The Crowdsourced NZ Start-up Reading List

Icehouse Ventures

The best books, podcasts, communities, and content treasure troves for Kiwi start-ups, recommended by Kiwi start-ups.

2024 crowdsourced Kiwi Startup reading list (1)


A crowdsourced list from the Kiwi start-up community to the Kiwi start-up community. What you listened to, read, and digested in 2023 and recommend others consume too 📚 🎧

Have a recommendation? Let us know! We'll keep adding to the list.



  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance -  Angela Duckworth  
    Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit”.

  • Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products - Nir Eyal
    How do successful companies create products people can’t put down? Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us? Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. 

  • Clear Thinking - Shane Parrish
    From the Author of Atomic Habits. Shane Parrish provides a masterclass in the art of clear thinking. Parrish offers powerful mental models to make sense of any situation. He shows that the secret to mental clarity lies not in how we approach the most high-stakes moments - but in our tiniest, most everyday decisions.

  • Pieces of Action - Vannevar Bush
    Pieces of the Action offers Vannevar Bush's hard-won lessons on how to operate and manage effectively within complex organisations, build bridges between people and disciplines, and drive ambitious, unprecedented programs to fruition. Originally published in 1970, this updated edition includes a foreword from Ben Reinhardt that contextualises the lessons Pieces of the Action can offer to contemporary readers: that change depends both on heroic individuals and effective organisations; that a leader’s job is one of coordination; and that the path from idea to innovation is a long and winding one, inextricably bound to those involved—those enduring figures who have a piece of the action.

  • When the Heavens Went on Sale - Ashlee Vance
    A momentous look at the private companies driving a revolutionary new economy in space. Ashlee Vance follows four pioneering companies—Astra, Firefly, Planet Labs, and Rocket Lab—as they build new space systems and attempt to launch rockets and satellites into orbit by the thousands. While the public fixated on the space tourism being driven by the likes of Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, these new companies arrived with a different set of goals: to make rocket and satellite launches fast and cheap, thereby opening Earth's lower orbit for business—and setting it up as the next playing field for humankind's technological evolution, where we can connect, analyze, and monitor everything on Earth.

  • The Business of Expertise: How Entrepreneurial Experts Convert Insight to Impact + Wealth - David C Baker
    This passionate expertise manifesto is intended to elevate the impact of advisors who sell insight as entrepreneurs. Three foundational chapters form the basis of the entire book: experts develop insight by isolating patterns in data; they convert those insights to wealth by crafting a unique positioning for which few available substitutes exist; and their confidence grows as the marketplace embraces their application of expertise. 

  • Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths from the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs - Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn)
    What can you learn from a Silicon Valley legend and a pantheon of iconic leaders? The key to scaling a successful business isn’t talent, network, or strategy. It’s an entrepreneurial mindset—and that mindset can be cultivated. Masters of Scale shares wisdom from leaders of iconic companies (including Apple, Nike, Netflix, Spotify, Starbucks, Google, Instagram, and Microsoft) as well as bold, disruptive startups (such as 23andMe, TaskRabbit, Black List, and Walker & Co.) that are solving the problems of the twenty-first century.

  • Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters - Richard Rumelt
    Clears out the muddled thinking underlying too many strategies and provides a clear way to create and implement a powerful action-oriented strategy for the real world. Developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of a leader. 

  • Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything - Stephen Covey 
    Covey states that trust is the very basis of the new global economy, and he shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees and constituents —is the essential ingredient for any high–performance, successful organisation.

  • IDEAS: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud - Peter Watson
    Peter Watson's stimulating history of ideas from deep antiquity to the present day—from the invention of writing, mathematics, science, and philosophy to the rise of such concepts as the law, sacrifice, democracy, and the soul—offers an illuminated path to a greater understanding of our world and ourselves.

  • The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Art of Disruption - Sebastian Mallaby
    Drawing on unprecedented access to the most celebrated venture capitalists of all time, award-winning financial historian Sebastian Mallaby tells the story of this strange tribe of financiers who have funded the world's most successful companies, from Google to SpaceX to Alibaba. We learn the unvarnished truth about some of the most iconic triumphs and infamous disasters in the history of tech, from the comedy of errors that was the birth of Apple to the venture funding that fostered hubris at WeWork and Uber to the industry's notorious lack of women and ethnic minorities.

  • Let My People Go Surfing - Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia)
    This is the story of a young man who found escape by scaling the world's highest peaks, of an innovator who used his father's blacksmith tools to fashion equipment that changed climbing forever, and of the entrepreneur who brought doing good and having a blast into the heart of a business. Let My People Go Surfing brings this amazing story of ethical entrepreneurship up to the present day. 

  • Future Demand - James Hurman
    Future Demand explores the realities of how start-ups grow beyond their eager early users, providing evidence and insight into how to build your brand among the much larger group of customers who’ll buy from you in the future.

  • The Karma of Success - Liz Tran
    Executive coach Liz Tran asks you to train yourself to listen to and be guided by your innermost voice. From tech to spiritual leadership and executive coaching, Tran has charted her own path by learning how to tune into her intuition and be true to her Inner Genius. The Karma of Success invites you to validate the unique goals and ambitions you set for yourself and ultimately, are destined to achieve.


  • Invest like the best with Patrick O’Shaughnessy
    Conversations with the best investors and business leaders in the world. Exploring their ideas, methods, and stories to help you better invest your time and money. A podcast for professional investors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business strategists.






  • Masters of Scale - Reid Hoffman 
    Award-winning business advice from Silicon Valley and beyond. Iconic CEOs, from Nike to Netflix, Starbucks to Slack, share the strategies that helped them grow from startups into global brands — and to weather crisis when it strikes.
    Corresponding book (mentioned above) 


  • The Chat_GCP Podcast (MedTech Focus)
    Host Charles Beasley discusses all thing medical science, clinical research and commercialization with the best and brightest in these fields.


  • In Depth
    A podcast dedicated to surfacing the tactical advice founders and startup leaders need to grow their teams, their companies and themselves.
    Special mention for the episode: What this 3-time founding team did differently to find product-market fit faster - Jessica McKellar, CTO of Pilot


  • Corext
    A podcast hosted by two content creators, covering a broad range of topics spanning their careers and daily lives
    Special mention for any of the 'Yearly Themes' episodes 


Join / Subscribe 

  • Joobee Yeow -
    A content hub and newsletter by Joobee Yeow. Making knowledge and learnings accessible for people building better, faster and more fulfilling start-ups.

  • MKT1 -
    A community, content hub and newsletter covering B2B startup marketing advice and guides from Emily Kramer & Kathleen Estreich, former marketing leaders at Asana, Box, Intercom, Carta, & Scalyr and co-founders of MKT1 Capital.

  • Reforge -
    Programs, blogs, and community for product and growth leaders. Founded by Brian Balfour, previously VP Growth @ HubSpot.

  • Business but Better -
    A digital course & active community for mission-led brands who want to sell out, without selling out. Founded by Brianne West, founder of Ethique. 



Tags: Startups, CEO, Technology, Growth, Community

Icehouse Ventures

Written by Icehouse Ventures

News, articles and resources from the Icehouse Ventures team.