprises. If your organization needs to adapt to harsh new realities, but you don’t yet have a strategy that will get you out in front of your competitors, you need Business Model Generation.  Co-created by 470 “Business Model Canvas” practitioners from 45 countries, the book features a beautiful, highly visual, 4-color design that takes powerful strategic ideas and tools, and makes them easy to implement in your organization. It explains the most common Business Model patterns, based on concepts from leading business thinkers, and helps you reinterpret them for your own context. You will learn how to systematically understand, design, and implement a game-changing business model–or analyze and renovate an old one. Along the way, you’ll understand at a much deeper level your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and your core value proposition.


2.) The Startup Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf

Startup-Owners-ManualMore than 100,000 entrepreneurs rely on this book for detailed, step-by-step instructions on building successful, scalable, profitable startups.  The National Science Foundation pays hundreds of startup teams each year to follow the process outlined in the book, and it’s taught at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia and more than 100 other leading universities worldwide.  Why?

The Startup Owner’s Manual guides you, step-by-step, as you put the Customer Development process to work. This method was created by renowned Silicon Valley startup expert Steve Blank, acknowledged catalyst of the “Lean Startup” movement, and tested and refined by him for more than a decade.  This 608-page how-to guide includes over 100 charts, graphs, and diagrams, plus 77 valuable checklists that guide you as you drive your company toward profitability.

3.)  The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development


In this book, you will learn how to…

  • Develop and iterate your “Minimal Viable Products” (MVPs)
  • Segment markets, position products and when to pivot
  • Validate before scaling
  • Find prospects and how to approach them

In this small but powerful book you will learn all of the steps necessary to pivot to startup success. 



4.) The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

lean startup eric ries

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.  The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively.  Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs – in companies of all sizes – a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

Other Important Books include…

Lessons Learned from Leading Entrepreneurs

by: Todd Finkle

This book provides case study examples up and growth of some of the most successful, powerful, and charismatic entrepreneurs of our generation. You will learn how several famous entrepreneurs started and built their companies. You will learn about their childhoods and experiences that formed their personalities as entrepreneurs.

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book1Customer Development for Entrepreneurs

by: Mike Fishbein

Mike validated and launched three new consumer technology products, advises Fortune 500 companies, and is the founder of in New York City. He is an expert in customer development and lean product strategy, and customer acquisition. The book is a perfect complement to Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

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book3aJust Start

by: Leonard Schlesinger & Charles Kiefer (Babson)

Written by Babson College professors, this book outlines their Creaction version of lean startup. It relies on ETA or entrepreneurial thought in action. Before taking any action, answer four questions –is it feasible, is it worth doing, does a market exist, and do I want to do it? Then, you take action, gain additional insights, and build on what you learn.

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Lean Customer Development

by: Cindy Alvarez

Build products your customers will buy. How to validate product and company ideas through customer development research before you waste months and millions on a product or service non one needs or wants. Provides open-ended interviews and fast, flexible research techniques to learn the problems customers need to solve.

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book5All In Startup

by: Diana Kander

Launching a new idea when everything is on the line told as a novel. The beautiful Samantha provides a lifeline for entrepreneurs thinking about launching a new idea or for those who have already started by can’t generate traction. The answer is a new scientific method for innovation.

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emythThe E-Myth Revisited

by: Michael E. Gerber

Assumptions get in the way of running a small business, Gerber applies systems and the lessons of franchising to any business whether or not a franchise. This book enables an entrepreneur to grow their business in a predictable and productive way.

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book8Getting to Plan B

by: John Mullins & Randy Komisar

How to change plans in real time as challenges arise. This book is the handbook for the mindset and moves required to lead a company in today’s ever-changing world. Mullins and Komisar challenge and redefine how organizational strategy and innovation should be managed.

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lean product playbookThe Lean Product Playbook

by: Dan Olson

How to innovate with minimum viable products and rapid customer feedback.   How to build products customers want by determining your target customer, identifying underserved customer needs, defining your value proposition, specifying your MVP feature set, creating your MVP prototype, and testing your MVP with customers.

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