As we have often been told, freedom comes attached with its own bunch of responsibilities. You do get to fly solo with entrepreneurship, but it also means often taking a plunge into hitherto unknown landscapes which includes new opportunities, new challenges and new heights to scale. However, there is no reason to feel intimidated or alone as this great list of books recommendations will help you navigate your new environs. Have a look:
1. The Everything Store by Brad Stone
The Everything Store is the story of one of the most successful online companies in the world and its founder- Amazon and Jeff Bezos. A great guide for any entrepreneur, it provides learning in terms of what to do, what not to do, how to have sharp focus, deliver values and how to manage people working under you. This book acts as a guide by making the users experience the journey of Amazon.
2. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
According to Eric Ries, a startup is an organisation dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. The Lean Startup approach is about companies that are not only capital efficient but also leverage human creativity more effectively. Ries suggests that instead of wasting time on creating detailed business plans, entrepreneurs should find a way to analyse their vision constantly and adapt accordingly. His scientific approach for creating and managing successful startups is more relevant than ever in an age when companies need to regularly innovate.
3. The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Gary Blank
This is a must read book for anyone launching a tech startup. Steve Blank was part of the boom times of Silicon Valley in 1978 and his experience of many years was distilled into The Four Steps to the Epiphany. In the book, Blank talks about how to properly organise sales and marketing, find out flaws and test assumptions. This book lends itself to a lot of practical usage for the readers.
4. The Startup of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
In this book, LinkedIn co-founder and chairman Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha talk about how one can create a robust career on today’s highly fragmented, fast changing and competitive world. The key is, they say, to manage your career as if it were a start-up business. The strategies that this book provides are helpful to both survive and thrive in your career and realise your potential and ambition to the fullest.
5. Entrepreneurial DNA: The Breakthrough Discovery that Aligns Your Business to Your Unique Strengths by Joe Abraham
Entrepreneurial DNA talks about the fact that all entrepreneurs have different and unique entrepreneurial DNA. The first step to success for any entrepreneur is to find out what his or her DNA is. Joe Abraham, a serial entrepreneur, drew on his own experiences for this book so that future entrepreneurs could find success. He asks his readers some key questions like what kind of entrepreneur are they, what are their strengths and weakness and what are the qualities of people they’re working with.
6. Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder
The first and foremost step of any startup is to get the business plan right. This book collates business model ideas from 470 business model practitioners from 45 countries, and offers insights into all kind of business models from all over the world. Thus, this book can help the companies in building the most suitable business model.
7. The Founder’s Dilemma by Noam Wasserman
This book is a perfect read for anyone looking at launching a new company. Noam Wasserman talks about the importance of making the right decisions when it comes to the people you are working with, their roles in the organisation etc. He also talks about avoiding any disaster through the right amount of preparation. It answers pertinent questions about the startup business like why it’s risky to go into business with your friends and relatives, how to divide the rewards, etc.
8. The Wisdom of Failure: How to Learn the Tough Leadership Lessons Without Paying the Price by Laurence G. Weinzimmer and Jim McConoughey
An essential how-not to guide for any entrepreneurs out there, this book throws the spotlight on the failures of various individuals and companies through a seven-year long research. The book gives important lessons and advice to the entrepreneurs about the mistakes they should avoid to succeed, which we don’t get to hear about usually.
9. Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson
The authors Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson funneled their extensive experience and knowledge of the venture capital financial field into this book. This book offers a term sheet (a document which outlines key financial and other terms of a proposed investment) and tips on the venture capital fundraising process. The book also gives the readers insights into the thought processes of venture capitalists.
10. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Old is often gold and this book proves it. This time-tested self-help book talks about various key techniques required to handle people, ways to make people like you, ways to win people to your way of thinking and ways to change people without arousing resentment. The book was first published in 1936 and is still strongly relevant in today’s context and is a must read for both entrepreneurs and other business leaders.