the item

Startups That Work
Startups That Work
2006

the questions

  1. How to run a killer startup

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recent reviews

  1. Zen and the Art of Motorcylce Maintenance
  2. The Sparrow
  3. SEOMoz
  4. Mythical Man-Month
  5. Code Complete
  6. Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
  7. This Perfect Day


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Nothing to see here, please move along
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Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along


Every large company was once a startup struggling to survive, yet only a small percentage of all startups are able to thrive in the long run. Entrepreneurs and investors have gut instincts about what startups need to do to beat the odds, but until now there hasn’t been any hard research on what separates winners and losers. Joel Kurtzman and a research team from Price-waterhouseCoopers studied 350 companies and interviewed hundreds of venture capitalists, CEOs, boards of directors, and angel investors over four years. This unprecedented research has led to some very surprising findings about nine key factors, such as market size, competitive position, business model, and cash flow. For instance:

  • Speed usually trumps perfection.
  • Advanced technology shouldn’t be the highest priority, even in tech companies.
  • Not all growth is smart growth.
  


What is this?

A while back I wrote an article on my blog listing all the books that hackers recommended to each other from the site HackerNews. The purpose was to provide a place to list book recommendations so that people didn't have to type in the same list over and over again. (HN gets several requests for book recommendations a week. I also get at least a couple each month). It was very well received, and many posters and commenters either asked that I make a site or sent me an email asking me to do so.

How is this any different from the list on the blog?

This list has more books. This list is sortable both by what question you have and your skill level. In addition, once you sort the list, you can save the link with your sort and send it to somebody else. So, for instance, when somebody wants a book for noobs learning to program, you can make a link for that and then reuse it

How did you collect these books?

Initially the list came from Googling HackerNews.com "best book" and taking the books from the first few pages returned. Later, I added all the books that were mentioned "You left that out!" when Jacques posted the link. While adding those books, I came across a Stack Overflow link where programmers were asked to list their favorite tech books, so I included those too.

If I ask you to put a book on here, will you?

It depends.

These books were all gathered by finding places where hackers hang out and are suggesting books to other hackers and other hackers agree with them by voting up their suggestion. If I can find an example of this for your book, I'm happy to include it.

How are the books ranked?

I did the best I could with ranking. I am sure there are many things you do not agree with. It would be possible to add voting and personal ranking -- that would make the system much better. Heck, you could rank the books yourself and use it as a customized book list to show to people who want your advice. I'd like to do that, but if I've learned anything is to not let your featureset get ahead of the users. This first version will test the waters to see what kind of interest the community might have.