The Top 4 Books for Entrepreneurs in Tech
Entrepreneurship swept the tech field during the dot-com bubble of 1995, with startup culture embracing the developments of the internet. With investors giving billions of dollars in seed money to get these companies up and running, some rose to the top. While others struggled to develop a viable business model and failed. From online blogs, to social media sites, to online car insurance providers, and even online banks. A strong entrepreneurial foundation has often been the determining factor for survival during the internet boom and beyond.
As some companies have risen to mainstream popularity and then taken a hit in the public eye. Like Facebook, more often than not these companies that once seemed promising are no longer a part of the conversation. To learn a bit more about the business models and mottos behind the most popular tech companies and leaders that started them. We’re looking at the top 4 books for entrepreneurs in technology.
The Art of the Start 2.o by Guy Kawasaki
As “chief evangelist” for Apple and then of his own company. The online graphic design tool Canva, Guy Kawasaki takes an in-depth look into the art of starting your own company in his updated book. Kawasaki earned his degree from Stanford, along with his MBA from UCLA, and honorary doctorate from Babson College. Along with his entrepreneurial ventures, he is a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz, a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation and an executive fellow of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
The Art of the Start 2.0 looks Kawasaki’s popular saying “entrepreneurship is a state of mind, not a job title” and what that means for the state of our world today. This is the second, revised version of this book which includes over 50% more content than the first. Updates include social media advice and implementation, additional commentary from Kawasaki, the topic of crowdfunding, and other additional topics.
“Business plans are no longer necessary; social media has replaced PR and advertising as the key method of promotion; crowdfunding is a viable alternative to investors, and the cloud makes basic infrastructure affordable for almost any new venture,” he states.
Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang
Bloomberg Technology’s daily anchor and executive producer Emily Chang showcases the reality of the tech world for many female entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Before her gig with Bloomberg, where she interviews investors and entrepreneurs, she was a correspondent for CNN that mainly covered London and Beijing. The Harvard University grad’s reporting has won her 5 regional Emmys.
Brotopia is the tell-all book that shook up the Silicon Valley scene for it’s graphic depiction of the reality of the environment for women. Detailing the world of tech as a sex-fueled, drug-induced boy’s club, Chang looks at the conniving ways tech startups targeted boys that leaned towards the anti-social side through pitches delivered by beautiful women meant to entice them with their looks. Their personality tendencies led them to work for hours and hours on end with the promise of big parties and money. She also dives deep into the struggles women face in this realm due to the targeting of boys, and the harassment they’ve gotten from their male colleagues.
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
In the mainstream, you may have heard of Peter Thiel as the rich investor who is an avid supporter of President Donald Trump. Beyond that, he is a very successful venture capitalist who is one of the co-founders of PayPal. Born in Germany, and living in Africa for a portion of his life, Thiel settled down in the United States in order to study philosophy at Stanford. He also earned his J.D. at their law school as well.
The concept of “technical stagnation” is the focus of Zero to One, meaning that the technology we see as revolutionary is actually keeping us from further developing. Small advances such as phones keep us in a cycle of looking for similar innovation, trying to find the next Larry Page or Bill Gates when we should be aspiring beyond what we’ve accomplished so far. In his book, Thiel takes an in-depth look at what he sees this looking like in our modern age.
Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories by Tarah Wheeler
Political scientist, security researcher, and Senior Director of Data Trust & Threat and Vulnerability Management at Splunk. Tarah Wheeler is the author of our final book. Clearly an expert and well established in her field. Wheeler wants to take her knowledge and help women looking to advance their careers in tech.
Women in Tech is targeted at women who want to get a job in tech, or those who are already immersed in the field and looking to step up to the next tier of their career. Interviews from successful women in this field, such as Brianna Wu (Giant Spacekat), Keren Elazari (TED speaker/ cybersecurity expert), and Angie Chang (Women 2.0) give readers practical and realistic career advice along with anecdotal experience. They cover topics of salary negotiation, contracting vs. full-time, mastering the tech interview, general industry knowledge, starting your own company, mentorship, and much more.