Bruun's blog

thoughts and learnings from an entrepreneur

Reading list

The Reading List

“What should I read if I want to learn about [insert discipline] quickly?”

That is probably among the most common questions I get. I will keep this list up to date with the articles and books I find particularly insightful.

I have tried to structure the reading suggestions I have given in the following categories:


Please feel free to let me know if you feel that there is something missing!

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Charlie Munger: Worldly Wisdom

Charlie Munger: Practical Thoughts on Practical Thoughts

User Acquisition and Retention

This is digital marketing (YouTube Video – 14:53)

The Rise Of The Digital CMO (Harvard Business Review)

Digital Marketers Got This Wrong About ROI (Business Insider)

The Customer Journey to Online Purchase (Think with Google)

ZMOT Ways to Win Shoppers at the Zero Moment of Truth Handbook (2012) (Google)

Secrets of the Math Minds (Think with Google)

A Checklist To Choose Which Internet Marketing Channel is Right for Your Business (, Jul 2009)

Florian Heinemann on the Future of Digital Marketing and Brand Building (Bruun’s Blog)

Startups are cheaper to build, but more expensive to grow – here is why



The Non-Marketer’s Guide to SEO (Bruun’s Blog) – this gives you an analytical framework of how to think about SEO and guide your execution

Beginner’s Guide to SEO (Moz) – This ebook gives you a technical introduction to execution of SEO

Dover and Dafforn: Search Engine Optimization Secrets

Enge, Spencer, Stricchiola and Fishkin: The Art of SEO (Theory in Practice)

Danny Dover, Author and SEO expert, on The Future of SEO, Content and More (Bruun’s Blog)

A Look At Google’s 200 Search Ranking Factors (Entrepreneur Magazine) – gives you an idea of the factors that impact your ranking

Google will now warn you when a site’s mobile version is broken and dumb (TechCrunch)

How to earn your first link from a major blogger (


Performance (Pay-per-click)

Stokes: Pay-Per-Click Advertising (if you cannot find this, Marshal and Todd: Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords can work as well)

Google AdWords Blog – this is a great source if you want to be up to date generally speaking. They won’t serve you the secrets, but it’s a great place to get updates.

Check and Understand Quality Score – Google’s own page explaining the dynamics and how QS works

4 Reasons You Should Start Obsessing About AdWords Quality Score (Search Engine Watch) – Explains all the implications of QS changes on a very high level (skip this one, if you are experienced)

Google AdWords Keyword Match Types and Negatives – The Ultimate Guide (Search Engine Watch)

Web Analytics tips #19: Identify Website Goal [Economic] Value (Occam’s Razor) – Read this to understand Economic value in the context of lifetime value and subsequently value attribution (multi-touch, etc.)

Beginner’s guide to Web Data Analysis: Ten Steps To Love & Success (Occam’s Razor)

Web Analytics 101: Definitions: Goals, Metrics, KPIs, Dimensions, Targets (Occam’s Razor)

11 Digital Marketing “Crimes Against Humanity” (Occam’s Razor)


Content Marketing

Holiday: Trust me, I’m lying


CRM and Email Marketing

The Ultimate Life Cycle Email Guide (Vero blog, Jan 2015)

Triggered Retention Emails That Keep Customers Engaged (Vero blog, Mar 2015)

TripAdvisor’s Unfair Email Marketing Advantage (Vero Blog, Feb 2015)


Social Media

Best Social Media Metrics: Conversations, Amplification, Applause, Economic Value (Occam’s Razor)

News Feed FYI: A Window Into News Feed (Facebook Blog)

News Feed FYI: More Relevant Ads in News Feed (Facebook Blog)

Facebook Advertising/Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value (Occam’s Razor)



Kaushik: Web Analytics 2.0. If you are new to web analytics, then don’t read all of it straight away. Read the following now and the rest when you have been working a bit:

  • Chapters 1, 3, 4 (Get the general idea, but dont think so much about exactly what numbers they look at. Skim p.94-126 as you will need a more profound understanding than what this gives you), 5, 7, 10-12 (chapter 12 is very good for linking online to offline initiatives)

