The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
"Never started a company before? Struggling with little or no cash? Have no experience, no baseline to judge your progress against? Thank God! You've got a shot at making this work." So says Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, a business book that is so uniquely useful, so raw and entertaining, it reads like the brainchild of Steve Jobs and Chris Rock.
The founder of three multimillion-dollar companies, including Obsidian Launch, a company that partners with first-time entrepreneurs to grow their concepts into industry leaders, Mike Michalowicz knows what it really takes to spin your great idea into pure gold.
Whether you're just starting out or have been at this for years, Mike's "get real" approach to business is a much-needed swift kick in the pants. In this book, you'll discover:
* Why a business plan is a total waste of your time.
* Why fulfilling your own needs is the first and last order of business.
* Which three sheets of paper you need to successfully launch, manage and grow your business.
* How to get started in business with little or no money.
* How to find and exploit resources that no one else knows about.
* How to stop procrastinating and take action NOW!
The Startup Owners Manual: The Step-By-Step
More than 100,000 entrepreneurs rely on this book for detailed, step-by-step instructions on building successful, scalable, profitable startups. The National Science Foundation pays hundreds of startup teams each year to follow the process outlined in the book, and it's taught at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia and more than 100 other leading universities worldwide. Why?
The Startup Owner's Manual guides you, step-by-step, as you put the Customer Development process to work. This method was created by renowned Silicon Valley startup expert Steve Blank, acknowledged catalyst of the "Lean Startup" movement, and tested and refined by him for more than a decade.
This 608-page how-to guide includes over 100 charts, graphs, and diagrams, plus 77 valuable checklists that guide you as you drive your company toward profitability. It will help you:
· Avoid the 9 deadly sins that destroy startups' chances for success
· Use the Customer Development method to bring your business idea to life
· Incorporate the Business Model Canvas as the organizing principle for startup hypotheses
· Identify your customers and determine how to "get, keep and grow" customers profitably
· Compute how you'll drive your startup to repeatable, scalable profits.
The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy
Each year Americans start one million new businesses, nearly 80 percent of which fail within the first five years. Under such pressure to stay alive—let alone grow—it’s easy for entrepreneurs to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of “sell it—do it, sell it—do it” that leaves them exhausted, frustrated, and unable to get ahead no matter how hard they try.
This is the exact situation Mike Michalowicz found himself in when he was trying to grow his first company. Although it was making steady money, there was never very much left over and he was chasing customers left and right, putting in twenty-eight-hour days, eight days a week. The punishing grind never let up. His company was alive but stunted, and he was barely breathing. That’s when he discovered an unlikely source of inspiration—pumpkin farmers.
After reading an article about a local farmer who had dedicated his life to growing giant pumpkins, Michalowicz realized the same process could apply to growing a business. He tested the Pumpkin Plan on his own company and transformed it into a remarkable, multimillion-dollar industry leader. First he did it for himself. Then for others. And now you. So what is the Pumpkin Plan?
Plant the right seeds: Don’t waste time doing a bunch of different things just to please your customers. Instead, identify the thing you do better than anyone else and focus all of your attention, money, and time on figuring out how to grow your company doing it.
Weed out the losers: In a pumpkin patch small, rotten pumpkins stunt the growth of the robust, healthy ones. The same is true of customers. Figure out which customers add the most value and provide the best opportunities for sustained growth. Then ditch the worst of the worst.
Nurture the winners: Once you figure out who your best customers are, blow their minds with care. Discover their unfulfilled needs, innovate to make their wishes come true, and overdeliver on every single promise.
Full of stories of other successful entrepreneurs, The Pumpkin Plan guides you through unconventional strategies to help you build a truly profitable blue-ribbon company that is the best in its field.
The Lean Startup: Radically Successful Businesses
Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.
Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.
The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.
Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.
The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book
This classic text is annotated to update Graham's timeless wisdom for today's market conditions...
The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham, taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham's philosophy of "value investing" -- which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies -- has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.
Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham's strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham's original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today's market, draws parallels between Graham's examples and today's financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham's principles.
Vital and indispensable, this HarperBusiness Essentials edition of The Intelligent Investor is the most important book you will ever read on how to reach your financial goals.
The Big Moo: Start Being Remarkable
Most organizations are stuck in a rut. On one hand, they understand all the good things that will come with growth. On the other, they’re petrified that growth means change, and change means risk, and risk means death. Nobody wants to screw up and ruin a good thing, so most companies (and individuals) just keep trying to be perfect at the things they’ve always done.
In 2003, Seth Godin’s Purple Cow challenged organizations to become remarkable—to drive growth by standing out in a world full of brown cows. It struck a huge chord and stayed on the Business-Week bestseller list for nearly two years. You can hear countless brainstorming meetings where people refer to purple cows and say things like, “That’s not good enough. We need to create a big moo!”
But how do you create a big moo—an insight so astounding that people can’t help but remark on it, like digital TV recording (TiVo) or overnight shipping (FedEx), or the world’s best vacuum cleaner (Dyson)? Godin worked with thirty-two of the world’s smartest thinkers to answer this critical question. And the team—with the likes of Tom Peters, Malcolm Gladwell, Guy Kawasaki, Mark Cuban, Robyn Waters, Dave Balter, Red Maxwell, and Randall Rothenberg on board—created an incredibly useful book that’s fun to read and perfect for groups to share, discuss, and apply.
The Big Moo is a simple book in the tradition of Fish and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Instead of lecturing you, it tells stories that stick to your ribs and light your fire. It will help you to create a culture that consistently delivers remarkable innovations.