We are often asked at the Entrepreneurship Clinic about good books for those starting their own companies and for attorneys aspiring to be better-versed on startup issues. The following are resources we often recommend.
Finding a Repeatable and Scalable Business Model: One of the most important things for entrepreneurs to understand is the importance of identifying their potential customers and understanding what those customers want. The following books are essential texts for understanding the importance of customer discovery and development and validating one’s value proposition hypothesis before wasting resources building something that customer’s won’t buy.
Legal Basics for Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs face numerous legal issues in the early stages and it is important for entrepreneurs to have a basic understanding of common startup legal questions (such as incorporation, IP, employment law, early stage financing, contracts) so they can be a smart consumer of legal services. The following books are essential guides for entrepreneurs or attorneys seeking to become more familiar with startup legal issues.
Equity Compensation: Almost all startups rely on equity (such as restricted stock or options) to incentivize employees. The following book provides a comprehensive, and plan language, explanation of the business, tax, and legal issues related to equity.
Venture Financing: The goal of most startups is to attract outside capital in order to rapidly scale their business. The following text by venture capitalists Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson explains the mechanics and substance of venture capital deals in an easy to understand way. They also include insights from entrepreneurs and focus on which terms matter, and which terms don’t.
The Entrepreneurial Mindset: The following book provides a great insight into the “entrepreneurial mindset” and can help entrepreneurs better understand themselves and those around them. It also can help those who work with entrepreneurs to better understand their colleagues or clients.
Enjoy your reading!