By: Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim, TechCrunch
Read on TechCrunch

December 21, 2022

We gift each other a lot of books each year. It’s a good practice, as having more books makes you a more handsome individual, and buying books helps support the arts. Or at least quasi-vanity business book publishers.

Regardless, we’re wrapping up the TechCrunch Book-A-Thon today with a series of recommendations from founders. Recounting the best books that entrepreneurs read in 2022 follows our list of recommendations from venture capitalists and the TechCrunch staff.

Naturally, you’ll find a good number of business books below. There are also recommendations from founders that stray into the autobiographical and fiction realms. If you need even more book ideas, you can check out both parts of our 2021 list here and here.

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Founder book favorites, 2022 edition

Process Mining: Data Science in Action by Wil van der Aalst

  • Recommended by Alex Rinke, co-founder and co-CEO of Celonis.

His research changed my life and the course of my career. Reading that book opened my eyes to a new way of running processes to companies everywhere — an adventure that involved my co-founders and me hand-writing over a thousand letters to top executives, driving all over Germany in a beat-up Opel Astra and so much more.

Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

  • Recommended by Brennan Spellacy, CEO at Patch.

A foundational piece of the growing cli-fi genre, “Ministry for the Future” paints a vivid picture of how climate change will impact all of us. The novel showcases the disturbing reality we’re creating, particularly for the most vulnerable, and leaves you with a haunting sense of urgency to act.

Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter

  • Recommended by Clearspeed CEO and co-founder Alex Martin.

I like “Comfort Crisis’ because it reminds us that “hard” things can be very good and healthy … a reminder that as entrepreneurs we should embrace adversity and pain to make us stronger.

Die with Zero by Bill Perkins

  • Recommended by Clearspeed CEO and co-founder Alex Martin.

It’s a reminder that in this very short life we have only few windows to make memories that out value material wealth — these experiences should be financially invested in now to optimize life’s journey for ourselves, our families and our communities — also, as entrepreneurs — we aren’t doing this for money, first of all, we are doing this for the memory and adventure and stories we are making.

The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t by Julia Galef

We’re naturally inclined to violently identify with and defend our beliefs, though we can become more effective by learning to hold them loosely and becoming comfortable with incrementally updating how we see the world over time.

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore

  • Recommended by Satyen Sangani, CEO of Alation.

I don’t think there’s a single book that’s affected how I’ve thought about the journey of building a startup more than [this one]. From a simple positioning statement to scaling technology, he provides the map for the journey that most technology companies have to traverse to get to the promised land.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X (As told to Alex Haley)

  • Recommended by Satyen Sangani, CEO of Alation.

If you want to hear about someone that’s persevered and transformed in the search of meaning, this is an incredible story. Malcolm’s journey is fundamentally human and totally inspiring. Starting with his childhood, through his militant stage and then to a rebirth, he lives every season of life and does so in a way that displays growth, grit and authenticity.

Be 2.0 by Jim Collins

  • Recommended by Rachel Mack Robinson, DotCom Therapy.

This book sits next to my computer and is one I revisit frequently. People often laugh when they see it on my desk as it has post-it notes fanning out from every direction. It serves as an important reminder of why you start a company and the questions you need to ask yourself in order to stay on track. For anyone at the beginning, middle or end of their entrepreneurial journey, this book always reignites a fire in me!

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

  • Recommended by Rachel Mack Robinson, DotCom Therapy.

I often tend to recommend or reference it whenever I hear from individuals struggling to find quality talent on their teams. It can also help you assess your team’s talents differently. In my past years, the most successful employees have been abstract problem-solvers who know how to rally a team to push through barriers and think strategically.

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Having a remote company requires a deep investment in culture. Within culture, it is easy to slip into a company that shies away from constructive feedback of their team members. This book helps anyone with direct reports navigate the difficult conversations to help steer them into coaching opportunities, which will enable your direct report to grow and your company to achieve optimal impact.

And now, recommendations that were shared with less commentary:

Recommended by Tracy Chou of BlockParty:

Recommended by Mo Shaikh of Aptos Labs:

Recommended by David Rabie of Tovala:

Recommended by Todd Olson of Pendo:

Recommended by Andrew Bialecki of Klaviyo:

Recommended by Kalpesh Kapadia of Deserve:

Recommended by Alison Smith of Roga:

Recommended by Alex Kosyakov of Natrion:

Both “were interesting in that there are a great deal of tools that management in a company can leverage to get high performance from employees,” Kosyakov wrote.

Recommended by Torben Friehe of Wingback:

Recommended by Victor Oribamise of Kquika:

Recommended by Girish Mathrubootham of Freshworks:

Recommended by Liran Belenzon of BenchSci:

Recommended by Sam Eder, co-founder and CEO of Big Wheelbarrow:

Recommended by Jon Ebel, co-founder and CTO of Verivend:

Recommended by Courtney Caldwell, co-founder and COO of ShearShare:

Recommended by Tye Caldwell, co-founder and CEO of ShearShare:

Recommended by Marco Zappacosta, co-founder and CEO of Thumbtack: