I got tired of boilerplate entrepreneurship blogs. Here’s what I started reading instead.


16 great blogs for entrepreneurs. No Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk or Mark Cuban. Promise.


Illustration by Lovely Creatures

About a month ago, I wrote an article about YouTube channels for entrepreneurs. That article hit a note with people — it reached #1 on Hacker News and went on to receive some 50,000 views.

The idea that resonated with people was that the vast majority of content aimed at entrepreneurs is commoditized and spammy rather than innovative and insightful. I’ve never read a Gary Vaynerchuk article that truly, positively affected the way I do things. You probably haven’t either. It’s rarely eye opening and insightful, because it is relegated to repeating the same catchphrases over and over again to achieve popularity. It’s pop content, and I’d like to escape to the fringe.

That’s why we’re writing this blog — to help showcase the underdogs and hidden gems. To share learnings from entrepreneurs who haven’t struck riches, or those that have some unpopular things to say. To keep the level of noise down and stray off the beaten path. We don’t always succeed, but we try.

Here are some blogs I enjoy, and you might, too.

Startup blogs

Signal v Noise

This is one of my favorite corners of the internet. DHHJason FriedClaire LewNathan Kontny and friends (of Basecamp, Know Your Company and Highrise) consistently manage to author thought-provoking pieces challenging conventional wisdom and inspiring healthier work culture.

Founder’s Journey

This blog’s title really says it all: “Baremetric’s journey to becoming a million dollar company”. Josh Pigford and co publish down to earth, honest thoughts and learnings from building their ultra transparent startup, Baremetrics.


Rand’s Blog

The legendary Wizard of Moz, also known as Rand Fishkin, shares his experiences from building a highly successful company, pivoting the wrong way and then refixing what broke in the process. The result is brutally honest, human and illuminating.

Kalzumeus/Patio11

With Kalzumeus Software, we’re venturing far beyond the traditional startup blog. Patrick McKenzie, also known as Patio11, writes about the dissonance between building software and marketing it; the latter being the significantly more arduous of the two.

Candy Japan: Behind the Scenes

Bemmu Sepponen built a tiny, sweet Japanese Candy subscription business. His learnings and thoughts are similarly lovely, and illustrate the process of building a simple (yet difficult to execute) lifestyle business.

Pieter Levels’ Blog

Pieter (levels.io) is the man behind a dizzying number of websites, apps and tools, some successful and some less so. He’s an author, a successful Youtuber, and builder of 12 startups in 12 months. His posts are often fascinating.

Investor blogs

Paul Graham’s Essays

Paul’s essays aren’t exactly a blog, nor are they particularly niche — but they’re hands-down the best resources for any startup founder who wants their company to be a success.

Y Combinator Blog

YC’s blog mainly publishes interviews and conversations with successful entrepreneurs about everything tech, but it also features occasional thought essays and growth lessons. It’s worth your time.

Fred Wilson’s Blog

Fred Wilson is the co-founder of Union Square Ventures, and early investor in Twitter, Tumblr and Kickstarter. The blog updates frequently, and includes smart insights on a variety of topics related to startup funding and life in general.

First Round Review

First Round Capital — investor in Uber, Mint and Warby Parker — is building the Harvard Business Review of venture capital. It includes articles on business, fundraising and product management from a portfolio of great companies and authors.

Misc

Seth Godin’s Blog

Seth Godin writes bite-sized blog posts with insights about business and “permission marketing” — the idea of marketing to people who want to get your stuff.

The New Yorker Business & Tech

I could include a whole bunch of mainstream sites in this category, but the only one I think is consistently worth the time is The New Yorker magazine’s business and tech section. Over the past few years, they’ve published some of the most insightful bios and overviews I’ve come across.

Wait But Why

Tim Urban’s land of wonder and chaos. Wait But Why covers everything from neural networks to the presidential elections in an abashedly longform format with quirky stick figure cartoons. It’s great.

Harvard Business Review

Don’t be put off by the academic vibe: HBR has some thought-provoking pieces on various different topics related to technology and business.

Kottke

Jason Kottke curates the best links and stories on the web to write Kotkke.org —in fact, he’s been doing that since 1998. “Frequent topics of interest among the 26,000+ posts include art, technology, science, visual culture, design, music, cities, food, architecture, sports, endless nonsense, and carefully curated current events, all of it lightly contextualized.”

FreeCodeCamp

Helmed by venerable Quincy Larson, FreeCodeCamp curates in-depth articles by some of the best authors around. They publish articles about development, design and data analysis, and find the unique angle that makes for a great, informative read.

Stratechery

Stratechery is a unique blog in that it’s not afraid to get really deep and technical in its coverage of business strategy. Ben Thompson writes about the deals and decisions being made behind the scenes in an intelligent and highly readable way.

Joel on Software

The guru of all engineering blogs, Joel Spolsky shares lessons about engineering from his experience running Fog Creek Software and founding companies like Trello and Stack Overflow.