The Entrepreneur's Library - Startup Resources
Websites & Articles
Is your great idea good enough? Can it grow in this slow economy? Can it become profitable, and provide a meaningful return on investment?
"Naming a startup is hard. Very hard. On the one hand, the pragmatic entrepreneur thinks: "I shouldn't be wasting time on this - for every successful company with a great name, there's one with a crappy name that did just fine. It doesn't seem like a name has much influence on the outcome at all. I'm going to get back to writing code." I sort of agree with this. You shouldn't obsess about your name. But, you also shouldn't dismiss it as unimportant. Part of the startup game is to try and remove unnecessary friction to your growth. Sure, you could build a spectacularly successful company despite having a lousy name - but why not stack the odds in your favor?"
Collection of articles, video clips and other resources for new entrepreneurs.
You're a middle-aged, middle manager who gets laid off. You send out 100 resumes and get absolutely nowhere. Now what? Some people in this bind start their own businesses. A lucky few end up doing much better than they did while toiling for other companies.
"A social and media network that offers personalized content, analytics and recommendations to help professionals build better careers and better companies."
A large, well-organized collection of entrepreneurial resources and advice, including business forms, news, and blogs. Geared towards smaller businesses and startups.
Alltop's Entrepreneurship page consolidates the headlines from all of the top entrepreneur-oriented news articles and blogs.
Alltop's Startups consolidates the headlines from all of the top startup-related news articles and blogs.
Essay by Paul Graham derived from a lecture given at Stanford. It's intended for college students, but much of it is applicable to potential founders at other ages.
BizSpark is a program offered by Microsoft to provide free software and support services to technology startups. Basically, they provide free development software and server software, access to a network of support services, and a platform for increasing your visibility to investors, customers, partners, and the media. It's free during your first 3 years of existence as long as you are a private company with less than $1 million in revenue.
Highlights include a business card exchange, free webinars, forms and other downloads and a referral system for contacting vendors.
Answers to commonly asked questions about choosing and registering a successful business name.
News and original ideas for small business owners (formerly Fortune Small Business).
This is a quick introduction to the Lean Startup methodology, which involves cheaply implementing a "minimally viable product," putting it in front of customers to see what they like and don't like, and quickly iterating. This approach is vastly superior to secretly (and expensively) developing a feature-rich product in a silo, and unveiling it to the world only to discover that you built something nobody really wants.
Excellent entrepreneurial resources for second-stage entrepreneurs including peer group location.
Essential reading for anybody thinking about starting a business: "People start businesses for all kinds of reasons. Other people don't start businesses for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes they are the very same reasons. I have compiled a list of frequently used phrases and comments that I often hear when people are discussing this decision and that I think reflect serious misunderstandings. At best, these misunderstandings can lead to a waste of time. At worst, they can lead to very bad decisions and very big losses."
E-scan offers the potential entrepreneur, businessperson, self-employed or franchise owner a chance to see a detailed report about their most important asset: themselves. Results are compared with other successful businesses to indicate those business skills that need improvement.
Extensive entrepreneurial resources including startup guides.
Meet a network of local entrepreneurs to share tips, problem-solving techniques, get advice on profitability and business models and discuss mentoring.
The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) is a dynamic, global network of more than 7,300 business owners in 42 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.
Entrepreneurship has many definitions, but I think this really embodies what entrepreneurship is.
An extensive directory of entrepreneurial resources provided by the Kauffman Foundation.
While most entrepreneurs dread the failure of their businesses, sometimes it's their best option. Here's how to know when to throw in the towel, and the lessons that failure can teach.
A collection of entrepreneurial content expertly curated by VC firm First Round Capital. Content is subdivided into sub-magazines on Management, People & Culture, Product, Women, PR & Marketing, Engineering, Design, Sales, and Fundraising.
"Flevy is a marketplace for premium business documents. Download documents to expedite your projects or upload documents to generate passive income."
The Founder Institute is an early-stage startup accelerator and global launch network that helps entrepreneurs create meaningful and enduring technology companies. Through a four month program, you can launch your dream company with expert training, feedback, and support from experienced startup CEOs - while not being required to quit your day job.
An excellent article for techies planning to start their own software company.
"The best corporate finance guide on the market today... for the entrepreneurial manager."
Great essay by Paul Graham: "So I'll tell you now: bad shit is coming. It always is in a startup. The odds of getting from launch to liquidity without some kind of disaster happening are one in a thousand. So don't get demoralized. When the disaster strikes, just say to yourself, ok, this was what Paul was talking about. What did he say to do? Oh, yeah. Don't give up."
A checklist of key legal steps to take when starting a new venture (written by Ryan Roberts, a startup attorney).
News, reports and business advice for any breed of entrepreneur.
This article summarizes a recent speech by Guy Kawasaki at a University of Pennsylvania technology conference.
"Personal lessons and insights from accomplished entrepreneurs are the basis of this interview series produced by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Khan Academy."
"KillerStartups.com is a user driven internet startups community. Entrepreneurs, investors, and bloggers are staying informed on up-and-coming internet startups using our blog platform, where internet entrepreneurs submit their startup to see what others think about it."
A blog by Eric Ries covering startup lessons.
Tips, tricks, and downloads for enhancing productivity.
"Anyone who has started a business has his or her own rules and guidelines, so I thought I would add to the memo with my own. My 'rules' below aren't just for those founding the companies, but for those who are considering going to work for them, as well."
Articles covering topics from legal issues and finance to marketing and management. In addition the website holds tips, templates, and other resources for details such as licensing and employee timesheets.
