Recently, a friend asked me for a list of websites and people I follow for news related to startups, technology, and innovation. I thought I should make a blog post out of this to share my sources with a wider audience.
Feel free to comment on it, extend it, or criticize it.
TechCrunch — Yes, I still read this. I don't know how long this will remain a viable source for startup news, but as long as it attracts some interesting guest authors and lands an occasional scoop every once in a while, it will remain on my list.
VentureBeat — Content-wise, this is very much like TechCrunch. It has a slightly more balanced and objective tone to it and is less obsessed with a small number of specific topics.
Mashable — Focusing on social media by its own standards, this website has a lot of noise to it, but occasionally features interesting articles for an audience of product visonaries and product strategists by focusing on technology and feature trends.
ReadWriteWeb — While the title might make the CTO in you think of APIs and web services, this website has a broader focus. Much of its news can be read on other websites as well, but every once in a while, they feature interesting and original posts which make me want to come back.
Hacker News — Horrible user interface. Terrible to navigate the website and visually a displeasing experience. But—this is apparently where a lot of great news is being published these days. Y Combinator is where much of startup innovation is concentrated today, and it shows.
Business Insider — This website is less focused on technology and presents a much broader view of the overall economy. I include it here—while I do not include other financial or more general news sites—simply because they often feature great interviews and present a lot of revealing numbers. What I like most about them, though, is their chart of the day.
Startup Digest — This is effectively a list of curated newsletters, catered towards startup founders, entrepreneurs, tech CEOs, and angel investors. They have regional newsletters for most startup hubs in the world as well as industry-based newsletters. Warning: Often a lot to read, but recommended.
(Note that this is not a complete list and it is in no particular order. These are the people who came to my mind spontaneously, but I have certainly omitted a lot of people important to me.)
Clay Shirky — His autobiography on Twitter: "Bald. Unreliable. Easily distracted." Besides being humorous, this man is one of the most influential internet philosophers of our time. His thoughts on the impact of social media—despite his controversy with Malcolm Gladwell—are spot-on. I learn something whenever I read an essay of his.
Jason Fried — The founder of 37signals and evangelist of simplification. Must-reads for entrepreneurs are his books "Getting Real" and "Rework". I respect him for his unconventional thinking and his consistent attitude of challenging mainstream thinking. He's also a great marketer and self-promoter.
David Heinemeier Hansson — Long name, big impact. Runs 37signals together with Jason Fried. If I could only have one programmer on my list, this would be the one. David is the creator of Ruby on Rails, an open source supporter, and he co-authored Jason Fried's book releases. Warning: He has very strong opinions, so judge them accordingly. I like him the way he is.
Eric Ries — I started to read his blog "Lessons Learned" way before he became the icon he represents today. Presumably one of the most disruptive thinkers to the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem, Eric gave birth to the Lean Startup movement and invented a new management theory which results from the application of lean thinking to the process of project management.
Dave McClure — I don't know if there is anybody out there in the startup world cursing as much as Dave. Although he has a pretty demanding voice, it's a smart voice. Dave is running 500 Startups and focuses on metrics-driven startups and the Lean Startup. Famous: His talks on startup metrics for pirates.
Mark Suster — An ex-entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. Authors a blog which I highly recommend for young startup entrepreneurs and CEOs. Mark runs the VC fund GRP Partners as a General Partner. I would not turn down his investment. He is a smart guy and gives great advice.
Tim O'Reilly — One of the visionaries of the internet. He is the founder of O'Reilly Media, a publishing company for technology-related works. I like to read the stories he shares because they often go deeper than what you tend to read elsewhere. Tim has a passion to seek the big picture, and I admire him for that.
Fred Wilson — One of my favorite venture capitalists. A genuinely sympathetic, honest, and humble man. He runs a hugely successful blog where he shares his views and invites other smart people to discuss them with him. Fred is a partner with Union Square Ventures and lives in New York. I follow him mostly for his blog.
Steve Blank — An influential teacher at Stanford and a voice in the Silicon Valley ecosystem. He is the originator of customer development and has been Eric Ries's mentor. While I must say that I find many of his presentations and texts rather hard to digest, I enjoy it to learn more about his view of the world via the links he shares.
Sean Ellis — An entrepreneur who specializes in marketing. I value his concept of product/market fit, his obsession with metrics and his involvement with the Lean Startup movement. Sean Ellis is a great advisor and if I had the opportunity to get his opinion on something I am doing, I would not turn it down.
The KISSmetrics team — This is Hiten Shah and his crew. Whether you are a product or graphic designer, a developer, or a marketing person: The KISSmetrics blog and their tweets are a hugely valuable resource for improving your skills. Hiten is also a Lean Startup evangelist. He is very open to meeting new people, so connect with him.
Chris Dixon — While I am not particularly overwhelmed by his own ventures, Chris is a very thorough thinker and eager to share his entrepreneurial insights with the world. Every once in a while, Chris will surprise you with some really original idea or concept. Make sure to follow his blog or his Twitter account.
Tim Ferriss — Who doesn't know "The Four-Hour Workweek"? Tim is a pioneer of lifestyle design and a famous—sometimes infamous—self-promoter. While I do not necessarily agree with him on all accounts, he definitely opened my eyes regarding a number of important philosophical questions. If you want to challenge your life, follow him.
Lawrence Lessig — Everybody needs a lawyer on his list. If you want the most controversial lawyer who is at the same time an internet aficionado and a philosopher, add this one. I highly admire Lessig for his work building Creative Commons as well as his essays and books on internet culture and the state of internet law. I'm glad to know that there are lawyers in this world who don't act like machines.
Umair Haque — The controversial economist and author of "The New Capitalist Manifesto". While I like his take on innovation and how to move this economy forward, he tends to be a little repetitive and shallow sometimes. His main points are spot-on, though. Check out his talk on achieving behavioral innovation.
Ben Horowitz — Another smart and sophisticated investor. Since Marc Andreessen stopped blogging, Ben's blog is probably one of the best sources for entrepreneurial and CEO advice. This guy has a ton of experience working with zillions of different companies and founders consistently over the last years.
Vinod Khosla — And one more venture capitalist. I haven't taken Vinod too seriously until I attended a talk of his at the Singularity University. He is a quite sophisticated thinker and has a broad understanding of science and technology. He believes in exponential trends and the power of radical innovation to disrupt existing industries.
Clayton Christensen — The author of "The Innovator's Dilemma". In this I believe so deeply that I could hardly have this person not on my list. I don't know if he will ever challenge my view of the world in the same way again, but chances are that he might. If you have never thought about disruption, start now.
Chris Anderson — I would follow him merely for his groundbreaking book "The Long Tail". Fortunately, Chris is also editor-in-chief at Wired magazine and organizer of the beloved TED conference. Although he rarely tweets anything outright revolutionary, this is the person to follow to connect the dots.
Guy Kawasaki — The man who helped market the Macintosh at Apple. He tweets a little bit too much for my taste, but part of it is definitely worth reading. He also wrote "The Art of The Start", a guide to bootstrapping a technology startup.
If you liked this post or if it gave you new food for thought, then please be so kind to leave a comment below (no registration required) or share it with your network. Your feedback is what keeps me going. Thanks!Monday, September 26, 2011 at 03:00PM | David Link