WHY NOT YOU?
OFF THE SHELF
Where we ask some of our #WhyNotYou contributors to recommend some bedtime reading of the books they’ve found helpful in their careers.
Adam Marinovic is Enterprise and Innovation Manager of the £2.7 million Agri-Tech Research Innovation Accelerator (AgRIA), which brings together businesses and leading academics to work on innovative, high-risk projects in agri-tech.
Art of Start (Kawaski) I believe that this is the ultimate entrepreneurship book and that anyone building a start-up should read it. No excuses. The book is short, sharp and gives you straightforward advice what it takes to build a business. Guy Kawasaki has been there and has skin in the game, and that’s why it’s important to listen to his advice.
Of course, you don’t need to follow his advice blindly…but I strongly recommend you seriously consider it. There are so many gems in this book such as topics about leading, fund-raising, pitching to investors (10-20-30 rule) building a team, etc.
As Guy would say: “Entrepreneur is a state of mind, not a job title. Entrepreneurship is about doing not learning to do. If your attitude is ‘cut the crap-let’s get going’ you are reading the right book by the right author.”
Venture Deals (Field & Mendelson)
This is a serious book. It is not a book that you read on your beach holiday, but the lessons you’ll learn will help you in raising funding for your start-up and dealing with the term sheet. As the subtitle says: ‘Be smarter than your lawyer and your venture capitalist’.
This book really goes into the details of angel and venture funding. A huge part of the book is devoted to the Term Sheet and all its secrets. There is also a chapter on crowdfunding and how equity works there, and an interesting chapter about negotiation tactics. There is a lot to learn from this book. I would personally use it as a go to resource in different stages when building a start-up.
Keywan Hassani-Pak is head of bioinformatics at Rothamsted Research and founder of KnetMiner, a web-app that helps scientists to search across large biological databases and literature to find links between genes, traits, diseases and many other information types.
These three books are very useful but also complementary; I especially recommend them to managers or entrepreneurs of software or tech start-ups.
The Lean Startup (Reis)
About developing a rapid build-measure-learn cycle to test your vision continuously, adapting and adjusting before it’s too late.
The Hook model is about learning what your customers really want and how to drive customer engagement.
The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change (Fournier)
How to be a good manager, especially when managing software developers.
CEO of Agrimetrics David Flanders has more than 25 years of international experience leading the delivery of technology and software projects across the life sciences.
Show Me the Money (Barrell)
This is a book I wish I could have read when I was first setting up a business.