Accumulated by the entire team across years of working with and reading about entrepreneurship and investment, this list includes top-notch titles on:
MarketingFinancialsInnovation FundingStrategyNegotiationsHigh-Tech EntrepreneurshipVenture Capitaland More
Entrepreneurial Marketing Lessons from Wharton's Pioneering MBA Courseby Leonard M. Lodish (Author), Howard Lee Morgan (Author), Amy Kallianpur (Author)
The first and only guide to a subject of vital interest to every entrepreneurWritten by an author team that brings together the expertise of two leading Wharton academics and an entrepreneurial superstar, Entrepreneurial Marketing arms entrepreneurs with cutting-edge marketing approaches-including the latest Web-based segmentation and positioning techniques-that will provide their new ventures with solid foundations on which to build, grow, and thrive.
Marketing Warfare, by Al Reis and Jack Trout. The classic book on how to pick the strategy to out-maneuver your competition. Best quick study we know of. Used over and over again by the winners. Fast reading. Fun to reflect on the examples used from the past.
22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, by Al Reis and Jack Trout. The best collection for how-to and how-not-to-do marketing. Do you consider marketing hard to understand or even "evil?" Read on. This is a quick read, very practical and will surprise even marketing veterans with its recommendations.
Guerrilla Marketing. Levinson, Jay Conrad. Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998.
When Guerrilla Marketing was first published in 1983, Jay Levinson revolutionalized marketing strategies for the small-business owner with his take-no-prisoners approach to finding clients. Filled with hundreds of solid ideas that really work, Levinson's philosophy has given birth to a new way of learning about market share and how to gain it. In this completely revised and expanded third edition, Levinson offers a new arsenal of weaponry for small-business success in the next century.
Building Strong Brands, by David A. Aaker, University of California at Berkley professor. Do you want to understand how to avoid the great brand-building errors and use the lessons of world-class brand builders? This is the book for you. Clear in-depth explanations for how to do the nearly impossible: create the next great brand, starting with nothing.
Crossing the Chasm by Geoff Moore
High-Tech Marketing Expert Identifies the Greatest Challenge Facing New Ventures and Shows How to Address It
Every year, according to high-tech marketing expert Geoffrey Moore, millions of dollars invested in high-tech entrepreneurial ventures are lost trying to "cross the chasm" from early market success to mainstream market leadership. Moore, President of Geoffrey Moore Consulting, identifies and addresses the key challenges facing such ventures.
Inside the Tornado, by Geoffrey A. Moore, Silicon Valley veteran. This book focuses on how to get a start-up growing at a furiously successful rate. Use it to better understand the process of building a successful start-up through the eyes of the marketing strategist. Contains lots of good marketing tips for venture-backed companies.
Rules for Revolutionaries by Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki's Rules for Revolutionaries isn't just about high-tech. It's not even just about business. At its most inspirational, it's a primer for living, a kick in the pants that screams "don't let Bozosity grind you down."
Advice like this is the author's stock in trade. Kawasaki is the former chief evangelist for Apple and is now the founder of Garage.com, a Silicon Valley-based firm that helps start-ups find seed money.
His book is less a how-to manual than a how-to-think guide
How to Read a Financial Report: 5th Ed. Tracy, John A. United States: John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
5E-Lurking somewhere amidst all the figures in a financial report is vitally important information about where a company has been and where it is headed. But without a guide to isolate and interpret those numbers, the dizzying array of columns and rows doesn't add up to a hill of beans. That's why thousands of professionals and savvy individuals have referred to this bestselling resource that shows anyone how to make sense of all those numbers. Updated throughout, this edition features new information on tax reform, depreciation methods, spotting fraudulent reporting, and recent FASB rulings. Also, all exhibits have been made easier to follow.
Financial Statements: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Creating Financial Reports: Ittelson, Thomas
Finally, a resourceful and unique primer on financial statements that uses a creative and different approach to explain every kind of financial report a small business owner or manager needs to succeed. Through an unique visual approach, this book leads users to a clear understanding of how business scores are kept and how to interpret the results.From balance sheets, cash flow statements and income statements, learn how to understand the basic elements that will pave the way to achieving financial success.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship : Practice and Principles by Peter Drucker is filled with timeless, priceless and creative tools for the entrepreneur.
Innovator's Dilemma, by Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard professor. Did you ever wonder why the giant corporations fail to crush the start-ups? Well researched and supported with real company examples. Reveals how start-ups can work with the giants. Digs into the mistakes the giants make when disruptive technologies arrive. Useful for start-ups inside giant corporations. Its lessons apply to all countries.
