Felling a bit ‘listy’ lately, so here is one of 10 books that really helped shape my life and startup philosophy in the past few years. Of course this list is non-exhaustive and in no particular order.
- The alchemist
- Purple cow
- The intelligent investor
- A random walk down Wall st.
- 22 laws of marketing
- A whole new mind
- The clue train manifesto
- The cashflow quadrant
- The long tail
What books have shaped you?
When I started rentoid.com a 5 years ago I had no idea it would grow into something much bigger. In fact, the entire industry has been written about by Rachel Botsman in her upcoming book “What’s mine is yours“. She coined the phrase Collaborative Consumption to describe what is happening in our hyper connected world. Rentoid is featured in the book and this little video below, which makes me a bit proud.
It’s cool to launch a startup to make money. It’s cooler to be part of something bigger than your startup.
Yesterday I caught up with Fiona Boyd who is an incredibly successful internet entrepreneur who started and sold www.artshub.com.au
She gave me some great insights into entrepreneurship and here are some of the sound bites I was so compelled with I had to write them down.
“When asking for input into your business or startup, never ask for more that 2 pieces of advice. Ask them for advice which is both perceptual and low cost.”
‘Think about your business in terms of the sequence of events. This is more important than the model itself.”
“The right words, in a certain order, make people do stuff.”
“Free creates lose caboose behavior. Think of your business like a nightclub. Free entry makes us feel as though what’s inside isn’t as valuable as when there is a cover charge.”
‘What can you do to bring the money forward? It might be as easy as asking your customers.”
‘What are the steps to money? How can you reduce the number of steps?”
Absolute gold as far as startup blog is concerned. Fiona has also written a book called ‘Niche Content Millionaire’ which I’m guessing (I haven’t read it yet) is full of awesome ideas…. simply because she has the runs on the board and has done it.
Startup blog says: Only take advice from those who have the done what they espouse.
Tonight I went to see Christan Lander the super funny author of popular blog, now book ‘stuff white people like’ talk at local bookstore Readings in Melbourne. Firstly, he is a such a perceptive and funny guy, he deserves all the success his meteoric rise has given. Secondly, I was a little like a teenage school girl when I met him after the show (this will make sense when you watch the video below)
The power of doing
Tonight Christian spoke about how the whole thing happened. You may not know but the blog was launched in January 2008 and was a book only 6 months later, with a reported advance of $300,000 from publisher random house.
No – doing.
He had the idea, and didn’t stew on it, tell friends and think about it. He did. He wrote and couldn’t stop putting all his ideas down for days on end. He said he wrote 24 entries in the first sitting and published them straight away. No editing, no moderating. Just doing. After that he shared it with all his friends (granted this thing was bound to go viral because it was remarkably funny and observant). Christian’s success happened because he did it. He seized the opportunity to make it happen. He went beyond idea.
Now for the star struck teenager (aka Steve Sammartino)
After the official stuff I had a chat with Christian and was so excited didn’t really let him speak. Instead I just went about proving how white I was…. sorry, I was very star struck and was feeling some ‘Bromance’ for him (I wonder if that is a blog entry yet on Stuff white people like?)
I took this quote from Seth Godins latest micro book Tribes:
“Do you beleive in what you do? Every day? It turns out that belief happens to be a brilliant strategy”
This resonates with me because it will motivate us to find solutions that ‘non believers’ will be too inept, apathetic or bored to uncover.
Entrepreneurs ought launch something they beleive in conceptually, not just financially.