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Great Entrepreneurship Reads

Foster faculty experts recommend their go-to books on creating a company

It’s well-known there are a plethora of books available about how to start company. But launching a company is time-consuming and difficult. To save you time and energy, the Foster School’s entrepreneurship professors have recommended a few of their favorite books. If you’re looking for a how-to guide for starting a company or just plain inspiration, keep reading.

The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Guy Kawasaki)
“It’s a very approachable book that would make a great read for anyone. Kawasaki is the master of breaking down complex problems into common-sense approaches and has fantastically sticky catch phrases to go along.”
– Emily Cox Pahnke, assistant professor of management and Neal & Jan Dempsey Faculty Fellow

“It’s a how-to book that provides good practical advice for budding entrepreneurs.”
– Suresh Kotha, professor of management, Olesen/Battelle Excellence Chair in Entrepreneurship and research director, Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship

Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies (Rhonda Abrams)
Entrepreneurship: Starting and Operating a Small Business (Steve Mariotti & Caroline Glackin)
“I find most books with the title ‘Entrepreneurship’ to be boring and pedantic about this vibrant subject. But I find these and materials published by The Planning Shop to be well written.”
– John Castle, retired lecturer of entrepreneurship

The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company (Steve Blank & Bob Dorf)
“This book teaches you the big picture of how to do customer development and why it is important. It also goes through the business model canvas.”
– Emer Dooley, Pat Hughes Faculty Fellow and Jacob Colker, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UW Center for Commercialization

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (Eric Ries)
“It is a must-read for entrepreneurs. The discipline of a minimum viable product, testing and measuring is one every entrepreneur should at least know exists.”
– Deb Hagen-Lukens, lecturer of marketing

“Teaches you how to do smart, fast, targeted tests to disprove hypotheses.”
– Emer Dooley, Jacob Colker

The Monk and the Riddle: The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Living (Randy Komisar)
“This book offers a broader philosophical approach to thinking about what you would like to accomplish with your life. The context for addressing these big issues is entrepreneurship.”
– Suresh Kotha

The Leap: A Memoir of Love and Madness in the Internet Gold Rush (Tom Ashbrook)
“It is a recount of an international reporter who joins an old college classmate on an Internet venture without any business experience. If you’re looking for inspiration, read this book.”
– John Castle

Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks) (Dave Kerpen)
“I’m fond of this book and think it is one that entrepreneurs—especially those targeting consumer markets, but not exclusively those—could really benefit by reading.” – Deb Hagen-Lukens

Rework (Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson)
“Smartest book out there for how to run a team efficiently.” – Emer Dooley, Jacob Colker