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Top 20 Business Books

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  • Imagine a market universe composed of two sorts of oceans: red oceans and blue oceans. Red oceans represent all the industries in existence today.  This is the known market space. Blue oceans denote all the industries not in existence today.  This is the unknown market space.
  • In the red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and accepted, and the competitive rules of the game are known.  Here, companies try to outperform their rivals to grab a greater share of existing demand. As the market space gets crowded, prospects for profits and growth are reduced. Products become commodities and cut-throat competition turn the red ocean bloody.
  • Blue oceans, in contrast, are defined by untapped market space, demand creation, and the opportunity for highly profitable growth.  Although some blue oceans are created well beyond existing industry boundaries, more are created from within red oceans by expanding existing industry boundaries, as Cirque du Soleil did. In blue oceans competition is irrelevant because the rules of the game are waiting to be set. Put the clock forward twenty years, or perhaps 50. How many now unknown industries will likely exist then? If history is any predictor of the future, the answer is “a lot”.
  • Value innovation is the corner stone of blue ocean strategy. Instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space.

 

 

  • Knowing your why means having a clear purpose, and this makes you and your business more appealing.
  • Finding your WHY can be challenging, but once you have it in your life, you can wake up each morning with purpose and determination.
  • Customers would rather give money to a business with a progressive identity than save a few bucks buying from a more generic company.
  • A great way to find that passion is to work your way through the golden circle. We tend to operate on three levels. The first level, the outer circle, is all about “WHAT” we do, while the middle circle is “HOW” we do it. Finally, at the center is the golden circle, which determines “WHY” we do it.
  • An outsider’s perspective can help you uncover your why.
  • A WHY Discovery Workshop can help a business define their corporate culture, as well as their mission statement and vision for the future – all of which will make it easier for employees to make the right decisions on the ground.
  • Start by offering your WHY statement to those who ask, “What do you do?”
  • Sharing your WHY with the world will push you to commit to it and back up your words with actions.

  • Every year a sea of new companies are born around the world. Most fail within a few years; some make it a bit longer. Only a small number of them grow to become big, successful game-changers.
  • The four D’s are driversdemandsdiscipline and decisions.
  • Only two to three percent of all US companies will become high-impact firms that last for over 25 years and contribute substantially to overall economic growth.
  • Companies must enhance their personnel management in tandem with their growth.
  • Make sure that the right people are doing the right things and doing them correctly.
  • Start motivating and make the switch from managing to coaching.
  • Strive to make your team’s job easier by listening to them.
  • Be sure to set clear expectations. Tell your employees what their top priority should be, but let them find out how to achieve it on their own.
  • Make your company’s mission clear by formulating a core purpose.
  • Use your company’s strengths to improve your revenue.

  • Stick means understood, remembered and with the capacity of making an impact.
  • Simple ideas stick, complicated ones don’t.
  • The idea of CI, or Commander Intent, very useful when you need people to act on your behalf in a big organization.
  • It’s a very short and simple sentence that sums up the overarching goal of the organization and function as a filter for localized decision making.
  • Analogies and metaphors can also help simplify complex issues. For example Disney calls the staff in their parks “cast members” as it project its parks as theaters. Disney doesn’t need to explain why it’s important to behave in a certain way to its employees: being a “cast member” reminds everyone they’re always on stage.
  • Attention is key in making your message stick. We need to both get attention and keep it.
  • The key to get someone’s attention is to break their patterns, or to surprise.
  • The easier we can relate to something, the more we understand it and remember it.
  • A checklist that will guarantee your idea will stick. To make an idea stick it must make the audience: 1) Pay attention (unexpected) 2) Understand and remember (concrete) 3) Agree and believe (credible) 4) Care (emotional) 5) Be able to act on it (story)

