Business books? Um, yeah. There are a lot of them. And most should actually be articles that someone instead stretched into a book because.... well, I can only guess. Anyway, if you're like me, the amount of content out there on how to build your business, sell your business, buy a business, hire teams, fire teams, motivate teams, market, strategize, sell, and eat lunch are overwhelming--to the point of almost compete uselessness.
So, I was a bit surprised to get so many suggestions on books that I "must read" as I started my business. I'm sharing them here because I'm really reading them and getting value out of the various perspectives. The effect of mixing four at once is a little reminiscent of those late-night college parties-- dizzying but, none the less, a worthwhile part of your liberal arts education.
- Daniel Pink's, To Sell Is Human. This "how to" helps take the icky-ness out of selling. It's one of the only marketing books I've read cover to cover and actually go back to periodically to reread sections. Love. Actually, the fact that his name is Pink and he lives in Virginia makes it all the sweeter.
- Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff's, Mission in a Bottle. My dad actually checked this out of the library, loaned it to me, and casually mentioned that it was written like a comic book. With that lead in (and I love my dad a lot), I wasn't really that psyched to jump in but... I do love their product so I tried. The comic book part is actually called a graphic novel-- I just learned this. It's the story of seeing an opportunity, developing a product, working through obstacles, and building something with values you can be proud of. All great messages, to be sure. I didn't think I was going to be able to get past the comic-y pages but it ends up feeling like a foreign film. It's a little distracting at first but before you know it, you're just reading along just fine. So, interesting story, unique format. I'd recommend it.
- Jason Fried and David Heinemeir Hansson's, Rework. A gift from a friend and colleague, this book had me at hello. They're converted blog posts into a collection of little recommendations and motivations. You can't leave this book unchanged-- primarily with a profound reduction in your tolerance for "business as usual."
- Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath. So, I'll join the chorus of people joyously singing about this book. I preordered because I've enjoyed his other books and my beloved, Seth Godin, suggested it. So, I was delighted when it arrived this week-- amazingly timed with the government shutdown (which I am SO over). I'm only about 1/2 way through but totally sucked in.