Reading books expands your mind, increases your vocabulary, expands your ability to really think, and helps you to be creative.
In the age of constant distractions, finding time to read anything can be challenging but if you’re able to, you should definitely give at least one or two of these books a try.
This is the second edition of the “5 books every startup founder should read” series. If you missed the first one, read here.
Here are 5 books that I recommend to every startup founder to help them build a better company.
(1) Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter
Michael Porter is a famous Harvard Business School professor that is an expert in business strategy. He has a number of books, but two are essential reading for anyone in business. This first book gives a description of how to do industry structure analysis. This is a foundational part of strategic planning, and it is essential for gaining an understanding of your competitive positioning in your target market.
(2) Competitive Advantage by Michael Porter
This is Mr Porter’s second book where he describes the Value Chain. The value chain is really how companies make money. It is a tool that is extremely valuable for large and small companies alike. I don’t think it is as critical as industry structure analysis, but it is pretty close.
(3) The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
Peter Drucker is one of the greatest business minds of the 20th century, and his books are based on tons of research about what works and what doesn’t work in a business setting. This is probably his most famous book and it is full of great ideas that can help you to be more productive and effective as a business leader.
(4) Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore
This book gives a description of the Technology Product Life Cycle and a really good definition of what makes up a market. This is really the marketing 101 book for anyone that wants to start and grow a company that is driving new innovations into the market. It also gives a roadmap on how to “cross the chasm” from the early adopter market to the mainstream market
(5) Execution by Larry Bossidy
It is really hard to find a good book about the “blocking and tackling” of running a business, and Execution does a really good job at this. Larry Bossidy is the former CEO of Allied Signal. He states, “Many people regard execution as detail work that’s beneath the dignity of a business leader. That’s wrong. To the contrary, it’s a leader’s most important job.” I have to agree with this wholeheartedly.
All books are available in audio versions.