More and more business books are flying off the shelves every day, making it hard to know which ones will really help you and your business. To help you in your quest for the knowledge you need, we asked some successful local entrepreneurs for their recommendations on the books they read (or that they wish they had read!) when they were starting out.
So here are 11 entrepreneurs and the 19 books they think you should know about if you are looking to start or grow a company.
Entrepreneur in Residence,
University of Bath Innovation Centre
The Dip by Seth Godin
Rosie’s business is to help others succeed in business, and The Dip is the book that she recommends to company founders: “I’m a big fan of Seth Godin’s blog and books, not just because I come from the product/market camp but because he has great insight into the emotional investment that you put in as a founder looking for customers.
“The Dip is essential reading when you are in that ‘trough of despair’ growth period following your first seed round.”
Founder of Olio – the food sharing app that connects neighbours to shops
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
“The core premise is about establishing a hypothesis(es) that you want to test, and then building the minimal viable product in order to learn whether that hypothesis was valid or not. And as you continue to gather more data, and learn, you can iterate your product on the basis of this customer insight, and so dramatically increase your chances of success.”
Director of Engine Shed – a tech and creative incubator based in Bristol
The Beermat Entrepreneur by Mike Southon and Chris West
From Good to Great by Jim Collins
Watching the English by Kate Fox
Sprint by Jake Knapp
“A must read if you are planning to test out a new idea”
“To me, it’s a must read if you are planning to test out a new idea, and are either in a position to run the workshop/develop the prototype yourself, or understand what a good prototyping team will need from you.”
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weiberg and Justin Mares
“Thankfully, this book follows any startup progression, and is full of ideas for a starting-up bootstrapper to more established business. With a little creativity the concept can be applied to any type of businesses.”
Excellence Engineer at Entrepreneurial Spark – a national business accelerator programme
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Founder of Crocodile – the app that makes it easier for parents to get their children walking to school together
How to Build a Billion Dollar App by George Berkoswki
“While the title might to some seem overwhelming or even irrelevant for startups, the path described in the book along with the ingredients for success are common regardless of enterprise ambitions and scale.”
Value Proposition Design by Strategyzer
Founder of Neighbourly – a platform that connects big businesses to local community projects
The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman
David Maher Roberts,
Founder of TechSPARK – the information hub for all things tech in the South West of England
Rework by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried
Gamestorming by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo
The Intention Economy by Doc Searls
“A great book to read if you have had ideas for businesses but have not done anything about it”
Hack the Entrepreneur by Jon Nastor
CEO of Ideasquares – a start to finish toolset for supporting crowdfunding success
If You Build It will They Come? by Rob Adams
“With chapters such as ‘Market Validation as a Cultural Attribute’ this book leaves leaves no marketing stone unturned. If you have a marketing department – they should read this book from cover to cover.”
CEO of PC Games Network – provides feature content on PC gaming
How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis
A final note
Mike Jackson, Founder of Webstart – the Bristol and Bath internet incubator, encourages reading from some companies closer to TechSPARK’s home. On our request for book reccommendations he replied: “Books? Dead Trees? I’m a Digital Native (V1.0)! The pace of change and development is such that I find reading an hour a day of some key news sites and twitter feeds is the only way not to quickly lose touch.
“As a generalist trying to cover latest trends on investment, tech, marketing, coworking and business both local, national and international I rely on some key reliable Twitter feeds: @TCEurope, @TechCityNews, @E-nation, @swbusinessnews, @investbrisbath and the technology feed on Flipboard”
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- You may like: Fancy yourself as an entrepreneur? Make it happen now
Thanks to Waterstones , we ran a Twitter competition using the hashtag #TechSPARKneedtoknow to win £50 to spend in-store and online. It ended midnight Sunday 24 July 2016, see our lovely competition winner below claiming his prize:
— TechSPARK (@TechSPARKuk) July 26, 2016
T&Cs: You must be 13yrs or over to apply and a resident of the United Kingdom. You may be required to provide proof of name, age and address to validate that they meet these entry requirements. Competition entries must be made by 11.59pm Sunday 24 July. The winner of the prize draw will be selected at random. Terms of this competition may be changed by TechSPARK. The editor’s decision is final.