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4 Top Books Every Tech Founder Should Read

Posted by Devayani Bapat

April 25, 2024

Explore these four essential books that offer invaluable insights and guidance for navigating the challenging world of entrepreneurship.

As a small business owner or a tech company founder, keeping up with financial technology trends, tech-driven changes, and innovations is quite the task. However, you’re looking to gain invaluable insights and inspiration to help you navigate the complex world of entrepreneurship. In that case, we’ve compiled a list of four must-read books.

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Whether you’re in need of practical advice or management tips, these books are a goldmine of wisdom from industry leaders. They offer startups strategic insights, a wealth of information to tackle challenges, and the tools to make intelligent, well-thought-out business decisions. By incorporating lessons from these books, you’ll be equipped to stay ahead of the curve in the competitive tech landscape. Here’s what they offer:

Thinking Fast and Slow


Author: Daniel Kahneman

‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ is essential for tech business founders due to its profound insights into human decision-making processes. To lead a team, one must delve deep into the workings of the mind. Understanding that different minds function differently and are receptive to other things is imperative.

As a tech entrepreneur navigating a rapidly evolving and often unpredictable landscape, understanding the dual systems of thinking—System 1 (fast, intuitive, emotional) and System 2 (slow, deliberative, logical)—can be incredibly beneficial.

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In the tech industry, where innovation and quick decision-making are paramount, this book illuminates the impact of cognitive biases and overconfidence in corporate strategies. It’s a guide to understanding how our intuitions can sometimes lead us astray and the importance of tapping into slow, deliberate thinking for critical decisions. This is particularly relevant for founders leading an industry in absolutely any field, especially a field like tech that is evolving rapidly.

Founders make strategic decisions that drive business success by being aware of cognitive biases and learning to use deliberate thinking when necessary.

‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ also guides tech business founders and small business owners. It offers theoretical concepts and actionable techniques to enhance their judgment and ultimately optimize their path to success.

What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture


Author: Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz’s book, ‘What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture,’ is a valuable resource for tech business founders striving to build and sustain impactful company cultures. As a leading venture capitalist and management expert, Horowitz draws a parallel between historical occurrences and modern organizational practices to offer practical advice on how to build a business and create a culture within that business that you want.

For tech founders, creating a strong and resilient company culture is essential for long-term success. What sets Ben Horowitz’s book apart is his exploration of cultural models, from ancient principles to contemporary organizational dynamics. This unique perspective provides founders with a fresh take on leadership and culture-building.

The central message—that actions speak louder than words—resonates in a highly fast-paced industry evolving at lightning speed. This book equips founders with practical insights to align their actions with their vision, ultimately shaping them into influential leaders who inspire and motivate their teams. It’s not just about building a business, it’s about personal growth and transformation.

Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements: The Search for the Company with a Durable Competitive Advantage


Author: Mary Buffett,  David Clark

Buffetologists or not, if you’re a small business founder or tech business founder, ‘Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statement’ is a read you’re sure to enjoy. With the rise of AI in finance and AI-powered finance, this book is excellent for understanding the basics of one and applying them to the other. This one is for all those founders looking to gain a more robust understanding of finance and investment strategies from the perspective of a renowned master investor, something we recommend you should be equipped with, irrespective of whether you own a startup or not.

Now, why do we recommend this specific book for tech founders? The industry they deal with daily includes innovations, inventions, discoveries, and unimaginable progress. It is often tempting to invest in every new tech gadget machine or technology software that is out in the market; however, balancing it with the kind of money you make is extremely important. That’s where this book steps in, as that masterclass helps a tech entrepreneur grasp financial statements and basic finance terms and definitions, thereby aiding in critical business decisions. Buffett’s time-tested dos and don’ts for interpreting income statements and balance sheets provide companies invaluable guidance in keeping their financial health in check. Understanding why certain expenses like high R&D costs can impact business sustainability is particularly relevant for founders in technology-driven sectors.

Overall, ‘Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements,’ equips tech business founders with the financial literacy and analytical skills needed to navigate challenges, identify promising investment opportunities, and build sustainable, successful ventures in the competitive tech landscape. It is a confidante for founders looking to tread the tedious terrain of technology alone.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things


Author: Ben Horowitz 

‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ is another classic by Ben Horowitz that had to make it to our list. It is a must-read for tech business founders seeking practical wisdom and guidance in navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship. As a seasoned entrepreneur and co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, he offers invaluable insights from his firsthand experiences managing and scaling technology companies.

For tech business founders, this book is an encyclopedia of practical advice that addresses the challenging, real-world problems that often arise in startup environments. Horowitz’s candid exploration of topics like firing friends, dealing with competition, and cultivating a CEO mentality provides actionable strategies for overcoming obstacles and making difficult decisions.

What sets this book apart is its relatability and authenticity. Horowitz doesn’t shy away from touching upon the harsh realities of running a business; instead, he shares personal anecdotes and lessons learned by using lyrics from his favorite rap tunes, offering a refreshingly honest perspective on the entrepreneurial journey.

‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ equips tech business founders with the mindset and tools to navigate the startup world’s uncertainty, adversity, and unchartered waters. It’s a valuable resource that empowers founders to tackle challenges head-on, stay resilient in the face of setbacks, and, ultimately, build successful and enduring tech ventures. It’s one hell of a book that can show you that if he could do it with perseverance, you can, too.

The Key Takeaway:


These four books offer indispensable knowledge and insights for small business founders navigating the tech industry. From understanding the intricacies of building a startup to mastering the art of scaling a business, introduction to financial terminology, and insight into investment strategies, each book provides valuable lessons that can inform and inspire founders in the ever-evolving tech landscape. Not just that, they serve as good reads and a great addition to your self-help section on the bookshelf, too.

By incorporating lessons from these books into their entrepreneurial endeavors, tech founders can enhance their problem-solving abilities, refine their leadership skills, and get some insight into tangible experiences. It isn’t just an investment in knowledge—it’s a roadmap to navigating the complexities of startup life and achieving lasting success.

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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. Escalon and its affiliates are not providing tax, legal, or accounting advice in this article. If you would like to engage with Escalon, please get in touch with us here.


Devayani Bapat
Devayani Bapat

With 6 years of experience in copywriting and social media management across genres, Devayani's heart lies with weaving words into stories and visuals into carefully crafted narratives that’ll keep you wanting more. She carries with her, her pocket notebook, a trusted confidante that goes with her wherever she goes, and scribbles down into it anecdotes on the go. Her secret weapon for keeping all things copy interesting! Apart from writing, Devayani is huge on travelling. You'll find her booking her next adventure while she's on her current one. And while on those adventures, you'll find her devouring true crime books one after the other. Whether it's a low down on a recent case or one that occurred 70 years ago, she can cook up a story narration you'll never forget.

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