The Top 10 Books of 2018 for Entrepreneurs

The Top 10 Books of 2018 for Entrepreneurs

Wednesday November 28, 2018,

4 min Read

From the stacks of books received for review and picked up from overseas visits, here are some of the best titles of the year for startup founders, social entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers!

Top 10 books

2018 has been another outstanding year for books about entrepreneurship and innovation, with more of a focus on scaling approaches -- reflecting increased maturity of the startup ecosystem. See our earlier lists of ‘Top 10 Books for Entrepreneurs’ from the past six years as well: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Click here for access to our full book review section, featuring over 175 titles on creativity, innovation, digital transformation, storytelling, entrepreneurship and leadership. YourStory has also published the pocketbook Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups as a creative and motivational guide for innovators, accessible as apps (Apple; free Android version).

The selection of our top 10 books this year provides advice for product-market fit, investor engagement, co-creation with customers, cultural foundations, growth hacking, hyper-growth, and connecting to a larger purpose.

Shortcut your Startup: Speed up Success with Unconventional Advice from the Trenches, by Courtney Reum and Carter Reum

This compact book offers a wealth of tips and case studies across the 10 stages in the startup journey, for traditional and technology firms. The 10 stages range from investigation and differentiation to pivots and scaling. Profiled companies include Lyft, Pinterest, Warby Parker, and ClassPass.

Straight Talk for Startups: 100 Insider Rules for Beating the Odds, by Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman

This book by veteran Silicon Valley insiders offers a wealth of insights on startup teams, pitching, scaling, and finances. The 100 rules for founders are grouped in five sections: fundamentals, choosing investors, raising funds, managing boards, and achieving liquidity.

Quirky: The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators who Changed the World, by Melissa Schilling

This book presents seven traits of breakthrough innovators: separateness, extreme self-confidence, creative mindset, a call to higher service, driven to work, harnessing trends, and access to resources. Profiled innovators are Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Elon Musk, Dean Kamen, Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, and Steve Jobs.

Connecting the Dots: Leadership Lessons in a Startup World, by John Chambers

This compelling book by the head of a Silicon Valley tech powerhouse is packed with lessons for leaders, companies, and countries in an era where creativity is shaped by startups. It brings the customer to centre-stage in terms of strategy and market insights, and includes tips for successful M&A.

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies, by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh

This provocative book explains what you can learn from the hyper-growth strategies of companies like Netflix, Amazon, Google, Alibaba, Tencent and Zara. The framework is divided into three sections: business model innovation, strategy innovation, and management innovation, along with insights and tips on ethics.

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, by Daniel Coyle

Bestselling author Daniel Coyle’s new book identifies three foundations for your company to succeed: build safety, share vulnerability, and establish purpose. Case studies are drawn from Google, Pixar, Disney, Zappos, IDEO and Navy SEALs.

Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel both Purpose and Profit, by Anne Bahr Thompson

This compelling book shows why and how companies need to embed social consciousness into the brand DNA. It presents a five-step framework for companies to do good and not just do well in the market. The five principles include trust, enrichment, responsibility, community and contribution.

The Seven Principles of Complete Co-Creation, by Stefanie Jansen and Maarten Pieters

By involving end-users across phases like research, design, production and marketing, organisations of all types can ensure successful innovation, as this book explains. Case studies are drawn from Blink,, IKEA, Nike, Patagonia and Aawaz.

The AI Advantage: How to Put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work, by Tom Davenport

This book covers the strategies, structures and skills for organisations to tap AI for business advantage. The author provides a range of case studies of AI in action, and ends with ethical considerations of the future of work.

Master Growth Hacking: The Best-Kept Secret of New-Age Indian Startups, by Apurva Chamaria and Gaurav Kakkar

The authors describe three phases of growth hacking: acquisition, activation and retention. They show how nine prominent Indian startups leveraged growth hacking for success: Zomato, ShopClues, UrbanClap, PaisaBazaar, Furlenco, FusionCharts, WittyFeed, UpGrad, and IndiaMART.

We look forward to your comments as well as your suggestions for books to review in 2019. All of us at YourStory wish our readers and partners a happy holiday season and a terrific year ahead – may a million successful startups bloom!