The most romantic idea that an incumbent entrepreneur can have is “Doing it my way”. Sure, it’s great to chart your own path, but to be acquainted with some well sharpened tools makes a prudent starter. This ammo you can pick up at your job, your school, from friends or even during a game of pickup basketball. There are also books that do a good job of introducing you to basic principles of starting up. Here are 4 we believe every aspiring entrepreneur should get their hands on:
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
“Taking a structured, scientific approach to a startup could increase its chances of success” – Eric Ries.
Let’s face it, majority of start ups fail. According to Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, those failures can be prevented if a structured and scientific approach is taken. “Startup success can be engineered by following a process,” he says. And if there’s a process that means it can be learned. This book teaches that process. The lessons in the book on how to build a minimum viable product, iterate base on customer feedback and metrics and pivot when all else fails is a must read for any entrepreneur.
Start-up Sutra: What the Angels Won’t Tell You About Business and Life by Rohit Prasad
“The game is never over. The universe has a pretty good knowledge management system and stores every new idea, every innovation ever attempted in its bottomless ledgers.” – Rohit Prasad.
The book etches the journey of two entrepreneurs. The author, by connecting spirituality and life with entrepreneurship lays the rules of entrepreneurship bare and facts that being an entrepreneur is not just setting up a shop, it’s much more than that. Start-up Sutra narrates in the form of sutras that being an entrepreneur can be extremely challenging, and it is impossible to be a successful one without courage, vision, hard-work and passion. He also deems luck as an important factor in order to establish a flourishing business.
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
“If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better.” – Ed Catmull.
Ed Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar, uses Pixar’s triumphs and near-disasters to outline a system for managing people in creative businesses — one in which candid criticism is delivered sensitively, while individuality and autonomy are not strangled by a robotic corporate culture. Creativity, Inc., a book which should be in every entrepreneur’s bookshelf.
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
“The best entrepreneurs know this: every great business is built around a secret that’s hidden from the outside. A great company is a conspiracy to change the world; when you share your secret, the recipient becomes a fellow conspirator.” – Peter Thiel.
Zero to One is about what might be coming next, what might be valuable then, and how you can put yourself in the right position for both. Going from “Zero to One” is to create something entirely new. It’s not creating a filtered photo app, an email inbox program, or another smartphone. Forceful and pungent in its treatment of conventional orthodoxies—a solid starting point for readers thinking about building a business.
These 4 books have powerful entrepreneurial know-how that has worked for countless entrepreneurs. Try them and tell us what you think.