  • Google still maintains a startup mentality. How does Google achieve that? By focusing on so-called smart-creatives. Smart-creatives are employees who possess a curious, ambitious personality and combine it with their tech know-how.
  • Successful companies need to rely on employees who can give them a competitive edge. These employees are called smart-creatives by Google. Smart-creatives combine ideas from different areas. They combine business and tech expertise in a creative way.
  • Quality employees are the engine of a successful business, so they should be a top priority.
  • Hiring should be a top priority.
  • To attract smart and creative people, you have to create a company culture which attracts those types of employees.
  • Employees should be able to speak their mind and have freedom to make their own decisions.
  • Create a climate for innovation.
  • Try to shoot for bigger goals by “10xing” everything.
  • Enforce discussions instead of decisions.
  • The company culture defines the company’s success. So focusing on creating the right culture and conditions can be the primal way to the long-term success of a company.

  • It took thirty-eight years before 50 million people gained access to radios. It took television thirteen years to earn an audience that size. It took Instagram a year and a half.
  • Great marketing is all about telling your story in such a way that it compels people to buy what you are selling. That’s a constant.
  • Jabs are the lightweight pieces of content that benefit your customers by making them laugh, snicker, ponder, play a game, feel appreciated, or escape; right hooks are calls to action that benefit your businesses.
  • Advice for making great content: “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” Make it for your customer or your audience, not for yourself.
  • Consumers want infotainment, not information. Information is cheap and plentiful; information wrapped in a story, however, is special.
  • All Companies Are Media Companies.
  • A hundred years ago Michelin tires started reviewing rural restaurants to encourage people living in the cities to drive farther and wear their tires out more quickly.
  • The investment you make in familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs with social media platforms will pay off, now and in the future.

  • Ultimately, the business that can spend the most to acquire a customer wins.
  • The Secret Formula. Who are your dream clients? Where can you find them? What bait will you use to attract them? What result do you want to give them?
  • The Value Ladder. This is where you want to take your client. This is where you can provide them the most value – and also charge them the most.
  • The only limit to your value offerings is your imagination. Keep thinking of higher and higher levels of service, and you can keep charging more and more money. There’s always something else you can offer.
  • A sales funnel is just the online process you take someone through to get them to ascend through the different levels of your Value Ladder.
  • I like to think of the Internet as a huge mountain, and your ideal customer – your traffic – is gold inside that mountain. Your job as a marketer is to find the goal and mine it out.
  • You have to build a list.
  • If you want to be successful in any part of your life, you need to find someone else who is already doing what you want to do and model your effort after theirs.
  • Once you get someone to say the first yes, it’s so much easier to get the second yes.

  • Three successful rules to follow:
  • 1) Don’t differentiate without a difference.
  • 2) Don’t fight a new wave of technology instead grab it.
  • 3) And instead of cost-based pricing, focus on what market will accept as a price and then work towards cutting costs to make money out of it. This will allow for economies of scale.
  • When a new CEO is brought in, usually when the company is struggling, he succeeds not because he is better but because he does not have the same emotional attachment to the obsolete past as the previous one.
  • Quality of the first version of a new technology is usually shoddy, but one should think about its long-term potential and significance assuming that the quality will eventually become good.
  • The inertia of Success: Senior managers prefer to spend time on same old strategies since they are good at it, they find it uncomfortable to focus on the new one and hence, fail when inflection points are encountered.
  • While navigating inflection points, it’s important for everyone to aim for one single direction, don’t split the company along multiple directions, hedging is expensive and it dilutes commitment, facing competition with only half the resources is dangerous.
  • Be always alert and aware of changes in the environment. Keep an eye on whether your company is losing grounds to competitors or is the whole sector is being transformed.

  • Airbnb tapped into something greater than low prices and an abundance of available inventory. It offered an experience that was special and different…It also opened up access to different kinds of neighbourhoods than traditional tourist zones.
  • If you launch and no one notices, you can keep launching. We kept launching, and people kept writing about it. We thought we’d just keep launching until we got customers.
  • Kept refining their vision, broader vision came into focus: website where booking a room in someone’s home would be as easy as booking a hotel.
  • It’s much better to have one hundred users who love you than one million users who “sort of like you”
  • Go to your users.
  • Airbnb’s business is fundamentally about leveraging a network effect: the more people who list, the more appealing it is to travellers. The more travellers who use it, the more appealing it is to hosts.
  • Airbnb is a case study for the kinds of collisions that can happen when new ideas and technologies come out of nowhere to threaten the status quo and incumbent industries–and how the political realities on the ground aren’t always as smooth as the ascending line on these companies’ unfettered growth charts.

