5 Must Read Books for Entrepreneurs

Yesterday while digging an article, it asked me to describe what the Digg and particualrly cared to say not to put title says it all, because it is lame. But WATBlog isn’t Digg, so I will move to this post saying the title says it all.

Maverick: The success Story of the Most Unusual Workplace.

The book first published in 1988 is Brazil most successful non fiction work.  Semler, the 34-year-old CEO, or “counselor,” of Semco, a Brazilian manufacturing firm, describes how he turned his successful company into a “natural business” in which employees hire and evaluate their bosses, dress however they want, participate in major decisions, and share in 22 percent of the profits. Semler believes that Semco is different from most companies that have participatory management because employees are given the power to make decisions–even ones, with which the CEO wouldn’t normally agree. Best for the non-delegating leader in you.

The Art of Start

Guy Kawasaki’s 4 year old best seller is one of the most talked and blogged about books for entrepreneurs.  The book deals with some of the most prominent questions startups face. What does it take to turn ideas into action? What are the elements of a perfect pitch? How do you win the war for talent? How do you establish a brand without bucks? The former Apple evanglist and venture capitalist answers it all.

The High Performance Entrepreneur

This is my personal favorite by Mindtree Co-Founder Subroto Bagchi. The book includes how to decide when one is ready to launch an enterprise, selecting a team, defining the values and objectives of the company and writing the business plan to choosing the right investors, managing adversity and building the brand. This is specially recommended for high achievers who want to build high potential organizations.. you know the next Google kind of thing.

The Long Tail

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson speaks about how the future of business is in selling less of more. The book’s title quickly went on become the catchphrase among Internet marketers and enjoys an iconic status among new age entrepreneurs. Anderson uses its examples from Google, Rhapsody, iTunes, Amazon, Netflix and eBay to show how the growth in a world without inventory is beyond the idea of selling more of less going towards selling to individual demands and small deep niches.


The autobiography of Lee Iacocca. The inspirational manager talks the story of his life that went saw the highs and lows as prominent player in the American automobile industry. The book primarily recounts the birth of the American classic Mustang and how it changed the face the industry while Lee got even with Ford. Lee Iacocca is an inspirational figure among many top managers of the world for his tenacity and skill and the grit he displayed to bring Chrysler back from the brink of bankruptcy. Must Read.

These are my personal favourites among the books by entrepreneurs and for entrepreneurs that I have read. Do you have any to add on to this list that you reccommend?

13 Responses to “5 Must Read Books for Entrepreneurs”

  1. January 14, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    And for those seeking inspiration there’s also Losing my Virginity.

  2. January 14, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    Nice collection!

    I would add
    “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton M. Christensen
    “Founders at work” by Jessica Livingston.
    These two are my personal favourites.


  3. January 14, 2009 at 12:11 pm #


    How can you miss The google story ,very inspiring.

  4. January 14, 2009 at 9:59 pm #

    Thanks for the list, I like Founders at work too

  5. January 15, 2009 at 12:46 pm #


    Thanks for the list. I am sure you must have really struggled to limit your list, however, I am not sure if “The Long Tail” belongs to the list, strictly speaking.

    Some other books on starting a company, building it, marketing it and leadership that I like are: Good to Great, Retire Young Retire Rich, In Search of Excellence, Grinding It Out: The Making Of McDonald’s.

  6. January 15, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    Nice collection, and as you rightly mentioned “To read”. If you want to follow something, follow stuff from “Execution”, by Ram Charan.

    - Namit

  7. January 16, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    Made in America by Sam Walton!!

  8. January 18, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    How can you miss out “it all happened in india by kishore biyani”

  9. January 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

    Thanks for all the comments and inputs guys..all the stuff you mentioned are quality resources, thanks for adding them here.

    I have purposely left out inspiring Autobiographies and stuck to books that answer specific questions on building businesses and running them. Iaccoca was an exception because his story was primarily about rebuilding a nearly bankrupt business, so was looking at this list from a resource point of view..which I’m sure even the bios of all the fabulous entrepreneurs you mentioned are at a certain level.

    @Himanshu – those two are going on my to read list straightaway… :)

    @Madhav – I included the long tail purely because it asks entrepreneurs to look at business scale in a different way, and in a world that is going niche (especially the digital world) the long tail provides a very interesting perspective..and so it found its way..

    Thanks once again all..

  10. Umang Joshi
    April 25, 2009 at 11:33 am #

    Nice list!

    Surprisingly, no one had bookmarked this article on stumbleupon. Now I have done that, so more stumblers (entrepreneurs) will be able to discover this list.


  11. CJ Jacob
    May 13, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    Felt Good to have chanced upon your site.
    Planning to include a couple of books listed into my collection.
    Intend to enter into bussiness at age 46 ( during recession ), after having served in the defence ( 20 yrs ) and corporate sector ( 4 yrs in project mgt in the IT sector).
    Main motivation is to create a bussiness that will give me better control over time and improve living standard.
    Any suggestions ?

  12. January 14, 2010 at 2:48 am #

    Two more lists: http://bit.ly/asVYN & http://retwt.me/265C

  13. September 3, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    Another one from subroto bagchi ‘The Professional’ is a must read too.This books focuses on the individual, the DNA a person should have to become a successful entrepreneur or a professional.

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