THE SAAS BLOG

7 Books EVERY SaaS Founder Should Read

Updated: June 22nd, 2024
Published: June 20th, 2024
Books you need to read to get ahead of competition as a SaaS founder. These reads will help you learn from the best and take growth to the next level.

Contents

Why should you read books as a SaaS founder?

Top SaaS founders don't make all the mistakes themselves. They learn from others, follow best practices, break rules, and know what works for them.

Every founder is different. Every startup is different.

But one thing is sure - reading can accelerate growth for your startup big time and get ahead of competition as a SaaS founder.

Also, reading makes you a better writing. And writing concise copy is something almost all founders are skilled in - whether it's writing a crispy cold email to your first potential customer, a convincing pitch to investors, or LinkedIn DM to an employee you want onboard.

SaaS founder reading books

As a SaaS founder I consistently read around 20-40 books per year, and have encoded it into a habit in my daily routine - even in to my identity. Majority of those books are in business and startups. Let's dive into my favourite reads in SaaS.

7 Best Books for SaaS founders - From 0 to exit

Here are 5 books you need to read to get ahead of competition as a SaaS founder - to learn from the best and take growth to the next level.

Top books in SaaS - What you need to read as a founder

1. The SaaS Playbook

The SaaS Playbook tells you how to build a lean million-dollar SaaS, market against large competitors, and use your position as startup/scaleup as your unfair advantage.

Leveraging the 4 moats of SaaS: 1. network effects (integrations), 2. strong brand, 3. owned traffic channels, and 4. high switching costs.

SaaS Playbook by Rob Walling - Top SaaS books

Author: Rob Walling, a serial founder with notable exit of SaaS platform Drip, investor in >170 startups, and author of 4 books on startups. Rob started TinySeed - the first accelerator for SaaS bootstrappers, as well as the SaaS bootstrapping community MicroConf.

Read full summary of The SaaS Playbook.

2. Obviously Awesome

Obviously Awesome tells you about the most essential activity in a company - positioning your product and business so customers 1. get it, 2. buy it and 3. love it.

Obviously Awesome by April Dunford - Top SaaS books

Author: April Dunford, a positioning guru, and former tech executive has spent a long career with position products and bringing them to market at B2B tech startups, as well as at larger companies like IBM.

Read full summary of Obviously Awesome.

3. The Transparency Sale

Sell more by using transparency and honesty to build trust and credibility with clients. 'How Unexpected Honesty and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results'.

The Transparency Sale by Todd Caponi - Top SaaS books

Author: Todd Caponi, a famous sales expert with more than 20 years in the sales industry. He spent 4 years building Chicago-based PowerReviews as its CRO. As founder of Sales Melon LLC, he is now a keynote speaker.

Read full summary of The Transparency Sale.

4. Getting Acquired

How to grow a SaaS company, build a compelling brand story to scale, and optimize likelihood of a great exit for the founder.

Getting Acquired by Andrew Gazdecki - Top SaaS Books

Author: Andrew Gazdecki, an author and growth-minded entrepreneur. He started broke in his early 20s, developing business apps, then selling to a PE firm before the age of 30. Gazdecki has led over 100 employees in his own companies, worked as a growth consultant for several multimillion-dollar startups, and been featured in TechCrunch numerous times.

Read full summary of Getting Acquired.

5. Founder Brand

A how to guide on using content and storytelling as founder to give marketing superpowers. Build your personal brand as founder - and use it to grow.

Founder Brand by Dave Gerhardt - Top SaaS Books

Author: Dave Gerhardt, a startup CMO turned founder. With a growth journey as VP of Marketing at Drift to a $1B valuation and over 150K followers on LI, Dave is an influential figure in B2B marketing and content strategy.

6. Magic Box Paradigm

SaaS are generally built to be sold. This is a handbook on how to build a SaaS that can be bought and how to strategically approach conversations with potential buyers - and building a common vision together. A common problem is starting this process way too late. Instead, start build strategic relationships from day 1.

Also, remember: startups are not sold, they are bought. So, build to be bought.

Magic Box Paradigm by Ezra Roizen - Top SaaS Books

Author: Ezra Roizen, founder and now investment banker experienced in M&A. Sold one of his own companies to SAP.

Read full summary of Magic Box Paradigm.

7. Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself

Quite well put in the title - how to build a product that sells itself. Use growth loops and engineering to acquire customers, instead through a traditional sales team. Not all SaaS should do a PLG motion - but all SaaS founders can benefit from thinking in terms of building in growth in to their products to get some unfair advantages.

Product-Led Growth by Wes Bush - Top SaaS Books

Author: Wes Bush, founder and president of the Product-Led Institute, succesfully built demand for several high growth companies, including attactracting over 100,000 users in less than one year for video SaaS company Vidyard.

Conclusion

These are some top reads if you are a founder building and growing a SaaS company. Whether it's your first one, or you are serial entrepreneur - these books will help you grow a world-class company, avoid some costly mistakes, and beat competition.