23 Dec 2014

The BGV Christmas Startup Reading List

By Jessica

We’ve been feeling festive for a while, thanks largely to the ice rink and HUGE tree that emerged in November at Somerset House (pictured) where we work. But now Christmas is really upon us and it’s time for the BGV team to take a little break. We’ll be using this period to reflect on the past year and prepare for the new adventures that await in 2015 – bring on the W15 cohort!

I’m hoping to use some of the down time to catch up on some good reading, so I’ve asked the BGV team and alumni for some recommendations. We thought we’d share the list with you here, as we sign off for 2014 and wish you all a happy holidays.

See you next year!

Recommended reads by BGV team and alumni:

Do Purpose: Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more, by David Hieatt

“The easiest, most uplifting read I’ve had in quite a while. Super short, pragmatic and going to be a book we get any team to read at least once a month to remind yourself why you do what you do!” – Laura Fisher, TreePress

Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, by Clay Shirky

“Great for learning about building collaborative communities/mass movements for change. An easy read into what motivates and drives people to participate” – Olivia Comberti, BeforeIDieNetwork

Growth Hacker Marketing, by Ryan Holiday

“An easy to read guide on what you need to know on growing your startup” – Neil Patel

The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

“A great guide to effective writing” – Glen Mehn, BGV

Still have an appetite for more? You can also check out Paul Miller’s list of Startup Book Recommendations or revisit our list of startup resources put together by the BGV team, below.

BGV’s recommended startup resources:

The lean startup, by Eric Reis

How to do MVP’s and ‘innovation accounting’.

The innovators dilemma, by Clayton M Christensen

Very theoretical but a seminal book. Why large companies can’t innovate and you can.

Peter Thiels CS183

Free PDF of course notes from this one-off series of lectures at Stanford by Paypal founder Peter Thiel. Must read.

Lean Customer development, by Steve Blank

Steve Blank on lean customer development. Good series of videos/presentations. He’s also written a couple of books.

Rainmaking, by Ford Harding

How to sell professional services, for non-sales people. Great chapters on networking and how to pitch. Vital reading for B2B startups but the rest of you should read it too.

STV podcasts, Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner

The greatest hidden gem on the internet. Every week during term time, Stanford have guest lectures from the best in the industry. They are all recorded and archived here.

Getting Real, 37signals

Free PDF by 37signals covering everything from recruitment to product. Dip in and out.

The Agile Samurai, by Jonathan Rasmusson

How to deliver agile software projects. Focused toward larger teams, but the best book on agile software development we’ve read. Also a useful framework for planning anything in a startup.

Startup metrics for pirates, Dave McClure

Dave McClure at his lurid best.

How to Build a Startup: The Lean LaunchPad

If people are looking for free resource, we recommend taking this Udacity course by Steve Blank (“The Four Steps to the Epiphany” and “Startup owner’s manual” fame).