Discover more from Founder Fridays
Founder Fridays No. 31
Helping founders move fast without breaking things.
Typically, the theme of Founder Fridays tracks with the week of the month.
This is one of those weird months with five Fridays. Whenever there’s a 5th Friday, I’m just going to do something random and fun. This week, I’m sharing my top five books on startups. Some are more directly related to building a startup; others may seem a little less obvious. But from my 15 years of working in the startup world, I think every founder should read each of these books.
Did a savvy founder send you this? Subscribe below.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz, analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in. Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to start their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences. Buy Now
The truth is that you need less than you think. You don't need to be a workaholic. You don't need to staff up. You don't need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don't even need an office. Those are all just excuses. What you really need to do is stop talking and start working. This book shows you the way. You'll learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more counterintuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you. With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s building a startup. Buy Now
Almanac of Naval Ravikant
This isn’t really a startup manual. But if any founder could master these principles, their business would be wildly successful. It covers why all of us should be seeking to build companies based on specific knowledge + accountability + leverage. The three types of leverage: 1) Labor. Other humans working for you—the oldest form of leverage. 2) Capital. Managing other people’s capital. 3) Code. Software with no cost of marginal replication. Why does code matter so much? It is permissionless. It does not require somebody else's permission to be used while labor (someone has to give you permission to employ them) and capital (somebody has to give you permission to manage their money) do. Buy Now
Probably the most important skill for a founder is to sort essential from non-essential activity in their company. Especially in the early days, startups need to do less but do it better. This book will teach you how to do that. The disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy—instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us. Buy Now
This book will teach you how to sell. You’ll learn Cialdini’s principles of persuasion: 1) Reciprocation, 2) Commitment and Consistency, 3) Social Proof, 4) Liking, 5) Authority, 6) Scarcity. Understanding and applying the principles ethically is cost-free and deceptively easy. Backed by Dr. Cialdini’s 35 years of evidence-based, peer-reviewed scientific research—including a three-year field study on what leads people to change—Influence is a comprehensive guide to using these principles to move others in your direction. Buy Now
Startup Funding Guides
I’ve put together a series of guides to equip founders to excel at fundraising. These guides break down the deal term by term and give you negotiation tips so that you can speak to investors with confidence.
Move Fast. Don’t Break Things.
Hi! I’m Kyle. This newsletter is my passion project. When I’m not writing, I run a law firm that helps startups move fast without breaking things. Most founders want a trusted legal partner, but they hate surprise legal bills. At Westaway, we take care of your startup’s legal needs for a flat, monthly fee so you can control your costs and focus on scaling your business. If you’re interested, let’s jump on a call to see if you’re a good fit for the firm. Click here to schedule a 1-on-1 call with me.