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Six years ago, Kristi Zuhlke spent her days developing learning plans, designing surveys, and fetching data for her business partners as a consumer insights manager at Procter & Gamble. Her passion was knowing everything she possibly could about consumers. Fast forward to today, Kristi leads a fast-growing tech company that’s on a mission to help the world’s best companies better understand people through data.
While Kristi left Procter & Gamble as a well-trained corporate professional, there were still many skills she needed to acquire to transform herself into an effective CEO. Her development can be in large part attributed to her willingness to learn from mentors all over the world and her passion for reading.
Interested in knowing which books Kristi would recommend to any aspiring entrepreneur? See below for a short list of her current favorites and why she recommends each.
Venture Deals by Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson
From Kristi: “This book outlines the perspective of an Angel investor and VC. Often as entrepreneurs, we forget that there is another side of the negotiating table that has a completely different objective when investing in a start-up. Knowing their position helped when I pitched for money but also gave me perspective on my total fundraising strategy.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
From Kristi: “Ben Horowitz writes about the raw truth of start-ups. It's refreshing to read about the terrible things that happened to him despite being a very smart and capable leader. It gives you hope that you are experiencing "the norm." It's also good to go into your start-up adventure knowing that you've created a plan and that plan likely won't work."
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore
From Kristi: “There are activities that we should focus on when selling to the early adopters and those are different than when selling to the group of clients who are the majority of the market. This book has been helpful at all stages of building KnowledgeHound and is one that can be revisited throughout the journey.”