  • Being broke can lead to innovation and authenticity, two keys to success.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention.
  • Being short on resources can generate real creativity and inspiration that would otherwise never emerge.
  • Realize that innovation comes from a singular vision that starts from the bottom up, not the top down.
  • Think of your brand as a personal relationship with your customer; like any good relationship, it has to be built on solid foundations. So be true to yourself – otherwise, the relationship is doomed to fail.
  • Being at a disadvantage and having few resources is actually a proven a recipe for success.
  • In fact, immigrants to the United States are twice as likely as US citizens to start their own business.
  • Being authentic will help you stay focused on your target audience.
  • Don’t let funding or debt steer you away from your vision.
  • The four stages of success. First is the item, Second is the label, Third is the brand and Fourth is the lifestyle.

  • Microbusinesses—businesses typically run by only one person—have been around since the beginning of commerce. What’s new, however, is how quickly someone can start a business and reach a group of customers. The building process is much faster and cheaper today than it has ever been. Going from idea to startup can now take less than a month and cost less than $100.
  • Convergence represents the intersection between something you especially like to do or are good at doing (preferably both) and what other people are also interested in.
  • The not-so-secret recipe for microbusiness alchemy: Passion or skill + usefulness = success.
  • The basics of starting a business are very simple; you just need a product or service, a group of people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid.
  • Value means helping people. If you’re trying to build a microbusiness and you begin your efforts by helping people, you’re on the right track.
  • Always focus on what you can add or take away to improve someone’s life … and then prepare to get paid.
  • Get paid to do what you love by making sure it connects to what other people want.
  • Find the convergence between what you love and what other people are willing to buy.
  • The best social media strategy? Talk about yourself, and your business. Self-promote.
  • If you ever want to sell your business, you’ll need to build teams and reduce owner dependency.

  • Disruptions create a new market and business model.
  • One disruption spawns a wave of disruptions as it propagates to different markets.
  • You can profit without inventing by applying a disruption to new markets or creating ancillary services/products. For example cloud computing, wearable technology, 3-D printing etc are providing the chance of making a fortune with hundreds of related applications of the new tech.
  • Other people’s money is the best funding. To tap it create opportunity for others with your product.
  • You can do whatever you want in life as long as you can find someone who is willing to pay for it.
  • Massive problem equals massive opportunity.
  • Big organizations prefer to overpay for a new promising startup than do the internal investment required to do the disruptions themselves. And this is all great news for the disruptors. Most Silicon Valley millionaires indeed didn’t become millionaires by building profitable businesses, but by selling to bigger and established companies.
  • The faster you can kill bad ideas, the quicker you can pivot to successful one. Speed to fail should be every entrepreneur’s motto.
  • Disruptors don’t have to discover something new but only discover a practical use for new discoveries.
  • The secret to OPM is to find someone else’s problem and make your product their solution.

  • Always think big, go after the very best and fight like hell.
  • Know your market (ask people’s opinions, till you gather enough information to make a gut decision) market research is better done yourself.
  • Make the other guy feel like he is winning. Don’t make deals without leverage. Never feel or come across as desperate to make or do the deal.
  • Promoting the hell out of the product is easy when you have done your work, and you have done it right.
  • You have to be very tough, 10x tougher than the toughest person you know. Why? You will get walked over.
  • You are the complete package. The way you dress, the way you look. The way you talk. Your manners. This is surrounding part to making all your deals.
  • You want your best customers to feel incredibly special.
  • Employ the best and work with the best.
  • Always talking to people. In particular people with higher authority and power than you.
  • Never trust anyone in business. No one.
  • Success is a matter of consistent persistence of developing a relationship with the person you are trying to do a deal with as long as possible until when the timing is right.
  • Always pay for the best. Work with the best. Live with the best. Speak with the best. And sell to the best.

