• Collection
  • From
Books for founding a start-up

Recommended books to read for founding a startup by Bill Gurley.

All entrepreneurs have been taught to vilify the MBA,” Gurley said, speaking of the graduate business degree. “This is a strategic error — to think that understanding business is a bad idea. And so ‘Competitive Strategy’ is the most efficient short-form MBA that you can get.

“It’s fantastic,” Gurley said. “It’s really the core essence of why start-ups have an advantage. Products that are able to be disruptive get over-designed. They get feature-rich, they get complex, they get heavy.

He added that “if you can design a product that exploits a desire of a subset of the customer base that doesn’t want that complexity, but wants this feature, you can bust in. I’ve seen that over, and over, and over.”

The book is about “a massive failure in Silicon Valley,” that had “all the best investors” and “all the best executives,” Gurley said.

“And it’s just spectacular, because on the way home from work every day he had a tape recorder and he left himself notes, so it’s remarkably detailed,” Gurley said. “We spend so much time analyzing success, and sometimes it’s just good to read how hard it can be. And why it can be so hard. So that one’s a real world account that I love.”

″[The book] is just fantastic,” Gurley said. “It just shows how much grit matters, how much you just got to leave it out there on the field. How tough it is, even for the successful companies. You shouldn’t head out into entrepreneurialism thinking it is a hay ride. It’s hard.”