Required Reading for Startups

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checkWhen you’re running a startup business, time moves at a blistering pace. The work week goes by in a blink with very little time for reflection. Last week on Friday, we were talking about some new development and when I asked Ashley to check something out, he said, “Ok, next week.” I think my email back was “Next Week!?!” By next week I’m a dinosaur, next week is when we need to go live…

But here we are again in the future. It’s next week and everything seems ok. The weekend (whatever days that is for you), really isn’t a time for work – it’s a time to be reflective and mow your lawn. Sleep and forge your stresses into ideas.

What I was thinking about this weekend is how to become a great place to work. We have a new person joining our team – David Clough – and we’re really excited to have him with us. I was thinking of all the things that we could do and realized that we need other people’s help. And one way to get help from the best is to go to the library. So we want to give everyone who starts with us some great books to start them down the right path – not our path – but the right path.

What are some great books for startups that you would make required reading (besides industry stuff like TalentForce)? What books embody the spirit of every great small business? Here are some that we’re thinking of so far:

  1. Rework by the 37Signals guys
  2. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
  3. Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
  4. Tribal Leadership by these folks
  5. Peak by Chip Conley
  6. Good to Great by Jim Collins
  7. Be Excellent at Anything by Schwartz, Gomes, and McCarthy

On this site and in recruiting, we talk a lot about finding great talent, but probably too little about how to become a great company with the people that you have. It’s a thing that shouldn’t be relegated to the weekends, but be what you start each day thinking about. I’m going to try. And maybe sometimes, pick up a new book myself.

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Miles is the Founder & President of, a recruiting solutions platform that solves hiring challenges for companies from startups to the Fortune 100.
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