Best business books according to HackerNews
Want to read more on the business topic but don’t know where to start?
Bestseller lists don’t seem credible, and figuring out on your own takes too much time and effort. In the end, you find yourself disappointed with another business book. Don’t be!
A beautiful human being, Tracy Henry, compiled a list of 40,000 HackerNews book recommendations identified using NLP and deep learning; how cool is that?
We picked the top 7 in the Business & Money category, enjoy, read the description, and add to your reading list if you haven’t already.
#7 The Mom Test: How to Talk to Customers & Learn If Your Business Is a Good Idea When Everyone Is Lying to You by Rob Fitzpatrick
96 HackerNews comments
Get ready to put on your detective hat and sharpen your interviewing skills, because “The Mom Test” by Rob Fitzpatrick is about to take you on a thrilling journey through the world of customer research.
Fitzpatrick argues that traditional customer research methods are often flawed, because customers don’t always tell you the truth. They may be polite or vague in their feedback, or they may not want to hurt your feelings by telling you what they really think. This can lead to inaccurate information that can sink your business before it even gets off the ground.
But fear not, because Fitzpatrick provides practical advice on how to conduct customer research that truly gets to the heart of what your customers want and need. He emphasizes the importance of asking open-ended questions that focus on the customer’s problems and experiences, rather than your own preconceptions about what they want.
Fitzpatrick’s writing is engaging and entertaining, with plenty of real-life examples to illustrate his points. He shares stories of his own experiences conducting customer research, including the mistakes he’s made and the lessons he’s learned along the way.
So whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, “The Mom Test” is a must-read. You’ll come away with practical strategies for conducting customer research that truly helps you understand your customers’ needs, all while being entertained and informed along the way. So grab your notebook and get ready to start asking the right questions!
There’s a pretty great book on this called The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick. It talks at length about the challenges, especially, of getting _honest_ feedback from prospective users. And it has a lot of ideas to that effect.
Sounds good so far. Look into making personas, a sort of summary abstraction of types of users and their context. Ask good questions. Read The Mom Test.
I would also recommend ‘the mom test’ audiobook. It’s a wonderful book for new entrepreneurs.
#6 Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
100 HackerNews comments
“Good to Great” by Jim Collins is about to take you on a road through the world of business and leadership! This book is like a rollercoaster of insights and revelations, packed with practical advice for anyone looking to build a truly great company.
Collins and his team of researchers studied hundreds of companies to identify the characteristics that set the truly great ones apart from the merely good. They found that great companies share certain key traits, such as a strong culture of discipline, a focus on hiring the right people, and a willingness to confront harsh realities head-on.
But this isn’t just a book about what makes great companies great. Collins also provides practical advice on how to take a good company and turn it into a great one. He emphasizes the importance of setting audacious goals, creating a culture of accountability, and building a team of top performers who are committed to the company’s mission.
Collins’ writing is both informative and entertaining. He uses real-world examples and memorable anecdotes to illustrate his points, making the book a joy to read. You’ll learn about everything from the military to the restaurant industry, all while gaining a deeper understanding of what it takes to build a truly great company.
So if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, “Good to Great” is the book for you. You’ll come away feeling inspired and informed, with practical strategies for building a great company that can stand the test of time.
Have you read Good to Great? The book describe those founders as rockstar CEOs. Very charismatic and good for morale, but not so much for business.
I read “Good to Great”, it’s an awesome book for mature companies, but not really relevant for startups. Though never mentioned, I can sort of see Google fitting the profile of an up-and-coming “great company” according to the author’s definition (one that will beat the market over the long term).
Depends who you ask. Everyone seems to invent the definition that local-optimize for themselves. The book Good To Great goes into the dynamics, outside of IT, so is a general pattern.
#5 High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove
131 HackerNews comments
Are you ready to take your management skills to the next level? Then get ready for “High Output Management” by Andrew S. Grove, a book that will take you on a thrilling ride through the world of leadership and productivity.
Grove, a former CEO of Intel, shares his insights on how to effectively manage teams and achieve high output in any organization. He emphasizes the importance of setting clear goals and creating a culture of accountability, while also providing practical advice on how to manage time, meetings, and communication.
But this isn’t just a dry textbook on management theory. Grove’s writing is engaging and accessible, with plenty of colorful anecdotes and real-life examples to illustrate his points. He shares stories from his time at Intel, including the challenges of leading a rapidly-growing company and the importance of adapting to changing market conditions.
Grove’s writing is infused with his own unique sense of humor and personality. He peppers his writing with witty asides and memorable quotes, such as “Only the paranoid survive.” You’ll feel like you’re learning from a mentor who truly cares about your success.
So whether you’re a seasoned manager or just starting out, “High Output Management” is a must-read. You’ll come away with practical strategies for leading teams and achieving high output, all while being entertained and inspired along the way.
Also the best book I’ve read so far on management is the excellent High Output Management by Andy Grove. Still incredibly relevant.
What a loss. High Output Management remains one of the finest books on our industry that I have read, and I’m glad we have that to help carry his torch forward.
High Output Management by Andy Grove. Great resource that I re-read every year or so
#4 The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
136 HackerNews comments
Get ready to roll up your sleeves and dive into the gritty, real-world challenges of building a business with “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz. This book is like a crash course in entrepreneurship, filled with practical advice and hard-won insights from someone who’s been in the trenches.
