If you are starting up, one of the key things for you is to have an open mind to learn new things. Often you will see
I call it a “Learning Triangle”. For me, you can have learnings through 3 ways to associate.
- From Doing Things(ok, this is where it should start)
- From People (Other Founders, Mentors, inspirational people)
- From Books
I have mentioned in the previous article on how to get people to Mentor you which would be a major part of learning from people, they are the once who can guide you well before traveling that way. When it comes to doing, you are doing to learn different things from what you did and many times you are good to do mistakes and we call it as a good experience. When it comes to books , talking in the context of Startup and related books. You are going to learn a lot of methods and mindsets that are tried and tested for the best results worldwide.
I don’t have time for books, what should I do?
If you say you don’t have time to read books, then something is wrong with your scheduling.
To give a better perspective on making time for this. If you read 10 mins for each day for 33 days, you are doing to complete 12 books in a year. Just increase 10mins to 30mins and you are going to complete a lot of books already. The time spent on this will reduce your time by days or sometimes even months on the execution of your startup.
What are the five books listed here?
I am writing here the books I have gone through, so it’s a first hand experience you will be getting on how it can help you in your startup journey. These I think are the must read five books when starting up. I am giving in detail about these but will add few more books and one-liners of more books.
Before starting to read these books, make sure you are reading only of they are relevant to you at your current state. – Zero to one, Think and Grow Rich will help you with the mindset and I recommend you read these early on. – Business Model Canvas, Lean startup, Getting Real I recommend you to read at your Ideation and validation phase.
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Zero to One is one of the best books I came across in the Startups Context. Peter Thiel, Founder of PayPal . He invested in companies in Asana, Quora,Zynga and many more companies.
He talks about how to create monopoly business and he gives examples of how different companies like Google, Facebook, paypal made a monopoly of their times. More than a rule book i can call this as a mindset of philosophy to follow while you are thinking to build a company. If it won’t help you build a monopoly(which can be if it can be followed) it will save you from going into me too ideas to not get into.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
This book is written in 1937 and is still listed as one of the best-selling books. He calls this books as a Philosophy book for getting rich rather than a Business book. He talks about 13 principles of getting Rich. If you are confused on what to aim, this is a great book to look at and convert your effort and energies to have the right thinking.
Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder , Yves Pigneur
If you are starting up and you don’t know what Business Model Canvas is, then consider something terribly went wrong while you are trying to learn the right things.
To keep the discussion simple, if you are starting a restaurant you need to know your costs, revenue, customer segments, your value proposition(important) , and few more things. It’s quite simple and straightforward right? Exactly. This book talks about Nine components every business will have and this book will help you identify those nine components to fit in so you don’t miss any pieces in the bigger picture.
This book not just helps you with getting you know those Nine components but also how to arrive at them to the best.
Lean Startup by Eric Ries
As much as you should hear and learn about Business Model Canvas , Lean Methodologies is another thing you want to implement in your Startup.
Unlike traditional businesses,today’s startup scenario is way different. In traditional business, many things are already established. If you are keeping a restaurant, most of the rules are established and you exactly know your customers. But in Startups, you come up with an innovative Idea that has not be present before. Many times you think that’s the customer problem but often they don’t even care. Lean Startup helps you with Lean methodologies to test your hypothesis in less time that costs you very less in terms of time and money.
Getting Real from 37Signals
This company is one of my favorites list. They wrote great books, Ruby on Rails framework was produced by this company, their products were used by more than half a million people(basecamp is their flagship product), they have a 4.5 work week, they are bootstrapped and their team size is less than 60, Enough said. Getting Real is a book of practices they follow in their company for getting their Ideas to reality. This book talks about business, design, programming, and marketing principles of 37signals. If you are to make your processes easy to get real faster, this book will be an instance inspiration for you.
Here are few more books you may want to check.
Traction, Hooked,Contiguous,Irresistible Offer, The advantage I recommend when you start having early adopters. – How to win friends and influence people, Eat that Frog you can read them anytime because it’s more generic.
- Traction: They show you 12 marketing channels you can get traction for your startup. The Key is to identify 1 channel that works well for you.
- Hooked: I am sure you use few applications on daily basis and have formed habits(Eg:Todo lists, Emails, facebook,etc,.), this book explains the science behind Habit forming products.
- Contiguous: This book talks about six steps that help products go viral
- Irresistible Offer: This book helps you come with a sales pitch that can help you sell your product in less than 3 seconds. It’s a framework to follow.
- How to Win Friends and Influence people: This is one of the best-selling books for decades and even today. Read this to form better human relations and make more friends(must read, no kidding)
- Eat that Frog: This book helps you get out of procrastinating things and get more things done in less time.