A major benefit of being part of a co-working community is the breadth of knowledge and experience to be shared and borrowed from those around you. For every problem that you encounter, chances are those around you have either been there before or have come across a resource that will help you through it. Books play a big part in that.
Reading exposes you to new ideas and modes of thinking and helps to provide insight into the highs and lows of the journey as an entrepreneur and business owner. The best business books are the ones you keep coming back to because of the impact they’ve had on you and advice they’ve shared. We asked our residents here at Ormeau Baths for their top recommendations for books that changed the game in their approach to business.
The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you by Robert Fitzpatrick
The perfect starting point for those diving into the customer research behind their product or business. The Mom Test takes you through templates that allow you to speak to customers while leaving your ego at the door and ensuring you’re gathering more reliable data about customer needs, expectations and how they value the problem you’re solving. Consider this a handbook to refer to again and again while developing customer relationships and expanding your product offering.
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg
A recommendation that appeared more than once while talking to our residents, Traction is a firm favourite among startup founders. Traction teaches how startups can build their customer base through nineteen different channels and offers a three-step framework to determine which of those channels are most effective for your business, industry and the stage that your company is at.
The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman
The Founder’s Dilemmas examines the early decisions that must be made by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team, including whether they should co-found with friends or relatives, bringing in hires and investors, when to split the equity within the founding team, and how to recognize when a successful founder-CEO should exit or be fired. Throughout the book, Wasserman draws on the inside stories of founders like Evan Williams of Twitter and Tim Westergren of Pandora, while mining quantitative data on almost ten thousand founders.
Who Can You Trust?: How Technology is Rewriting the Rules of Human Relationships by Rachel Botsman
Listed as an all-time business book favourite from one of our residents, within this book Rachel Botsman looks at the revolution that is the loss of trust in institutions like banks and political leaders with the contrasting rise of trust in tech that allows total strangers into your home as we do with Airbnb. This is an incredible read for the future of tech and the future of customer buying behaviour.
Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis
Company of One explores the ground between freelancers being paid per piece and the entrepreneurial start-up that wants to scale as soon as possible, instead looking at the benefits and potential of small businesses that are deliberately committed to staying that way.
Jarvis’s argument remains, ‘What if the real key to a richer and more fulfilling career was not to create and scale a new start-up, but rather, to be able to work for yourself, determine your own hours, and become a (highly profitable) and sustainable company of one? Suppose the better—and smarter—solution is simply to remain small?’
Not only presenting a fresh approach, in theory, this book also outlines the pathway to make small business success a reality.