Book Reviews & Notes

Short reviews on books relevant to founders. The year reflects the year I read the book, not the year it was published.


Testing with Humans

by Giff Constable and Frank Rimalovski

A solid sequel to Talking to Humans, although not quite as amazing. There are no truly unique insights here that you would not get from books like Lean Startup. But it is a short, focused manual on running experiments to de-risk your business, and it does the job well.

Talking to Humans

by Giff Constable

Superb book that suggests how a startup should frame its riskiest assumptions and how to have customer interviews that test those assumptions.


by Tony Fadell

One of those books that’s full of fluff that would have been better off as an article. Great if you want to be inspired to start a company. Useless as an aide while you’re doing it.


by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

Excellent overview of various customer acquisition channels, including some lesser known ones. The main reason this lost a star was that the book doesn’t position itself within the founder’s journey. E.g., if your website’s copy doesn’t match your target customer (or if you don’t know who your target customer is), this book won’t be all that helpful because driving traffic to a website that can’t possibly convert will just waste time and money.


The Mom Test

by Rob Fitzpatrick

Wonderful little book on how to talk to people about your idea while you’re still validating that there is demand for your idea.

Exposes counterintuitive ideas: did you know that someone saying ‘I would totally buy that!’ to you is actually a huge warning sign that you are on the wrong track?

This book is good before you have traction or if you are executing a pivot. It is especially useful if you are a technical founder who has never engaged directly with customers before.