Running a small business, or got an idea for one? Here’s five books that might interest:
The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb and the killer companies of the new silicon valley are changing the world by Brad Stone (2 Feb 2017)
New York Times bestselling author of The Everything Store Brad Stone takes us deep inside the new Silicon Valley.
In 2007, the crash had Wall Street and Silicon Valley reeling. The original renegades like Steve Jobs were now the establishment, and tech had become a way of life for suburban moms as much as for visionaries. The Valley was ready for a new revolution. Enter THE UPSTARTS. Genius entrepreneurs with no lack of self-confidence created companies that turned our expectations on their heads. Travis Kalanick of Uber and Brian Chesky of Airbnb are just two of the disrupters Brad Stone examines in this fly-on-the-wall look at the intersection of tech, business, and culture. With unprecedented access to all the key players, Stone illuminates the smart, driven, and often comically flawed people who are upending industries and changing the way we all live and work.
The world today is vastly different than it was even ten years ago, and it is due to the upstarts. In THE UPSTARTS, Brad Stone provides the rollicking narrative that shows the how our latest – and perhaps greatest – technological wave was born.
Overcrowded: Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas
by Roberto Verganti (7 Feb 2017)
The standard text on innovation advises would-be innovators to conduct creative brainstorming sessions and seek input from outsiders — users or communities. This kind of innovating can be effective at improving products but not at capturing bigger opportunities in the marketplace. In this book Roberto Verganti offers a new approach — one that does not set out to solve existing problems but to find breakthrough meaningful experiences. There is no brainstorming — which produces too many ideas, unfiltered — but a vision, subject to criticism. It does not come from outsiders but from one person’s unique interpretation. The alternate path to innovation mapped by Verganti aims to discover not how things work but why we need things. It gives customers something more meaningful — something they can love. Verganti describes the work of companies, including Nest Labs, Apple, Yankee Candle, and Philips Healthcare, that have created successful businesses by doing just this. Nest Labs, for example, didn’t create a more advanced programmable thermostat, because people don’t love to program their home appliances. Nest’s thermostat learns the habits of the household and bases its temperature settings accordingly. Verganti discusses principles and practices, methods and implementation. The process begins with a vision and proceeds through developmental criticism, first from a sparring partner and then from a circle of radical thinkers, then from external experts and interpreters, and only then from users. Innovation driven by meaning is the way to create value in our current world, where ideas are abundant but novel visions are rare. If something is meaningful for both the people who create it and the people who consume it, business value follows.
Online or Flatline: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Digital Marketing by Nick Choat (21 Feb 2017)
Digital marketing is a daunting task for many small business owners. It often seems intimidating and complicated, and the benefits are not easily measured, but without it, many businesses die out. In Online or Flatline, Nick Choat offers compelling reasons to get your business online and easy-to-use tools to make it possible:
- How to set up an attractive webpage
- How to prioritize your social media efforts
- How to use review feedback to interact with customers
- How to optimize your ability to be found on Google
- How to combine traditional and digital advertising
- and many more
Nick Choat has witnessed the evolution of digital marketing. He started at a young age, working in his parents’ small, hometown grocery store in rural Tennessee, where he learned about customer service and loyalty. When he was offered a management position with Kroger, he made the bold move to exit the food industry, and took a chance on a degree in software development long before the tech boom of the 1990s. His first job was for Boeing, followed by several years consulting businesses for Ernst & Young. He was on board with Disney when they pioneered the online streaming of hi-def television, a revolutionary move when corporations were still fearful of the shifting marketplace. After realizing that he wanted to exchange his life in corporate America for one with more autonomy in his business, he bought a Sports Clips franchise and set a personal goal to empower all small business owners to utilize the tools at their fingertips.
Online or Flatline gives small business owners an easy to follow, affordable guide and a strong plan of action for creating a successful and valuable online presence.
Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz (21 Feb 2017)
You are about to discover the profoundly simple yet shockingly effective accounting plug-in that will transform your business from a cash eating monster into a money making machine. In Profit First, Mike Michalowicz, author of The Pumpkin Plan & The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, explains why the GAAP accounting method is contrary to human nature, trapping entrepreneurs in the panic-driven cycle of operating check-to-check and reveals why this new method is the easiest and smartest way to ensure your business becomes wildly (and permanently) profitable from your very next deposit forward.
How to Make It: 25 Makers Share the Secrets to Building a Creative Business by Erin Austen Abbott (14 Mar 2017)
This is the ultimate tell-all, show-all guide to making a living by making things. Featuring 25 profiles of illustrators, jewelry designers, ceramicists, painters, clothing designers, and printmakers, How to Make Itprovides a behind-the-scenes look at the daily rituals and best practices that keep these creative entrepreneurs on track. With Q & As, insider tips, and DIYs from each maker, these pages offer guidance and encouragement to artists just starting their careers and to professionals looking to take their creative business to the next level. Brimming with practical advice and inspiration, this book is a perfect gift for anyone interested in making it as a maker.