Skip to Content
Koombea Culture
7 minutes read

An Unconventional List of Books for Tech Startups

By Jonathan Tarud
By Jonathan Tarud
Koombea Culture
7 minutes read

When it comes to recommending books for tech startups, it is common to see the same titles mentioned over and over again. This is very surprising. After all, there are many great books out there about a number of popular topics, ranging from business development to the famous lean startup methodology. There are also many great books on other not so popular topics like service design or startup culture.

There are some extremely popular titles that seem to always make it to the lists of top books that tech startups should read. Although the titles on most of these lists are without a doubt must reads, other great books are also worth your time if you want to increase your chances of business success. Building a startup requires knowing about many different things, and books are a great way to learn from the experiences of others. These increases your chances of success and decreases potential risks.

We know that tech entrepreneurs and startup founders don’t have much time available, so every chance they have to read needs to be worth it. We also know that exploring new and different ideas is a great way to build a lean startup with a great culture, a powerful brand, and a unique product. That’s why we have compiled this list of alternative business startup books that will help your path as a tech entrepreneur.

Traditional Books for Tech Startups

Before we share our list with you, it is important to mention that startup books that always make it to the lists of must-reads are great for a reason and you should probably read them. However, it is also worth mentioning that if you really want to stand out from the crowd, you need to look for different ideas and go beyond what everyone else is doing.

Moving away from the traditional ‘best business startup books’ reading lists will help you think differently and innovate. Most importantly, it will help you think about the things that others are not considering, and this might give you that edge you need to outsmart competitors. This is very important if you want to create radically successful businesses.

Reading the same books as others puts you in a position where you might end up doing the same things as everyone else, and you probably don’t want to be in that place. As a tech entrepreneur, you want your company to stand out and be recognized as unique. This will help you attract the attention of venture capitalists and the best talent who will eventually want to work with you.

An Alternative List of Books for Tech Startups

With that said, take a look at our alternative list of books that everyone working at tech startups should read, especially startup founders.

Good Services by Lou Downe

Few books explain what service design is in such a simple way. Whether your company offers a service or not, chances are you might probably have some service-like point of contact with users. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you understand how to design the right experience that will help you not only gain clients but also retain them.

One of the many characteristics of radically successful business is their ability to understand the user journey and design it based on their users. If you think this is something your company might benefit from, then this book is for you.

Creating Great Choices by Jennifer Rield & Roger Martin 

Have you ever felt that you have to choose between a limited set of choices when making critical decisions? Don’t worry, you are not the only one. More often than not, companies are faced with false dilemmas. This also holds true for any successful lean startup.

In this book, the authors introduce us to a way of thinking that tries to go beyond limiting beliefs. Ultimately, what they want is to make teams aware of the limitations that we sometimes impose ourselves when thinking about a problem.

It usually happens that the solution we are looking for is right in front of us if we dare to look at the situation from a different perspective. Isn’t this what startup founders are supposed to do anyway?

The User Experience Team of One by Leah Buley

The term User Experience is used very often, even if companies don’t really understand what it means. However, there is a reason for its popularity: designing one can help companies understand their users better and as a result, build better products and services.

This book focuses strongly on the importance of user research and how to conduct when you are by yourself. Whether you don’t have a team or don’t have people in your team who believe in the power of UX, this is a must read. We highly recommend this book for tech entrepreneurs who have few resources and want to get their digital product right from the start and build a lean startup.

The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier

What exactly is a brand and why does it matter for tech startups? If you can’t easily answer this question, you have to add this book to your reading list. You will learn what a brand is, why it matters, and how some of the world’s most radically successful businesses leverage its power to amplify their reach and engage with their clients. 

Although the idea of a brand sounds somewhat abstract, Neumeier does a great job of explaining it in a very entertaining and illustrative way. This is definitely a hidden gem that few people in the entrepreneurial world know of.

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

The term rockstar has become very popular among tech entrepreneurs, yet, we rarely think about what its implications are. In this powerful book, author Kim Scott analyzes what a rockstar is and adds another important concept: superstars. These are two of the most important pillars of any successful tech culture.

A great startup depends strongly on its culture and its leaders. So, if you are looking for a masterclass on leadership and how to create a great culture where people can flourish, this is the book for you. 

Go Beyond the Books and Start Doing

This eclectic list of books will surely help you on your journey to a successful business development in the tech industry. However, keep in mind that tech startups need more than good ideas. They also demand technological expertise that translates into clear benefits for your users. Having an outstanding digital product is necessary if you really want to go above and beyond.

A major aspect you probably need to consider to achieve this is who you partner with to develop your product. Most young companies don’t have the inhouse resources or expertise to develop a tech product on their own. That is why they often look for a trusted development partner. However, this is not an easy task. Finding a development partner can make or break even the best lean startup.

Make sure to find a development partner that understands the technical aspects of your startup. This means grasping the details of the industry as well as recommending the tech stack that is most convenient. Combining this technical knowledge with that of some of the best books for tech startups will surely help you develop a successful product and accelerate the growth of your startup. 

Girl With Glasses

Want to Build an App?

Contact Us