A smart entrepreneur is always on the prowl for the next great idea that will take his company to the next level. But great ideas are hard to come by sometimes.
(article continues below)
With so many great business books on the market, it's difficult to know where to begin. If great ideas appeal to you, here are three must-read books to put at the top of your reading list.
Accidental Empires, Robert Cringely
In less than half a century, the computer industry has produced the kind of success stories every entrepreneur dreams about. Starting with little more than an idea and a dream, industry moguls like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have created mega corporations with the power to reshape the business landscape and society itself.
However, the real Silicon Valley story isn't nearly as idyllic as the legends have made it sound. The behind-the-scene rise of computer technology and products was a tumultuous journey traveled by individuals chocked full of contradictions and shortcomings.
In Accidental Empires, journalist Robert Cringely gives readers a glimpse into the strategic thinking that made the big guys big, as well as the strategic blunders made by more established competitors like IBM and Xerox. He also provides key insights into how an organization's culture can shape the way it reacts to events in the marketplace. For small businesses interested in revolutionizing the marketplace as an industry underdog, this book is a wonderful read.
The Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki
The Art of the Start is an intriguing resource for entrepreneurs itching to get their feet wet in small business. Guy Kawasaki (who is also from Silicon Valley) draws upon his experience to provide readers with a practical how-to for starting up any type of business venture. His topics range from basic essentials such as identifying a potential customer base and creating a business plan to more advanced issues like partnership formation and creating a brand identity.
Throughout the book, Kawasaki inserts GISTs (Great Ideas for Starting Things) that are designed to help you think outside the box. Other features such as FAQ sections and information about the kinds of tasks you need to think about are extremely helpful for rookie entrepreneurs looking to make their mark.
The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman
The world is flat? According to Thomas Friedman it is. To be fair, in Friedman's world, "flat" really means "connected", and in this book he illustrates how global connectedness has made international competition the buzzword of the new millennium.
Cost-effective telecommunication and other factors in this new world have made it possible for businesses to compete around the globe without actually being located in a foreign market. That's good news and bad news for small businesses. On the one hand, a flat world means that it's easier than ever before to do business abroad.
But on the other hand, it also means that you have to be prepared to compete with international competitors, many of whom are capable of producing similar products for a lot less money. Rugged, adaptable small businesses can still be competitive, however, and The World Is Flat will help you devise a plan to do it.