Top 5 books every entrepreneur should read
It is so easy to feel lost in a world where almost all the human knowledge is available at the push of a button. No wonder many new entrepreneurs struggle with the overflow of information sources that would be especially beneficial for starting their business. Well, there is no magic trick. Most of us have read some materials on startup development and lean startup books, but what are the most vital skills a new entrepreneur should gain? Here is the list of 5 books that we believe can take your entrepreneurial mindset to the next level. Have you already read some of them? Are there any other books you believe are a must-read for any startupper? Let us know in the comments.
1. “The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd”, by Allan Dib
“Do Not Read This Book If You Hate Money”, says the warning in the annotation. Allan Dib, founder of several successful startups, business coach and marketologist offers a new approach to practical marketing. With its help one could quickly and easily make up a one-page marketing plan and build a successful business from scratch.
The author gives unusual answers to many questions about marketing. How to attract new customers and users and earn more money? Why copying marketing strategies of big companies might ruin the one of yours and which strategies do really work for small and medium size businesses? How to seal a deal without being too intrusive and ensuring the customers are happy to pay? How to become successful with a small budget?
This book is useful for both beginners who are making their first steps in business and for experiences entrepreneurs, looking for growth and development opportunities.
2. “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration”, by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace
Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar, the most successful animation startup in the world, explains how to combine creativity and management. From this book you will learn how to create an atmosphere of freedom and inspiration for the creative team, while keeping them within the budget and timeline frames. And how to make the best products within an industry by doing so.
Pixar has changed the world’s perception of animation and computer graphics, and Catmull is sharing his experiences of building and managing the Pixar team. He openly describes all the failures, mistakes, rises and falls of the company on its journey of creating the most efficient strategy of collaboration with creative people.
You will also learn the stories behind creating the most known Pixar movies from “Toy Story” to “Monsters University”, as an extra bonus.
3. “Monetizing Innovation: How Smart Companies Design the Product Around the Price”, by Madhavan Ramanujam and Georg Tacke
Innovation is a major factor in economic growth. In today’s world of competition, companies must introduce innovations in order to survive. But successful innovation is not an easy task.
This book will help you understand the practical approach to innovation, which can be adapted for any business and any industry. It will also introduce special techniques which help make innovations an integral part of the company development. The authors use the best innovation enterprises as examples, namely LinkedIn, Uber, Porsche, Swarovski and others, to show how the described principles are used in real life.
4. “How to Get a Meeting with Anyone: The Untapped Selling Power of Contact Marketing”, by Stu Heineck
This book explains how to easily make contact with top managers and other important people. Marketing Hall of Fame nominee and The Wall Street Journal cartoonist, Stu Heinecke found out that it is possible to overcome all the traditional obstacles and to get to the unreachable managers through the use of unusual solutions and personalized approaches. He calls these methods “contact campaigns” and states that getting to meet presumably inaccessible people is way easier than it might seem.
Heinecke demonstrates, through real-life examples, how to turn a letter to a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal, or how to use one’s phone, social media, email or even traditional mail to get in touch with unreachable people. The author offers a set of useful advice and unhacked methods to easily make connections for the sake of future success.
5. “Redesigning Leadership”, by John Maeda
John Maeda is a well-known designer and computer scientist, and one of the most influential people of the 21st century according to Esquire magazine. In this book, he shares his own experiences and the different views on leadership: that of an artist and a designer, an engineer and a scientist, a coach and a simple human being.
Nowadays, a leader cannot afford being trapped by the stereotypes, as life is rapidly changing and leadership methods should change accordingly. The book tells us why leaders should not be scared to get their hands dirty and why sometimes it is worth starting a meeting with questioning how someone is coping with the tasks given. This book gives the reader all the tools necessary for viewing classical problem situations from a different angle and it elaborates a personalized conception of creative leadership.
If you feel like you’ve already gained plenty of theoretical knowledge and would like to get some more practical training, then Cambridge Venture Camp is for you! During the intensive two-week accelerator program you will develop your entrepreneurial skills and business idea together with experienced mentors, keynote speakers and industry experts. Don’t hesitate to apply, this could be the major turning point of your professional career. The application is open until February 3rd. Apply here!