The Landing Page Optimization Guide You Wish You’ve Always Had (ConversionXL)

Multi-channel attribution: Definitions, Models and Reality Check (Occam’s Razor)

Dear Avinash: Attribution Modelling, Org. Culture, Deeper analysis +++ (Occam’s Razor)

The Lean Analytics Cycle: Metrics > Hypothesis > Experiment > Act (Occam’s Razor)



Florian Heinemann on Lessons Learned From Building the Zalando Marketing Machine and Marketing Automation



Product management

25 Product Management Tips For Your First 100 Days (Bruun’s blog, 2015)

Krug: Don’t Make Me Think (Amazon link) – Great book for beginners. After reading this book, you should have a better understanding of the key considerations you need to make when designing your product.

Spare Me From Product Guys (TechCrunch, 2013)

Product Strategy Means Saying No (, 2013)

Tesla and Adobe: Why Continuous Deployment May Mean Continuous Customer Disappointment (Steve Blank, 2014)

When Product Features Disappear – Amazon, Apple and Tesla and the Troubled Future of the 21st Century Consumers (Steve Blank, Nov 2013)

Maker’s schedule, Manager’s schedule (Paul Graham, 2009)

A Scientific Argument For Making Bold Product Decisions (Bruun’s Blog, 2017)

Chamath Palihapitiya on Growth Hacking and How To Create a Sustainable User Acquisition Engine (TechCrunch, 2013)

Cognitive Overhead, Or Why Your Product Isn’t As Simple As You Think (TechCrunch, 2013)

Nir Eyal on the Psychology of Habit-forming Products (Bruun’s Blog, 2015)

My first 30 days as a product manager (Medium, 2013)

What Makes A Great Product Manager? 10 Product Experts Weigh In (Product Hunt, 2014)




Spotify Engineering Culture (Spotify blog, Mar 2014)

JavaScript for Cats (if you are new to JS, start here!) (JS for Cats blog)

Kim Gene: The Phoenix Project






Generating Value Through Execution: 7 Steps To Rising In A Startup (Bruun’s Blog, Apr 2016)

6 Tips For Planning Your Personal Development: The Challenges of a Steep Learning Curve (Bruun’s Blog, Oct 2016)

How Making Yourself Obsolete Can Help Your Company Succeed (Forbes, Jan 2017)

Ask for forgiveness, not permission (VentureHacks)

Engineering Management (Algeri Wong)

My Life as a CEO (and VC): Chief Psychologist (Both Sides of the Table)

How to be the best Entrepreneur in the world (TechCrunch, Nov 2011)

The Not-To-Do List: 9 Habits to Stop Now (Fourhourworkweek, Aug 2007)

Why Your Realistic Goals Are Holding You Back (Fast Company)

Ben Horowitz: The hard thing about hard things



Netflix Culture (Slideshare)

Jeff Weiner: From Vision to Values: The Importance of Defining Your Core

The Challenging Perception of Startup Culture (Forbes)



Hoffman: The Alliance

Hiring Religion (Paul English)



The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Selling Anything (TechCrunch, Dec 2013)

Tell a Meaningful Story With Data (Think with Google)

Minto: The Minto Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing, Thinking, & Problem Solving

Robbins: Unlimited power

Zelazny: Say it with charts

Cialdini: Influence



Paul English on funding (Paul English)




Kahneman: Thinking, Fast and Slow



Catmull, Ed: Creativity, Inc.

Waitzkin, Josh: The Art of Learning

Pressfield, Steven: The War of Art

Covey, Stephen: 7 habits of highly effective people

Harari, Yuval: Sapiens

Christensen, Clayton: How will you measure your life?

Aurelius, Marcus: Meditations

Feynman, Richard: Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman

Thiel, Peter: Zero to One



As Featured On

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Companies I have helped grow

L’Oreal Rocket Internet Groupon Lazada Zalora CompareAsiaGroup

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