I’m always reading and looking for new books about, for, or indirectly applicable to startups. So, I decided to set up a curated list to help others since it’s what I’d want.

To be clear, I wanted this site to be simple and able to be built quickly. The first thing that came to mind was to use @ajlkn’s Carrd.co.

It’s a great and simple to use website building platform focused primarily on single page sites (although the “feeling” of a multi-page site can be achieved using sections).

The Build

I began building the project by first opening up a table in Notion.so and set it up so that I could enter and store all the necessary book information that I would need. Once completed, I looked around my office and through my Kindle library and started to enter the titles into Amazon. Each time I did this, I grabbed all the information and links that I needed, entered them into Notion, and saved the book cover image file. I then realized that these books needed to be sorted in some way, so I went with alphabetically for now and was pleasantly surprised when I found a sorting option in Notion that helped with that.

After accumulating what seemed to be a decent number of solid startup related books, I opened up Carrd and began plugging away. The Carrd interface is straightforward and easy to use, which helped speed up the process of manually entering each book and its corresponding information. One thing I made sure to do when first setting up the layout of the site was to get it just the way I wanted with the primary book content containers, which then allowed me to duplicate and modify them along the way.

With all of the initial books and information entered, I logged in to Typeform and got started on setting up a simple form to allow for visitors to suggest any titles that they think should be featured. Once completed, I simply selected the popup embed code, modified the button appearance slightly, and dropped it into the site. Before closing out of Typeform, I made sure to set it up to use Zapier to send me a notification with each new recommendation.

To finish everything off, I added some analytics tracking code using Fathom Analytics (The analytics application was previously set up on Digital Ocean Droplet).


The launch of StartupBooks.io on Product Hunt went well and ended up being the #4 Product of the Day. As of today, July 2nd, 2019 at 2:17 pm EST, it’s received:

446 upvotes on Product Hunt

1,902 unique visitors

2,357 page views

03:15 average time on site

Next Up

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how this fun side-project turned out. I got the sense from how it did (even on a Monday) and the general feedback from people that they enjoyed the site. I have a few ideas on how to improve, the first being to set up a simple alphabetical filter to more easily navigate and the second being a bit more of a comprehensive update to crank up its utility for visitors and authors.

If you haven’t checked out the site yet, go there, StartupBooks.io, now, and if you’re feeling really friendly vote for it on Product Hunt. If you’re interested in building sites and tools, look no further than @bentosell’s MakerPad.co, and he’ll point you in all the right directions. Thanks for reading!