Recommendations

Everything here I have read, vetted, and highly recommend.

Some have affiliate links but I'm not associated with the authors in any way - they're just good resources.

About me


Startups

Paul Graham's Essays

The godfather of modern startups. All of Paul's essays are worth reading. Some highlights: Do things that don't scale, How to start a start up, How to make wealth, Startup = Growth, How People Get Rich Now, How to do Great Work, and everything else.

The Right It

Heuristics for validating ideas and figuring out what's worth building. There's also a short lecture that goes along with it and gives you the high level ideas.

Startup Playbook

A succint overview of the major pieces involved in a startup.

The Mom Test

A practical guide to validating start up ideas.

Stripe Atlas

Guides on just about every topic an early founder needs to know about. Some of my favorites are: Your First 10 Customers, and The SaaS Business Model.

Sam Altman's Writings

I like that Sam's writings aren't just re-hashing stuff that Paul's written but are instead more like honest reflections. Some of my favorites: How To Be Successful, Productivity, Idea Generation.

Legal Concepts for Founders

A primer on the legal stuff you need to know when doing a start up or starting any type of company.

Venture Deals

A thorough look at what you need to know as a start up founder that wants to raise VC money without getting screwed.

Startup Equity for employees

Useful if you're looking to join a start up as an employee but aren't familiar with options or how start ups tend to compensate employees.

All Things Sales

Short crash course on sales for founders.

A Product Person’s Perspective on Enterprise Selling

An overview of the enterprise selling process.

B2B SaaS

A framework for selling B2B SaaS.

The founders guide to selling your company

Succint overview of the potential landmines during M & A. Tread carefully. I say this from experience.


Software Engineering

Automate The Boring Stuff with Python

A great intro to programming that gives you practical examples of how to do useful things. The whole book is online for free here. There's also a paperback here if you prefer that.

Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective (CSAPP)

This is the book that will take you from being someone who hacks away at Python until it works, to someone who understands computers. It's thicker than a bible, but these are the foundations of computer systems and are worth understanding. You can find lectures to accompany the book here and the course that the book was written for here.

Designing Data Intensive Application

A useful introduction for learning how to scale large distributed systems.

Learn Web Development

Nice (free) intro to web dev that also gets you used to referencing MDN

Database Internals

If you want to dig into how databases work on the inside, look no further.

Writing an Interpreter in Go

Part 1 of the series I recommend to those who want to understand how a compiler works. I recommend everyone read both parts.

Writing a compiler in Go

Part 2 of the compiler series. This one is a gem as well.

Learn C++

The resource I recommend to everyone looking to learn C++.

Effective C++

The second book everyone should read about C++. It does a good job of explaining the different parts of C++ and gives heuristics for when to avoid certain features.

Intro to embedded Linux

Short playlist of videos that give an overview of the process for getting linux into embedded applications.

Mastering Embedded Linux Programming

If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you have to package linux on an embedded system yourself, this is a good starting point.

Cracking the Coding Interview

The go-to prep book for interviews that focus on data structures & algorithms. 🤮


Estimation & Controls

Kalman and Bayesian Filters

The best resource for learning about state estimation, Kalman Filters, etc.

Kalman Filter

A great resource if you just want to focus on Kalman Filters. I bought the book a long time ago and it is well worth the money.

Using Inertial Sensors for Position and Orientation Estimation

A thorough but practical overview of estimation.

Underactuated Robotics

The best resource for learning modern control theory. I hope to one day meet Prof. Tedrake and tell him thanks for this invaluable resource.

Modeling and Control of a Quadcopter

A succint overview of modeling a quadcopter and some techniques for control.

Full control of a quadrotor

A look at different techniques for modeling and controlling a quadcopter when compared to the previous item. Sometimes having different authors explain the same topic helps to understand it better.

Design and control of quadrotors with application to autonomous flying

A more in-depth look at quadcopter modeling and control. This is the thesis of one of the authors from the previous resource so there will be some overlap.

Path Planning using a Dynamic Vehicle Model

A simple 2D model for a car along with an intro to path planning using an RRT.

An Introduction to trajectory optimization

A great intro to trajectory optimization.

