chinese menu of startup blogs

Last summer I mentioned some of the best startup blogs for entrepreneurs.  Since then, there’s been a notable proliferation of great startup blogging, so I wanted to note my current approach to keeping up with all the useful content.

I call this the Chinese Menu approach (“Pick one from Column A, one from Column B . . .”): Group blogs together by thematic category, and then read only one blog in each category. Every once in a while, I’ll change up the one that I pick in each category, so I don’t get sick of the same meal time after time.

Column A:  General Startup News

Column B:  Venture Capital

Column C:  Startup Advisors

Column D:  Coaches

Column E:  Founders (currently starting new business)

I add and drop blogs from categories all the time, and some blogs could be in multiple categories.  But the key is to just read one in each category.  This approach works well for me.  Switching up the meal selection once in a while helps keep me open to different perspectives.  I never miss anything truly essential, as great posts tend to be cross-linked extensively, or come to me by other means.  Incidentally, the same approach works ok for Twitter (though it’s not ideal).

best startup blogs for entrepreneurs

I once made a case for pmarca as the best startup blogger evah.  Now that I’m in the midst of my own entrepreneurial efforts, I’ve had plenty of occasion to revisit the category.

I still think no one matches Marc for the sophistication and deep experience of his posts.  But I think that once you have the background that he covers, if you are working on a startup you might want something that gives you more guidance about what you are facing day to day.  So here are a few possibilities for interested entrepreneurs:

ReadWriteWeb is running a serialized book called Startup 101 that describes the startup life cycle.  It has a number of factors against it:  the information is very broad and basic, it’s directed only at web startups, it assumes little to no experience in business generally.  Nevertheless it looks to be shaping up as a nice basic primer for first-time startup folks.

Venture Hacks has some good info, mostly about fundraising but also assorted other categories.  This is possibly the best resource for those who are mystified about how VCs think.

Eric Ries has made a name for himself around the catchphrase “The Lean Startup” – a solid summary of fundamental principles of running a low-burn, nimble business.  Much of this might seem fairly obvious to folks who have worked in modern web startups, but Eric has a really nice clean delivery of the concepts.

Steve Blank has shared the stage with Eric for “Lean Startup” presentations, so the two have a common mindset.  Steve differentiates himself with a much longer history of entrepreneurialism, which gives him great authority and many informative war stories to share.  His customer development model is highly valuable to any startup (though a bit better oriented to enterprise customers than mass consumers).

Steve’s blog has risen to another level in recent posts about how entrepreneurs can stop lying to themselves and deserve an epitaph that signify a family life well lived.  I haven’t seen any other startup blogger come closer to giving this topic the time and attention it deserves – managing the demands of a startup in balance with a rich family life is incredibly difficult.  Perhaps too few have succeeded in this to inspire many good blogs about it.

Finally, probably my favorite category of startup blog is from those who are blogging the process while they’re doing it.  Signal vs. Noise is a classic in this category, but I like to find new blogs from relatively unknown startups.  Two that I happened across recently are from the founders of Expensify and Alice.

What are your favorite startup blogs?  I’m particularly interested in finding ones from startup founders who are blogging it while they’re doing it.