I am recommending these top 5 Books on Startups for the Nigerian Entrepreneur because they have been of immense value to me in my entrepreneural journey. Whether you are thinking of starting your own business or you already have a business that you are trying to grow, the principles in these books would help shape your perspectives and set you on the path to success.
The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. The bitter truth is that most startups fail. Research has shown that only a few survive the first five years. These failures can be prevented by adopting the lean startup.
Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, this approach relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.
Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup advocates experimentation. In other words, entrepreneurs should test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.
We are in the social media age. If your business is not on social media, you are doing yourself a great disservice. How do you hope to capture the attention of millions who are consistently glued to their mobiles and social media pages? The Business of Being Social offers a step-by-step guide to using social media to grow both your business and your brand. Full of international examples, it covers every aspect of social media with practical advice on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, plus driving traffic to your website, engaging with customers and building a community.
The Intelligent Entrepreneur tells the compelling and instructive story of how three young founders developed ideas, assembled teams, built ventures, and achieved their dreams. Their hard-won insights―distilled into ten key rules―will help anyone become a successful entrepreneur. In 1998, three Harvard Business School graduates―two men and one woman―turned down six-figure salaries at big corporations, bet on themselves, and launched their own new companies. By their ten-year reunion, their audacity had paid huge dividends. They had made many millions of dollars, created hundreds of jobs―and left their mark on the world.
What they teach you at Harvard Business School is that intelligent entrepreneurship can be learned. In that spirit, Bill Murphy Jr. uses a unique combination of vivid storytelling and lucid instruction to show would-be entrepreneurs how to improve their odds of creating dynamic, lasting businesses.
The Intelligent Entrepreneur is such an inspiring read.
In Zero to One, distinguished entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel describes how we can invent, recreate and explore uncharted frontiers.
Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.
Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.
Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected place.
Great entrepreneurs don’t take risks. They manage them. If you need the best practices and ideas for launching new ventures but don’t have time to find them this book is for you. Here are nine inspiring and useful perspectives, all in one place. This collection of HBR articles will help you: zero in on your most promising prospects; set a clear direction for your start-up; test and revise your assumptions along the way; tackle risks that could sabotage your efforts; carve out opportunities in emerging markets; launch a start-up within your company; and, hand over the reins when it’s time.