jueves, 25 de diciembre de 2014

Entrepreneur's books and references

I shared this content maybe 20 times this year... So, I felt maybe is relevant enough to be included here. At least, the next time I'd need to share it, I will be able to just send the link.

:-)

The most part of the courses, books or videos I'll recommend in the following notes require to have a pen and paper close to you. I recommend you write down all your insights during each video and each chapter.

Content addressed for...


I suppose the most part of the content recommended here could be relevant for anyone who want to explore the startup literature or is ready to start their own company. But, to be honest, te most part of the comments are addressed to Software Engineer or Computer Science people like me.

Are you ready?


Usually engineers think the product is just software, we think software is the solution for all the problems, at least problems we want to solve.

Sometimes is just for play with new technology, because is cool ... but a business, a product, is more than that, the software is just part of the solution. Sorry guys, I know as engineer that our narcissism tends to push us to believe we're the center... but there's a life "out of the building"

So for example:
  • Which are the optimal distribution channel for our product? (SEM, SEO, IT partners, Advice partners...?) 
  • And for the promotion? 
  • Which are the optimal sectors or customer segments we should address? 
  • Which is the price for our product or service? (Usually price is a hard question to answer) 
And many others:
  • Which pains we gonna solve? 
  • Which is our value proposition? 
  • Why us and no the competitors? 
  • How we'll generate entry barriers? 
  • We'll escale easily the business? 
  • ... 

One of the farthest parts from the technology is the Customer Development. In that way, there are some worldwide references, but personally the important one is Steve Blank

He has some books, one of the most popular was probably The Four Steps to the Epiphany where he presented a way to interact with the challenge to create your own business. Steve's blogs is also an endless source of entrepreneur information.

One of the most important concepts proposed by Steve is GOOB (Get Out Of the Building) is the philosophy of start as soon as possible to validate your hypothesis interacting with real users and real customers.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't read T4Steps4Epiphany, but everybody who talks with me about it, express the same feeling ... "it's hard, it's too hard!!" In that way, Brant Cooper write an executive book, a perfect summary in my opinion, for newbies the Entrepreneurs Guide for Customer Development.

He defines clearly the phases the product should achieve, from the initial customer discovery, to the final grow and scale.

At the same time Eric Ries published The Lean Startup Method, another step by step strategy to build your own business. You could find another interesting contents from Eric Ries Editions (Like Lean UX)

In fact, Ash Maurya, merge Lean UX, Bootstrapping and Customer Development concepts in his Running Lean book.

The main difference between the Model Business Canvas (Steve Blank) and Lean Model Canvas, based on Ash explanation, is the status of the business your are creating. The Lean Model Canvas push you to solve questions for business in earlier stages.

But in general both methods push you in create a backlog of hypothesis validation, in order to discover and refine your business, and reduce the treatments.

Was a pleasure to participate a few years ago in a Running Lean workshop made by Ash in Barcelona. 

Other books:
  • The Startup Owner's Manual - Steve Blank and Bob Dorf
  • Value Proposition Design - Alex Osterwalder
  • Business Model Generation - Alex Osterwalder 
  • Hooked - Nir Eyal
  • Switch - Heath Chip
  • More references in my GoodRead's account

Quickest methods


I'd recommend you to start with Steve Blank's udacity training. https://www.udacity.com/course/viewer#!/c-ep245/l-48726358

The videos will help you to complete a Model Bussiness Canvas and also to have a clear overview of the different knowledge areas do you need to explore.

I also consider very interesting Justin Wilcox's videos (Founder Institute's founder) at youtube, related to the Customer Development or Customer Discovery lifecycle.

Anyway, as I mention in my personal blog, I love to help other entrepreneur... the last years was part of my achievements to help at least 2 o 3 entrepreneurs in their business model definition. So, if you want some help please just let me know.

And, if you have some additional interesting references, please let me know. Is always great to know

Regards,