Startups 101
Pilot Executive Must Reads 2022

Pilot Executive Must Reads 2022

Written by 
Pilot Team
December 20, 2022
Pilot Executive Must Reads 2022

See a list of must-read/listens/watches from some of Pilot's executive team.

Waseem's Recommendations

What’s the Second Job of a Startup CEO?

YCombinator's article on the phases a startup CEO will go through while building and scaling a startup. This article explains the phases and what tasks a CEO can't delegate that are critical to your company.

The Burn Multiple: How Startups Should Think About Capital Efficiency

During downturns, investors will shift focus to scrutinizing your burn rate and margins. This article by David Sacks lays out a framework for how to think about capital efficiency and how to measure your burn rate.

Betting on Things That Never Change

This article from 2017 is still relevant today. Morgan Housel from Collab Fund uses the what hasn't changed at Amazon over the years as an example of what all successful businesses are built on.

Founder to Founder: Advice for Navigating the Downturn

One pick from the Pilot backlog... Pilot's advice from earlier in 2022 that provides tactical steps you can take when navigating a downturn.

Rao's Recommendations

OpenCloud 2022: How to Navigate Stormy Markets and Other Tips for Cloud Founders

An annual report by Battery which postulates, even in this economic climate, the road to building a successful cloud company (and really, any company) is no different than it's ever been.

Sequoia's Blog on Generative AI

Generative AI is the valley's latest buzz word and for good reason. Generative AI is on the way to becoming better, faster, and cheaper than what humans can create (in some cases, that is). This article from Sequoia covers the "why now" of Generative AI, gives an overview of the market landscape, and breaks down the "anatomy" of a Generative AI application.

Andrew Chen's Cold Start

Andrew Chen's book on network effects is a must-read for Rao. This book details networks effects and how to start from zero. Each chapter illustrates the concepts through the network effects achieved by companies we all know from Wikipedia to Uber.

Notion’s Foundations of Product-Led Growth & Marketing

In this post, François Dufour of Decibel covers Growth and Marketing insights from Rachel Hepworth, head of marketing at Notion (and former marketing co-Pilot). Their talk covers the growth story at Notion, foundational activities of growth marketing, hiring, and more.

Acquired Podcast's Episode on Walmart

While this episode of the Acquired Podcast is long (3+ hours) it provides a detailed overview of the complete history and strategy of Walmart and is absolutely worth a listen. If you don't have three hours to devote, the article covers some of the key takeaways from the episode.

Ryan's Recommendations

The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership

Bill Walsh, the famed San Francisco 49ers head coach, did a series of interviews with author Steve Jamison that became the "ultimate lecture on leadership". The premise is rooted in the belief that even with an abundance of the best talent, you can't guarantee success for a team, but there are things you can do to increase your probability of success.

Amp It Up: Leading for Hypergrowth by Raising Expectations, Increasing Urgency, and Elevating Intensity

This book on on leadership written by Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman covers timely, yet somewhat controversial principles for scaling organizations. Amp It Up highlights what it takes to transform a company and shows that most leaders have room to improve their organization's performance without making expensive changes to their talent, structure or business model.

Ariel's Recommendations

Give Away Your Legos and Other Commandments for Scaling Startups

This article from First Round Review covers why scaling companies and teams is "crazy hard" and what you can do early to make it easier on yourself and your team.

The First 90 Days; Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter

In this updated and expanded version of this well known book, Michael D. Watkins (a noted expert on leadership transitions and adviser to senior leaders in all types of organizations) shares practical advice for anyone starting in a new role.

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