15 Business Books For every aspiring Entrepreneur.
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15 Business Books Every Aspiring Entrepreneur Should Read
15 Business Books Every Aspiring Entrepreneur Should Read
Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz, offers up a brutally honest look not at whats needed to start a business, but what it takes torunone. Readers can appreciate the equally entertaining and shrewd descriptions of his journey from software engineer to venture capital CEO. His no-nonsense approach and relatable wisdom are characteristics I consider to be invaluable for anyone in a leadership role, whether at a startup or a Fortune-level corporation.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
In her bookResonate, presentation expert and Harvard Business Review contributor Nancy Duarte explores a number of proven techniques for transforming any presentation into what she describes as "an engaging journey" for audiences. As the leaders of our companies, it's imperative that we maintain a thorough command of the spoken word in such a way that elicits any number of desired responses from clients, investors, and colleagues alike. This book spells out the how-tos behind these key communicative skills.
Whether youre doing the dog and pony show for funding, seeking to effectively communicate with your team, or looking to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry, youre going to need to learn to make and give stellar presentations. Ask any business owner and he or she will tell you, strong in-person presentation and communication skills are the difference between the remembered and the forgotten.
Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences
BusinessModel Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
With social networks, blogs, and daily startup life generating more din than an oncoming freight train, knowing when and how to cut through the noise can be tough.Business Model Generationzeroes in on todays shared language of success while educating readers about the building blocks of businesses, beginning with a concept known asthe business model canvas. This book stands as an invaluable tool for defining, iterating upon, and innovating your business model. The core of every successful startup today hinges on the product and the experience, be it for a user or consumer. Here Mark Stickdorn highlights the importance of human-centered design and discusses methods for customer and design research. I'd say without reservation that this one's a must-read for any active or aspiring business owner or product marketer.
This is Service Design Thinking: Basics, Tools, Cases
But before you run off and eliminate groupthink from your toolbox, I suggest you readGamestormingby Dave Gray. This self-described playbook serves as a how-to for overseeing effective team collaboration. Grab yourself a copy if youre looking to shake up the ways in which you co-create and ideate with employees or customers. I should know this book inspired an entirely new method of growth hacking at our company, which were now calling the 50/50 experiment.
Brainstorms possess the ability to either exhilarate and excite or frustrate and discourage those participants charged with creating from them products, campaigns, or brand concepts. Many reports point to the latter, maintaining that most brainstorms are toxic and a complete waste of time. Says organizational psychologist Adrian Furnham, Evidence from science suggests that business people must be insane to use brainstorming groups.
Game storming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rule breakers, and Change makers
By the same team that brought usBusiness Model Generation, this book lays the groundwork for defining and understanding successful value propositions. Whether that success translates into a sound business with engaged and happy customers or a major acquisition from Google, its safe to say this book is a worthwhile buy. With applicable exercises and workshop ideas for colleagues and clients alike,Value Proposition Designundoubtedly lives up to its title.
Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services That Customers Want
These days you cant scroll through a marketing blog without being inundated with headlines about shiny SAAS tools. Analytics, social listening, you name it. But with enough gizmos and services to fill our minds and browser extensions, its amazing how often we overlook the need to equip ourselves with the single most important tool: our own ability to lead. Thats because ultimately, its on us as the founders to instill that same virtue in our teams. As education expert John Holt once noted, True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You
Eric Ries is the Tony Robbins of the startup world. Thanks to his refreshingly concise writing style, his book is chock full of relatable lessons. His pointed honesty is one of the many reasons I refer this book to just about every entrepreneur I know. His explanation of the Build-Measure-Learn framework educates readers on the uses of customer-based observation, a tool that ought to exist at the heart of every startup.
The Lean Startup: How Todays Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
This one stands out for its ability to convey the many challenges you will inevitably face as a founder. Author Noam Wasserman frames what he calls the three Rs relationships, roles, and rewards as factors every founder must constantly evaluate and adjust. He places special emphasis on the ways in which organizers can confidently go about making tough choices about human and financial capital. My favorite part about this read is how in-depth the lessons it contains actually are. Suffice it to say, I wish it existed when I was starting my business.The Founders Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup
As the founder, owner, and veritable captain of your ship, you can expect to encounter countless distractions, both personal and professional. Great leaders know how and when to be myopic in their scope of work. Essentialism teaches us the ways of a modern day essentialist. That is, how to be the type that works smarter, not harder, in order to maximize on productivity levels across the board.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
When we talk about failure being the foundation for success, Ed CatmullsCreativity, Inc.is treasured by many for its candid story and style. In it, he recounts the inception and creation of his company (for those unaware, thatd be the world famous Pixar Animation Studios). Its not your average philosophical recipe for management or bland, chest-pounding tale of overcoming the odds, but rather a simple narrative of one mans childhood passion for art and technology. How he forged that into the ideals and experiences behind one of the most innovative companies of our time, is something every one of us can stand to learn a thing or two from. This ones a remarkably insightful look at how even the most successful careers are comprised of countless failures. Catmulls introspection and empathy are incredibly inspiring.Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action&Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't
Speaking of empathy, Simon Sineks booksLeaders Eat LastandStart With Whyare two truly reflective books that out to be in every founders literary arsenal. He uses biological evidence to assess the psychological and sociological impact of empathy, and offers various frameworks for ways in which empathy itself can be utilized as a tool to drive your organizations success. Though similar in nature, both of Sineks books carry unique sets of takeaways for todays founders.Start with Whyexplains the fundamental need to know and articulate our business why, whileLeaders Eat Lastteaches us how to uphold the tenets of our why as we incorporate new people into the folds of our business.Outliers: The Story of Success
When we think about what drives success, we often point to fundamental elements like hard work, passion, and commitment. But what about more arbitrary factors like a persons birth date, cultural background, or familial upbringing? Author Malcolm Gladwell encourages readers to consider how individualized ones own potential for success actually is. Redefine your definition of successand learn how the 10,000-Hour Rule applies to you in this thought-provoking bestseller.Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap And Others Dont
Lets be real, not every company among us breeds excellence. While some possess the DNA makeup conducive to long term success, countless others simply do not. But is it possible, still, for those companies classified as mediocre to carve out permanent places for themselves in todays market? To make the leap from good to great? Jim Collins examines this question, and in the process uncovers a certain set of characteristics capable of distinguishing a companys potential for enduring greatness. The findings inGood to Greatreveal the qualities of successful leaders, the importance of technology, and the need for a disciplined culture, among a number of other truths that will almost certainly impact your business.