Sunday, August 18, 2019

A startup reading list - fundamental inputs


  • Fundamental inputs == information that I believe (for now) is important for the fundamental for all actions when building a startup.
  • My primary filter was, "Would I be super excited if a new hire of mine read [this]?"

Macro Understanding

How Venture Capital Works (HBR) by Bob Zider - Situates how the company is (likely) viewed by VC's and why VC is the primary source of capital for most startups


Intellectual Humility by Shane Snow - Core mindset for progress of all types (respecting other viewpoints; not being intellectually overconfident; separating your ego from your intellect; being willing to revise your important viewpoints)

Understanding is a poor substitute for convexity (antifragility) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Hammers on uncertainty, optionality, and experimental mentality.

‘Give Away Your Legos’ and Other Commandments for Scaling Startups  by First Round Review- If you/this company is successful, your role will change. Here's how to think about it.


Speed as a habit by Dave Girouard - Building speed into company DNA + should pervade all behaviors

Let process be implemented by those who practice it by Yishan Wong - This dovetails with speed as a habit, and opens convo of how formal process only implemented "right before the point where things tip into chaos."

Principles for Decision-Making in a Flat Organization by Roman Imankulov - This too dovetails with speed as a habit and not getting bogged down in group-decision making


How to De-Risk a Startup by Leo Polovets- De-risking is what every early-stage startup person should be doing through their role

A Dozen lessons about product/market fit by Tren Griffin - Pulls in tons of concepts this person should ask about, and gets at what an early-stage co. is driving towards


A Dozen Lessons for Entrepreneurs by Tren Griffin - Easy to read, hammers on the fundamentals of building a startup