Ben Casnocha on Why Books Still Matter

Doing a book strikes just about everyone in Silicon Valley as retro. Indeed, there are all sorts of limitations: Books are not easily shareable (relative to online content); traditionally published, they’re expensive for consumers to buy ($15-20 per unit); they lack interactivity and multimedia; and so on. On the flip side, books still receive good retail distribution in hundreds bookstores and airports; they attract more attention from public influencers; and they are a convenient vehicle – whether in print or e-book form – for someone to consume a focused, long-form idea.

But the most significant benefit of starting with a book was one we didn’t fully appreciate at the outset: a book’s linear, static format, and the expectations around the length and detail and substance of what’s inside of a book, collectively force upon the creative process a rigor unmatched in other mediums.

Ben Casnocha, co-author (with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman) of The Start-up of You, reflecting on the process of writing that book