Sometimes the biggest hurdle keeping folks from starting a business is the first step. And it’s a big one for anyone. But it’s usually the fear of failure and the unknown holding people back.
Fortunately, we live in an age where people freely share their experience with the rest of us online. Experiences that can inspire people to take on the challenge of creating something new. But while you’ll be on autopilot after you’re committed, the reality is that it will be a bumpy ride. You’ll come across various challenges along the way that you weren’t prepared for.
Nevertheless, we’ve gathered a list of books below that will help you get a firm grasp of what to expect, be prepared and show you how to succeed with your business. But you’ll also find books that highlight the importance of entrepreneurship in today’s economy. While we may have missed a few books on the list, we’ve left the comments open for your favourites.
1. The Lean Startup
This probably comes as no surprise that we included Eric Ries’ book here. The Lean Startup builds upon Ries’ experience with his own startup and suggests an alternative to building and launching product in a flash – part of which is what has made so popular among startup enthusiasts. It’s key message is to get out of the building to meet your target market.
2. Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Original published in 1985 by Peter Drucker, this was the first book to present innovation and entrepreneurship as a purposeful discipline. But while it’s been 29 years, you’ll discover some of his ideas are still relevant today.
Drucker highlights where innovation comes from and shares the ingredients for fostering an entrepreneurial culture in your organisation. Through the use of case studies, Innovation and Entrepreneurship demonstrates how businesses, no matter how big or small, can bring innovative products to life.
3. The New Business Road Test
Not every idea is a winner and sometimes you need to through 42 tries before you hit it big - just like Rovio did before their success with Angry Birds. Written by John Mullins, The New Business Road Test delivers a comprehensive approach to finding out whether you’ve got a winner on your hands.
The book gives you all the necessary tools to conduct a market analysis, find out the viability of your business and how to interview your target audience – all packed in a way that is suitable for everyone regardless of their business expertise.
4. The $100 Startup
Just like the name implies, this book is about starting a business with $100 or less. This is actually one of my personal favourites due to how practical it is and because it highlights how hilariously easy it is to get started with your own business.
As you read The $100 Startup you’ll find yourself bookmarking pages and taking notes – especially when it comes to hustling.
5. Startup Communities
Sometimes it feels like every city is trying to be the next Silicone Valley. And for good reason too, because a thriving startup community promotes collaboration and the creation of innovative products. It also encourages more people to start a business by also providing a network of support.
In Startup Communities, Brad Feld tells you how to create a vibrant, long-term startup community. Feld draws on his 17 years experience of being an entrepreneur and investor in Boulder Colorado to present a blueprint that can be adapted to your own city.
6. Managing Startups
Curated by Harvard Business School Professor Tom Eisenmann, you’ll find 72 blog posts from successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. This collection takes you through all the stages of a startup and is organised in a way you can just jump into a topic of your interest.
Managing Startups is structured in a nice way and is split into 13 parts that focus on topics like; management tasks, organisational issues and funding. A highly recommended book for anybody in a startup or thinking about taking the plunge.
7. The Art Of The Start
Guy Kawasaki was Apple’s chief evangelist back in the 80s and is now an author, speaker, investor and advisor. In The Art of the Start, Kawasaki shares two decades of experience to guide through starting anything – be it a startup, non-profit or a multinational corporation.
You’ll pick up a few things from Kawasaki as he explains things in a very engaging tone that will get you through the book in no time at all.
Best of all, Kawasaki speaks from experience when share his tips on bootstrapping, positioning, branding, raising capital and recruiting.
8. Startup Nation
Dan Senor and Saul Singer examine how a country of only 7.9 million people is able to produce more startups than Japan, Korea and the UK. Startup Nation takes a look at the factors contributing to Israel’s entrepreneurial culture.
The authors both live in the country and give an in-depth report of startup life in Israel. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone, with the book talking about politics, culture, venture capital and economics. It’s an eye-opening book which details the “Israel Effect” where economies such as Singapore, Dubai and Ireland have tried to replicate.
9. Lean Analytics
Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz have compiled a data driven guide to growing startups fasters. Lean Analytics is meant for entrepreneurs attempting to build and launch innovative products. But whether you’re just starting out or already into your your journey, you’ll learn a great about which metrics track and evaluating your startup’s performance.
Croll and Yoskovitz interviewed 100 founders, investors, entrepreneurs and innovators who shared their best practices for this book. My favourite is that it gives you concrete examples with six sample business models and highlighting metrics to pay attention to.
So, which books did I NOT mention in this post?
If you enjoyed this list, you might be interested in checking out these 8 Books to Help Foster Creativity and Innovation in Your Startup