I’ve read a lot of books about new business processes and start-ups in the past year or two. Here are four that bring insights every few pages rather than the ones that stretch out a single insight into a whole book (you know who you are!).

The Personal MBA
Josh Kaufman’s “The Personal MBA” is dense with useful information for whichever aspect of business you’re currently concerned with – finances, product development, sales & marketing, all of the above! – it’s all in here with lots of concise single-topic chapters rather than long general groupings making it an ideal reference book to return to as your business develops or fresh problems arrive on your desk.

Do Purpose
I’ve believed for a while now that humans are narrative-driven beings. David Hieatt is a man who knows how to tell a good story. He started his career at Saatchi (advertising is just story-telling!) and went on to create the successful outdoor clothing brand Howies and subsequently luxury jeans brand Hiut Denim. Do Purpose is his condensed manifesto for creating meaningful businesses – businesses that serve their customers and make the world better (and, sure, hopefully make a profit). An easy-read that only takes a couple of hours. One that I turn to when my enthusiasm needs a shot in the arm.

The Lean Startup
One of the reasons I’ve enjoyed playing with Angular is the power it gives you to rapidly take an idea from paper to a working (or semi-working) prototype. Taking and applying the concepts of “Minimum Viable Product”, iterative design, continuous deployment and measuring the impact of your changes on your early customers, this book opened my eyes to a new way of turning around innovation quickly and efficiently.

The Idea in You
A book full of case-studies of people who’ve taken a spark of inspiration and carried it through to a successful business – some small lifestyle businesses, others much larger – as well as plenty of practical exercises and encouragement to help you take your big idea, evaluate its pros and cons and work out how to stop dreaming and start doing.

Bonus book: If those last two sound good to you, it might also be worth checking out Sprint: How to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days by Jake Knapp who developed this five day process for developing and testing ideas in his work at Google and Google Ventures.

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