I think one of the best things about starting as an entrepreneur early after finishing your studies is that you will try and solve the same ol’ problems in new ways with a radically different approach (also due to your lack of knowledge regarding how things are usually done). It’s an interesting sight to see that Nobel Prize winners are either young researchers, willing to look at science in a fresh new way, or older generations who had to struggle years and years until they get it right. There is a huge chasm observable in the middle-span, a gap that make me wonder if either people just give up and surrender to mediocrity, or are indeed still running as fast as possible, but on a different and longer path. I do believe that our youthful ignorance can be used in our advantage (I’m 25 myself) in these troubled times and I do believe that we can have a massive impact over the world we live in. You see, I think the key is to have a good mindset as your foundation, while trusting that no matter the different variables, with
hard smart work and enough passion (or guts, or willingness, or perseverance) you can reach any goal you set your mind to.
As people we are the sum of our experiences, the gathering off all knowledge, learned or assimilated in various forms. We can all drop-out at this instant and go pursue entrepreneurship like some of the heroes if this digital age, or we can maximise the present time and try to get as much experience as possible. Well, books have that way of concentrating all knowledge on a specific topic and books for entrepreneurs are popping up here and there, sometimes from sources that lack experience entirely – and are just good story-tellers. I try to stay away from those people as they to consume my energy with one-liners and pointless remarks that would go well on t-shirts in the BigBang Theory, you will find them taking money to speak at an event or gathering meaningless titles from any participation. Some other authors instead have pages covered in gold, invaluable experience and novel new ways of twisting the problem until it becomes an opportunity. I’ve been looking for mentors and advice, and I never realised that all of these authors are easier to grab hold of sometimes than others. So grab their books, dive deep into their own particular topic and I hope you will find the same things I have found while reading some of these books.
Next time we meet, let’s discuss books, not politics or TechCrunch news. Books, as they might lay the foundation to a mindset of change, a mindset of the future.
ps: Mindset is important, but also execution. So you will see that half of these books will also show you HOW to get things done.
by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
For us students who are soon to enter the workforce ranks with a fresh clean slate and no assumptions about business as usual, it can become a bit stressful, right? This book takes a lot of those assumptions people have regarding companies & how they should work and demolishes them one by one. This is a great book to start with it’s pretty straight forward, light reading and it’s very captivating with short chapters and straight to the point.
by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
One of the author is a famous danish programmer behind the very popular programming language called Ruby on rails and the company 37Signals. The book is destroying the myth that you need to be in the office, that people don’t work good enough from home, that people are more productive if they work in the same building facing each other.
Zero to One
by Peter Thiel
Based on a famous Stanford class, this book is about how building global companies aim to reach a state of monopoly in their market. Peter Thiel argues why ambition is important and how the growth mindset will set you apart. This coming from one of the most interesting venture capitalists, the founder of PayPal and a big influencer for Elon Musk.
Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (and What to Do about It)
by Michael S. Malone
In business, performance is key. In performance, how you organize can be the key to growth. In the past five years, the business world has seen the birth of a new breed of company – the Exponential Organization – that has revolutionized how a company can accelerate its growth by using technology. An ExO can eliminate the incremental, linear way traditional companies get bigger, leveraging assets like community, big data, algorithms, and new technology into achieving performance benchmarks ten times better than its peers.
Art of Happiness
by Dalai Lama
Startups provide one of the most intense emotional rollercoasters life can offer. Experienced entrepreneurs know it’s essential to keep a level head day to day. Although allowing your startup’s mistakes and failures to not influence your happiness is extremely difficult. Learn to master your own emotions and handle the stress of leadership.
The Tipping Point
by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm argues very on-point how to start growing a critical mass of ” early adopters” and where is the actual tipping point. The book addresses who will be important for your business (connectors, mavens, sales..) and talks about the “stickiness” of a product (think Flappybird). In most entrepreneurial circles you will hear keywords from this book, as it’s a reference piece for reaching hockey-stick growth.
The Lean Startup
by Eric Ries
Eric Ries brings a factory manufacturing method from Japan into the startup world and explains some key business concepts that make the japanese awesome. Being a lean startup means you’re always improving the product with small modifications and you test every assumption with the user experiencing the product. Instead of building something for 6 months that no one wants you change you service 6 times in 6 months and with every change you move the growth needle upwards
by Ash Maurya
Another book about Lean for startups? You might think you don’t need another one, but you might be wrong. Because Eric Ries leaves you with a “Now what” egger mindset, Ash gives you great tools to actually start building a framework to test your ideas upon. Think of this as lean strategy applied with examples and how-to-do’s. His examples allow you to start working with validating your assumptions and form a more stable structure for your business, built on facts and not on “gut-feeling”.
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth
by Gabriel Weinberg
Smart entrepreneurs know that the key to success isn’t the originality of your offering, the brilliance of your team, or how much money you raise. It’s how consistently you can grow and acquire new customers (or, for a free service, users). That’s called traction, and it makes everything else easier—fund-raising, hiring, press, partnerships, acquisitions. Talk is cheap, but traction is hard evidence that you’re on the right path.
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
By Nir Eyal
Written for product managers, designers, marketers, startup founders, and people eager to learn more about the things that control our behaviors, this book gives readers:
– Practical insights to create user habits that stick.
– Actionable steps for building products people love.
– Behavioral techniques used by Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other habit-forming products.