Schools & Resources

Booklist: MailChimp Co-founder Ben Chestnut

In Booklist we ask ecommerce personalities about the books they read and what they like about them. For this list we asked Ben Chestnut, co-founder of MailChimp, a self-service email marketing firm.

Ben Chestnut As the MailChimp website explains, the company was built on the pragmatic notion that “People are too busy running their businesses to learn how to code HTML emails. Email marketing is so easy, a monkey could be doing it for them.”

Brand Gap

By Marty Neumeier

“This is a great book that one of our designers recommended to me. It’s a fast read too. Pretty much sums up everything I believe about branding and user experience.”

Built To Last

By Jim Collins

“This was a book that helped me (and my co-founders) get through the rocky transition period that I think every entrepreneur goes through. There’s a moment where you think, ‘Gosh, I’ve been going at it for almost 10 years now. Is this ever going to take off?’ All great companies take time. The story of 3M was hands-down my absolute favorite.”

The E-Myth

By Michael Gerber

“This book should be required reading for anybody thinking about starting a business. I think it’s probably the best business book a new entrepreneur could ever read. It will set your paradigms in the proper place: work harder at working smarter.”

Blue Ocean Strategy

By W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

“A couple years ago I got a hunch that obsessively following my competition was a stupid idea and even hurt our business. I wondered if ‘building stuff our customers actually need’ was a better approach (radical concept, I know). At about the same time, I stumbled upon this book. I deleted all bookmarks to my competitors’ websites and never looked back. I’m not sure if I love this book because it’s useful, or because it helps me explain and justify some of my seemingly whacky, counterintuitive ideas.”


By Steve Wozniak

“If you run a technology company and work closely with programmers and engineers, this book explains a lot. You’ll get insight into what drives hardcore nerds and what’s at the core of the Apple brand.”

Books for Fun


By Max Barry

“Hilarious, fictional book about experiments being done to office workers. It’s insane but partly because so much of it is true. Entrepreneurs will love it because it’s a reminder as to why you got out of the corporate world.”

Dealers of Lightning

By Michael Hiltzik

“Technology is actually just making history repeat itself faster. This book is a great history lesson that’ll make you smack your forehead and yell “Doh!” over and over.”

Mother Teresa: In My Own Words

“This is a book I bought for a friend’s mother for Christmas. I was just flipping through the pages before wrapping it up and couldn’t put it down. Had to go buy another copy for myself. It’s a good book for keeping some perspective.”

PEC Staff
PEC Staff
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