Entrepreneurs in High Technology: Lessons from MIT and Beyond. Roberts, Edward. Oxford University Press, 1991
The ingredients for success in starting and developing a technology-based company aren't obvious. Why, for example, did Digital Equipment Corporation succeed--and indeed become one of the most successful high-tech corporations in the world--while dozens of other companies with similar beginnings fail? It is a question that demands careful consideration by anyone setting up a new company or who is interested in starting one. In Entrepreneurs in High Technology, Edward Roberts, a Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, offers entrepreneurs a goldmine of information on starting, financing, and expanding a high-tech firm. His book reveals the results of research conducted over twenty-five years on several hundred high-tech firms, and it reflects the insights of the author's own first-hand experience as a company founder, director, and venture capitalist.
Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation, Utterback, James M. 1994.
Jim focuses on the creative and destructive effects of technological change on the life of a company. Utterback is chair of the MIT Management of Technology Program.
A practical model for business leaders striving to innovate. Shows how innovation enters an industry, how mainstream firms typically respond and how, over time, new and old players wrestle for dominance.
Angel Financing. Benjamin, Gerald A. and Margulis, Joel. Canada: John Wiley & Sons, 2000.
Capital is the single most important factor to getting your venture off the ground, but finding it can be a challenge, particularly if you're running out of funding options. Suppose your venture is too small for institutional players. What do you do once you've exhausted your personal financial resources? Where do you go after banks, the leasing companies, the venture capital firms, have turned you down? What you need is an "angel"--a private investor with high net worth. Angel Financing--the only book of its kind--provides you with a road map to this valuable, little known, source of capital financing.Explains the structure of the direct private capital market* Covers everything from the valuation process to writing an investor-oriented business plan
Business Plans that Win $$$. Rich, Stanley R. and Gumpert, David. New York: Harper & Row, 1987.
This important book shows how even an inexperienced entrepreneur can write a solid business plan that will win investors' notice and financial help. "I am recommending it to my students and others interested in getting started in business."--Howard H. Stevenson, professor of business administration, Harvard Business School
Raising Money: Venture funding and how to get it. Merrill, Ronald E. AMA, 1990.
This guide for capital-seekers maps out the entire funding process, from formulating the idea, to testing it, hiring partners, tracking down appropriate investors, and structuring the final idea. The authors use case studies from the CalTech/MIT Enterprise Forum, an organization that advises new companies and critiques business plans.
Competitive Strategy. Porter, Michael E. New York: The Free Press, 1998.
Now nearing its 60th printing in English and translated into nineteen languages, Michael E. Porter's Competitive Strategy has transformed the theory, practice, and teaching of business strategy throughout the world. Electrifying in its simplicity -- like all great breakthroughs -- Porter's analysis of industries captures the complexity of industry competition in five underlying forces. Porter introduces one of the most powerful competitive tools yet developed: his three generic strategies -- lowest cost, differentiation, and focus -- which bring structure to the task of strategic positioning. He shows how competitive advantage can be defined in terms of relative cost and relative prices, thus linking it directly to profitability, and presents a whole new perspective on how profit is created and divided. In the almost two decades since publication, Porter's framework for predicting competitor behavior has transformed the way in which companies look at their rivals and has given rise to the new discipline of competitor assessment.
Getting Past No. Ury, William. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.
A guide to successful negotiation shows readers how to stay cool under pressure, stand up for themselves without provoking opposition, deal with underhanded tactics, find mutually agreeable options, and more.
Getting To Yes. Fisher, Roger and Ury, William. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.
Since its original publication in 1981, Getting to Yes has been translated into 18 languages and has sold over 1 million copies in its various editions. This completely revised edition is a universal guide to the art of negotiating personal and professional disputes. It offers a concise strategy for coming to mutually acceptable agreements in every sort of conflict.
The Entrepreneurial Venture by Bill Sahlman, Howard Stevenson et al.
As entrepreneurs fuel the economy with start-ups, job creation, innovation, and new technologies, the need to understand the evolving field of entrepreneurship continues to grow. Covering every phase of the entrepreneurial venture, from the basic concepts to emerging issues, this collection of readings by leading academics and practitioners is designed to serve as a handbook for entrepreneurs, as well as for teachers and students of the entrepreneurial process. Newly updated with timely material, professors will find this second edition invaluable for the richness of the cases and the accompanying questions designed to facilitate discussion.
