Favorite books/docs/videos that you like about business?
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Favorite books/docs/videos that you like about business?

by george_graves on Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:45 am

Might be a random kinda topic for some - not technical for sure.... - but I'm sure a few of you might know what I'm getting at. Books, movies, or even people that inspire you.

Basically, some reading material, movies, or documentries that you like - that you can point others to that are starting a business.

You know who you are...the ones that eat, dream, sleep getting a kit/gizmo business started.

I'll start.

One book I loved is "Changing How the World Does Business: Fedex's Incredible Journey to Success - The Inside Story" by Roger Frock. The book answers the question..."How do you start a billion dollar shipping company from scratch? When you have no clients?" It's a very much the chicken and the egg problem. The solution in there are kinda awesome. http://www.amazon.com/Roger-Frock/e/B00 ... ont_book_1

For a doc....I love the movie "Startup.com" - you can find it on nexflix sometimes - or on online rental. It's the story of the rise and fall of a internet bubble company that wanted to interface consumers with their local government , to pay parking tickets, and taxes. The film shows how they when from 2 guys...then to 100's employees... to the crash. A interesting watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibuiUXOTE4M (EDIT- the full movie is on youtube now)

Another movie with watching is "Flash of Genius" - about the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper. The movie is really good - and follow someone that patents an idea....I won't spoil the rest of it. http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/univ ... hofgenius/

As for a book, Bill Gates just re-published a book that he was told by Warren Buffet 20 years ago, that you "must read this" - It's called "Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street" http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy ... story.html

It's on my to-read list....

So - what's yours?

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Re: Favorite books/docs/videos that you like about business?

by adafruit on Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:15 am

Competing Against Time: How Time-Based Competition is Reshaping Global Markets
http://www.amazon.com/Competing-Against ... 0743253418

The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business
http://www.amazon.com/The-Innovators-Di ... 0062060244

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
http://www.amazon.com/Built-Last-Succes ... 0060516402

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Do ... 0142000280

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

**bonus, DUNE, it's not considered a business book, but it is :)

"any path that narrows future possibilities may become a lethal trap" - Dune, The Spacing Guild Handbook.. really good business people can envision possible futures ... and then focus their efforts and energy once they see a possibility. it's why it seems like some people & companies can predict the future, they can't, just just make a path happen (or not happen) and they're always increasing possible futures....

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Re: Favorite books/docs/videos that you like about business?

by lyndon on Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:51 am

Two of my favorites are The e-Myth and a book that went out of print and is now apparently being reprinted (hurray!) How much should I charge.

I especially like How Much Should I Charge because she addresses one of the most common problems with entrepreneurial (especially tech) companies: they don't charge enough money to stay in business. One of the interesting things she points out is that pricing like similar businesses often doesn't work because your competition is also losing money.

The E-Myth book resonates with me because one of the concepts he suggests is documenting your workflow so you can hire other people to do the work while you focus on growing your business. My first engineering job was in a tiny company where the owner did exactly this. Every task had a script that explained how to do it. So if our shipping clerk was out sick (was a 6-person company) and a package had to go out that day, anyone could just pick up the folder of Shipping Instructions and it would tell you exactly what to do so ship a package from where the supplies were to where on the counter to leave it for the courier pickup.

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Re: Favorite books/docs/videos that you like about business?

by george_graves on Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:10 am

^great stuff.

I forgot a great podcast http://mixergy.com/

It's mostly software start up stuff(doens't alway transfer to hardware). But there are a lot of lessons to learn there too - that you can apply to hardware. Plus the host is awesome at getting people to talk about their failures. Something most entrepreneurs never, ever talk about. Somehow he gets people to open up - a great show, and you can learn sooooo much from other peoples faliures. It's worth a listen.

Can't find the link, but he interviewed a "My Space" template seller, who was making millions, and lost all his google juice with a simple web rebuild. It's heart breaking. But a lesson for sure.

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