The 13 Best Reads for Founders of B2B Startups (or Their Teams)

Every day, hundreds of articles are published to help startup founders succeed. Entrepreneurs are overwhelmed by the amount of — often conflicting — lessons, ideas, and advice they receive. It makes it hard to move forward and avoid decision paralysis. But what are the best reads for founders?

Having founded 2 startups (Flagback and HireVoice) and spent more than a year researching B2B Customer Development to write Lean B2B, I had to read a lot of blog posts, books, and tweets.

From my research (and the last few years working with startups), here are some of the most valuable posts I found; the go-to articles I re-read from time to time.

  1. All the Startup Advice You Read is Wrong by Evan Williams — Great way to start this list. This post reminds entrepreneurs to take all startup advice with a grain of salt.
  2. The Only Thing That Matters by Marc Andreessen — Part of Andreessen’s Guide to Startups, this post simplifies the goal for the early days of a startup to its true minimum.
  3. Ten Questions Before You Start Something New by Chris Lema — This post provides a good framework to evaluate a business idea before investing time, money, and sweat.
  4. Don’t Build a Sexy Startup by Jordan Skole— This post teaches you to see the opportunities around you. On the topic, read How to Turn a Full-time Job Into a B2B Business Opportunity.
  5. Minimize your Time to Product/Market Fit by Andrew Chen — This post makes entrepreneurs accountable for their runway and time to product/market fit; important concepts.
  6. Startup Metrics for Pirates: AARRR!!! by Dave McClure — Beyond the analytics framework, the AARRR model is the best simplification of what a startup does (Acquire-Activate-Retain-Generate Referrals-Generate Revenue).
  7. Do Things that Don’t Scale by Paul Graham — Possibly the most important post on this list. Reminds entrepreneurs to perfect their core offering before trying to scale.
  8. The Unprofitable SaaS Business Model Trap by Jason Cohen — Great post on the importance of profitability, revenue, and focusing on the right things for a SaaS startup.
  9. SaaS Startup Strategy | Three SaaS Sales Models by Joel York — This post helps startups understand their natural distribution model. It also keeps entrepreneurs from hiring sales when it’s not a good idea.
  10. The Long, Slow SaaS Ramp of Death based on a talk by Gail Goodman — Dispels false ideas around success and introduces the importance of measuring your business from the customer view (inward), not from the metrics.
  11. Camels and Rubber Duckies by Joel Spolsky— Thorough pricing lesson filled with insights by a software veteran. A bit of an old post, but still very relevant.
  12. The Next Feature Fallacy by Andrew Chen—This post challenges the misconception that adding features automatically increases user adoption or engagement.
  13. Pivot, Don’t Jump to a New Vision by Eric Ries— Not Ries’s most popular post, but it’s a good reminder of what a pivot really is and how to go about pivoting a startup.

Trust me, you’ll be a better entrepreneur after reading these posts.

Those are my best reads for founders. What about you? Any key posts you feel are missing? Let me know on Twitter.

More Best Reads for Founders

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