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Best of 111in2011

Yes, one of this content free summaries about previous read books - but I think it would be nice if you had a small reading lists with some great books.

Best of Marketing
Ice to the Eskimos

Probably to most creative marketing ideas I’ve ever read about. Jon Spoelstra has excellent writing skills, it’s so much fun to read this book even if you’re not into basketball. He’s probably what you think a marketing guy should be. Creative, uncommon and full of power. If you want to read about marketing that stands out of common marketing then this is the book for you!

The Referral Engine

Not as loud as Ice to the Eskimos but filled with love and thought about your customers. Show love to your customer and he will probably learn to love you. I think this book is ideal if you work in some sort of service industry where you have direct contact to your customers. But even if you build some product, you can learn a lot about how to please your customer and why pens as advertising gifts probably won’t work.

Best of Organization
The E-Myth

Probably one of the most important books if you got more than one employee. Micheal E. Gerber shows you how you can organize your company so that you don’t have to work in the company but you can work on the company. This book is so full of useful ideas and their implementations that you probably won’t be disappointed.

Built to Sell

One could say that Built To Sell is a unofficial sequel to The E-Myth. John Warrillow tells this excellent story in this book about a guy who has a advertising company and he wants to sell it. Like The E-Myth this book shows how to make yourself dispensable in your company - and so got more time for other important things. Awesome book, even if you never will sell your company.

Best of Entrepreneurship
Running Lean

The best book, I read, about customer development. Ash Maurya explains demonstrates colorful how to find markets, test your ideas and track your objectives. Furthermore, the book is neatly organized and quite short. If you want to start a company then Running Lean should be on your reading list.

Best of Management
Rework

A book for people how value quality over quantity. The guys from 37signals explain their business philosophy in Rework and it’s excellent. It’s a down to earth approach on running a business - work less, but better - stay simple - hire reasonably. A magnificent book for small and medium sized business owners or new entrepreneurs.

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#36/111: The Knack

What is it about?

What should you know before starting a business? Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham try to answer this question. They focus on some topics from money management to hiring. The Knack is especially targeted at former sales persons.

Key points?

Know your metrics: Most sales people focus on the sales volume only. This doesn’t work for your business is your profit margin is too low. Brodsky recommends to calculate your profit margins by hand to get a feeling for the numbers.

Search a niche in an old market: You should focus on an old market because you don’t have to generate demand and often the leading companies are pretty rigid. If you can find a niche which undermines these companies, you can earn a fortune.

Keep your old customers: You already know that it’s easier to sell to your existing customers than to new ones. So try to generate more profit from them.

Build a culture:  You will reach a point where it is impossible to do everything by yourself. If you hire people try to hire for cultural fit. This way you will trust them more and they will know what’s important for your business.

Conclusion

The first quarter was extremely good. He told a story from two friends of him who wanted to start a business and he explained lots of steps and how they developed their company. Sadly, stories of other people decreased and it become more and more egocentric. The name of the book is a bit misleading, maybe it would be better if it was named “My Business Life by Norm Brodsky”.

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#18/111: Born Entrepreneurs, Born Leaders

What is it about?

Scott Shane summarizes various scientific studies in genetics on work, leadership and entrepreneurship. He shows what genes can do and how they act in these different situations.

Key points?

We don’t know so much about genes: Genetics is a complex topic and it isn’t easy to test hypotheses. Most studies cited in this book are based on twin studies, i.e. you can only check if there is a genetic difference but not where it actually is. Scientists have extracted some genes which are responsible for characteristics like risk taking or impulsiveness but they affect a lot of different behaviors. In conclusion, it is really hard to find (all) genes which are responsible for a particular behavior.

Look at indirect effects: However, it is possible to extrapolate differences which are generated by genes. E.g. your temperament or your OCEAN (Big Five) personality traits are much influenced by your genes. These account for about 50-60% of your characteristic. 

What we know is that there is influence: Your personality traits, in turn, influences many of your decisions, like what job you are going to choose. So, genes actually influence your decision whether to become an accountant or a salesman but mostly indirectly.

Conclusion
I think that this book is a good draft which should be extended if there are more  scientific discoveries. Many studies aren’t replicated and scientists are only at the beginning to understand how everything works. Nonetheless, it is an interesting book that shows what could be possible in the future. Like identifying your strengths more easily or more efficient forms of education.
But your life isn’t determined. Genes don’t explain all the variance, i.e. your environment (parents, your actions, friends, etc.) explains the rest.

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What is this?
The Startup Daily brings you a short daily email with the best tips, ideas, and advice from great books on entrepreneurship, business, marketing, management, etc. Sometimes the ideas will be the main theme of the book, sometimes the ideas will be ancillary. I do my best to cover everything from practical specific tips to big picture thoughts and wisdom, from both new books and old.

That is a really cool idea! You can subscribe per email and there is a RSS feed.

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Keynote: Customer Development 2.0 (“Why Accountants Don’t Run Startups”) by Steve Blank

(via @andykiteman)

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About this talk: Let’s raise Kids to be entrepreneurs

Bored in school, failing classes, at odds with peers: This child might be an entrepreneur, says Cameron Herold. At TEDxEdmonton, he makes the case for parenting and education that helps would-be entrepreneurs flourish — as kids and as adults.

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#1/111: Screw it, Let’s do it

What is it about?

You probably know Richard Branson or at least Virgin. This book is about his life, his business and his family. He talks about Student, one of his first businesses and some of his adventures, like flying around the world in a balloon.

Key points?

He recommends you to live the life to the fullest. You should do things you love. Be happy!

Conclusion

All in all a nice book if you want to learn about Richard Branson, his unconventional methods or just want some motivation.

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Motivation

So what is my motivation in reading 111 books in one year? Good question. 

Basically I love learning about new things. Therefore I rather read non-fiction books. You will find all books I read with a little description/summary. 

If you have any question, please ask me! Have fun reading ;)