If you’re starting your own company, you know that there are a ton of risks. You may have an amazing idea, but so do so many other people whose companies haven’t made it. What sets a good idea apart from a great company? How do you do it, and where do you go now that you’ve taken this leap of faith? These books are must-reads for every entrepreneur or future entrepreneur. They will help shape your business plans, ideas, and growth for every stage you encounter.
1. Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job by Sean Wise and Brad Feld You’ve got an idea, you’ve got a roadmap, and you’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit to create a startup. But there are more than five million entrepreneurs who will launch a new project each year, and only a fraction succeed. How do you know that yours will? Startup Opportunities is a practical book that guides you in evaluating your business plan and calculating your opportunity. Wise and Feld are two experienced entrepreneurs as well as investors, and they have an excess of experience and knowledge for starting a company from both points of view.
Why it’s a must-read: There is no way to guarantee your success in the market, but the knowledge and practical advice given in this book will allow you to definitely increase your chances.
2. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel Peter Thiel is the co-founder of Paypal and Palantir, with a net-worth of 2.2 billion. In other words, this man is an entrepreneurial genius. Going down the route of a startup includes a great number of risks – especially with establishing yourself in the market. Thiel’s idea of a zero to one company is to create a space in the market – a niche – so that you’ve got a monopoly. Instead of doing something that someone else is doing, which is starting from 1, do something without precedent, starting from 0. Zero to One is all about innovation and creation.
Why it’s a must-read: Thiel’s tone is optimistic, his successes inspiring, and his ideas applicable. This book will make you feel like you can succeed and gives you the recipe for it.
3. Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull Starting with a dream of creating a computer-animated movie, thus launched the idea of the now giant that is Pixar Animation Studios. Ed Catmull is the co-founder and his book, Creativity Inc. is all about effective management and maintenance of your creativity. The book chronicles Catmull’s years of experience and wisdom told through the history and realization of Pixar.
Why it’s a must-read: Startups are founded on a base of innovation. This book tells you how to manage that innovation and effectively establish a creative organization.
4. Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday With the incredible rise of technology, the web, and social media, there are now so many different ways to go about marketing and growing your brand without the traditional expenses. In other words, marketing hacks. Ryan Holiday, a media and business strategist, teaches you how to use media and create campaigns that help promote your brand.
Why it’s a must-read: When you’re starting your own company, you likely don’t have that much money. There are better (read: cheaper) ways to market yourself besides the traditional commercials and billboards. Holiday gives you the knowledge and the know-how to growth hack your way to success.
5. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by James Collins So you’ve established your startup, you’re doing well and turning it into a relatively stable company. Now what? You’re good… but how to you become great? John Collins, a business consultant and lecturer at Stanford, shares the results of research and data from a five-year project, on how and why some companies boom and others plateau. He takes real examples and analyzes them – what did the successful companies do differently? Good to Great gives you the what to do and what not to do from actual companies, so that you may shape a strategy that guides your own.
Why this is a must read: Collins gives you case studies of successes and failures. We all learn from mistakes, but they don’t always have to be our own. Each one of these books was personally suggested by one of the KahootsHQ team members.
Elizabeth is a spirited reader and writer, with an insatiable curiosity for technology and innovation. She enjoys blogging, tweeting, and slowly making her mark in the digital space.