10 Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read From 2009 : Under30CEO 10 Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read From 2009 : Under30CEO
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10 Best Selling Business Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read From 2009

| December 30, 2009 | 25 Comments

Here is Under30CEO best selling list of entrepreneurship books you must read! 

Crush it – Gary Vaynerchuk


Do you have a hobby you wish you could indulge in all day? An obsession that keeps you up at night? Now is the perfect time to take that passion and make a living doing what you love. In Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses.

Gary spent years building his family business from a local wine shop into a national industry leader. Then one day he turned on a video camera, and by using the secrets revealed here, transformed his entire life and earning potential by building his personal brand. By the end of this book, readers will have learned how to harness the power of the Internet to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true.

Step by step, Crush It! is the ultimate driver’s manual for modern business.

The New Community Rules – Tamar Weinberg


Blogs, networking sites, and other examples of the social web provide businesses with a largely untapped marketing channel for products and services. But how do you take advantage of them? With The New Community Rules, you’ll understand how social web technologies work, and learn the most practical and effective ways to reach people who frequent these sites.Written by an expert in social media and viral marketing, this book cuts through the hype and jargon to give you intelligent advice and strategies for positioning your business on the social web, with case studies that show how other companies have used this approach.

Many consumers today use the Web as a voice. The New Community Rules demonstrates how you can join the conversation, contribute to the community, and bring people to your product or service.

Trust Agents – Chris Brogan and Julien Smith


This book is your guide to a new form of power broker–web natives who trade in trust, reputation, and relationships using tools you may never even have heard of. You will learn what you need to look for in such an agent for your business or how to become one yourself. Trust Agents is your guide to the deep end of meaningful relationships on the web.

The book explores how business people can use the Web’s new social software tools to build awareness, influence, reputation, and eventually authority. It focuses on methods of building trust and wielding influence, and how these efforts impact business processes and goals. In three parts, the book defines the landscape of this generation’s web, explains who trust agents are, and analyzes the mechanics of trust in today’s economy where reputation is key. Part career advice, part communications management, and part technology know-how, Trust Agents aims to deliver high level theory, actionable next steps, and stories and case studies to bolster the opinions and experiences of the authors.

Anatomy of Buzz Revisited – Emanuel Rosen


A new edition of the definitive handbook on word-of-mouth marketing, completely revised and updated for today’s online world. With two-thirds new material and scores of current examples from today’s most successful companies, The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited takes readers inside the world of word-of-mouth marketing and explains how and why it works. Based on over one hundred new interviews with thought leaders, marketing executives, researchers, and consumers, The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited shows how to:

* Generate genuine buzz both online and off.
* Encourage people to talk about your products and services—and help spread the word among their friends, colleagues, and communities.
* Adapt traditional word-of-mouth strategies in today’s era of Facebook, YouTube, and consumer-generated media.

Smart, surprising, and filled with cutting-edge strategies and insights, The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited is essential for anyone who wants to get attention for a product, message, or idea in today’s message-cluttered world.

Upstarts!: How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit from Their Success – Donna Fenn


Generation Y is creating startups at an unprecedented rate, and their approach to business is unlike anything you’ve seen. The generation described by the media as spoiled, entitled, even narcissistic, is proving these notions false every day. Inspired by the rock-star entrepreneurs of previous generations and driven by a burning desire to control their own destinies, GenY is rewriting the entrepreneurial playbook one cool startup at a time.

Inc. magazine writer Donna Fenn interviewed more than 150 young CEOs to learn what makes them tick. While upstarts are motivated by similar aspirations of past generations, their way of doing business is radically different—and it’s changing the way everyone must do business now.

Upstarts examines and analyzes this entrepreneurial revolution to reveal eight critical lessons every entrepreneur and marketer must learn. Fenn describes a generation of entrepreneurs that is highly collaborative and team-oriented. It’s quick and alert when it comes to new technologies. It’s hell-bent on changing the world. And it’s totally impatient with outmoded business models.

