In the past few of months, I’ve really enjoyed having coffee with folks who are just starting to figure out what they want to do with their lives. (I am still very much in the same boat.) When I was eighteen or nineteen years old, I had no clue what I was doing, and although I was so lucky to surround myself with a group of people who were also excited about starting their own projects, most of them would admit that they didn’t really know what they were doing back then either. And that’s fine. People learn, they change, and they do their best in the moment, given their experience and understanding.
For many of my friends, that fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants approach worked out just fine; for others, including myself, well, that first project didn’t exactly work out, but others did or will. Nonetheless, one of the things that I noticed, in myself, my friends, and strangers whom I talk to about technology and starting things, is this voracious appetite for reading material. Especially when one is first getting started, a solid reading list is viewed as the best way to get up to speed with the culture, jargon and expectations of the field. (Although, ultimately, I think books about entrepreneurship are a lot like books about swimming. All might work well enough in theory, but putting those lessons into practice is the best way to learn something. At some point you’re going to have to jump into the pool.)
A sufficient number of people have asked me for reading suggestions that I wrote this post, which I hope will serve as a kind of reference I can share with people in the future. This is not 100% comprehensive. I’ve read (or at least thumbed-through) more articles and books than I accounted for here, but I’d consider this list a decent starting point. It’s the kind of list I wish someone gave me when I was 19 and clueless. It’s not perfect or complete, and it will be expanded over time. (Asterisks will precede the entry for those books that weren’t on the list when it was first published.) Continue reading “A Reading List for First-time & Aspiring Entrepreneurs”