Books for startups
The startup mania, which has covered the wave of Russia as well, has given rise to a myth over time: you just have to have a cool idea, desire and ability to do something and all doors are open for you. Of course, these qualities help in the implementation of the project, but do not forget that most startups have no practice in marketing, creating presentations, communicating with investors or with the team. They do not know how to hire and motivate employees, how to show the product from the best side and where it is worth sacrificing features for the sake of convenience. And this is no less important than a head on shoulders and golden hands.
I create my own startup, but the more I immerse myself in this topic, the more I understand that I don’t know a lot and this causes erroneous actions. Therefore, I began to buy packs of books on interesting and useful topics in order to fill the gaps in education. Here I want to share what I read. I must say right away that these are more opinions about books than reviews that you can read yourself on any book site.
Some books are directly about startups, others are about marketing, others are about motivation, and others are about self-development. One way or another, I think that all this is worth knowing to beginning entrepreneurs.
1. Jason Fraid. Rework. Business without prejudice
I think it’s not worth talking about this book once again, most likely many are familiar with it. But if suddenly you didn’t read this slightly hooligan business guide from 37 Signals - be sure to do it! The value of the book is not so much in useful advice and wise decisions, but in the inspiration that comes from reading.
2. Carmine Gallo. i Presentation. Persuasion lessons from Apple leader Steve Jobs
What is the secret of Steve Jobs' presentations, which are sometimes expected more than the product that he presents? They have a special magic, you always listen to what is called “on the edge of a chair”. How to make presentations in the style of Jobs is described in this wonderful and very stylishly designed book. I read it with pleasure. I believe that it is worth reading to everyone, at least in order to learn how to express their thoughts briefly and clearly, discarding all unnecessary.
3. Guy Kawasaki. Startup
This book is considered almost a bible for everyone who starts their own business. Basically, it is about positioning your product for a start for yourself, then for investors and finally for consumers. There are a lot of useful and most important concrete tips, and not just talking about what you need to stand out and have your own character. It is easy to read, individual tablets and clever thoughts can even be printed out and hung on the wall.
4. David Kirkpatrick. Social network
Also a sensational book about creating Facebook. A hundred times more reliable and more detailed than described in the film of the same name. It is very useful in that it considers a long period (6 years) of the development of the most famous social network, for which there was nothing. And if the film is built on the relationship of the heroes, then the book deals directly with Facebook itself, its functions, problems, successes and investments. You can (and should) reread it several times.
5. Seth Godin. Purple cow
A very cool book, by the generated inspiration similar to Rework. About the fact that the world of products and advertising is changing, and today it is important to create something so outstanding (like a purple cow) that everyone will tell each other about themselves. About the fact that you need to maintain individuality, that it is better (financially) to have a small army of loyal fans than to create a product for everyone that does not cause any emotions. And of course, tips are given on how to achieve this.
Very good translation, swallowed 170 pages in a couple of days.
6. Lorraine Grabes West. Employees for life
A small book, only 128 pages, reads in one go. About corporate culture in the local American airline Southwest Airlines, in which half of the Americans dream to work. There are a lot of situations that were solved by the company in an unusual way for others, but which left such a mark in the soul of the employee that he fell in love with his work. There are many fun stories from workdays. More suitable of course for HR-s and directors, but I was also interested.
7. Tony Shay. Delivering happiness
The history of the creation of the largest American online store with impeccable service - Zappos. This book in content is a cross between the fifth and sixth book. Half about startup, half about corporate culture. Cool that the narration is conducted in the first person, the author is the permanent CEO of Zappos. In general, nothing new, but as another success story is quite interesting.
8. Mark Goulstone. I hear you through and through
Oh, this is a wonderful book! I was hooked by the fact that the author was a coach of the FBI negotiators. Well, you know, those brave guys who dissuade suicides from jumping from a skyscraper? I thought that the book will give advice on how to conduct business negotiations, but it turned out that the topic is much broader and extends from negotiations with business partners to finding a common language with relatives. It’s a little amusing that in the examples given, after some very correct phrase, the interlocutors suddenly start to cry, which in the fifth example already causes a skeptical smile, but the value of the book is very high and, in my opinion, it should be read by everyone more than once.
9. Stephen Covey. Seven skills of highly effective people
The title of the book is a little scary, you think that it is for white-collar workers who want to become successful managers and consider as suckers those who have not earned a million by 25 years old. But in reality, everything turns out to be much nicer, the book is written for ordinary people who want to improve their lives. It considers a lot of life situations and clearly explains how and why it is better to do so in them. If you are an introvert with a desire to make a startup - I strongly advise you, there are useful tips on how to communicate in this cruel extrovert world.
In conclusion, I note in what I see the benefit of reading such books. Yes, they are somewhat similar to each other, sometimes the same thoughts are repeated in them (sometimes literally), some books are far from Russian reality. But what is hard to argue with is the fact that such books stimulate brain activity well. It happens that some ideas come during the reading, sometimes you are tormented by the question of how to solve the problem, and then you have an almost ready solution, but it happens that everything is bad and completely desperate, but you read and understand that everyone went through it, get up and you meet your dream with renewed vigor.
Good luck to all startups!