Top Books on Start-up
“Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers”
by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow’s enterprises. If your organization needs to adapt to harsh new realities, but you don’t yet have a strategy that will get you out in front of your competitors, you need Business Model Generation.
“Running lean” by Ash Maurya
In this inspiring book, Ash Maurya takes you through an exacting strategy for achieving a “product/market fit” for your fledgling venture, based on his own experience in building a wide array of products from high-tech to no-tech. Throughout, he builds on the ideas and concepts of several innovative methodologies, including the Lean Startup, Customer Development, and bootstrapping
“The lean startup” by Eric Ries
The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.
“Zero to one” by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters, et al.
Zero to One is about how to build companies that create new things. It draws on everything Peter Thiel has learned directly as a co-founder of PayPal and Palantir and then an investor in hundreds of startups, including Facebook and SpaceX. The single most powerful pattern Thiel has noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas. Ask not, what would Mark do? Ask: What valuable company is nobody building?
“The founder’s dilemma” by Noam Wasserman
Drawing on a decade of research, Noam Wasserman reveals the common pitfalls founders face and how to avoid them. He looks at whether it is a good idea to cofound with friends or relatives, how and when to split the equity within the founding team, and how to recognize when a successful founder-CEO should exit or be fired. Wasserman explains how to anticipate, avoid, or recover from disastrous mistakes that can splinter a founding team, strip founders of control, and leave founders without a financial payoff for their hard work and innovative ideas. He highlights the need at each step to strike a careful balance between controlling the startup and attracting the best resources to grow it, and demonstrates why the easy short-term choice is often the most perilous in the long term.
“Accounting for the numberphobic” by Dawn Fotopulos
“I don’t have time to look at the numbers.” “That’s what the accountant is for.” “I can see what the balance is–that’s all I need to know.” Why do so many business owners dread looking at the numbers? Financial statements, ledgers, profit and loss reports–many avoid these and treat them like junk mail and phone solicitors. But as a small business owner, having an intimate knowledge of all these crucial numbers yourself is the most important tool you can equip yourself with in order to survive the constantly changing and highly competitive marketplace of the twentyfirst century. Nevertheless, it’s true–you’re not a numbers person. How can you learn to make sense out of all this Greek?Accounting for the Numberphobic to the rescue! This easy-to-follow guide demystifies your company’s financial dashboard: the Net Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement, and Balance Sheet.The book explains in plain English how each measurement reflects the overall health of your business–and impacts your decisions. Even self-proclaimed numbers dummies will discover: • How your Net Income Statement is the key to growing your profits • How to identify the break-even point that means your business is selfsustaining • Real-world advice on measuring and increasing cash flow • What the Balance Sheet reveals about your company’s worth • And more Don’t leave your company’s finances entirely in the hands of a thirdparty accounting service or an employee who is only loyal to the highest paycheck. Even worse–don’t ignore them altogether! Knowing the numbers yourself isn’t just about seeing how your company is doing . . . it’s about knowing where it is going–and guiding it toward the highest profits possible.