Books for Business

4 great business reads to get you inspired and motivated through the Spring

WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy – Billee Howard
WE-Commerce is a thought-provoking business read which is written by visionary marketing strategist Billiee Howard. She identifies her plan for a new vision of long-term, purposeful and profitable business success within the sharing economy. In the wake of the 2008 financial crises the world changed as we knew it. The “I, Me, Mine” mentality dissolved into thin air and in its place came an economy built around sharing, trust, purpose, collaboration and creativity. As Billie Howard likes to put it “we are building an economy of We-Commerce and returning to our small community origins”.
She identifies how businesses such as Uber, Airbnb and Netflix take the essence of a we-conomy and are disrupting the status quo. Her advice from “stay small but include all” to “profit with purpose” and “embrace disruption,” gives you the tools which you will need to help you effectively collaborate, co-create, and succeed in a WE-commerce environment.
The Coworking Revolution: Four Secrets to Successfully Working for Yourself – Matthew Dunstan
For those of you currently working for yourself, The Coworking Revolution is a must read. By following the simple four-step blueprint which leverages today’s coworking opportunities, you have the ability to work for yourself without having to work by yourself.  It shows how we can leverage the emerging trends of shared and virtual workspaces to recreate a work environment which is fun, rewarding, productive and successful.
Matthew Dunstan’s four-step blueprint:

  1. Work in the right places for productivity and motivation
  2. Spend time with the right people for support and professional interaction
  3. Build a team for skills, scale and success
  4. Create an advisory group for expertise, guidance, and accountability

This book will keep you both motivated and connected to look outside your home office and make your venture a success.
The Lean Start Up – Eric Ries
“The Lean Start-up method teaches you how to drive a start-up – how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere – and grow a business with maximum acceleration”. Eric Ries.
The Lean Start Up is an easy business read which provides a scientific approach to creating and managing start-ups. It provides an intangible formula which allows your business to get your desired product into the consumers’ hands faster. It achieves this by providing tools to test a vision consistently throughout the start-up life-cycle. This is what Eric Ries likes to call the MVP – Minimum Viable Product. This is the core component of the Lean Start Up – The Build – Measure – Learn Feedback Loop. This allows the start-up to not only have a solid customer base when the full product or service is available, but also saves both the direct and indirect costs of a start-up potentially failing by assessing the direction of your business and whether you need to pivot or make a structural course correction to test your product or service before you go to market.
Eric Ries: Principles of the Lean Start Up

  1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere
    You don’t have to work in a garage to be in a start-up.
  2. Entrepreneurship is management
    A start up is an institution, not just a product, so it requires management, a new kind of management specifically geared to its context
  3. Validated learning
    Startups exist not to make stuff, make money, or serve customers. They exist to learn how to build a sustainable business. This learning can be validated scientifically, by running experiments that allow us to test each element of our vision
  4. Innovation Accounting
    To improve entrepreneurial outcomes, and to hold entrepreneurs accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress, how to setup milestones, how to prioritize work. This requires a new kind of accounting, specific to startups.
  5. Build – Measure – Learn
    The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.

Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street – John Brooks
When Bill Gates says it’s “The best business book I’ve ever read” you buy the book with expectations which thankfully won’t let you down. More than four decades since the book was first published, Business Adventures is as much about the strengths and weaknesses of leaders in challenging circumstances as it is about the particulars of one business or another. It is an insightful and engaging read which looks into the corporate and financial life in America.
The book details 12 critical moments in American corporate industry. Here are 7 lessons you will take from the book.

  1. A lesson from the 1962 Flash Crash
  2. A lesson from the Ford Edsel fiasco
  3. A lesson from the federal income tax system
  4. A lesson from the Texas Gulf case of 1959
  5. A lesson from Xerox’s rollercoaster success
  6. A lesson from Piggly Wiggly’s investment debacle
  7. A lesson from the Bretton Woods Conference of ‘64


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