These are books I’ve read and highly recommend:


  1. The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
    Absolutely essential reading that makes you challenges your startup assumptions, ideally while you stil have the runway to experiment and validate them. I had the pleasure of taking one of Steve Blank’s classes and even after heaving read this material and still found it incredibly useful. I’ve come back to this book many times and it always helps me.
  2. Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
    Grounds your marketing in reality. Explains why you shouldn’t tackle the mainstream market first and suggests approaches for how to do so when you’re ready.
  3. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
    Explains why and how innovation usually swallows the incumbents in a market whole. Full of detailed examples. Likely one of the best researched books I’ve ever read.
  4. Getting Real by 37signals (Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson, and Matthew Linderman)
    A quick, no-nonsense approach to building a web app by smart folks who can back it up.
  5. Rework by 37signals (Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson)
    A follow-up to Getting Real that’s more focused on the business side of things. Reads like their blog. Nicely illustrated.
  6. Getting to Plan B by John Mullins and Randy Komisar
    Much like the Four Steps, approaches your startup as an organization in search of a business model and encourages you to document, track, and share your hypotheses to track progress. Excellent and often overlooked companion to the lean startup movement.
  7. Getting Things Done by David Allen
    An exceptionally organized approach to less stress for your entire life but especially useful for managing the chaos of a startup.


  1. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman
    More than any other design book, makes you open your eyes and approach the world of problem-solving very differently
  2. Don’t Think of an Elephant! by George Lakoff
    Will make you rethink how you use language. If you think language isn’t part of design, you especially need to read this.
  3. The Non-Designer’s Design & Type Books by Robin Williams
    Wonderful and gentle introduction to the basics of design and typography.
  4. The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett
    Quick, delightful overview of how information architecture, user experience, and visual design fit together in web design.
  5. CSS Mastery by Simon Collison, Andy Budd, and Cameron Moll
    The best collection of CSS tidbits I’ve ever read. Full of useful, practical approaches, cover to cover.

(Web) Development

  1. Getting Real by 37signals (Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson, and Matthew Linderman)
    A quick, no-nonsense approach to building a web app by smart folks who can back it up.
  2. JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford
    Quite possibly the only JavaScript book you’ll ever need.
  3. The Rails 3 Way by Obie Fernandez
    The most comprehensive Rails book. You almost won’t need Google.
  4. Pragmatic Version Control Using Git by Travis Swicegood
    Strong introduction to a powerful tool not written for human beings.
  5. Beginning Unix by Paul Love, Joe Merlino, Craig Zimmerman, Jeremy C. Reed, and Paul Weinstein
    A wonderful introduction to the building blocks of all that command line wizardry that’s written for beginners instead of 40-year veterans who grew up hacking a PDP-7.
Comments are closed.