My Recommended Entrepreneurship/General Business Books - post yours too!
Nail It, Then Scale It:
The Entrepreneur's Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation

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This book is one of my favourites. It is primarily targeted at start-ups (or people who have an idea they want to pursue) that are creating something innovative. It's basic thesis is that the WORST time to get a bunch of funding is BEFORE you've confirmed that people will actually buy the product you plan to create.

One of the best nuggets from the book is the concept of playing the One Hundred Dollar Game. This is an exercise that you can (and should use) when you've sat down with a potential buyer of the product you want to create. You've shown them a basic demo of the product and explained all the features.

Then you ask them that if the product cost $100, how much money would they be willing to pay for each of the features. In the example given in the book, a start-up played this game with several organizations in their target audience. What they learned was that no one was willing to spend much money on their product idea (maybe only a few hundred dollars for an annual subscription), BUT that of the dozens of features they planned to include in the product, their potential customers were only interested in three of them.

They redesigned their product demo to only include those three features and went to a new set of potential customers. They demoed the new product (which was the same as the old product, except it only included the three features instead of the dozens they had originally included. This time, the potential customers responded that they'd be willing to pay thousands of dollars each year for a subscription to use the product.

By communicating with potential buyers BEFORE they created their actual product (and just demonstrating it with a demo mock-up), these entrepreneurs learned that their customers were actually interested in something simple rather than complex and were willing to spend more money on less, rather than more.

This saved them the trouble (and expense) of building the more complex product (with more features). If they hadn't done their research before wasting their funding on an overly complicated product, their business would have probably failed and they might have never even realized why.

THIS is the central premise of Nail It, Then Scale It. Figure out what your potential buyers actually want before you spend the money and time building what they might not be willing to pay money for.

Highly recommended.

Crossing The Chasm:
Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers

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I read this one right after Nail It, Then Scale It because it was repeatedly referenced and recommended in the former.

It is far less immediately applicable to most people involved in start-ups or interested in entrepreneurship, but still well worth reading. This book really makes you think.

The basic theory of this book is that buyers of a new technology product fall into three categories: early adopters, mainstream and late adopters. The reason why many tech companies fail is because the approach that wins over early adopters is not that same approach necessary to reach the mainstream. The book goes into detail on what must be done to ensure that a product bridges that gap successfully.

Once again, not probably immediately relevant for most readers, but certainly interesting and though-provoking. Furthermore, if you're interested in a future in developing technology products, you'll want to read this one LONG before you actually need to.

The China Twist:
An Entrepreneur's Cautious Tales on Franchising in China

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This is my favourite book on business in China, but would still be interesting to anyone interest in business in general. The writer experiences excitement, opportunities, crises, and more as he and his business partner struggle to make their pretzel franchise work in Beijing. Other themes include modifying a business approach to a new market, handing HR issues when emotions run high and difference between passion and knowledge/experience/skills. Also a good look at the matter of deciding when to push on and when to quit, even if you're not out of money yet.

Getting Started In Consulting

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This book is far from perfect, but it's a pretty good overview of things to think about if you're interested in running your own consulting practice. I did find it helpful (even though, despite reading a recently updated edition, it was hopelessly out of date) and while people who specialize in "helping other people start businesses" almost always annoy me, I still would recommend this book.
Lol that's great, have you applied anything from those books? If yes please write them in detail and how much you earned
(08-15-2019, 06:03 PM)winner Wrote: Lol that's great, have you applied anything from those books? If yes please write them in detail and how much you earned

I read most of these books after developing several products that essentially invented a new category. I was already doing some of the things listed in these books, but the reading these more in depth perspectives offered me a more detailed level of insight on the topic.

I wish I had read most of these books over a decade ago when I was just starting out and wasted a lot of my time by failing to follow through on my ideas.
Ok whatever. Anyway you come in handy as you're in China, do you know a good book about manufacturing custom products in Asia? (no dropshipping / private labelling)

I've been very active the past days reading reddit forums and sniffing around instagram/fb ads-powered ecommerces that I liked. For many of the US-based ecommerces, I even managed to find their manufacturers thanks to Awesome website (thanks reddit). You just have to type the company name in "buyer" and it'll give you their import history. You can also do the same on Amazon sellers of popular products and type their company name.

For what I understand, the guys that make money in ecommerce have a brand and manufacture in multiple factories. I remember when I did my internship in the USA for a hardware seller who made tons of money (millions) he was doing exactly that... confirmed by when I checked his company. He was complaining that Chinese were imitating him so he's switched to manufacturers in Taiwan, HK, and others... Proved by the awesome website
Anything dan Kennedy or frank kern. Rich dad poor dad to get you the mindset of cashflow.
If you want to build a highly profitable business, you need to read Jay Abraham's material.

The guy's a genius.

Highly highly recommend his 2 books:

- "Getting everything you can out of all you've got"
- "Sticking point solutions"

Both are free on his website, along with a massive amount of other free resources.
Altucher, Choose Yourself. About eliminating self-limiting beliefs, general entrepreneurship.
E-Myth. I'll summarize the underlying idea, which might actually be different from that of the book, since I read it so long ago and might have gotten things confused. Namely, if you can't hand over your business to someone else to run, while you get sick for several months, to cite a possibility worth considering, then its not really a business but rather a framework to allow the most valuable employee (you) to earn a high salary. The business itself has no real profit if the business depends on you to be present at all times. Your income is labor income, not business income.

To avoid this situation, you should treat every business, from day 1, as if you planned to eventually franchise it, even if you don't actually plan that. Never deal with issues on an ad hoc basis, but rather refer to a rulebook you gradually compile about how to handle situations. If its a new situation, figure out how to handle the situation, then add a new rule to the rulebook in case the situation reoccurs.

McDonald's, for example, has a rule for everything, which they teach at Hamburger University. How many minutes to cook a hamburger, how often to clean the bathroom, what to do if a customer complains they didn't get enough fries in their order, how to discipline an employee who is late x times, etc, etc.

Creating a rulebook not only allow someone else to take over seamlessly if you get sick, go on vacation, or sell the business, but it also eventually reduces your stress level, because almost nothing is new anymore. Been there, done that, know exactly what to do because it's in the rulebook. Needless to say, the rulebook can evolve: how you dealt with a situation initially, and thus the initial rule for that situation, might not have been ideal, so you can change the rule later as you get more experienced.

I failed to follow the above advice with my software business, which is one of the reasons the business felt like such a huge burden and caused me to hate it and shut down earlier than would have been optimal. I made the classic small business mistake of building a framework around a highly paid laborer (myself) and that framework eventually felt like a prison. I was lucky in that I earned enough and saved enough from earnings to get rich quickly, so that I could just throw the business away after a few years and retire, but most guys won't be able to do that. Most guys will need to work several decades and that is difficult if you can't ever take a break because your business depends on you to be there at all times.
^^^Thanks for taking the time to summarize the book in detail.

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