The top 15 books in SaaS and startups
Becoming a reader and learning more about SaaS 📖
2021 was my first year of reading a lot of books. Before stumbling upon Atomic Habits this year, I wanted to set a SMART goal and set a target of reading 52 books in my first year - 1 book a week. This goal filled all the SMART criteria - it was Specific, very Measurable, somewhat Achievable, highly Relevant and Time-Bound.
Reaching 16 books in 2021, it showed me this was a quite ambitious goal; but at the same time it proved it was possible to get up to speed and get into the habit of reading - using Goodreads, searching for the best books, and talking about books with friends. It was becoming a real interest of mine.
This year, I read 38 books, more than double the outcome of last year, in numerical terms. BUT, more importantly, today I consider myself a reader. Just like Atomic Habits advocates, to encode your goals into your identity, and not just focus on setting numerical goals that you either achieve or not.
The top 15 books to read in SaaS and startups 📚
Let's get down to the top books on the topic of SaaS, entreprenurship, and startups - and a brief one-sentence summary of each one.
1. 🥶 The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects, by Andrew Chen
How to ignite a network from zero, and use network effects in a product to scale rapidly.
2. 🤝 $100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No, by Alex Hormozi
How to craft a Grand Slam Offer in sales - an offer that is so different it will skip the explanations of why your product is different from everyone else's.
3.📍 Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It, by April Dunford
The most essential activity in a company is positioning your product and business so customers 1. get it, 2. buy it and 3. love it.
4.❓ Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek
How great leaders communicate, starting with their WHY, and how you can adapt their mindset to inspire others.
5. 🏆 Getting Acquired: How I Built and Sold My SaaS Startup, by Andrew Gazdecki
How to grow a SaaS company, build a compelling brand story to scale, and optimize likelihood of a great exit for the founder.
6. 🥷 Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, by Austin Kleon
Art is about being inspired by others and remixing their work to create something new, discovering your style.
7. 🔍 The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honesty and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results, by Todd Caponi
Sell more by using transparency and honesty to build trust and credibility with clients.
8. 🎢 Trajectory: Startup: Ideation to Product/Market Fit―A Handbook for Founders and Anyone Supporting Them, by Dave Parker
Practical advice and learnings from the ideation phase to finding product-market fit where 14 different revenue models are presented, together with a path to get you from ideation to launch and revenue in just six months.
9. 🚀 Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising, by Ryan Holiday
How to use a creative hacker mindset together with your product to grow beyond what’s possible in traditional marketing channels.
10. 🌀 SPIN Selling: Situation Problem Implication Need-payoff, by Neil Rackham
As the deal size and complexity of the sale increase, the need for a consultative and benefit-driven approach becomes critical - ask the right questions and close more deals.
11. 🏁 Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight
The transparent story of how one of the world’s most famous and profitable companies, Nike, was formed - told from the founder's perspective.
12. 🐺 Way of the Wolf: Become a Master Closer with Straight Line Selling, by Jordan Belfort
The real Wolf of Wall Street shares the straight line methodology - to achieve the shortest path to a closed deal.
13. 📣 The Marketing Psychology Playbook: The Best Strategies Marketers Miss and Misuse, by Becky Davis
How to use marketing to connect with potential customers in a more trustworthy way, and avoid common mistakes.
14. 👣 Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear
The power of becoming 1% better each day, compounding improvements to become a better version of yourself.
15. 💰 Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!, by Robert Kiyosaki
Not SaaS, but solid read on the rules and mentality of money that rich parents teach their kids. Helps you avoid the common fallacies of how to think about making money.
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