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Books for StartUps – Compiled by Prosper Systems, LLC

Comments, corrections or additions appreciated to Books@ProsperSystems.biz


Venture Deals:  Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist [Hardcover, Kindle, Aug 2, 2011] by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson with Forward by Dick Costolo, CEO Twitter

Recommended by David McKinney, Founder of Discovr / Filter Squad, at Quora:

   If you’re raising money or you’re thinking about it, this is THE book.  Understand this book and you will have the necessary insight, confidence, and ammunition to be effective during the fundraising process.  This book was crucial during our own fundraise.  I actually sat with our lead VC partner and we walked through many of the economic and control terms in our term sheet and long form using this book as a guide.  We also modeled several clauses in our term sheet directly around the language from this book.  So good.

$30 w/S&H- Amazon-Used


Burning Entrepreneur - How to Launch, Fund, and Set Your Startup On Fire!  [Updated and Expanded Edition, Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, PDF, Apr 1, 2012] by Brad Feld

Recommended by Kenton H Johnson at Prosper Systems Collaboration

   The storied ritual of self-expression, has evolved into The Burning Entrepreneur, the ultimate self-expression through startup success.  Renowned tech investor and startup guru Brad Feld lights YOU on fire with this insider's book that will teach you how to launch, fund and run your own company.  If you're already an entrepreneur or have always dreamed of being one, douse yourself in “Feld Thoughts” and catch the spark.  You'll be burning, entrepreneur, with this e-book!.  Brad's blog is a backstage pass to the 24/7 rock show that is tech startups.  It is a master class in startup investing for givers and takers of funds.  It is a rolling critique of tech products vast and simple (with enough edge to make the most scathing restaurant critic in Manhattan blush).  And it is the journal of a peripatetic marathoner who still believes he will crack the four-hour mark someday.  From such Feld Thoughts, we have constructed The Burning Entrepreneur, the e-book on startups that you would take to a desert island if it had electricity, a decent Internet connection and angel investors.  The Burning Entrepreneur illuminates the actions and attitudes required to launch, fund and ignite your startup.  Brad Feld is on fire.  Find out what happens when you stand too close.  – Amazon

$14 w/S&H- Amazon; Free PDF- HyperInk-Free


The Lean Startup:  How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses [Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audio, Sep 13, 2011] by Eric Ries

Recommended by David McKinney, Founder of Discovr / Filter Squad, at Quora:

   Eric Ries has catalyzed an entire movement around building better startups.  Good on ya!  This book documents a huge collection of startup knowledge and moves between theory, case studies, and practical advice, across startups to enterprise.  Especially good in the last half, where it is more practical in content.

$17 w/S&H- Amazon-Used


Mastering the VC Game:  A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get from startup to IPO on Your Terms [Hardsover, Paperback, Kindle, Sep 27, 2011] by Jeffrey Bussgang

Found by Kenton H Johnson at Prosper Systems Collaboration

   Entrepreneurs who dream of building the next Amazon, Facebook, or Google have the opportunity to take advantage of one of the most powerful economic engines the world has ever known:  venture capital.  To do that, you need to woo, impress, and persuade venture capitalists to back your endeavor.  That task alone is a challenge.  But finding and choosing the right investor can be harder still.  Even if you manage to get backing, you want your VC to be a partner, not some dictator who will undermine your vision and take control of your life's work.   Jeffrey Bussgang is one of a very few people who have played on both sides of this high-stakes game.  By his early thirties, he had helped build two successful startups-one went public, the other was acquired.  Now he uses his experience and unique perspective on "the other side" as a venture capitalist helping entrepreneurs bring their dreams to fruition.   In the book, Bussgang offers high-level insights, colorful stories, and practical advice gathered from his own experience as well as from interviews with dozens of the most successful players on both sides of the game, including Twitter's Jack Dorsey and LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman.  He reveals how to get noticed, perfect a pitch, and negotiate a partnership that works for everyone.   An insider's guide to the secrets of the world venture capital, Mastering the VC Game will prove invaluable for entrepreneurs seeking capital and successful partnerships.  – Amazon

$7 w/S&H- Amazon-Used


The McGraw-Hill Guide to Starting Your Own Business:  A Step-By-Step Blueprint for the First-Time Entrepreneur [Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Jun 13, 2003] by Stephen C Harper

Found by Kenton H Johnson at Prosper Systems Collaboration

   The bestselling first edition of The McGraw-Hill Guide to Starting Your Own Business sold more than 75,000 copies, and took the reader step-by-step through the entire process of starting a new venture.  This completely revised second edition once again shows entrepreneurs the keys to determining the best business opportunities, creating a business plan, and formulating a winning marketing strategy.  In addition, it now profiles alternative sources of funding from SBA loans to angel investors and provides valuable do's and don'ts from over one hundred entrepreneurs.  – Amazon

$4 w/S&H- Amazon-Used


The Art of the Start:  The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything [Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audio, Sep 9, 2004] by Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of Alltop and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures.

