minutes reading time

10 book tips for (prospective) founders

Dr. Philipp Hüning
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On our journey with the logistics shop so far, we, like any other young company, have benefited greatly from input from outside. In addition to countless valuable tips from coaches, mentors and our customers, we have also picked up a few books. So that other founders can also benefit from this, we have selected a book tip for each of ten categories. In addition, a video has also lost its way into the list.

👉 We have linked the corresponding books. We decided not to use a large online retailer, but instead chose a small, regional bookstore with a great team and our own online shop. We don't receive any commission or anything like that.

1. Personal development: The 7 ways to be effective by Stephen R. Covey

Let's start with one of the most famous non-fiction books of all. In it, the unfortunately deceased Covey describes seven characteristics of successful people and paints them out with countless vivid metaphors and examples. In many recent books, you can find Covey's ideas and principles. The only question that remains unanswered is how you came up with the idea of translating “habits” with “ways”...

2. Funding: Startup financing from Martin Giese & Nicolaj Højer Nielsen

Only a few young companies can make a profit by bootstrapping and therefore need external financing. This book discusses the various financing channels - from Family, Fools & Friends to Angels and VCs to bank loans, mentions advantages and describes in detail when and for which type of start-up a path is suitable. Since, in addition to a detailed description of the various paths, this book also contains numerous founder voices and tools (e.g. pitch deck setup), it is the book on the list that we warmly recommend to prospective founders.

3. Self-management: The 1% Method - James Clear

This book is about how you can achieve much more with targeted habits. The idea behind this is that people can only maintain a will for a limited period of time and that you should therefore make things easier for yourself through planned habits. The author provides numerous methods and tricks that can be implemented directly, e.g. putting out your sports equipment the night before. In addition to creating good habits, this book also discusses how to get rid of bad ones.

4. Wrap-around: Start-up skills from Sebastian Pioch & Hauke Windmüller

The book describes the most important steps on the way to a successful company. The topics range from brainstorming, team building and product development to exit. The book combines and vividly describes countless exciting findings from various sources with input from experienced founders.

5. Storytelling: Always ask first: Why (English: Start with Why) by Simon Sinek

Probably the easiest to read non-fiction book in the whole list. Sinek describes very clearly why the “why” should be the focus of every company. This is not only about public image and traditional marketing, but above all about cohesion and identification within the company, the keyword “purpose.” In the book, the author has succeeded in his captivating presentation style (Video tip) to put on paper.

6. Corporate Governance: Leading Living by Fredmund Malik

An absolute classic of management literature is “Leading Live.” The new edition of the book, which was published back in 2000, focuses primarily on managing employees and building a corporate culture. It is exciting that the author incorporates many personal and practical experiences instead of remaining theoretical in textbook form. This tells you, for example, that a report is not as uncool as it sounds.

7th strategy: OKR by John Doerr

You can hardly read anything about goal setting in young companies without stumbling across the word OKR. This abbreviation stands for Objectives and Key Results, i.e. nothing more than goals and the key figures of how I measure their achievement. The book is about how this method came about at Intel and was fundamental to Google's rapid growth. The decisive key was to make all OKRs publicly available and to link them together. Regular feedback meetings between employee and manager and the consideration of personal goals also play a role in implementation. The whole thing is described with illustrative examples and finally brought into a framework, which we also use in the booth.

8. Negotiation: Deal! You're giving me what I want! by Jack Nasher

Even if you don't really want to (and at first you think you don't have to), as a founder, you are constantly negotiating: the license agreement with the university or institute, the contract with the first customers and suppliers, and the salaries of employees. This book provides an amusing overview of common negotiation methods. Even though we strongly advise against using them in every situation, it helps a lot to identify these tricks in negotiations on the other side.

9th right: Startup law by Jan Schnedler

Every idea only becomes a real company when it is founded by a notary. In addition to the social contract, however, as a founder, you come into contact with numerous other legal topics — from employee contracts to term sheets to highlights such as “order data processing contracts.” This book gives a very good overview and helps to avoid typical pitfalls that can end up costing a lot of money and nerves.

10. What kind of vacation: Startup.Murder by Tobias Kollmann

And just in case you don't want it to be a non-fiction book but light food for the holidays, we've added a startup-related novel to our list at the end. Admittedly, the crime story is a bit pieced together and foreseeable, but as you read, you learn all sorts of terms and mechanisms of the startup scene and accompanies the founders in the book from idea to IPO.

These were our ten book tips for founders. And now enjoy reading!