The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
Strategy book. Startup with distruptive innovation vs Big Company the market leader. In some situations startups have no chance to win the battle. In others, big companies have almost no chance to make it. Full of historical examples. Learn your odds before going into battle.
Awesome read with incredible insights.
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Strategy book. It explains market forces. Monopoly theory is hilaroius. Good luck putting that book down.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
A startup is "an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainity". For me this book was the gatekeeper to a completely new systematic approach of building a business.
Note to self: the lean approach is TDD for business. You still DO need a plan - don't listen to them.
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
Market forces change along the life cycle. Understand your context to focus your efforts properly. What worked once will not work later. Context context context!!!
Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
This book is a collection where common wisdom is wrong. Thus it is an enjoying read, challanging your thoughts. Prepare to laugh a lot.
Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt
What is strategy and what is not. A good strategy is simple, it points out a point of attack where you have superior chances of succeeding. Engineer your relative strength against your opponents relative weaknesses.
Remember the feeling when you go into a "battle" thinking your opponents have -0.0 chance of winning? When everyone tells you you are an idiot and have no chance, and you laugh in yourself and know they are totally wrong?! That is strategy. If you don't have this feeling you don't have a strategy.
Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston
Startup stories about the winners of the game. How they made it, how they struggled, how they were screwed, how they failed. Knowing history is quite useful, isn't it?
Startup Genome Report Extra on Premature Scaling by Startup Genome [free PDF]
Results after analyzing many startups. Why do some startups succeed while others fail? To the point, loved it. You can download it right after signing up.
Contagious by Jonah Berger
Breaking down why things catch on. How to achieve virality. Hey, it just makes complete sense.
Note: this book gives you understanding of the forces. It will allow you to spot contagious things before they catch on but you still won't be able to engineer them. At least not from this book. It's great to be familiar with the ideas - for the purpose of choosing between alternative approaches in case you have multiple ones.
The Art Of Explanation by Lee LeFever
This book will teach you to be a better communicator. Explanation is first about making someone want to understand something, and then helping them understand it in a way they can stay confident all the journey.
You will find most in the book obvious. Sometimes it will feel like the author is just repeating himself. But it will definitely make things clear and you will keep using those ideas in it in your everyday communications.
The Linux Command Line by William Shotts
Starting a computer and sending an email sounds complex until you discover how easy it really is. Same goes for operating Linux. This book will make you understand it. For absolute beginners. I only found the first ~300 pages useful.
Pro Git by Scott Chacon
About Git, the best file version control system out there I know - and well, the most popular one. You will be amazed how you could live without Git. It's like the discovery of eating your first cake. Also, the concept behind it is ingenious. Make sure to dig into how it works internally.
Code Complete (2nd edition) by Steve McConnell
Get over the first 100 pages, they were designed to put those off from reading the book who don't really want to become best of class. Totally hands on, full of good advice you can actually use every day.
The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt
Easy to read, condense, to the point book about practical insights. This book radiates experience. You will be astonished by it.
Implementing Lean Software Development by Mary and Tom Poppendieck
Lean is a way of achieving efficiency. Substitute efficient until the word becomes second nature.
are at the center of a lean organization. The aproach is about teaching
and empowering people; speeding up processes thus making them more
efficient by identifying and eliminating waste. Quality is not what you
do, it is how you do it. Make the organization learn how to continously
improve its processes - itself.
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs by Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman
Wait with reading this until you are sufficiently good programmer otherwise you won't be able to make it through. If you can't, come back to it 2 years later. Hardcore book about programming concepts. I mean hardcore. Make sure to read this cover-to-cover, once you are strong enough to make it.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
While I would argue this is a very misnamed book, it's important that you read it. It has very little to do with habits in a traditional sense, it's more about how to live a happy, successful and fulfilling life. How to build up character. How to become a valuable person. This book very much describes the person you want to become.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
We can only get on in life with habits. When was the last time you thought about which hand you should use to wash your teeth? Normally, habits are just picked up, but they can be thoughtfully identified and relearned. Understanding how your brain works is the first step.
You will use this knowledge to translate your goals into processes. For example, you'll want to build a successful company, for which you'll need to know a lot more then you do, so you'll designe a morning routine which includes an hour of reading for years - make sure you do.