HN Books @HNBooksMonth

The best books of Hacker News.

Hacker News Comments on
The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

Guy Kawasaki · 7 HN comments
HN Books has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention "The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything" by Guy Kawasaki.
View on Amazon [↗]
HN Books may receive an affiliate commission when you make purchases on sites after clicking through links on this page.
Amazon Summary
A new product, a new service, a new company, a new division, a new organization, a new anything—where there’s a will, here’s the way. It begins with a dream that just won’t quit, the once-in-a-lifetime thunderbolt of pure inspiration, the obsession, the world-beater, the killer app, the next big thing. Everyone who wants to make the world a better place becomes possessed by a grand idea. But what does it take to turn your idea into action? Whether you are an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit crusader, there’s no shortage of advice available on issues such as writing a business plan, recruiting, raising capital, and branding. In fact, there are so many books, articles, and Web sites that many startups get bogged down to the point of paralysis. Or else they focus on the wrong priorities and go broke before they discover their mistakes. In The Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki brings two decades of experience as one of business’s most original and irreverent strategists to offer the essential guide for anyone starting anything, from a multinational corporation to a church group. At Apple in the 1980s, he helped lead one of the great companies of the century, turning ordinary consumers into evangelists. As founder and CEO of Garage Technology Ventures, a venture capital firm, he has field-tested his ideas with dozens of newly hatched companies. And as the author of bestselling business books and articles, he has advised thousands of people who are making their startup dreams real. From raising money to hiring the right people, from defining your positioning to creating a brand, from creating buzz to buzzing the competition, from managing a board to fostering a community, this book will guide you through an adventure that’s more art than science—the art of the start.
HN Books Rankings

Hacker News Stories and Comments

All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this book.

I believe any one or more of those will get you going in the right direction. All of those I've either read, or have seen recommended highly enough by people I trust, that I feel comfortable recommending them. The Guy Kawasaki book is a good, basic introduction to starting a startup, although it's a little old now. I think most of it is still relevant though.

A lot of this stuff is probably on the 'net as well, but you may have to dig around for it a bit. Quora has a lot of good questions (and good answers) on VC / startup topics, so that might be worth a look. Also, a number of high profile VCs maintain blogs where they share a lot of useful information. Mark Suster comes to mind ( and does Brad Feld ( Note that Brad Feld is the author of one of the above books.

Aug 26, 2013 · liquidcool on A Startup Reading List
I liked Guy Kawasaki's "The Art of the Start" ( because every time I picked it up, it motivated me to put it down and get back to work.

I am kind of surprised to see Steve Blank's "The Four Steps to the Epiphany" ( omitted. Is that one that everyone mentions, but nobody reads?

Yeah, I liked a lot of books, I made this list based on what I was familiar with.
I would definitely, definitely recommend both The Four Steps To The Epiphany and The Art Of The Start to any founder. In fact, if I were making a list like this, those two would top the list.
Steve's new book The Startup Owner's Manual being left off this list is criminal.
Haven't read it - but I bought it, thanks.
I recently started to collect some links off HN that had to do with business books that were somewhat more programmer friendly. Sadly, nothing that matches what you speak of (though that would be very cool!)

some books

Heres a big thread that had many suggestions:

Guy Kawasaki - The Art of the Start -

Brad Feld - Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist -

Dermot Berkery - Raising Venture Capital for the Serious Entrepreneur -

Jeffrey Bussgang - Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get from Start-up to IPO on Your Terms -

William Draper - The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs -

Hmm... a few that jump to mind for me would be:

The Art of the Start - Guy Kawasaki

Outside Innovation - Patricia Seybold

Unleashing the Killer App - Larry Downes & Chunka Mui

Wellsprings of Knowledge - Dorothy Leonard Barton

The Innovators Dilemma - Clayton Christensen

Crossing the Chasm - Geoffrey A. Moore

The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs - William H. Draper

Some of these aren't necessarily about startups, but I think they all have something valuable to offer. YMMV.

My experience is that none of the self-help books ever did very much for me. This includes Steven Covey, Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, Zig Zigler, the Secret, etc., etc., etc. Some were entertaining, but that was it. I understand that these books do help many people who need their messages; I'm just not one of them. I prefer books that inspire me and tell me what to do.

My favorites?

How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis.

Differentiate or Die by Jack Trout

Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

The 22 Immutable Rules of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Digitial Aboriginal by Mikela Tarlow and Philip Tarlow

and, of course

Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston

Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham

Before you do anything else, go to and read all of the essays! I don't want to sound like a shill or hero worshipper for pg, but, understand, these essays are the very best thing out there for anyone on this forum. I am here because of the essays, not the other way around.

I have a dozen business books (only the best) on the shelf, available at all times. This is one of them:

(I especially like one of his 2 word phrases: "Make Meaning")

I've read the first half of it but I have mixed feelings about it. Yes, the advice is sound but the tone is dry; it lacks enthusiasm. The Bootstrapper's Bible by Seth Godin (and, generally, everything Seth writes or talks about) is much better.
HN Books is an independent project and is not operated by Y Combinator or
~ [email protected]
;laksdfhjdhksalkfj more things ~ Privacy Policy ~
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.