Last week I posted my first five picks for the best startup blogs for entrepreneurs or anyone interested in starting their own business. They included Mark Suster’s Both Sides of the Table blog, which draws on his experiences as both an investor and an entrepreneur; and Mark MacLeod’s StartupCFO blog, which gives an insightful glimpse into the world of startup finance. Here are my final five picks to round out the top 10.
A Smart Bear, by Jason Cohen – I almost met up with Jason last year at SXSWi, but ran out of time. This year I’m determined to meet the Austin-based blogger and entrepreneur – after all, I feel like I already know him due to his insightful and revealing posts about running a business. He only posts roughly once per week, and often calls his entries essays rather than mere posts. They deserve that title due to their length and in-depth examination of issues like pitching (his 5 Lessons from 150 Startup Pitches is a must-read). And if you’re looking for advice, his how-to articles are great – read this one if you think you have no competitors (hint: you do).
Startup Lessons Learned, by Eric Ries – If you’re an entrepreneur I doubt you’ve gone a week lately without hearing someone talk about the lean startup methodology. Eric Ries coined that phrase and idea on his blog in 2008, and his blog is an expansion on the thought, offering his insight into how startups can do more with less. His Twitter bio is simple: “Trying to change the way startups are built.” And though the blog’s design is simple and the posts are infrequent, each is a pivotal case study or piece of advice on lean startups in action. And if you think Jason Cohen writes essays, then read Ries’ What is a Startup post – there’s a reason he’s one of the most respected thought-leaders in startups today.
Steve Blank – Few entrepreneurship books are as highly regarded as Steve Blank’s The Four Steps to the Epiphany. After 30 years in Silicon Valley and eight companies, Blank retired in 1999 to write the book, which introduced his customer development model. His blog shares knowledge from his long and diverse career, and of course many posts about customer development. While you might enjoy his blog, don’t expect him to write you back on Twitter – my boss still makes fun of me for asking him a question and expecting a response.
A VC – Earlier this year at Democamp Toronto I had a starstruck moment when Fred Wilson sat in front of me after giving a talk to the crowd of hundreds. I introduced myself and managed to stay calm and chat, when in reality I was thinking “I can’t believe I’m talking to THE Fred Wilson.” If you’ve read his blog you know where my admiration comes from – A VC is probably the most highly-regarded investment blog out there, and Wilson’s Union Square Ventures counts companies including Etsy and Foursquare as part of its portfolio. Read it for an insight into the mechanics of raising money, but also for a thoughtful outlook on the startup ecosystem in North America.
CDixon.org, Chris Dixon – I really admire Chris Dixon. He’s an entrepreneur (currently working on Hunch) and an investor, (he invested in Foursquare and Skype – heard of them?), recently the co-founder of seed-stage venture fund Founder Collective. Okay fine, this all doesn’t make him a great blogger. And while his posts are seldom, they’re worth the wait. One of my recent favourites was his post on timing your startup, which outlined the importance of asking yourself “Why will I succeed where others have failed?” Dixon’s blog helps you answer that question.
There are a ton of other startup blogs I read regularly – ones by Ben Horowitz, Sean Ellis, Dharmesh Shah and other prolific entrepreneurs. But these 10 are the ones that constantly inform and educate me – I hope they also teach you a thing or two. Did I miss any must-read startup blogs? Let me know in the comments.
Managing Director at Toronto-based digital agency 88 Creative. Former Managing Editor at BetaKit.com. Marketing Magazine 30 Under 30.