- “What Startups Are Really Like” by Paul Graham: This has to be the single best essay I read during 2009. Every entrepreneur should begin the startup journey with this essay. It bottles every essence of entrepreneurship and startups, and is chock-full of practical advise and tips that are applicable to anyone who dares to dream.
- “Milestones to Startup Success” by Sean Ellis: Ellis explains the need for minimum viable product, aka MVP, and then outlines how startups can go up his startup pyramid to find success.
- “Myth: Entrepreneurship Will Make You Rich” by Eric Ries: “One of the unfortunate side effects of all the publicity and hype surrounding startups is the idea that entrepreneurship is a guaranteed path to fame and riches. It isn’t,” Ries writes in this no-holds-barred essay about the challenges and pitfalls of being a startup founder.
- “What Is the Minimum Viable Product?” by Venture Hacks: A great audio conversation on the Venturehacks blog including a slide show.
- “The Power of Continuous Improvement” by Mike Speiser: In a guest post for us, Mike talks about the importance of metrics, feedback and how they can drive continuous improvement. Mike’s rules have found eager takers among our team.
- “Getting Comfortable With People Who Make You Uncomfortable” by Mike Speiser: In this article, Mike addresses the need for people who challenge conventional wisdom and make everyone around them uncomfortable — which is why every company needs them.
- “The Funnel Principle: Software & Making Money” by Tony Wright: It’s good to build great products, but in order to build great companies one needs to have more — a clear path of monetization, an attention magnet, and in general excellence at things beyond product development.
- “Does Every Startup Need a Steve Jobs?” by Andrew Chen: A dissection of how insanely great products are built by combining desirability, feasibility and viability. Read this post after reading Wright’s “Funnel Principle.”
- “Designing for Social Traction” by Josh Porter
- “Startup Killer: The Cost of Customer Acquisition” by David Skok: A definitive essay on startup business models, the perils of overoptimism, and the importance of cost of customer acquisitions. Skok is a 3-time entrepreneur with a lifetime of experience.
Self-serving: “What Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Derek Jeter” and “What Makes DJ Tick.”
Every startup guy should listen to Jobs’ speech before embarking on their journey.