“Best” is, more often than not, a very subjective term. Even in regard to professional sports—where there are clearly defined winners and losers and champions and rankings—people can argue until they’re blue in the face about which team is the “best.” So in compiling a list of the best books for entrepreneurs, I wanted to try to be as objective as possible.
So I asked Google (obviously).
I opened up an incognito window in Chrome to eliminate any bias from past searches and picked “best books for entrepreneurs” as my search term. Of the top 10 results, eight were lists written by various entrepreneurs and journalists for sites like Forbes and Business Insider, one was the Amazon best sellers list for the “entrepreneurship” category (based on sales, updated hourly), and one was a list of Amazon’s entire catalog of books on small business and entrepreneurship. I chose to omit the latter Amazon result, as it was sorted by “new and popular” and was in no way a curated list. From the best sellers page, I took the top 10 (2 of which were repeated).
What I was left with was a grand total of 108 books, 84 of which were only mentioned once. The inconsistency among “best” books was not entirely surprising, but there were a few curveballs thrown in—Atlas Shrugged, in particular.
Below are the books that were mentioned most frequently. The first two received four votes each while the following three were each mentioned three times.
1. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
3. The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win by Steven Blank
3. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
3. Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
So while there is clearly a lack of consensus on the best book for entrepreneurs, any of the above are sure to provide a good jumping-off point.