Entrepreneurs are all about experimenting, trying out crazy new things and learning from experience rather than from theory. Just like Oscar Wilde said “Experience is the name we give to our mistakes“. Nevertheless, it can sometimes be a good idea to learn from others’ mistakes as well. And what better idea than reading books sharing experiences of successful or less successful entrepreneurs?
Here is a list of 10 books we think every online entrepreneur can benefit from. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to share them:
1. Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston – Founders at Work is a collection of interviews with the founders of successful Silicon Valley start-ups (like PayPal, Hotmail, 37Signals, Apple and Yahoo!) focused on the early days of their businesses.
2. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki – Guy Kawasaki created a time-tested, battle-hardened guide for anyone starting anything. The Art of the Start is a how-to book for launching any type of business project.
3. The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steven Gary Blank – The Four Steps to the Epiphany is a step-by-step how-to guide about effectively bringing your product to a market, writing a business plan and organizing your marketing and sales activity.
4. The Cluetrain Manifesto by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger – In The Cluetrain Manifesto its 4 authors state that the internet is actually all about conversation and people getting to talk with one another in their own voices about what matters to them.
5. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss – The 4-Hour Workweek‘s purpose is to touch the entrepreneur who is trapped in his own business and teach him how to build business models, outsource the unimportant and unenjoyable parts of his life and learn how to live New Rich style.
6. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell -Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point speaks about how little things can make a big difference. When small numbers of people start behaving differently, that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or tipping point is reached, changing the world. Gladwell states that ideas, products, messages and behaviors spread just like viruses. He calls this word-of-mouth epidemics.
7. The Long Tail by Chris Anderson – In The Long Tail, Chris Anderson talks about the long-tail phenomenon – the countless niches which can become market opportunities for those who cast a wide net and de-emphasize the search for blockbusters.
8. Purple Cow by Seth Godin – Seth Godin is one the great contemporary online marketing gurus and of course any of his books is a great resource for online start-ups. The Purple Cow speaks about how you can transform your business and its success by being, first of all, remarkable.
9. The E-myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber – The E-myth Revisited analyses the causes why most small businesses don’t work and gives some possible solutions to these potential flaws. Gerber speaks about how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business and then takes the entrepreneur through all stages of the process: from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective.
10. The Black Swan by Nassem Nicholas Taleb – Taleb focuses in The Black Swan about randomness and the impact of the highly improbable. He gives us an insight about how unpredictable events get to gave a massive impact and takes us through numerous examples from history and economics.