Horowitz doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties of starting and running a business. He shares stories of the tough decisions he’s had to make, from firing close friends to navigating layoffs during a recession. He emphasizes the importance of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity, and provides strategies for staying focused and motivated even when things get tough.
But don’t worry, this isn’t just a book about the struggles of entrepreneurship. Horowitz also provides concrete advice on how to build a successful company, from hiring and firing to product development and fundraising. He shares lessons he’s learned from successful leaders like Steve Jobs and Andy Grove, as well as his own experiences building and selling companies.
Horowitz’s writing is engaging and entertaining. He uses humor and colorful anecdotes to illustrate his points, making the book both informative and enjoyable to read. You’ll feel like you’re sitting down for a one-on-one conversation with a seasoned entrepreneur who’s willing to share everything he’s learned.
So if you’re ready to tackle the hard things about building a business, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” is the book for you. You’ll come away feeling inspired, informed, and ready to take on whatever challenges come your way.
As far as easy to digest resources go, Ben Horowitz’s “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” is a great reference as to what skills a good CEO should have.
I really loved “The hard thing about hard things” by Ben Horowitz — he directly addresses this issue, and his writing style is light years more engaging than your typical management literature.
I’ve always liked that notion (phrased slightly differently), “Hire for strengths, not to avoid weaknesses.” which IIRC I first came across in “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” (Horowitz)
#3 The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
168 HackerNews comments
“The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton M. Christensen is a wild ride through the world of innovation and disruption! This book is like a shot of adrenaline for anyone interested in business strategy and the forces that shape the marketplace.
Christensen argues that successful companies often fall victim to their own success, becoming complacent and resistant to change. They focus on improving their existing products rather than pursuing new, disruptive technologies that could potentially upend their entire industry. Meanwhile, upstart companies with nothing to lose are free to experiment with new ideas and technologies, ultimately disrupting the established players.
But this isn’t just a book about the dangers of complacency. Christensen provides a framework for understanding the forces that drive innovation and disruption, and offers strategies for established companies to stay ahead of the curve. He emphasizes the importance of creating a culture of innovation and experimentation, and of pursuing disruptive technologies even when they don’t fit neatly into the company’s existing product portfolio.
Christensen’s writing is anything but dry and academic. He uses colorful metaphors and real-world examples to illustrate his points, making the book both entertaining and informative. You’ll learn about everything from steel mills to disk drives to motorcycles, all while gaining a deeper understanding of the forces that shape the business world.
This seems kind of pedantic but the guy gets it. And if you’re a tech entrepreneur and you haven’t read “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” it’s quite likely you’re doing it wrong.
If you want a book full of examples check out The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen. He explains the idea of disruptive innovation through a series of examples.
Christensen is incredibly smart and has real research on businesses. For more see The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution, which IMO are the two best business books on the market today.
#2 The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
188 HackerNews comments
Buckle up, folks, because “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham is like a rollercoaster ride for your brain! This book is considered the bible of value investing and has been guiding investors for over 70 years.
Graham breaks down the complex world of investing into easy-to-understand concepts, such as the difference between investing and speculation and the importance of analyzing a company’s financial statements. He emphasizes the need to be patient and disciplined in making investment decisions, rather than following the latest trends or succumbing to fear and greed.
Graham peppers his writing with witty anecdotes and memorable quotes, such as “In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” He also includes case studies and real-life examples to illustrate his points, making it an engaging and practical read.
And even though the book was originally published in 1949, it has been updated and revised to reflect the modern investing landscape. The revised edition includes new commentary by financial journalist Jason Zweig, who provides updated examples and insights.
So whether you’re a seasoned investor or just dipping your toes into the world of finance, “The Intelligent Investor” is a must-read. Graham’s timeless principles will help you navigate the ups and downs of the market and make informed decisions that will lead to long-term success.
Go read the Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. Then go automate your investments as much as possible and don’t touch them.
Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor elucidates the principles of value investing as opposed to risky gambling. This is a book recommended by Warren Buffett too.
They say that Warren Buffet’s favorite book is The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham.
#1 The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
243 HackerNews comments
Are you tired of starting a business only to see it crash and burn? Well, fear not our entrepreneurial friend, for “The Lean Startup” is here to guide you to success! Written by the startup guru Eric Ries, this book is like a business bible for the modern era.
Ries breaks down the lean startup methodology into three simple steps: build, measure, and learn. Instead of wasting time and money on building a perfect product that may not even be what customers want, Ries advocates for creating a minimum viable product (MVP) that can be quickly tested and improved upon based on customer feedback.
The book is chock-full of real-life examples, including Ries’ own experiences, that demonstrate how this approach has been successful for startups ranging from tech companies to brick-and-mortar stores. He also delves into the importance of using data to make decisions, creating a culture of experimentation, and constantly iterating to stay ahead of the competition.
But don’t be fooled, this isn’t just a dry business book. Ries infuses humor and personality into his writing, making it an enjoyable and engaging read. Plus, the principles he outlines can be applied to any industry, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to start or grow a business.
I suggest you to read this book: The Lean Startup. It explain how to drive your startup using tests and how to validate your strategy or change it. They are many examples of successful business who has changed their strategy many times before getting successful.
I’ve just finished reading The Lean Startup. There is so much in there that is relevant to this if you haven’t already read it I highly recommend you check it out. Especially the sections on engines of growth and metrics.
I recommend reading The Lean Startup. I found it full of good ideas. One example: cohort analysis. You might already be familiar with all the concepts and ideas in the book, but even then I think the various examples of real companies doing some of these things will be inspiring.