2021 is officially here, which means it’s time to hit refresh and get back to your goals. However, if you’re still reeling from 2020 then you probably need some guidance and inspiration. Here’s where books written by some of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs and thinkers can help you pick up the pace.

Budding entrepreneurs no doubt have more challenges than ever, but a great idea is still a great idea. Learn from those who have gone before you and transform that product, solution or service into a thriving international company. Afterall, every household name started out exactly where you are now – so it pays to discover what drove their success story.

So, without further ado, we’ve compiled our all-time favourite reads for kick-starting your startup, from inspirational autobiographies to the best in self-help literature to keep you evolving.

1-Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston

In this essential tome, Jessica Livingston interviews tech founders like Steve Wozniak (Apple), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Mitch Kapor (Lotus), Max Levchin (PayPal), and Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail) about the early days of their careers and the secrets to their success. You’ll gain invaluable insights into what it takes to go big, including the mindset required to get you there.

2-Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Too often in life the only one holding us back is ourselves. In this bestselling book, author James Clear sets out how incremental changes can spark remarkable growth. If you’re looking to up your game, and in need of a life hack, this one’s for you.

3-The Startup of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

Think of this as a career escalator in book form. Here, both the cofounder and the chairmen of Linkedin delve deep into the skills and characteristics of a successful entrepreneurial mind. You’ll learn how to adapt, win opportunities, identify intelligent risks and develop that all important network.

4-Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

It’s safe to say we’ve all heard of this one, which is evidence in itself of its life-changing message. Malcolm Gladwell analyses the ingredients involved in big-time success stories, ranging from tech billionaires to The Beatles. What do all high achievers have in common? How can we learn from their brilliant and idiosyncratic paths to self-realisation? Pick up this book to find out.

5-Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim

If you’re sick of competing, then this book will change everything. Blue Ocean Strategy is considered almost Biblical in its value and impact within the business world. This book is more technical than the other titles on this list, but if you’re ready to leave your rivals behind and find (or create) untapped markets, then this is the masterclass you need.

6-Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

From a cofounder of Pixar Animation Studios comes this insider’s guide to the role of creativity in business. We all know creativity is one of the most important ingredients in success, but how do we develop creativity, and what are the leadership and management principles that unpin the creative process? Let the luminaries of joyous storytelling put you in the know.

7-Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

Phil Knight takes us on his rags to riches journey as the founder of Nike, from selling shoes out of the trunk of his car, through to becoming one of the most recognisable brands in the world. If you think a group of misfits can’t make it big in the world, think again.

Ready for Success? Think Ten Steps Ahead

Think10 matches promising entrepreneurs with capital and co-investment opportunities. No matter how small or large your starting point, there is room for growth. Talk to us to make the first steps.

Chris Cutout

Chris Dixon

Fund manager

cd@think10capital.com

Chris Dixon is a Think10 Capital’s Digital Fund Manager with specific responsibilities of managing digital funds and driving strategic growth. Dixon brings his experiences in capital and investment management through prior involvement in private equity and institutional investment in the United States. Over the past decade Dixon has lived and worked in Melbourne, Australia where he now resides.