The Best Books for SaaS Founders

The SaaS industry is booming right now. With tight competition like never before, it is time to broaden your knowledge, learn new skills, and expand your SaaS business. In short, adopt a growth mindset to achieve, and even surpass, your business goals.

Enter into the wonderful world of books.

Whether you prefer digital books or are more into traditional paper and ink, our list of best books for SaaS founders will see you right.

Read on and be inspired…

Why SaaS Books?

Most of us love a good book. But reading books for fun is entirely different from reading for learning. Like the SaaS industry, the self-improvement industry is continually growing.

Global personal development market share, by focus area, 2021 (%)

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According to Grand View Research, in 2021 skillset enhancement made up 32% of the massive $41.8 billion global personal development market. It outperformed the mental health, physical health, motivation & inspiration, and self-awareness segments within the market.

A book can contain growth strategies for both SaaS startups and well-established SaaS businesses. A book is a low-cost, easy way to cultivate new skills and knowledge. There is a wealth of information out there in SaaS books to help you stay ahead of software company competitors.

13 Brilliant Books For SaaS Founders To Read

Here are thirteen tried and tested SaaS books bursting with handy information, advice, and inspiration. Make one of these books your go-to guide to growing your business.

The Lean Startup - Best for a Scientific Startup Method

First up we have The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Widely praised by some of the world’s leading CEOs, The Lean Startup is an inspiring read for business buffs. It is packed with practical, hands-on knowledge. The process has become known as the Lean Startup Movement.

The Lean Startup Book

Eric Ries shares the scientific methodology behind the Lean process. Readers will benefit from specific, actionable steps that they can use in many areas of their lives. Enjoy a step-by-step guide on how to establish and grow a successful business.

The Lean Startup is a must-read for every startup. It focuses on removing the uncertainty of growing your business; an enticing prospect for every startup founder!

The Hard Thing About Hard Things - Best for Solving Common Business Problems

Ben Horowitz shares his valuable entrepreneurial insights in this gem of a book. Delivering exactly what it promises in its full title; ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers’, Horowitz shares his practical advice for innovative companies and startups. And, he does it with his much-loved wit and humor. The renowned Silicon Valley entrepreneur drives his points home by incorporating lyrics from some of his favorite rap songs.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

Readers are privy to an abundance of business-building information. Horowitz tackles problems head-on. He addresses the difficult, and sometimes awkward issues, that many founders face. Some examples are:

  • Advice on firing friends

  • When and how to sell your business

  • Dealing with smart, but bad, employees

  • Managing your psychological health

If you want to read a problem-solving entrepreneurial book that gets straight to the point, this one is for you.

Zero to One - Best for Generating New Ideas for Future Success

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build a Future has a strong emphasis on the future of technology. It is written by American venture capitalist Blake Masters and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel. Zero to One hones in on the concept of developing something new to achieve success.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

The premise is simple but powerful. To truly stand out in a highly-competitive world, you have to do something that hasn’t already been done many times over. The authors use Bill Gates and Larry Page as examples. They are successful because they developed new products.

The two entrepreneurs demonstrate how you can have a bright and lucrative future. This motivational book by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters promotes innovative and analytical thinking. It will inspire you to think outside of the box to try new things and formulate fresh ideas.

What’s not to love?

Behind the Cloud - Best for Solid Advice from a Revolutionary Founder

Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff and Carlyle Adler tells the inspiring story of Salesforce. Marc Benioff is the CEO and founder of the multibillion-dollar SaaS company. In this behind-the-scenes tell-all book, Benioff describes his journey. From his initial idea to starting his business, and then on to creating a leading brand.

Behind the Cloud - Marc Benioff

Benioff started his venture in a rented apartment. In less than ten years, Salesforce became the fastest-growing software company across the globe. It is a worldwide force in the cloud computing industry. Behind the Cloud is proof that one brilliant idea from one man (or woman) can shake up, and even revolutionize, an industry.

Read the book to discover the strategy of one of the world’s leading CEOs. Read Benioff’s unique insights into building a successful SaaS company.

The Founder's Dilemmas - Best for Avoiding Failures as a Startup

In The Founder’s Dilemmas, Noam Wasserman writes about the practicalities of founding a business. The book’s big selling point is its hands-on advice to founders on how to anticipate and avoid failures when starting up their company. Wasserman examines the decisions that many startups face. And, he offers real solutions on how to navigate them.

The Founder's Dilemmas Book

Wasserman, an associate professor at Hazard Business School, analyses the actions of top entrepreneurs. He presents his ideas with real-world stories from the likes of Evan Williams and Tim Westergren.

The Founder’s Dilemmas doesn’t just aim to solve problems though. It also aims to avoid them altogether. It is a perfect read for budding SaaS entrepreneurs just starting out.

Deep Work - Best for Building Deep Concentration Skills

Next on our list of best SaaS books to read is Deep Work by Cal Newport. This book is quite different from my previous recommendations but no less valuable. Deep Work is all about building that increasingly-lost skill; deep concentration. Newport provides insights on how to build and refine this skill. This inevitably leads to achieving better results and a more fulfilling life.

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Newport details a specific training regime. Furthermore, he draws on professional experiences from the likes of Carl Jung to help readers develop their skills. These skills will help founders to maintain focus on their important tasks to generate greater productivity. Founders will appreciate Newport’s constructive strategies to achieve the best results.

The Power of Habit - Breaking Business-Damaging Habits

The Power of Habit was published in 2013. It was written by award-winning journalist Charles Duhigg. As you may already guess, the book is about habits; that is, why we have them and how we can change them. The incredibly useful book takes a scientific approach. It explores the neuroscience behind actions and the habits attributed to them.

