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14 Must-Read Books for New Startup Hires

AllBusiness.com

What better way to welcome a new employee than by setting them up for immediate success with a book about the industry? That’s why we asked 14 members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what they always have waiting on new hires‘ desks.

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Q. What is the best startup-related book to give a new hire on their first day?

1. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Zero to One helped inspire me to really stand out above the crowd and go above and beyond. We truly have to create a company that isn’t just doing what everyone else is doing. Going from zero to one takes a human that’s willing to test something that hasn’t been done before. We need more employees like that! – Peter DaisymeHost

2. Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinmeier Hansson

Rework, by Basecamp co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinmeier Hansson, is required reading for all of our employees on their first days. It’s a fantastic book that helps break a lot of bad (read: corporate) habits, debunk myths and set the stage for an environment where people work smarter, not harder. It’s very likely the best book I’ve ever read for startups, and I’ve readhundreds. – Brittany HodakZinePak

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3. 7 Principles to Live a Champion Life by John Di Lemme

With over 11,000 downloads and a 4.72 star rating, John Di Lemme’s book 7 Principles to Live a Champion Life is a terrific gift for a new hire. As it’s not business related it won’t seem like homework. In fact, it teaches readers how to live a richer, more fulfilling life, which I firmly believe will positively impact your business. – Nicolas GremionFree-eBooks.net

4. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

I recommend that all new hires entering the startup world readBen Horowitz’s book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, prior to their first day. It helps paint a new picture with the thrills and chills of the roller coaster journey we’re all riding together to achieve our business goals.   – Kelsey RechtVenueBook

5. The Art of the Idea by John Hunt

The Art of the Idea by John Hunt helps to rid new employees of mental blocks they may have encountered over the years. The essence of a startup is about a fresh way of filling a void or solving a problem. Often ideas are bubbling up frequently and incorporate just as quickly. Allowing ideas to flow and flourish is an essential concept to learn in order to assimilate into a startup seamlessly. – Kim KaupeZinePak

6. Traction By Gabriel Weinberg

Traction is the user acquisition bible for startups. It walks through 19 different customer acquisition methods, explaining the costs and benefits of each method, and outlines a framework for determining which acquisition channels are most appropriate for growing your business. – Sathvik TantryFormSwift

7. Smartcuts by Shane Snow

To inspire your employees and encourage both professional and personal growth, I highly recommend ordering a copy of Smartcuts. In it, entrepreneur and media superstar Shane Snow illustrates how the most successful people in the world rose through the ranks as quickly and strategically as possible (and how you can too). – Firas KittanehAmerisleep

8. The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge

Peter Senge, the author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, articulates what an organization that puts learning first looks like. Companies exist to learn: from the market, from customers and from their employees. Inculcating these values in new employees is paramount to responding to an ever-changing landscape. – Avery FisherRemedify

9. Give and Take by Adam Grant

Adam Grant’s Give and Take is a must-read for all. It’s jam-packed with not only good business strategies, but good life strategies as well. – Jeff SlobotskiRouter Ventures

10. Swim With the Sharks by Harvey Mackay

Harvey Mackay’s book Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, is a book we make all new hires read at Escape Inc. It is a quick read with lots of tactical advice for how to survive in the startup environment.   – Matt AmesMN Pro Paintball, Escape MSP, Challenge for Children’s

11. Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by Arbinger Institute

Getting things done is all about forming and improving relationships, especially in the workplace. This book takes a look at how we all deceive ourselves against doing what should come so naturally: serving and caring for others. Leadership and Self-Deception teaches us how to avoid this behavioral flaw, and how to have deeper and more meaningful interactions with those we live and work with. – Dan PickettLaunch Academy

12. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

The Art of the Start is a step-by-step playbook that focuses on what really matters in a startup without the fluff. I keep this book handy because it provides bulleted-style templates for many situations a startup faces like sales pitches, branding, product validation, pricing and bootstrapping. – Faraz KhanKhan

13. The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

The Ultimate Sales Machine revolutionized the way I manage my time. Now I don’t just schedule deadlines, I schedule time to work on things. It taught me to map out my day and respect the calendar; to make a plan and then work the plan. Chet’s book also helped me realize that when saying “yes” to something, I was saying “no” to something else. Ultimately, it helped me prioritize and stay on track. – Nicole MunozStart Ranking Now

14. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin

Anyone who creates or makes something in anyway is an artist, according to Seth Godin in his book The Icarus Deception. When do we grow a business just to make money? It’s important not to let the “job” blind you from the real purpose of your work. Growing a startup can be hard and downright stressful. This makes the importance of seeing your work as art, and yourself as the artist who will make your life more fulfilling in the end. – Cody McLainWireFuseMedia LLC

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