Recommended by Grant Simmons, at Quora

   Guy Kawasaki is the managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm which assists high-technology companies.  Previously, he worked for Apple Computer, Inc.  as a software evangelist for the Macintosh and later as an Apple Fellow.  Starting a business is much more of an art than a step-by-step or a thoroughly predictable process.  According to Kawasaki, success in taking an idea and building it into a new business is actually the cumulative result of eleven distinct arts such as the Art of Positioning, the Art of Writing a Business Plan and the Art of Rainmaking.  As the author argues in The Art of the Start, to succeed in getting a new business off the ground, you'd better be able to bring all these arts to bear or it's going to be an uphill struggle.  The Art of the Start is a great book about entrepreneurship.  Kawasaki reveals everything you need to know about building a meaningful organization.  – eBookMall

$8 w/S&H- Amazon-Used; $6 Summary- eBookMall


The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur:  The tell-it-like-it-is guide to cleaning up in business, even if you are at the end of your roll [Hardcover, Kindle, Multimedia CD, Sep 24, 2008] by Mike Michalowicz, Founder, Obsidian Launch

Recommended by Lorenzo Dickerson, at Quora

   Never started a company before?  Struggling with little or no cash?  Have no experience, no baseline to judge your progress against?  Thank God!  You've got a shot at making this work.”  So says Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, a business book that is so uniquely useful, so raw and entertaining, it reads like the brainchild of Steve Jobs and Chris Rock.  The founder of three multimillion-dollar companies, including Obsidian Launch, a company that partners with first-time entrepreneurs to grow their concepts into industry leaders, Mike Michalowicz knows what it really takes to spin your great idea into pure gold. – Amazon

$14 w/S&H- Amazon-Used


The Four Steps to the Epiphany:  Successful Strategies for Products that Win [Paperback, Feb 1, 2005] by Steven Gary Blank

Recommended by several, at Quora:

   Steve Blank is an entrepreneur, business strategist, and retired marketing executive in Silicon Valley.  He began his career 32 years ago and has been at the heart of emerging technology industries ever since.  He has been involved in numerous startups and established companies, in operational roles running the gamut from CEO to VP of marketing.  The breath of his experience makes him a sought-after board member, advisor and speaker.  Steve’s successes include E.piphany, an enterprise software company started in his living room; two semiconductor companies (Zilog and MIPS Computers), a workstation company (Convergent Technologies), a supercomputer firm (Ardent), a computer peripheral supplier (SuperMac), a military intelligence systems supplier (ESL) and a video game company (Rocket Science Games).  These startups resulted in five IPO’s, and three very deep craters.  Many of the principles presented in the book were used and fine-tuned in the creation of these companies and in Steve’s many years as a high-level advisor and company board member for companies both living and dead.  Steve currently teaches entrepreneurship and customer development at Stanford University School of Engineering and at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.  In the classroom, his ideas, methodologies, and principles on customer development are presented and proofed each day in dialogues and analyses with the best business students as well as some of the most accomplished executives in the country.  Steve is an ardent conservationist and a board member of Audubon and Audubon California.

$35 w/S&H- Amazon-Used


The Mini Legal Toolbox – For Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners & Raising Capital For Your Business (Understanding Private Offerings) [Paperback, 2011] by Jacqueline J Warner, Esq (Facebook)

Recommended by Berny Dohrmann, Founder and CEO, CEO Space International

   The Mini Legal Toolbox Series is a valuable resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs.  It is easy to read, and small in size but large in content.  The author is Jacqueline J.  Warner, Esq., a Howard University School of Law graduate and a seasoned, New York-based attorney with over 19 years of experience in advising small businesses.  The book was written with the busy entrepreneur in mind.  “Entrepreneurs and small business owners wear many hats, said Ms Warner, and are seeking information in an easy to read and digest format.  The Mini Legal Toolbox is large in content, yet small in size.”  Ms Warner’s practice includes corporate, securities, real estate and banking law.
   [Nice 4½” x 7” size, with easy-to-read font size, fits pocket, purse or briefcase, so handy for first read and reference.]
   Book 1- A book which addresses a number of legal-related topics every entrepreneur and small business owner needs to know – (i) a summary of the types of business structures (i.e., sole proprietor, partnership, corporation or limited liability company); (ii) the tax implications of each of the types of business structures (iii) questions and answers regarding proper recordkeeping; (iv) the role of management; and (v) the importance of having an agreement with business partners/co-owners, with a discussion of certain provisions which should be in the agreement.
   Book 2- The second book of The Mini Legal Toolbox Series that highlights the legal aspects of raising capital for your business via equity investors.  Learn about:  (i) What a Private Offering is and How it Differs from a Public Offering.  (ii) Understanding Regulation D and Rule 504, 505 and 506 Offerings (iii) Documentation Required in Connection With a Private Offering (iv) Executing the Private Offering:  Methology and Sequencing.  [In revision for some of the JOBS Act SEC changes.] – Warner Publishing

$12 w/S&H, each book- TheLegalToolbox


Founders at Work:  Stories of Startups' Early Days [Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Jan 27, 2007] by Jessica Livingston, Founding Partner at venture firm Y Combinator

Recommended by Marc Hoag, CEO & Co-Founder of Venturocket, and several others at Quora

   Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies about what happened in the very earliest days. These people are celebrities now. What was it like when they were just a couple friends with an idea? Founders like Steve Wozniak (Apple), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Mitch Kapor (Lotus), Max Levchin (PayPal), and Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail) tell you in their own words about their surprising and often very funny discoveries as they learned how to build a company.  Where did they get the ideas that made them rich? How did they convince investors to back them? What went wrong, and how did they recover?  [The final interview is with the author.]  – Amazon

$9 w/S&H- Amazon-Used