The Power of Habit book - Charles Duhigg

Duhigg discusses how companies like Proctor and Gamble go against the odds with products like Febreze and turn them into a billion-dollar product. He cleverly analyses the relationship between business and habits. And importantly, how founders can use this to their advantage.

The Power of Habit has huge potential to transform the lives of SaaS business owners. Duhigg argues that understanding habits and how they work is the key to a successful life.

Good to Great - Developing the Mindset of Great Founders

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t was written by Jim Collins and is based on extensive research. Jim lead a team of 21 researchers to discover what makes a business thrive or dive.

From Good to Great - Jim Collins

Collins draws on an unbelievable amount of research to identify the determining factors between success and failure. Sources include a whopping 6,000 articles and 2,000 pages of interview transcripts.

Good to Great presents some surprising findings from the in-depth study. Readers will learn about different management strategies and which produce the best SaaS results.

Collins expertly analyses what went wrong with a careful selection of companies that have not achieved greatness. He ultimately attributes the success of ‘great’ companies to the thought processes of their leaders.

Never Split the Difference - Best for Optimizing Your Negotiation Skills

Negotiating is a core aspect of entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, learning how to do it effectively takes time and practice. And, perhaps a lot of disappointing fails. ‘Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if your life depended on it is a clever time-saving negotiation hack.

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss

The book is written by Chris Yoss, a former FBI agent. As a kidnapping negotiator, Yoss worked on high-stakes hostage negotiations. In Never Split the Difference, he shares his field-based negotiation tactics and insights. Thus, readers learn effective negotiating techniques from a professional negotiator.

At its core are nine fundamental rules to follow in any negotiating situation. You can apply these powerful principles to both your personal and professional life.

Lost and Founder - Best for Learning the Business From an Insider

Lost and Founder is an in-depth and brutally honest guide to starting up a technology company. It is written by Rand Fishkin, the founder of Moz. Rand takes his readers on a journey of the highs and lows of establishing his marketing software business.

Lost and Founder: The Mostly Awful, Sometimes Awesome Truth about Building a Tech Startup by Rand Fishkin

Moz is a very well-known company with an impressive reputation. Although it is now a multimillion-dollar company, success didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took 15 years of hard work to get there. In this tell-all book, Rand reveals some unique observations that many founders avoid disclosing.

Rand doesn’t shy away from disclosing the trials and tribulations all tech startups face. And, importantly, he reveals how he overcomes them.

From Impossible to Inevitable - Best for Achieving Predictable Growth

Next on our info-packed list is From Impossible to Inevitable. This is a truly motivational book for any founder wanting to turbo-boost their sales with a sustainable business model…

…and what SaaS startup wouldn’t want that?

From Impossible to Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross

In this book, authors Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin walk their readers through an intelligent formula for sustainable business growth and optimum sales. They discuss tech companies that have enjoyed “Hypergrowth” including Salesforce, Zenefits, and EchoSign. Ross and Lemkin analyze what these companies did to not only substantially increase their sales, but also how they maintained that momentum.

Ross and Lemkin identify seven factors that contribute to “Hypergrowth”. They break down each of these factors to give specific steps in their sales growth template.

Traction - Best for Building a Loyal Customer-Base

Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers, is written by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. The must-read book contains essential advice on how to gain more customers. It contains a detailed framework that SaaS founders can harness to turbo-charge their businesses.

Traction: A startup guide to getting customers

This super-handy startup guide gives the best SaaS startup advice on gaining traction. The co-authors developed their framework after interviewing founders of successful companies such as Wikipedia, EverNote, and Reddit. They noticed repetitive tactics that each of the founders used. From there, they crafted the method which will help them win more customers.

Traction covers pretty much every marketing method you can think of, including:

  • SEO

  • Paid Ads

  • Content Marketing

  • Viral Marketing

  • Affiliate Campaigns

Plus many, many more.

By the way, if you’re looking to grow your customer base with paid ads, the team here at Snowball Creations paid ads agency are experts in helping SaaS businesses snowball their sales. Why not check us out when you’re done reading?

The SaaS Email Marketing Playbook - Best for Boosting Your Email Marketing

Last on my list of best SaaS books to read is The SaaS Email Marketing Playbook.

As a SaaS founder, you probably know that email marketing can be a tricky task. You need to entice your audience into actually opening your emails. And only then can you attempt to convert them into paying customers. If you’re not doing it right, you’re wasting your time and your money.

The SaaS Email Marketing Playbook: Convert Leads, Increase Customer Retention, and Close More Recurring Revenue With Email

Enter Etienne Garbugli with this brilliant SaaS book. Etienne shares his personal experience with email campaigns. In the book, he explains the strategies his company uses to achieve high email marketing conversion rates. Learning from lots of mistakes, Etienne’s book teaches the winning formula for email marketing campaigns.

This SaaS book will help you to drive conversions like never before. It is a book that every founder must read.

Use the SaaS strategy to take the guesswork out of your email campaigns and increase your company’s revenue.

Which Books Will You Read to Achieve Explosive Customer Growth?

There is a plethora of SaaS books available to help founders with a huge range of issues. Whether you’re a habitual procrastinator, are not sure how to get your business off the ground, or your business sales have stagnated, pick up some books that offer solutions.

It’s the technological age. SaaS companies are popping up all over the net. Take the opportunity to absorb as much useful, motivational, and practical advice as you can. Make sure your company is amongst the best SaaS companies that succeed.

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