A startup is a special kind of business. It's chaotic, energy-charged, and moving at a million miles an hour. That's why creating and managing a startup can be an incredible (and exhausting) experience.

The old fashioned and standard business books aren’t going to cut it. Sure, The Lean Startup is a must, but the following books can give you unique insights that go beyond the average book for entrepreneurs.

Unconventional startup books can teach, inspire, and get you going. Here are seven awesome reads:

1. The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell

Any Gladwell book could make this list-- you’d get something out of all of them-- but The Tipping Point feels like it was written for entrepreneurs.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm GladwellIn it, Gladwell explores that unique moment when an idea becomes a movement, when potential becomes reality. It applies to everything - from changes in crimes rates to booms in fashion trends - but it has particularly valuable insights into why people buy what they buy, and how small, almost imperceptible actions can create the tipping point a startup needs to succeed.

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2. The 4 Hour Work Week - Tim Ferriss

Ferriss has an extreme personality and it shows in all of his books. There are some real gems in here that apply directly to how a successful business can operate with fewer people.

The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim FerrissStartups are small and grow quickly, so they need to be lean and mean. Using the same strategies Ferriss uses to work only 4 hours a week, you can run your startup on a skeleton crew until it’s ready to scale.

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3. To Sell is Human - Daniel Pink

All the flashy widgets and features in the world don’t mean a thing if you can’t sell them. Pink’s book isn’t so much about how to sell as the phenomenon of selling in general.

To Sell is Human by Daniel PinkTo Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others is a fascinating look at the human urge to share, the most effective selling strategies we use on a daily basis already, and how things like social proof and word of mouth can amplify your efforts in ways that advertising can't.

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4. The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg

This book should be required reading on the first day of college - it is that important. While Duhigg doesn’t uncover anything that's new to science, he presents the nature of habit in such a simple, easy-to-follow way that you can’t help but see exactly how it can affect your business.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg Creating the right habits, removing the bad ones, and building keystone initiatives that enable a successful organization - this is just some of the stuff Duhigg talks about.

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5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - Benjamin Franklin

Inventor, business owner, diplomat, writer, and revolutionary - Benjamin Franklin did it all, and then he wrote about it. In his autobiography he shares amazing ideas about organization, talking to people, generating trust, and building an audience.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - Benjamin FranklinWho else to learn about organization and adoption techniques from than a man who helped America organize before and during the Revolutionary War, founded the Post Office, and invented dozens of gadgets we still use today?

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6. The Art of War - Sun Tzu

The Art of War is something of a business cliche. Business schools assign it, entrepreneurs carry it around, and CEOs have annotated copies on their shelves.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu Yes, it’s about war, but it’s also about managing people, understanding the opposition, and organizing a diverse set of systems to move toward a singular goal. All vital tasks for a startup entrepreneur.

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7. The Wisdom of Crowds - James Surowiecki

The Wisdom of Crowds by James SurowieckiIn the eight years since Surowiecki wrote his ode to group-think, the world has changed. Startups flourish on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Businesses manage staff through Elance and Amazon Mechanical Turk. Products are developed in the wild, almost constantly in beta instead of closed door labs.

Did Surowieki have prescience or a keen sense of observation? Either way, he saw the writing on the wall when he declared that crowds are better than individuals at solving problems, predicting actions, and innovating. As a startup, this should speak directly to the development of your product.

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If you’ve read any of the books above, please share what you gained. If you haven’t but recently read a book that you think should be on this list, please share in the comments below!

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