All kinds of benefits for the self employed. An essential resource if you're going solo; if you expect to have employees, check out PEOs as an alternative.
Learn about incubators and how to get into one.
"NFIB's mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. NFIB also gives its members a power in the marketplace. By pooling the purchasing power of its members, the National Federation of Independent Business gives members access to many business products and services at discounted costs. NFIB also provides timely information designed to help small businesses succeed."
A remarkable list of software designed to help startups get off the ground quickly.
Website provides a "virtual rolodex" to connect with other small business owners and many discussion forums to exchange ideas. In addition, there is plenty of fresh and frequently updated information, divided into seven major subjects: innovation, lifestyle, managing, marketing, money, technology, and world.
Here's how to choose a legal business name that will qualify for trademark protection and help identify your company's products and services.
Lots of non-technical "idea people" receive the same advice: go find a technical co-founder for your startup and get a prototype put together. The problem is, it's almost impossible to convince a good tech person to give up a good job to help you advance your idea. You need to create some momentum and *earn* a technical co-founder. This article gives you some good tips on how you can do this.
A great collection of fresh news and tips geared for building business online.
Great articles, events, and research for entrepreneurs.
An excellent business networking resource. Set up your online profile and join one or more networks like "Entrepreneurs" or "Biz Dev". Then start offering advice, asking for advice, and establishing business partnerships.
A large collection of free educational materials for the entrepreneur including an introduction to accounting course.
All kinds of resources for startups and small businesses.
"Careful planning is fundamental to success. The Small Business Planner includes information and resources that will help you at any stage of the business lifecycle."
SmartBrief publishes industry-specific email newsletters. This link targets SmartBrief's inspirational and best-practice ideas for small businesses.
Some questions to ask to ensure that you have what it takes.
"Springwise and its network of 8,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds. Time to start the next big thing!"
An outstanding collection of entrepreneurial education resources, including video clips (of thought leaders like John Doerr and Guy Kawasaki), podcasts, and presentations.
"Startup 101 is a serialized book about the thrills and spills of starting a Web technology venture... Startup 101 is for first-time entrepreneurs who want to go through the whole startup life cycle - including raising money, building a valuable business, and making a lot of money by selling the venture or taking it public."
The Wall Street Journal's entrepreneur resource center presenting original suggestions to address issues startups face.
Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Come share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.
Two levels of information: First, a link with tools and free templates (including legal documents) for starting a business or for commercializing ideas. Second, a "private, invitation-only site for people running a startup company. Moderated by serial entrepreneurs."
"StartupDigest is the best way to find out and stay informed about the best startup events in your city."
Daily inspirational quotes for startup entrepreneurs.
Startups Anonymous is a community for startup enthusiasts to share stories, ask questions and offer advice free from retribution. Kinda like AA for startups.
Another good article explaining why it's nearly impossible for an "idea guy" to attract a technical co-founder, and what you can do about it.
With the byline "The Entrepreneur's Help Page", this website holds practical insights into the marketing, legal, financial, and social issues of small business.
TechCrunch provides news, reviews of product developments and a database of individuals including investors. TechCrunch offers an Elevator Pitch section that gives startups the opportunity to have their 60-second pitch voted on and critiqued by peers - see http://pitches.techcrunch.com/
"Real-life stories and advice from successful entrepreneurs".
Just as agriculture, steel, energy, and computers went through a revolutionary process that made them widely available at low cost, Paul Graham believes that web startups are going through the same process, changing the way the American and global economy works.
The Go Big Network is an online community that connects entrepreneurs, investors, and other individuals that play a role in the startup business world.
Entrepreneur-focused blog by Jason McCabe Calacanis, serial entrepreneur and founder of Mahalo.com. Definitely worth adding to your RSS feed.
Vator is an emerging company social network that allows entrepreneurs to connect with investors and get discovered by the media. They also provide entrepreneurial news and competitions.
The latest buzz in the startup, entrepreneur, and investor worlds. The site focuses on the digital media, life science, clean tech, and mobile / telecom industries.
The Wall Street Journal's entrepreneur resource center presenting original suggestions to address issues startups face.
Host JJ Ramberg covers a range of topics important to small business owners in this large archive of videos.
Eboys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work
Randall E. Stross
An insider look into Benchmark Capital during the peak of the dot com era.
High Tech Start Up
A comprehensive handbook for entreneurs, touching on everything from idea to IPO.
Rules for Revolutionaries: The Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services
More practical tips for thinking like an entrepreneur.
The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide For Anyone Starting Anything
If you buy only one book on the art of entrepreneurship, this is it. Packed full of insights and useful advice, this book will help you avoid many mistakes, even if you're already an experienced entrepreneur.
The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.
An interesting chronicle of one entrepreneur’s experiences in Silicon Valley during the middle of the dot com bubble. A fun, quick read.
The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story
A look into the mind of Jim Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape.
More than 100,000 entrepreneurs rely on this book for detailed, step-by-step instructions on building successful, scalable, profitable startups. The National Science Foundation pays hundreds of startup teams each year to follow the process outlined in the book, and it's taught at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia and more than 100 other leading universities worldwide. Why? The Startup Owner's Manual guides you, step-by-step, as you put the Customer Development process to work. This method was created by renowned Silicon Valley startup expert Steve Blank, acknowledged catalyst of the "Lean Startup" movement, and tested and refined by him for more than a decade.
Disclaimer: Inclusion in this directory does not constitute an endorsement. The materials linked to from this page are copyrighted to their respective owners.