In this article, I will highlight my top choices for the best books on innovation and entrepreneurship. My advice to you is to take any advice with a grain of salt. Funny. Anyways, when you read books on entrepreneurship, it is important to note that though the insight and advice that something worked for someone else does not guarantee that it will work for you. Regardless, each of the books I present here are definitely worth the read, and can provide valuable insights that can change your mindset for the better.
1. Innovation and Entrepreneurship
First on my list, and for good reason. This book by Peter Drucker is a classic when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship. He presents innovation and entrepreneurship as a systematic discipline and explains what entrepreneurs and businesses need to do to succeed in the American economy. This book can be more of a slow or difficult read, however, if you stick with it, you will see Drucker’s genius by the end of it. Detailing topics like proper entrepreneurial management, industry and market structures, and capitalizing on new business ideas, Drucker provides information regarding all aspects of the entrepreneurial process and spectrum. If you are serious about improving your business and entrepreneurial mindset, I highly recommend you read this book.
2. The 4-Hour Work Week
Tim Ferris’s 4-Hour Workweek is a rather interesting take on entrepreneurship. A rather innovative approach to entrepreneurship. Though I don’t completely agree with everything he is outlining in this book, he does provide some excellent tips and mindsets when approaching the topic of entrepreneurship. His book is all about the “New Rich (NR).” Most of what Tim stresses in the article is to be able to have the freedom to do what you want, when you want and ultimately not depend upon one single source of income or employment. The methods he proposes may not work for everyone, however, the method allow the readers to develop a more entrepreneurial and curious mindset. For example, he highlights a few steps that he recommends to get started earning some “passive” income. One path he recommends to join the new rich is to effectively resell a product through affiliate commissions on a blog or website. Though this may not be a viable option for everyone reading this book, he does provide quite a bit of insights, tips, and links on effectively reselling or creating a product of your own to sell online. If you’re interested in “trading a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent mini retirements” as he calls it, this is the book for you.
3. Tools of Titans
Another Tim Ferris book, and my all time favorite book. Tim Ferris interviewed hundreds of successful individuals and world class performers within their industries and details each interview within the three categories of Wealth, Health, and Happiness. Each interview is littered with tips and tactics about how these people structure their days, organize their goals, find motivation, and more. Some of the public figures who are interviewed in this book include Arnold Schwarzenegger, venture capitalists, famous entrepreneurs, and more. What makes this book so different from the rest is its detail and elegance of the writing. It is an easy read, yet it is filled with information that us as a reader can take out and start applying in our own lives. Thus the name, this book provides tools from the very best so we can not only learn how they approach exercise, work, and happiness, but implement some of the tactics and mindsets in our own lives. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
4. The Law of Success
One of Napoleon Hill’s most popular books, The Law of Success is packed with entrepreneurial motivation. However, this book is not intended to guarantee success, rather, provide motivational “laws” that can help govern the success of an entrepreneur. Napoleon Hill is also the author of Think and Grow Rich. This books is Hill’s “complete mid-power method for achieving your goals.” He does this through thoroughly going through fifteen essential principles he believes are the laws of success. After interviewing hundreds of diplomats, leaders, and successful individuals, Hill constructed the following fifteen principles as the most important: Find your aim, Self-Confidence, Saving, Leadership, Imagination, Enthusiasm, Self-Control, Do More, Pleasing Personality, Accurate Thought, Concentration, Cooperation, Failure, Tolerance, and the Golden Rule. He wants readers to find their purpose and aim in life, and center all their ventures, ideas, promises, relationships, and values around achieving that definite aim. This book is incredibly motivational and should be on every entrepreneurs bookshelf. Though motivation can be temporary, this book will resonate for much longer.
5. The Lean Startup
The Lean Startup is all about proper innovation for entrepreneurs in a startup setting. When I compiled my list of the best books on innovation and entrepreneurship, this was probably the first book that came to mind. Because 95% of startups fail, Eric Reis presents the lean startup principles as a method to successful launch a startup. Now, the lean startup method does not guarantee that every startup will be successful, however, it prevents more losses if a founder and the team decide to scrap the startup. The Lean Startup method is all about validating your product early on and delivering what he calls a Minimum Viable Product. It is the most complete version of your product that you can deliver to customers fastest to gain market feedback sooner than building the entire product. A lot of companies and university entrepreneurship programs are implementing and teaching the Lean Startup today.
6. Inside the Box
Last but not least, Inside the Box. This is an awesome book for anyone. I have read this book multiple times and is actually one of the main inspirations for the founding of Plinnovate. The author of this book, Dr. Drew Boyd, is an expert in his field of innovation and creativity and delivers a masterpiece. He details proven innovation techniques to drive real innovation in an organization and team. The techniques he outlines is Systematic Inventive Thinking. Having spoken to Dr. Boyd on multiple occasions, he is extremely passionate about the subject matter and has utilized the very techniques he is writing about in companies like Johnson and Johnson and Underwriters Laboratories. Let me give you a very basic rundown of why this book can be so powerful. Essentially, he shows that innovation actually follows a process that can be learned, thus killing the notion that innovation involves outside of the box thinking. Thus, the name of the book is Inside the Box, as Dr. Boyd unleashes the power of thinking inside the box for your life, school, teams, and work.
7. Art of War
I actually read a bit of the Art of War by Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese military strategist, today which reminded me to add it to this list. If you’ve never heard of this book before, you may be wondering why I have added a war book it to a list of books on innovation and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship and building a business is all about strategy, and though the Art of War details military strategies and psychological and philosophical aspects of war, the ideals proposed and outlined can be directly applied to building a business. At the end of the day, success is determined by a mentality and mindset, and this book provides helpful insight into developing a strong, driven, and purposeful mindset. This book is truly a masterpiece, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a different feel than the typical “entrepreneurship” books out there.
The Compound Effect is so enticing, I read it for the first time last night in one sitting. This book is all about a true wonder of the world: compounding. Compounding is making small, positive changes or advances in something to see tremendous changes in the long term. Think investing. Starting to invest early, and putting a little money in each month will reap huge benefits in 10-20 years. This idea is the premise of this book, yet it can be applied to any aspect of your life, not just investing. If you truly want to make a difference in your life, career, and relationships, this book can provide the necessary mentality shift. Once again, take the advice given in these self-help books with a grain of salt, but Hardy writes this one very well.
That’s it for my top choices for the best books on innovation and entrepreneurship. I recommend you start reading any of them as they each have their own value. The thing about books, however, is that it is easy to read. What’s harder, and more important quite frankly, is making use of the information you learned and taking actionable steps to change and learn. Regardless, be sure to check out these best books on innovation and entrepreneurship and, as always, for more information be sure to check out Plinnovate’s blog!