Must Reads & Listens from the DivInc Fam

Books and podcasts are beneficial guides in navigating the startup world. Here’s a list of influential content that has proven useful to members of DivInc’s current and past cohorts!

Principles by Ray Dalio

Recommended by Jesus Salas (Cohort 1) and Kehlin Swain (Cohort 2)

“Best startup biz book of 2018. It deals more with soft skills and principles-based development.” -Kehlin


The New Business Road Test by John Mullins

Recommended by Sara Brinton (Cohort 3)

“The New Business Road Test gives entrepreneurs a framework and step-by-step advice on how to validate their market, industry and team. A lot of startup advice in Austin is focused on the market side of the equation. But entrepreneurs need to know their industry to make money and create a competitive advantage. And they need to build the right team for their company.” -Sara


The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

Recommended by Vi Nguyen (Cohort 1)

“There’s tons of how to’s out there but less on what it’s like going through how hard it is to be an entrepreneur. The Obstacle is the Way helps you power through the rough times and doesn’t let you play victim.” -Vi


Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Recommended by Tarica Navarro (Cohort 4) and Kate Peiler (Cohort 2)

In this must-read for anyone seeking to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth takes us on an eye-opening journey to discover the true qualities that lead to outstanding achievement. Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that — not talent or luck — makes all the difference.


Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Recommended by Tarica Navarro (Cohort 4)

In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.


Get Backed by Evan Baehr and Evan Loomis

Recommended by Raj Panesar (Cohort 2) and Kate Peiler (Cohort 2)

Over the last 3 years, entrepreneurs Evan Loomis and Evan Baehr have raised $45 million for their own ventures, including the second largest round on the fundraising platform AngelList. In Get Backed, they show you exactly what they and dozens of others did to raise money — even the mistakes they made — while giving you the tools to make any idea a reality.

The Lean Startup by Eric Reis

Recommended by Kim Roxie (Cohort 4)

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs — in companies of all sizes — a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam T. Wasserman

Recommended by Jesus Salas (Cohort 1)

The Founder’s Dilemmas is the first book to examine the early decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team. Drawing on a decade of research, Noam Wasserman reveals the common pitfalls founders face and how to avoid them.

The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

Recommended by Jessica Gaffney (Cohort 4)

Who hasn’t asked the question “How can I find and follow my true calling?” Elle Luna frames this moment as “standing at the crossroads of Should and Must.” “Should” is what we feel we ought to be doing, or what is expected of us. “Must” is the thing we dream of doing, our heart’s desire. The Crossroads of Should and Must has a universal message — we get to choose the path between Should and Must.


Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz

Recommended by Laurie Felker Jones (Cohort 4)

Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives with the FBI. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles — counterintuitive tactics and strategies — you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.


How I Built This by Guy Raz

Recommended by Jessica Gaffney (Cohort 4), Jesus Salas (Cohort 1), Kehlin Swain, Tarica Navarro (Cohort 4), Sara Brinton (Cohort 3), Laurie Felker Jones (Cohort 4) and Andrea Sanger (Cohort 4)

Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists — and the movements they built.


Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman

Recommended by Jesus Salas (Cohort 1)

Masters of Scale is an original podcast hosted by Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn and Investor at Greylock. In each episode, Reid shows how companies grow from zero to a gazillion, testing his theories with legendary leaders.


Y Combinator Podcasts

Recommended by Jesus Salas (Cohort 1) and Tarica Navarro (Cohort 4)

Y Combinator provides a variety of episodes on founders, the tech scene and building a successful business.


Startup by Gimlet Media

Recommended by Laurie Felker Jones (Cohort 4)

StartUp is a documentary series about entrepreneurial life and what it’s really like to start a business.


Side Hustle Pro

Recommended by Kim Roxie (Cohort 4)

Side Hustle Pro provides consulting and training programs for marketing and podcasting. Its self-titled podcast is the first and only podcast to spotlight bold, black women entrepreneurs who have scaled from side hustle to profitable business.

Some other Honorable Mentions include: