Eagle Labs Reading List

What you’re reading


Thank you for sharing the books, blogs, podcasts and videos that have inspired you and impacted the way you’ve set up and run your business.

Here’s what some of our members and partners have shared and we hope it will inspire you and help you grow your business. We’ll be adding more so make sure you bookmark the page and let us know what’s inspired you and we’ll add it to the list.


Recommended by Rav Roberts, Founder of Medsii and member of our HealthTech network:


Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist

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Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist

By Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson

"Venture Deals is the definitive and best guide to negotiating raising money for your start-up from VCs and Angel Investors. Brad and Jason are former lawyers and now VCs with decades of experience on drafting and negotiating Term Sheets. As a healthtech start-up founder of Medsii myself, the book shines a light on opaque and scary terms such as Liquidation Preferences that every start-up founders needs to know and much, much more besides!

"For our business we have used this book to help ensure we are as prepared as possible for investor conversation, whilst also protecting the company, co-founders and existing shareholders from an ownership and control point of view."

Find out more

Word on the Street

Our Latest Recommended Reads and Listens


The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

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Simon and Schuster


The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

By Stephen R. Covey

Recommended by Paulina Piotrowski from Southampton City Council and partner of the Network Eagle Lab in Southampton

"It gives a perspective of wider understanding of how we, humans, can steer our brain to achieve unachievable. Being dependant on others knowledge and expertise means you need others to get what you need…cognitive attitude, we need to learn to ‘ask’ for help and support, we cannot deliver results and achieve our goals without other people… this is so true and it made me realised that asking for help is not a sign of failure or weakness but it shows courage, engagement and leadership!"

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The Economist Espresso Daily Briefing

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The Economist


The Economist Espresso Daily Briefing

"It’s easy to listen to and simple explanation of some difficult topics and give a clear prospective and helps you keep up with important news and professional opinions."

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The Broken CEO

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The Broken CEO: How to Be the Leader You Always Wanted to Be

By Chris Pearse

Recommended by Chris Lamb, Finance Director at Fastnet.

“It approaches leadership from a number of new angles, some of which may be familiar to some in terms of the headings.

"The book follows a similar format to the full leadership development coaching experience I had over the course of six months with Chris himself. It's separated into three sections, the self, relationships, and leadership. Chris explains very well how are all these dynamics work on their own and together, with real life examples and has a knack for approaching sensitive topics which one may find triggers certain thoughts feelings and emotions in a comfortable way, and in order to prompt oneself become more aware of what leadership really is.

"I can honestly say it has not only helped me in so many ways running my business, with colleagues teams suppliers and customers, as well as my co-directors. It has also had a profound effect on my personal and family life."

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The Marie Forleo Podcast

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The Marie Forleo Podcast

Recommended by Vic Turnbull, Founder of MIC Media and Eagle Labs Manchester ecosystem member.

“The Marie Forleo Podcast because often bite-size nuggets of personal and professional development joy. Delivered in a fun, easy-on-the-ear way. Originally she simply pulled the audio from her YouTube series. I love that she's an absolute goofball and doesn't take herself so seriously. Also a good listen to inspire you if you're looking to create a similar business advice-based podcast. I love how podcasts let you sneak a bit of learning into your everyday life, whether that's whilst you're doing the hoovering or cooking your tea. I used Marie to top-up my learning. ”

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The Richest Man in Babylon

Image source: Australia


The Richest Man in Babylon

By George S Clason

Recommended by Robyn Townsend, Eagle Labs Head of Engineers.

“The Richest Man in Babylon is a 1926 book by George S. Clason that dispenses financial advice through a collection of parables set 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon. The book remains in print almost a century after the parables were originally published, and is regarded as a classic of personal financial advice.

"I really enjoyed reading through the golden rules of personal finance through the lens of ancient history. It just goes to show some things never change.”

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Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets

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Harper Collins Business


Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets

By Dave Peterson, Al Ramadan, Christopher Lochhead and Kevin Maney

Recommended by Hannah Dawson, CEO and Founder of Futrli.

“The aha moment when you understand the process of category design and how to get there is like a lightning strike. Then the fun starts as you try to plan world domination of the sector you are creating. Dream big and you might just get there.”

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Good Strategy Bad Strategy

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Good Strategy / Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters

By Richard Rumelt

Recommended by Richard Wood, Co-Founder of Cheddar Creative and member of Eagle Labs Cambridge.

“If you only read one book on business strategy, make it this one. You'll soon realise that most of the experts out there who bleat on about strategy don't actually understand what strategy is. In fact, the book is as much about what strategy isn't so you'll be able to easily spot the charlatans and poor misguided fools!

"We've not only used Rumelt's insights to craft our own strategy, but we regularly pass his teachings on to the clients we work with. Many of whom had been labouring under the misconception that they already had a robust strategy in place. Very well written and easy to understand.”

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Shoe Dog

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Simon & Schuster


Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

By Phil Knight

Recommended by Alastair Swindlehurst from Swindlehurst Consulting Ltd and member of Eagle Labs Manchester.

“Because it makes you realise that the rise of any brand/business is fraught with danger, pitfall and despite how glossy the end product we all started in the weeds and it’s just given me reassurance that if some plucky 20 year old can do it, I can do it.”

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Also recommended by Alastair:
Shut Up, Move On - by Phil McGee


no rules rules

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Penguin Random House


No Rules Rules, Netflix and the Culture of Reinventing

By Reed Hastings & Erin Meyers

Recommended by Adam Mitcheson from My2Be and member of Eagle Labs Manchester ecosystem.

“It opens your mind to different ways of thinking that deliver proven results. As a company building something that didn't exist before, especially one that can have a significant impact on Company Culture, there are some incredible lessons from this story.”

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Also recommended by Phil:
Shoe Dog - by Phil Knight


Founder handbook

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The Founder Handbook: How to get your first ten enterprise customers

By Andrius Sutas, Siobhan Clarke

Recommended by Steven Drost, CSO of CodeBase.

"There is very little reading available about how to get your first unaffiliated sales over the line. Most books focus on how to build a product, etc. but not how to sell it. This book is about sales and how to structure sales.

"Building a robust sales ops team. Having a much better understanding of how to understand and judge how well they are performing."

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what you do is who you are

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What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture

By Ben Horowitz 

Recommended by Jon Hope, Eagle Labs Director. 

"I read the following book last week following listening to the a16z podcast on the topic.

"As you’d expect, thought provoking, but also pretty practical with plenty of examples of why cultures vary across companies, why it is rarely perfect and opportunities to learn from the failures and successes of others."

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How I Built This podcast

Recommended by Marty Orton, a member of the Eagle Labs Southampton ecosystem.

"Here's a great podcast, these are my two favorite episodes..."

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The Super Mario Effect

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A Ted Talk by Mark Rober

Recommended by Kyle Wilks from Smugglers, a member of the Eagle Labs Southampton ecosystem, who says, "Here are some interesting links I think are worth sharing with your members."

Watch video

Also recommended by Kylr:
Good Timver - a poem by Douglas Malloch
The Winning Formula - David Coulthard


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Penguin Random House


High Output Management

by Andy Grove

Recommended by John Connelly, Managing Director of C4DI.

"Just a really solid book about the basics of management. If you’re starting out with no formal training and few peers around you to help - it’s a really cracking read. It’s pretty old now, but really rated - Andy was CEO of Intel.
"Try and re-read it every couple of years and check what we’re doing against it!"

Andy's book is also recommended by Mark Kingsley-Williams, Founder of Lawpanel and member of the Eagle Labs LawTech ecosystem.

"It's all about maximising productivity, with practical advice for navigating real life scenarios. Talking is not doing, and doing is what builds businesses. Still much to work for us to work on!"

Find out more

Also recommended by John:
Let My People Go Surfing - Yvonne Chouinard
Love Is The Killer App - Tim Sanders
Snakes In Suits: When Phsychopaths Go To Work - Paul Babiak and Robert Hare
15 Lession In Leadership - James Kerr

Image source: Bloomsbury .com


by Pragya Agarwal

Recommended by Mo Kanjilal, Co-Creator of Watch This Space.

"It unravels unconscious bias and how embedded it is in our brains in a really eye opening way and we use examples from this book all the time as there are so many practical and non-judgemental ideas."

Find out more

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Running Press

Wisdom from Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!

by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Recommended by Balraj Singh, Eagle Labs LawTech Lab Manager.

"In short... it’s all about how to make money work for you, and the importance of being financially educated 'building assets'."

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Ian Traynar, Serial Entrepreneur

I've been an entrepreneur for 40 years. I've read a few books in that time, but it always comes back to classical universal themes such as "renewing vision", "creating good habits", "good copywriting", "creatively managing stress".

Currently in the first two genres I'd recommend Simon Sinek's latest book The Infinite Game or James Clear's Atomic Habits.

But what happens when someone close to you takes their own life? What or who do you turn to for solace or sense-making? Such an event took place for me last year. She was in her early twenties, the shock was immense, I was left stunned unable to move or think for about three hours. What do I say to her parents? Speechless, I reached out for a book of poetry - Words Under The Words by Naomi Shihab Nye. The last line of her poem Kindness says:


... Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
'It is I you have been looking for',
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.



I'm also reminded that in troubled times, the recent inauguration of the new US president included the poets' Seamus Heaney and Amanda Gorman - how appropriate. Don’t forget the power of the creative arts.


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Morgan Housel

The Psychology of Money:
Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed and Happiness

by Morgan Housel

Recommended by Ian Browne, Ignite Accelerator COO and Eagle Labs Belfast member.

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Penguin Random House

The Black Swan

by Nassim Taleb

Recommended by Kevin Mulhern, Engineer at Eagle Labs Aberdeen.

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Also recommended by Kevin:
The Fearless Organisation - Amy Edminson
The Passions and the Interest - Albert Hirschmann
Debt: The First 5000 Years - David Graeber

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Harvard Business Review

The First 90 Days

by Michael D Watkins

Recommended by Debby Clement, Founder of Peopley and Southampton Eagle Labs member.

"I found this to be the best book for leaders changing roles." 

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Also recommended by Debbie:
The Unicorn Project
Team Topologies
Uncharted – Margaret Heffernan
Bring your Human to Work
No Ego – Cy Wakeman – Reality-based leadership
What Matters Now – Gary Hamel
Get rid of the performance review – Samuel A Culbert

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Alan Klement

When Coffee and Kale Compete

by Alan Klement

Recommended by Oli Littlejohn from CodeBase, our mentoring and Eagle Labs Edinburgh partner.

"It's a great primer on Jobs to be Done, both the theory and loads of case studies that help ground your knowledge. It has really practical suggestions for talking to customers, which I've used to get far more meaningful feedback from our community." 

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Dorset Growth Hub Podcasts

Recommended by Sharon Jones, Engineer at Eagle Labs Bournemouth.

"This is a hybrid information series – sharing both podcasts and then joining together for a live discussion and Q&A." 

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