  • Most small business owners work in their business rather than on their business.
  • People who are exceptionally good in business are so because of their insatiable need to know more.
  • If you are unwilling to change, your business will never be capable of giving you what you want.
  • Everybody who goes into business is actually three-people-in-one: The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician.
  • The Entrepreneur lives in the future, never in the past, rarely in the present. He’s happiest when left free to construct images of ‘what-if’ and ‘if-when.’
  • The typical small business owner is only 10 percent Entrepreneur, 20 percent Manager, and 70 percent Technician.
  • Most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants as opposed to what the business needs.
  • The three phases of a business’s growth: Infancy, Adolescence, and Maturity.
  • If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic.
  • The purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so you can create jobs for other people.
  • The ultimate reason to create a business of your own is to sell it.
  • If your customer doesn’t perceive he needs something, he doesn’t, even if he actually does.

  • Everyone knows the Internet represents one of the biggest cultural shifts since the printing press, but I think society has been slow to recognize that it represents the biggest shift in history in how we do business.
  • Money goes where people go – where there is an audience, advertisers are eager to follow.
  • You can do better so long as you’re willing to live and breathe your passion.
  • Everyone – EVERYONE – needs to start thinking of themselves as a brand. It is no longer an option; it is a necessity.
  • Scarcity breeds desire.
  • Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business.
  • Where the eyeballs go, opportunity follows. Money follows eyeballs.
  • Authenticity is key. The most important thing to remember is to be authentic, to be yourself. That authenticity is what will give you your greatest chance of success.
  • Your brand will be unique and interesting because you are unique and interesting.
  • You’re in business to serve your community. Don’t ever forget it.
  • Patience is the secret sauce.
  • Legacy is greater than currency, Legacy is the mortar of successful, lasting brands.
  • The greatest paradox surrounding the Internet is that as much as it allows us to isolate and limit ourselves only to what we believe is immediately relevant to our specific needs, so does it allow us to connect at unprecedented levels and extend ourselves beyond our farthest horizons.

  • It doesn’t matter what’s the challenge is, whether it’s business or personal, if it’s something you enjoy, just do it. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Having fun should be at the core of your business. Concentrate on having fun and the money will follow.
  • Long term, you won’t make money if profit is the goal. Make the goal to have fun and your passion will drive success.
  • Whatever your dream is, go for it. Always beware if the risks are too random or too hard to predict, but remember, if you opt for a safe life, you will never know what it’s like to win. Have no regrets, think big and go for it.
  • Challenge is the core and mainspring of all human action. If there’s an ocean, we cross it. If there’s disease, we cure it. If there’s a wrong we right it. If there’s record, we break it. And if there’s a mountain, we climb it.
  • There’ nothing like being your own boss and making decisions on your terms. Make sure you stand on your own two feet, rely on yourself and do all you can to make yourself a stronger, better person.
  • Be fair in all your dealings. Don’t cheat – but aim to win.’ This rule should extend to your private life. My motto is, ‘Never do anything if it means you can’t sleep at night.’ It’s a good rule to follow. Be polite to everyone around you. Not just those you’re trying to impress. Look after your reputation and family name. Money means nothing if you’re not trusted.
  • Business people are in a unique position to do good and evoke change. Create the change you want to see and be genuine i.e. Not just to look good.

  • A big part of entrepreneurship is management. In order to run a successful startup, you need to be an effective manager, there will be so many different tasks and people that will need to be managed.
  • A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.
  • Build-measure-learn. In order to achieve the key goal of a startup: Build – transforming an idea into a product. Measure – you need to be able to take customers reactions, measure, and learn from the results. Are you on the right track or not?
  • The three things you need to define in order to follow a Lean Startup are: the vision, the strategy required to reach the vision and the product which should define the strategy.
  • The products a startup builds are really experiments; the learning about how to build a sustainable business is the outcome of those experiments. For startups, that information is much more important than dollars, awards, or mentions in the press, because it can influence and reshape the next set of ideas.
  • The Minimum Viable Product is simply the fastest way to get through the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop with the minimum amount of effort.
  • In contrast, in the Lean Startup, the goal is not to produce more stuff efficiently. It is to—as quickly as possible—learn how to build a sustainable business.
  • Sustainable growth is characterised by one simple rule: New customers come from the actions of past customers.