A Differential Drive

A model for a differential drive vehicle. If you want start messing with a model to do path planning, estimation, controls, etc. this is the one to start with.

Controlling Self Driving Cars

Phenomenal 5 minute video that gives you all the intuition you'll need for PID control.

Control Challenges

A playground with a set of control challenges to test out and learn various control methods.

Introduction to Flight

My favorite intro book on planes, aerodynamics, etc.

LQR-Trees: Feedback Motion Planning via Sums-of-Squares Verification

My favorite academic paper. If all papers were written like this one, the world would be a better place.


Computer Vision

CS231A: Computer Vision

A great set of notes for starting to learn about computer vision.

Cameras and Lenses

A great post for understanding cameras and how they make images.

Visual Odometry

A succint overview of visual odometry.

Omnidirectional Vision

A thorough look at modeling lenses with high distortion (Fisheye, etc.)


Simultaneous Localization & Mapping (SLAM)

SLAM is a hodgepodge of state estimation, computer vision, filtering, and other topics depending on who you ask. The following resources are useful but it's tough to learn about SLAM since the approaches vary widely. The only consistent feature across SLAM systems is that they do some form of loop closure.

Probabilistic Robotics

Often treated as the bible of SLAM, but I would complement it with resources about Computer Vision and State Estimation.

An Evaluation of the RGB-D SLAM System

A great overview of how the popular SLAM systems built with RGB-D cameras similar to the Microsoft Kinect work.

A Review of Point Cloud Registration Algorithms for Mobile Robotics

An in-depth look at point cloud algorithms like ICP.

GTSAM

A library for building graph based SLAM systems. The intro tutorial is my favorite overview of SLAM since it's short and clear.


Machine Learning

Hands on Machine Learning

A great intro to classical and modern ML.

Neural Networks: Zero to Hero

If you prefer to learn with videos instead of books, this is where you should start learning about modern ML.

This is one of those resources I can't believe is free. A true gift to humanity.


Computer Graphics

Ray Tracing in One Weekend Series

This is a series of 3 books that give a great overview of ray tracing. The first book, Ray Tracing in One Weekend, is the book I recommend to those who are first starting to get into computer graphics. The entire series is worth reading and is completely free online.

Scratch-a-Pixel

Perhaps the most thorough writing I have ever seen on a subject. A wonderful resource and my go-to for all things computer graphics.

15-462: Computer Graphics

An introductory course on computer graphics.The accompanying lectures can be found here.

Physically Based Rendering

Once you've used the previous resources for learning about computer graphics, this book will give you breakdown and explanation of a fully working modern ray tracer and the parts that go into it.


Math & Numerical Computing

Essence of Linear Algebra

Perhaps the best learning resource for any subject ever.

If when you think of linear algebra you just see numbers and matrices, give this a watch. If you're learning about linear algebra for the first time, this is a must watch.

Introduction to applied Linear Algebra

The book that made linear algebra "click" for me and showed me why it's useful. Everything is well motivated and practical. Use this as a guide when learning about linear algebra or machine learning.

Numerical Algorithms

An introduction to all the numerical programming and math you'll ever need to know.

Convex Optimization

The bible of Convex Optimization. Useful for knowing which optimization problems can be solved "easily".


Electronics

Make: Electronics

The book I recommend for anyone looking to get into electronics.

Practical Electronics for Inventors

Once you've read Make: Electronics and want to go deeper, this is the one I recommend.

An intro to KiCad

Great playlist of videos for learning PCB layout and design.

Digital Computer Electronics

What do people mean when they say "Computers are just ones and zeroes"? This book will show you. You start with a transistor and build up to CPUs and memory. Reading this one then CSAPP will give you a phenomenal understanding of how computers work.

Art of Electronics

Useful as a desktop reference once you've already mastered the topic, not as a book to learn from.

PySDR

A phenomenal and practical intro to digital signal processing with applications to radio. This is geared towards applying DSP instead of getting caught up in the theory like so many other resources do.

USB In A Nutshell

The USB 2.0 spec is 650 pages. This one is 30 pages. Read this one first.


Avionics

Make: Drones

This is my favorite technical book. You get an understanding of all the different parts of an RC quadcopter system then you write the flight control firmware. I wish I had this when I was younger and looking into drones, but I'm just happy it exists.

