As we work with corporations seeking to innovate and entrepreneurs pushing the envelope, I’m frequently asked to recommend resources to help accelerate their learning curve. Here are a few resources that have been very influential for me.

General Resources

  • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries consolidates a ton of resources into a method to help your startup successfully make it from idea to sustainable business.
  • Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder illustrates a simple framework to organize your business model and share the information with the rest of your team, investors, and other stakeholders.
  • The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki offers a unique perspective on entrepreneurship by sharing insights from his successes and failures.

Corporate Innovation

  • The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen details the points of failure and challenges faced by established organizations as they attempt to evolve with technology.
  • As markets mature, there tends to be increased competition and reduced profit margins. Consider Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim as a way to help your organization create and expand markets.

Scaling Your Business

  • Not every entrepreneur is meant to become the CEO of their company. Startup CEO by Matt Blumberg takes a critical look at what it means to both scale a business and grow into the CEO role of an organization.
  • Many businesses gain traction with early adopters but fail to continue to scale. Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore discusses strategies to help your innovation reach the mainstream.

Fundraising

  • A series of amazing blog posts expanded into Venture Deals by Brad Feld won’t help you put together your pitch deck, but it will help you understand the different types of investors, their motivations, and how to structure the best deal for your company.

Software Development

  • The Art of Agile Development by James Shore provides the best non-dogmatic view to practicing Agile software development. This book discusses techniques from Extreme Program, Scrum, and Agile Values and focuses on practical application to your development teams.
  • In Agile software development, the product owner is responsible for defining the product. Agile Product Management with Scrum by Roman Pichler is an excellent resource for first-time product owners and will help them hit the ground running.

Additional Resources

  • Steve Blank goes into tremendous detail on techniques for managing customer and product development cycles within an organization in The Four Steps to Epiphany. If you found Lean Startup by Eric Ries valuable, this book takes it to the next level.

 

What other books have been helpful to you?

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