High Tech Start Up, The Complete How-to Handbook for Creating Successful New High Tech Companies, by John L. Nesheim
High Tech Start Up is the best and longest running seller in the start-up book category. In its fourth version it reached number eleven on the Business Week "Best Selling Books of 2000". It is also a best seller in four other languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese). High Tech Start Up is used as a classroom textbook by over 12 respected universities around the world, as well as by large corporations, venture capitalists, and consulting firms.
This book pioneered the discovery of the process that has become know as the classical Silicon Valley start-up path to IPO. It is a central piece of the The Nesheim Group approach. Its author, John L. Nesheim, is a Silicon Valley veteran who has been in the trenches with the leaders of real high tech companies, in Silicon Valley, Asia and Europe.
Entrepreneur America by Rob Ryan
Building successful start-ups was never quite as easy as it seemed, and the changing economic climate has raised the stakes, reduced the margin of error. New entrepreneurs can’t stumble into wealth on the power of half-formed ideas, or turn dreams into reality without doing a lot of homework. It’s time to get smart. This book teaches would-be entrepreneurs the skills they need to get through the venture capital process with companies that will survive to grow and succeed.
Beyond Entrepreneurship by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
The Origin and Evolution of New Business by Amar Bhidé
Bhidecautions the reader that this is not a how-to book on the popular subject of entrepreneurship; rather, it looks at entrepreneurs mainly from an economic point of view. His work represents systematic research about starting and growing a new business, and Bhidecontends this approach is unique in the field. The book examines the nature of the opportunities that entrepreneurs pursue, problems and tasks they face, traits and skills they require, and the social and economic contributions they make; and then compares those realities with features of large, established companies. Entrepreneurs pursue opportunities with different levels of uncertainty, investment requirements, and likely profit. They survive and prosper because of an ongoing ability to adapt to opportunities and problems, are subjected to many detours, and stumble often along the way. This theory book will find a welcome reception in business schools that are focusing on courses in entrepreneurship and may also appeal to corporate executives who are trying to instill an entrepreneurial spirit in their employees.
Done Deals by Udayan Gupta
Until a few years ago," notes journalist-consultant Udayan Gupta, "venture capitalists were hardly on anyone's radar screen." That's not the case these days, as financiers who used to work behind the scenes now regularly set markets afire with their public support of high-profile technology and Internet stocks. In Done Deals, Gupta allows 35 of the brightest stars in what has become a $30-billion-a-year business to tell their own stories in their own words. We get to see exactly what they were thinking when they backed such endeavors as Intel, eBay, Excite, Genentech, and 3Com. Gupta's intention is to demonstrate how the industry has changed over the past half-century and how it differs today among its various forms. He achieves this beautifully by dividing the first-person accounts into thematically attuned sections that focus on dealmakers of the future (such as Mitch Kapor of Accel Partners), early pioneers (including the late Benno Schmidt of J.H. Whitney & Co.), West Coast veterans (such as Don Valentine of Sequoia Capital), past and present East Coast practitioners (like Charles Waite of Greylock Management), and visionaries (including John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers). Some of the stories are more detailed than others, but taken together, they provide a well-rounded view that will interest anyone who must deal with this often intertwined yet still individual world.
Venture Capital Due Diligence. Camp, Justin. John Wiley & Sons, 2002.
The first book to offer a comprehensive framework for conducting the venture capital due diligence process
Venture capitalists and other professional investors use due diligence to uncover all of the critical aspects of a company in which they are considering investing in an attempt to estimate the ROI of this decision. The state of the market, management expertise within the firm, legal concerns, location, and environmental issues are just a few of the factors investors include in their due diligence analyses. This book is the only guide to provide investors with a rigorous due diligence framework that can be customized to fit the practice of the firm. The book provides readers with a clear and complete understanding of the due diligence process and formalizes the process for the VC community. The book is structured around key criteria presented in the form of questions. Each question is followed by in-depth explanations and analyses that incorporate the best practices of today's top VCs, including John Doerr, Don Valentine, Kevin Fong, and Ann Winblad.
Winning Angels The 7 Fundamentals of Early Stage Investing by David Amis, Howard H. Stevenson
From the foreword by Peter Crisp, founding partner of Venrock Associates, which was formed in 1969 as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller Family, and an investor in over 300 early stage deals including Apple Computer and Intel: "Winning Angels is the first book to chronicle the activities of successful angel investors. Based on personal experience and interviews with over 50 angels, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, it is a treasure trove of advice.
