I’ve become a startup, small business and entrepreneurship book curator – literally. We receive a lot of great books from best-selling authors and business extraordinaires, but unfortunately few have the depth to make the read “plausible” and the breadth to capture your attention – and keep it.
Recently, I considered that many of us often stay within an industry-specific comfort zone when it comes to selecting new books. Traditional wisdom may suggest that you stick to what you know. But I’ve found that much of the strategic insight and tactical knowledge that impacts your business is found in the unlikeliest of places.
Hence, I was so impressed with several excellent – yet diverse books, that I had no choice but to share them with you. In hopes that you’ll read them and that they’ll spark genius and refresh your business.
Sure! We all have our tried and true business books that take up coveted space in our iPads, Nooks, Kindles and office shelves … but these five books should definitely be on your list. And here’s why:
1. The Lean Startup
“Be more innovative. Stop wasting people’s time. Be more successful,” says Eric Ries, entrepreneur and author of the New York Times bestseller “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business.”
Ries evangelizes his mantra of Lean Thinking principles applied to the entrepreneurial process. His inspiration? The lean manufacturing process, fine-tuned in Japanese factories decades ago which focused on eliminating any work or investment that doesn’t produce value for customers. While it’s heavily praised in tech circles, entrepreneurs across a wide array of industries could benefit from reading this book. Visit the website or buy the book.
2. By Invitation Only
Harvard MBAs Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, the founders of Gilt Groupe, reveal how they built the web’s most famous fusion of high tech and high fashion empires.
Their book, “By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop” explores how they took their passions and developed a simple idea into a members-only, high-end “flash” sale website that soon became a viral hit and later hit a valuation of $1 billion – reaching 3.5 million members. It’s a refreshing read with a ton of great insights. Visit the website or buy the book.