By LAURA LOREK, Publisher of Silicon Hills News and Host of the Ideas to Invoices Podcast

In three seasons of the Ideas to Invoices podcast, Silicon Hills News has interviewed more than 70 highly successful Austin and San Antonio entrepreneurs and many of them recommended books that have helped them with their entrepreneurial journeys.

Silicon Hills News published the first list of book recommendations in 2018.

This is the second list, culled from the individual Ideas to Invoices podcasts, to help aspiring entrepreneurs grow their ventures and succeed.

  1. The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution by Frank White recommended by Ben Lamm, CEO and Founder of Hypergiant. This book will change your perspective, Lamm said. It’s not a traditional business book, but it has changed the way he looks at startup investing and now he’s more focused as an angel investor in investing in startups and entrepreneurs who will have a big impact on the world.

  2. .The eMyth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber recommended by Steve Cody, CEO, and Co-Founder of Ruckify. “It’s so relatable especially if you just started a business or are thinking about starting a business it’s an absolute must,” Cody said. For any entrepreneur, it is a must-read, he said.

  3. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout, recommended by Morris Miller, CEO, and Co-Founder of Xenex Disinfection Services. Miller keeps multiple copies of the book on his shelf. “These are the lessons I reflect on all the time regardless of the business,” Miller said. He has used the ideas in the book to position marketing at a wide variety of businesses including Rackspace,, and Xenex.

  4. . How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie recommended by Lloyd Armbrust, CEO, and Co-Founder of OwnLocal. He hated the title of the book, and he didn’t read it for a long time, but once he did, he thought it was so good at giving advice on how to relate to people.

  5. . Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink recommended by Joyce Durst, CEO, and Founder of Growth Acceleration Partners. Traction gives a real framework on how to instill accountability throughout your organization, Durst said. And Drive provides information on how to incentivize people, she said. People are really looking for autonomy, mastery, and sense of purpose, she said.

  6. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz and Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations and Make Your Bed by William McRaven recommended by David Perez, CEO, and Founder of Lumen Insurance Technologies. Horowitz’s advice is spot on and Perez likes the rap references. McRaven’s books provide valuable life lessons.

  7. The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution by Clayton M. Christensen recommended by Will Young, Co-Founder, and CEO of Sana Benefits. Young attended classes taught by Christensen at Harvard Business School. The principles in the books provide excellent guidance for any startup looking to disrupt a large market, Young said.

  8. Anatomy of Greed: The Unshredded Truth from an Enron Insider by Brian Cruver, CEO and Founder of AlertMedia. Cruver wrote this book after leaving Enron. It was also made into a movie. The book and experience also inspired him to found AlertMedia. He said he only wants to be involved with startups that do good in the world.

  9. Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway recommended by Sean Foley, CEO, and Founder of Nine Banded Whiskey. Ventures Deals is pretty straight forward in how it describes the financing side of early-stage companies, Foley said. On the inspiration side, he recommends The Old Man and the Sea. It resonates because at that end of the day, being a business person shouldn’t be that complicated if you have the appropriate knowledge base and experience you can succeed.

  10. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne recommended by Carey Smith, Founder of Big Ass Fans and Unorthodox Ventures. A lot of people start businesses and they get into a red ocean and there’s a lot of competition and people feel comfortable there, Smith said. But if you want to really make a difference, you should be looking for blue ocean opportunities where there is very little competition, Smith said.