Viral Loop – Adam Penenberg


Many of the most successful Web 2.0 companies, including MySpace, YouTube, eBay, and rising stars like Twitter and Flickr, are prime examples of what journalist Adam L. Penenberg calls a “viral loop”–to use it, you have to spread it. After all, what’s the sense of being on Facebook if none of your friends are? The result: Never before has there been the potential to create wealth this fast, on this scale, and starting with so little.

In this game-changing must-read, Penenberg tells the fascinating story of the entrepreneurs who first harnessed the unprecedented potential of viral loops to create the successful online businesses–some worth billions of dollars–that we have all grown to rely on. The trick is that they created something people really want, so much so that their customers happily spread the word about their product for them.

All kinds of businesses–from the smallest start-ups to nonprofit organizations to the biggest multinational corporations–can use the paradigm-busting power of viral loops to enable their business through technology. Viral Loop is a must-read for any entrepreneur or business interested in uncorking viral loops to benefit their bottom line.

Career Renegade – Jonathan Fields

jonathan_fieldsRenegade in the title is appropriate, especially if readers are searching for a traditional career guide, which this is not. Instead, former high-powered New York City lawyer turned serial entrepreneur Fields leans heavily on the 75 percent of employees who are dissatisfied with their jobs. The first part involves discovering one’s secret passion, via a few exercises. What makes the journey with this author worthwhile are his sections on determining the exact work path (yes, via research on the Internet) and on developing a business. The references and ideas will inspire; he also interviews quite a few renewed careerists, whether it’s the tale of the young mother who started the Young Rembrandts franchise or an artist who found her passion in creating edible art through her family-owned Rivera Bakehouse. Part 3 zeroes in on honing online knowledge and creating an authority figure, via such social networks as MySpace or through blogging and word of mouth. –Barbara Jacobs

B-A-M!: Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World – Barry Moltz


BAM! Is a no nonsense book that teaches companies why they want to deliver effective customer service in this self-service world and how to do it The book debunks the 20 common myths of customer service-from “The customer is always right” to “Customer service means the same thing to everyone,” to “Companies achieve customer service by under-promising and over-delivering”-myths that too many companies use automatically to run their customer service practices and policies without ever questioning them. BAM! replaces myths with a tactical approach that shows companies how to make more money through attitudes and actions that will help their customers feel satisfied in good times or bad.Creating satisfied customers is the only enduring competitive advantage left in a world market where virtually everything is a commodity. Forget the customer service platitudes. The only reason a company should offer excellent customer service is because it will make money for the business.

Free: The Future of a Radical Price – Chris Anderson

free-chris-anderson1The New York Times bestselling author heralds the new future of business in Free. In his revolutionary bestseller, The Long Tail, Chris Anderson demonstrated how the online marketplace creates thriving niche markets, allowing products and eager consumers to connect in a way that has never been possible before. Now, in Free, he makes the compelling case that in many instances businesses can profit more from giving things away than they can by charging for them. In order to succeed in the twenty-first century economy, Free is more than a promotional gimmick: It’s a business strategy that is essential to a company’s successful future.

In Free,Chris Anderson explores this radical idea for the new economy, and demonstrates how this revolutionary price can be harnessed for the benefit of both consumers and business alike.

The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff – Clara Shih

facebookeracover-335x500The ‘90s were about the World Wide Web of information and the power of linking web pages. Today it’s about the World Wide Web of people and the power of the social graph. Online social networks are fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and interact. They offer businesses immense opportunities to transform customer relationships for profit: opportunities that touch virtually every business function, from sales and marketing to recruiting, collaboration to executive decision-making, product development to innovation. In The Facebook Era, Clara Shih systematically outlines the business promise of social networking and shows how to transform that promise into reality

Right this minute, more than 1.5 million people are on Facebook. They’re interacting with friends–and talking about your brands. They’re learning about your business–and providing valuable information you can use to market and sell. In the Facebook Era, you’re closer to your customers than ever before. Read this book, and then go get them!