  • The way of the side hustle: defined as a moneymaking project you start on the side, usually while still working a day job. In other words, it’s a way to create additional income without taking on the risks of going full throttle into the world of working for yourself.
  • But a side hustle isn’t just about putting extra cash in your pocket. In today’s environment, where the idea of a business having any sense of loyalty to its workers has all but disappeared, the side hustle is the new job security. It affords you the ability to decide.
  • When you receive multiple paychecks from different sources, you are no longer dependent on the whims of a single employer. More income means more options. More options mean more freedom.
  • Money does grow on trees – you just have to plant the right seeds, in the right soil.
  • There are very few prerequisites to side hustling.
  • Side hustle skills are not taught in school.
  • The only way to master side hustle skills is by doing.
  • A side hustle has many benefits, but it all starts with an idea.
  • A side hustle is like a hobby, with one big difference: most hobbies cost money. A side hustle makes money.
  • Almost every hustle idea that’s worth pursuing shares three qualities. You want your idea to be feasible, profitable, and persuasive.
  • Every side hustle has a target customer, a specific type of person that its product or service is designed for.
  • Transform Your Idea into an Offer.
  • Do more of what’s important, and less of what’s not.
  • Ask Ten People for Help don’t be an army of one.
  • Grow What Works, Let Go of What Doesn’t.

  • Start-up = largest group of people you can convince of a plan to build a different future.
  • All happy companies are different: each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem. All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.
  • What valuable company is nobody building? Valuable company = Create value + Capture value.
  • Building a monopoly: Perfect target market for a startup is a small group of particular people concentrated together and served by few or no competitors.
  • Once you dominate a niche market expand to adjacent markets (always expand, example amazon and ebay)
  • Ownership, Foundation and control
  • Ownership = who legally owns a company’s equity? (founders, employees, investors)
  • Possession = who actually runs the company on a daily basis? (managers)
  • Control = who formally governs the company affairs? (board of directors which includes founders)
  • Startups don’t need to pay high salaries because they can offer something better, part ownership of the company itself.
  • Equity can’t create perfect incentives, but it’s the best way for a founder to keep everyone in the company broadly aligned.
  • Startups should care about sales just as much as they care about the product.
  • Primer on how to sell a product. CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) > CAC (Customer Acquire Cost) The more expensive the product-> bigger sales costs-> more important to sale.

  • Self-awareness is so vital-you have to be true to yourself at all times.
  • If you’re earning what you need to live the life you want and loving every day of it, you’re crushing it.
  • When it comes to professional opportunities, this is the best time to be alive in the history of humankind.
  • A strong personal brand is your ticket to complete personal and professional freedom.
  • Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook are the NBC, ABC, and CBS of our day. Your audience is waiting for you. What you need to do is figure out how you’re going to become the next Empire.
  • Use today’s social-media platforms to develop your brand and expand your influence.
  • Eat shit for as long as you have to.
  • What really matters is a pretty short list: intent, authenticity, passion, patience, speed, work, and attention.
  • Your source of success lies in how much you CARE. Still the best marketing strategy ever.
  • Always put your money back into your business.
  • Your business can’t be just a job; it has to be a calling.
  • Be patience. Be methodical. Pay off your debts. Live simply. Put yourself last. Once you’ve reached your brand and business goals, then you can start living it up.
  • Develop high-quality native microcontent.
  • The Internet plays the middleman role now, not the gatekeepers, and the Internet can’t stop you from putting your work out there. Put your stuff up and see what the market has to say about it.
  • You are the reason why you’re not crushing it yet.
  • Your creativity will be the variable to your success.

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