The 1090 Mhz Riddle

Great for understanding how aircraft broadcast their location.


Finance

Khan Academy: Finance and Capital Markets

The finance knowledge that everyone should know explained by Sal Khan himself. This should be required reading/viewing in school.

Financial Statements

Another one that should be required reading in school. A practical guide to learning financial statements and basic accounting. This is the one you should read so that you can get basic accounting down and then move on with your life.

Pricing Money

A succint introduction to the world of making money with money.

Central Banking 101

A practical overview of money and how governments manage it.


FinTech

The Anatomy of the Swipe

The book I recommend to everyone looking to get into FinTech.

Payment Systems in the U.S.

The book everyone recommends when looking at payments and FinTech in general. I recommend reading this one after The Anatomy of the Swipe so you can get a better feel for the concepts.

Bits About Money

Great newsletter with a deep archive for learning about the intersection of financial services and tech.

How ACH Works

Short series on how ACH works. A bit old, but still worth the read.


Crypto

Real World Cryptography

A practical intro to cryptography.

Mastering Bitcoin

Good Overview of Bitcoin.

Programming Bitcoin

Practical look at Bitcoin.


Quantitative Finance

Inside the Black Box

A succint overview of what quants do and how a quantitative trading system works without any math.

A First course in quantitative Finance

A good intro to quantitative finance with all the fancy math that goes along with it.

Algorithmic Trading

A practical look at building a simple quant system.

Derivatives For the Trading Floor

A practical intro to derivatives pricing and trading.

Options, futures, And other derivatives

More than you ever wanted to know about derivatives.

Algorithmic Trading & DMA

The nitty gritty of markets geared towards an algorithmic trader.

Trading & Exchanges

An intro to markets and the players involved.


History

For Profit: A History of corporations

This is my favorite non-technical book. It traces the evolution of corporations starting with the Medici all the way to Facebook. I highly recommend it.

The Innovators

My favorite of Isaacson's books. It traces the path of computers from Lovelace to Netscape.

The Power Law

The history of venture capital.

The Prize

The history of the last 150 years through the lens of oil. My second favorite non-technical book. I highly recommend it.

To Pixar and Beyond

The story of pixar.


Biographies

How they got rich

A succint overview of Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, JP Morgan, and the Gilded Age.

The First Tycoon

Vanderbilt biography. A bit wordy at times but worth the read.

American Rascal

Jay Gould is the often forgotten figure of the Gilded age. If Gould was alive today he would be a private equity guy launching hostile takeovers.

The Wizard of Menlo Park

Succint biography on Edison.

Andrew Carnegie

A good look at Andrew Carnegie's life without the bias of an autobigraphy.

Titan

Rockefeller biography. Thick but worth the read. It's crazy how many oil companies today trace their roots back to Standard Oil.

The House of Morgan

Biography of the whole Morgan empire. Thick but worth the read.

The People's Tycoon

Henry Ford biography.

A Man for All Markets

This book almost made me drop everything I was doing to become a quant.

Poor Charlie's Almanack

"if you don't learn to constantly revise your earlier conclusions, and get better ones, ... you're like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest." - Charlie Munger

Steve Jobs

Think different.

Elon Musk

Chief Twit.

Build

Reflections and wisdom from the guy that led the iPod & iPhone projects then went on to found Nest. This is the first time I saw a leader own up to the fact that some decisions that are made during the product development stage are based on opinion.

Founder's at Work

Interviews with successful founders. Lots of gems here.

Invested

A surprisingly honest account of Charles Schwab's founding of the Charles Schwab Corporation.

Chaos Monkeys

The Liar's Poker of Silicon Valley.

The Founders

A look at the early days of PayPal through the lens of the founders and employees.

Play Nice But Win

Michael Dell biography. As a fellow Houstonian, this one hit home.


Cooking

The Food Lab

The book that got me into cooking and treating the kitchen like a lab for experiments.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

A well established classic.


Pizza

Yes, Pizza gets a section all to itself.

The Elements of Pizza

The book you should start with if you want to make good pizza.

The Pizza Bible

Once you've read Elements of Pizza, read this one to learn how deep the world of pizza can go.