What else are you reading from 2009?

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  • http://www.theskooloflife.com/ Srinivas Rao

    Awesome list. I've knocked a few of these off already, but I plan on reading all of them in the first few months of 2010

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Yea I've read a few but Free is on the top of my list right now. I am also hearing great things about Viral Loop.

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.nowak Justin Nowak

    I really need to read “Trust Agents”, I have read most of the books on here so far! Great list!

  • http://www.samdiener.com Sam Diener

    4 hour workweek….

  • http://www.samdiener.com Sam Diener

    4 hour workweek….

  • http://www.vmrcommunications.com Hugh Macken

    I just finished reading Trust Agents which I highly recommend for anyone who wants to get some sense as to how to build professional relationships online. Superb read. It starts off reading like a mafia crime thriller and grabs your attention that way. But make no mistake: This is a serious book for CEOs, PR execs, guerilla marketing gurus, online community directors and others who want a high level understanding of social media interaction dos and don'ts.
    At the moment, I'm reading Twittfaced by Jacob Morgan and Josh Peters. Insights on social media ROI, including the bonus section in the back, which is an interview with Olivier Blanchard, are worth the price of the book. I wish there was a kindle version, though.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Awesome hugh thanks for the recommendation on trust agents.

  • http://daretoexpress.com Brett

    Quick, Under30 CEO readers (or Jared and Matt). Say I've read Crush It and I can only get 2 books from this list. Which ones do I get?

  • dougsisson


    I went to checkout Free on Audible.com. The Abridged audiobook is $13.22 or 1 credit. The Unabridged audiobook is FREE, $0. I would recommend Free for free to anyone with an Audible account.


  • henrylow

    Affiliate Marketing is a performance based sales technique used by companies to expand their reach into the internet at low costs. This commission based program allows affiliate marketers to place ads on their websites or other advertising efforts such as email distribution in exchange for payment of a small commission when a sale results.

    latest trend

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  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    I would say Free and Trust Agents

  • http://twitter.com/NickWaltersRE Nick Walters

    I have read Crush It a couple of times and love it. It is a quick read. It doesn't dive deep into the strategies necessary to leverage the internet but it definitely motivates you to get off your A$$ and do something you are passionate about. Trust Agents and Viral Loop are also on my list but after reading these reviews, i am compelled to read them all. Thanks for the reviews….

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    No problem Nick thanks for commenting. I agree with Crush It the one thing Gary knows how to do is motivate the hell out of you!

  • bjmoltz

    I am honored to be on your list and to be included in such great company!

  • http://twitter.com/mike_key Michael Key

    Personally I think The 4 Hour Work Week and The E-Myth should of been listed. Crush It is an awesome book. Great List.

  • http://www.workinonaramp.com Jenny

    Great post. There are several on this list that I'd like to read soon. I just finished “Tribes” and absolutely loved it.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanRotz Ryan Rotz

    Tribes was my #1 book from 2009. I always tell people how it layed the foundation for my marketing strategy and ultimately, my website/business as a whole.

    I'm very skeptical about these social media and Internet marketing type books. With the speed at which technology changes, could these books become obsolete in the next few years?

    Perhaps these books do cover this but I believe understanding the psychology and sociology of individuals and groups seems like it would provide a greater long-term value.

  • http://www.Escapingthe9to5.com/ Maren Kate

    Awesome post, I've read Crush It but not the others, so I'll be putting them on my to-read list :) No books from Seth Godin though? I adore his stuff on marketing, especially Purple Cow.


  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Seth is awesome! but he didnt release any books in 2009. The list was best of for books that came out last year.

  • http://twitter.com/SARTA_tech SARTA

    Great selection of books even for CEO's over 30!

  • http://twitter.com/SARTA_tech SARTA

    Great selection of books even for CEO's over 30!

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