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Books for entrepreneurs

Constantine Nicolaou By Constantine Nicolaou Published on July 8, 2016
This article was updated on November 14, 2016

Everything Is Obvious: How Common Sense Fails Us

Author: Duncan J. Watts

Why this book?

  • We tend to give meaning to things and opinions, we see things from our own perspective and we look for indicators around us to reinforce our ideas and turn them into conclusions
  • Common sense is not so common
  • No matter how much we understand the parts, it is not an solid indicator that we have an understanding of the whole
  • Influencers: The spread of an idea or taste depend on a critical mass of easily influenced people who influence other easy-to-­influence people

Thinking Fast and Slow

Author: Daniel Kahneman

Why this book?

  • Read it slowly as advised by the author
  • When our intuition fails, because neither an expert solution nor a heuristic answer comes to mind, we resort to slower, deliberate, and effortful thinking
  • We have two systems that we use to operate: System 1 (automatic operations without efforts or voluntary control) and System 2 (attention, concentration and effort)
  • System 2 has the ability to change the way System 1 operates. System 2 takes over in difficult times.
  • We are all subject to making biases when making decision and future outcome of our decisions.
  • To avoid situations where overconfidence can play a major role, Mr Kahneman recommends to use “premortem” that builds on imagining the outcome of our decisions in a year's time and writing down the history of what went wrong and why

Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation

Author: Tim Brown

Why this book?

  • Use of design's intellectual tools in organisations: brainstorming, staying agile during implementation and keeping teams physically integrated
  • Increase prototypes, event quick-and-dirty ones to figure out how they'll be received in real-world scenarios
  • Traditional market-research tools (surveys, focus groups) rarely produce breakthrough findings. Real world solution usage scenarios produces better insights on how to solve a problem at hand.

The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company

Author: Steve Blank & Bob Dorf

Why this book?

  • Startups operate in 'searching for business model' mode from day one and are not smaller versions of big companies
  • Get out of the building. Go find customers. Reduce the risk of failing by finding earlyvangilists and build the solution with their help
  • Getting out of the building means acquiring a deep understanding of customer needs, and combining that knowledge with incremental and iterative product development
  • Customer Development goes hand-in-hand with Agile product development leading to a product serving people who will ultimately buy it
  • Face-to-face customer feedback answers the “get, keep and grow” customers questions & validates every components of the business model canvas

    Solution Architect at Keeward Holding Group. Loves reading, cycling, outdoors & cooking.