The VC Way: Investment Secrets from the Wizards of Venture Capital by Zygmont, JeffreyInvestment secrets from the millionaire venture capitalists of Silicon Valley. Venture capital plays a significant role in launching the technologies that continue to redefine our work and life. Alongside the innovators who dream up the ideas, VCs contribute the tactical brainpower that fuels Silicon Valley. And it is through this process of high-stakes investing that unbelievable fortunes are made. The clubby world of big-bucks venture capital is of considerable interest to investors and entrepreneurs alike. The VC Way is the first book to take readers into this private world of extreme investing. For those who want to invest like the best, it reveals their unique strategies, sectors they are tracking, screens and criteria, best and worst investments, and how individuals can use the lessons they've learned. Packed with insider's advice and fascinating stories, The VC Way contains accounts from some of the most influential and noteworthy venture capitalists in business today--Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad, Neil Weintraub of 21st Century Internet, and dozens of others. The VC Way is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to match strategies with these master investors.
Confessions of a Venture Capitalist: Inside the High-Stakes World of Start-up Financing by Ruthann Quindlen
Many people would love to pick the brains of a venture capitalist to uncover exactly what gets their juices (and checks) flowing. Some books promise such advice from the recipient's point of view, but rarely is the story told from a financier's. As its title promises, however, Confessions of a Venture Capitalist does just that. Ruthann Quindlen, a one-time investment banker now with Silicon Valley's Institutional Venture Partners, lays it on the line in this revealing glimpse inside her world. Short, humorous chapters make it an easy read--a fact that might lead some to suspect that specifics are lacking. But details are there, as evidenced in a section called "Less Is More, or Subtraction by Addition." "Rather than coming to us with just themselves and their bright idea, they believe we want to see business types as part of the initial management team," she writes. "Often, we like the technology entrepreneur and the plan, but end up in the awkward position of not being able to back the business types.... Focus instead on your idea and why customers will love it and how you and only you can make it happen." Such suggestions should prove useful to entrepreneurs, and anyone else interested in today's venture-capital economy.
The MouseDriver Chronicles: The True-Life Adventures of Two First-Time Entrepreneurs. Lusk, John and Kyle Harrison. Cambridge: Perseus, 2001.
John Lusk and Kyle Harrison seemed slightly out of their minds when, unlike their fellow MBAs, they skipped on flashy, lucrative offers from dot-coms to become entrepreneurs. Specifically, to produce and sell a computer mouse designed to look like a golf-club head (a state-of-the-art titanium driver to be exact). "I wanted to feel the pain of starting a company," Lusk writes in this clear and insightful memoir, "to go into debt, have my ego crushed and experience first-hand the thrill of working like a dog for months without a paycheck." Since he also expected to make a million in two years, it's not surprising that all these come to pass. The duo struggle with the fundamentals of making and selling, run-ins with typhoons, shabby off-shore manufacturing, and soon dot-com envy sets in. But when the dot-coms start going belly-up, this little-retail-product-company-that-could shows that the basics of business still apply--a handy lesson for those wondering what happened after the dot-com crash, as well as any would-be entrepreneurs wanting to make a go of it.
The New New Thing : A Silicon Valley Story by Michael Lewis tells about the thinking of Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape, as he was planning on going to turn health care on its ear by launching Healtheon, and other ventures.
Startup : A Silicon Valley Adventure by Jerry Kaplan. Excellent diary of a computer visionary & his failed startup.
Zero Gravity, by Steve Harmon, start-up coach. This tale tickles your right brain. It will appeal to non-high-tech thinkers who are seeking insight to what gets money from venture investors.
eBoys : The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work by Randall E. Stross who teaches business history at San José State University. eBoys is the fascinating true story of the six tall men who backed eBay, Webvan, and other dotcoms
The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar is a creative fictionalized story about how a founder searches for a greater purpose and meaning when trying to get his start-up venture funded.
The Startup Garden: How Growing a Business Grows You. Ehrenfeld, Tom. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002. Bennis, Warren and Burt
You have what it takes to start a business... but only if it's the right business for you. At the startup stage, before all of the marketing studies and prototypes, your most important source of competitive advantage is how well you understand yourself and can harness the passion inside you.
The Startup Garden walks you through the process of determining what type of business best fits your hopes, dreams, and experiences. Unique among books of its type, it helps you take an honest look
A Good Hard Kick in the Ass - by Rob Adams (Hardcover - January 2002)
In brisk, straightforward prose, venture capitalist Adams systematically destroys most of the misconceptions potential entrepreneurs have about starting a company, and tells them how to cover the basics, from knowing the customer to hiring good employees. Adams explains why a good idea is not necessary for success (good ideas are plentiful commodities; he contends; execution is really what matters); business plans are overrated.
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