The Best Startup Reads Of 2016 (So Far)
We’re half way through 2016. It’s hard to believe. We wanted to mark the occasion by celebrating the best reads we’ve seen this year so far. Today we’re looking at the best writing on startups and entrepreneurship. Enjoy.
Tough News: We’ve Made 10 Layoffs. How We Got Here, the Financial Details and How We’re Moving Forward
This has to be one of the most impressive and important company blog posts we’ve ever read. Buffer has been a pioneer in transparency in business. But those are tough ideals to stick to when times get hard. Buffer CEO Joel Gascoigne opens up about some financial hardships and layoffs.
In the past we’ve gotten ourselves out of these situations by growing our revenue faster. We’re optimistic as cofounders, and we believe in Buffer. One such occasion was back in 2013 when our growth slowed slightly and we started to burn cash rather than be cashflow positive. This was when we quickly launched Buffer for Business, and this turned the situation around.
David Heinemeier Hansson, of Basecamp, pops holes in the myth of “hiring the best.”
How many times have you heard a company claim that they only hire the best? The top of the top. The crème de la crème. Most of them, by sheer necessity of math, are delusional. There just aren’t that many “the best” to go around. What these companies generally mean is that they hired “the best” of the candidates that applied. Whoopty fucking doo. That’s what all companies generally do (the special ones hire for best team, not just best candidates).
Help Scout’s Beenish Khan writes on the importance of cross-pollinating your professional skills with your personal hobbies.
The Greek philosopher Pythagoras heard the hammering of four blacksmiths and discovered a connection between music and math. And just like that, the universe is interconnected. So don’t box in your job and hobbies; don’t give up your passions out of guilt. An unconventional road to learning can lead to a work of genius—or at least to a unique story to tell.
Shane Snow of Contently writes on the timeless skill of storytelling, and it’s implications for business going forward.
Funny thing is, storytelling has been the buzzword off and on since advertising became a thing. It’s always coming out of the buzzword pile because, at the end of the day, it’s a timeless skill. Stories have been an essential driver of change throughout human history. For good and for ill.
Tomas Laurinavicius makes a compelling case for the value of reading good old fashioned books. It’s a strong argument that will make you want to dust of your library card — or your Amazon account.
Books cost money. That’s true. But it costs more money not reading them. Tomorrow morning you will get your favorite cup of coffee like many mornings before. But how does it contribute to your future? You may feel good while drinking but that’s it. Now books is a different story. It’s the wisest investment in yourself. It opens your mind, widens your perspective and inspires you to take action. Instead of drinking three cups of coffee or any other drink, invest in a book. Just a single idea in that book can change your life.
Mikael Cho of Crew delivers a great lesson about getting blinded by design at the expense of story. Beautiful and clean design isn’t the only part of the equation, he argues.
I’ve seen companies spend tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars perfecting a website, email, or ad’s visual design while spending the last few hours on writing the words that will make up that design. Our intense focus on visual design can blind us from focusing on the most important part of the message: The story.