Friday, 12 September 2014

8 books that every Management aspirant should read .

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1.Linchpin (English) - 
Teaches you to be indispensable (irreplaceable) and motivates you to dwell at the heart of your startup.
Say no to meaningless work, things should be looked upon from the bigger perspective —-> You should be actually working on changing the world.
Work the problem yourself. Imagine there were astronauts on Apollo 13 that did not know how to behave under pressure? Have they been able to solve the dire problems in real time and save everybody?
Lead, inspire and be responsible.
Linchpin is actually the word for the outer pin that holds the wheel onto the axe. A metaphor for both reliability and importance.

2.Black Swan (English) - 
Black Swan stands for the overly-stated fact that all swans are White. i.e. “fair as a swan”, meant that she was white as a swan. However, it took one incident of a Black Swan seeing, in newly discovered Australia, to overthrow the fact forever.
Past events do not predict the future.
There are little incidents in history that have shaped up politics and commerce. No one would have ever predicted them. So why play by the book when you can expect the unexpected?
Startups should know that no matter how small, their offerings can be a game changer.
The Gaussian way of predicting cash-flows, sales and expenses forecasts year on year, is just an obsolete way of going forward. Your new variables should be the market intself and not what you sold last year.
It’s the Butterfly Effect: If a Butterfly flaps it’s wings in India, a hurricane is formed in Brasil. If you’re startup launches something unique in Amman, Jordan it can sweep the world by storm.

3.The Tipping Point (English) - 
A Tipping Point for startups is the moment of truth where your products and services pick on and become a viral buying trend.
Law of the few: worldwide trends do not begin big, actually you can always trace big waves down to their humble currents. i.e. PSY’s Gangnam Style youtube video.
You need Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen to help you connect, recommend and sell your thing respectively.
The Stickiness Factor: your startup service or product or even campaign should have a memorable quality. Your site’s UX for that matter, should have a unique, special and addictive way of presenting your offerings.
Is the time and place right for your startup to pick up into mainstream? The power of Context states that you should know if you’re offering can go hip in the right environment or not.
Harness the power of disinformation, propaganda, rumors, PR, news and underdogs to make an adoptive statement that can help raise your startup/campaign into a millioneth trend.

4.The Four Steps to the Epiphany (English) 0005 Edition - 

You need to understand that 9 out of 10 startups fail in their first year. So learn the odds and play along knowingly.
There are 4 phases of iteration and pivoting in your startup lifespan and they are: Customer Discovery, Customer Validation, Customer Creating and then Company Building.
In the first phase of customer discovery, you have to tailor-make a solution for a test-market (or better even a single customer segment) that you know are out there using super-simple features. Your offering should be a Minimum Viable Product MVP.
The second phase is customer validation, you need to validate whatever service your customers are buying and drop those that aren’t selling.
The third phase is when you start your customer creation by moving on from only dealing with your early-adopters. In this phase you are more confident to promote your services to a bigger market share.
Now you are ready to spend on building a company and spend on infrastructure, more features and employees. Everything you spend on needs to aim at scaling up and acquire more customers.

5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (English) - 

Probably the best help-book out there that helps you create a work-life balance between your emotional, physical, professional and personal lives.
Why recommend this book? because it’s an essential read that should be taught at schools, me thinks. Think of it as a required 101 material before digging into other books.
The seven habits are: 1. Be Proactive 2. Begin with the End in mind 3. Put First Things First 4. Think Win-Win 5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood 6. Synergize 7. Sharpen the Saw
It teaches self-strain and how to be principle-centered.
One of the most important lessons in this book is time management and the diagram of 4 quadrants of Importance and Urgency. Your self-procrastinating habit will disappear after you get this straight.

6.The Lean Startup (English) - 
Probably the single most important book listed here - read like a programming biography of Eric Ries’s trials and errors while building his startup Chat, Games & Avatars in 3D. Play, Meet People, Have Fun! Free!.
Teaches you the importance of iterative project planning vs. the dangerous more linear mode; that has a beginning and an end.
Teaches you the importance of developing a prototype dubbed in this book as MVP.
When the MVP isn’t acquiring the right customers then something is wrong and you have to pivot the model in order to convert them. Its all about getting customers in.
The concept of split-testing or A/B testing is essential when promoting new features and products.
Continuous development is key to success.
Use actionable metrics that give a realistic indication of your progress. Vanity metrics by contrast will contribute to a delusional startup that has lost the plot. Metrics like number of page views, impressions, and registered users are example for Vanity metrics. While sales, conversions and referrals are metrics to measure progress on.

7.Blue Ocean Strategy (English) 1st Edition - 
Avoid Red Ocean marketplaces where a lot of sharks swim. Because it’s bloody. In another metaphor, it’s a tiring rat race going after what everybody’s aiming at.
Create the market yourself. Blue Oceans refer to markets never sought-after before because they just simply did not exist. Your entry into one is in itself a black swan. An event above predicted history. Think Steve Jobs iPod’s launch event. Were there really any competition when the iPod launched?
You need to add value, specifically bring in more Value Innovation to the Buyer and your Startup as a result. Buyers and beating their product satisfaction every time, take center stage here.
This book teaches you that big businesses are as vulnerable as you are, if they seize to provide value to the customer.
You can shape the industry you are in, infact you can be the whole industry itself.

8.Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers (English) 1st Edition - 
You do not have to go on a long Business Planning endeavor, all you need to do is outline and build 9 building blocks of your startup, using an innovative way of business planning called Business Model Generation. They are:
Customer Segmentation: differentiate you customers based on the variable most relevant to your startup offerings.
Value Proposition: ask yourself what value you bring to each?
Customer Relationship: what relationship you want to build with your customer?
Channels: what are the communication, sales and delivery channels you use with every customer segment?
Revenue Streams: what are your revenue streams?
Key Activities: define what you do as startup and team to acquire more customers?
Key Resources: define what are the HR, machines, programs…etc needed for you to serve your customers most efficiently?
Key Partners: who are your key partners that you depend on when selling your customers?
Cost Structure: What are your costs and how do you maintain them in relation to all your resources, partnership/supplier and activities expenses?

1 comment:

  1. If your thinking of doing an MBA then I would also suggest the Portable MBA by Ken Eades and MBA Prep, how to get ahead of the program.
    I would also try to brush up on any weaknesses you have - accounting, finance, statistics etc.