Calling All Student Entrepreneurs: Tell Us About Your Startup

An incomplete reading list for this summer

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May 30, 2012

It's too hot here in Dhaka. This reading list can work as soothing material for you, kind of:) 

Our information consumption largely dominate our heart and head. As a start-up one should know what to do, and at a time unwavering motivation to be in the game. A reading list can be a perfect instrument to balance two. It gives one to fill what is empty and also charge ones battery to go extra mile. Here goes a short syllabus for startups to balance both side, know and stay Charged♥

On Starting up

01. The Bootstrapper's Bible

In The Bootstrapper's Bible: How to Start and Build a Business with a Great Idea and (Almost) No Money, Godin shows precisely how his own venture, and a slew of others like Dell Computer, Burton Snowboards, Bose Corporation, Starbucks, and many lesser-known companies, ultimately managed to turn that nothing into something quite substantial. He elaborates on specific practices that he believes are critical to entrepreneurs who may have great ideas and boundless enthusiasm but lack the financial resources to launch their businesses in the traditional way.

02. Stay hungry stay foolish by Rashmi Bansal

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish' is a story of 25 such IIM Ahmedabad graduates who chose the rough road of entrepreneurship. they are diverse in age, in outlook and the industries they made a mark in. But they have one thing in common: they believed in the power of their dreams. This book seeks to inspire young graduates to look beyond placements and salaries. To believe in their dreams.

03. Founders at work: Stories of Startup’s early days

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies about what happened in the very earliest days. Founders like Steve Wozniak (Apple), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Mitch Kapor (Lotus), Max Levchin (PayPal), and Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail) tell you in their own words about their surprising and often very funny discoveries as they learned how to build a company.

On marketing:

04. Predictably Irrational

Irrationality is a part of human nature, but as MIT professor Ariely has discovered in 20 years of researching behavioral economics, people tend to behave irrationally in a predictable style. Drawing on psychology and economics, behavioral economics can show us why cautious people make poor decisions about sex when aroused, why patients get greater relief from a more expensive drug over its cheaper counterpart and why honest people may steal office supplies or communal food, but not money.  He argues that greater understanding of previously ignored or misunderstood forces, i.e. emotions, relativity and social norms, that influence our economic behavior brings a variety of opportunities for reexamining individual motivation and consumer choice, as well as economic and educational policy. Ariely's intelligent, enthusiastic style and thought-provoking arguments make for a fascinating, eye-opening read.

05. Tipping Point

"The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life, is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do" writes Malcolm Gladwell in his book Tipping Point.

06. Blink

Blink is about the first two seconds of looking--the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, choking on the golf course, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of "thin slices" of behavior. The key is to rely on our "adaptive unconscious"--a 24/7 mental valet--that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea. In this brilliant, cage-rattling book, one can only wish for a thicker slice of Gladwell's ideas about what Blink Camp might look like.

07. Made to stick

Drawing extensively on psychosocial studies on memory, emotion and motivation, Heath brothers study is couched in terms of "stickiness"—that is, the art of making ideas unforgettable. The authors credit six key principles: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions and stories. They illustrate these principles with a host of stories, some familiar and others very funny. Throughout the book, sidebars show how bland messages can be made intriguing. Fun to read and solidly researched.

08. How we decide

 In this interesting book Lehrer shows how people are taking advantage of the new science to make better television shows, win more football games, and improve military intelligence. His goal is to answer two questions that are of interest to just about anyone, from CEOs to firefighters: How does the human mind make decisions? And how can we make those decisions better?

09. Unleashing idea virus

Like his previous book, Godin's Unleashing the Ideavirus entertains the reader while successfully setting off bursts of ideas along the way. Rather than marketing at the consumer, Godin's approach seeks to maximize the spread of information from customer to customer. The book provides the expected examples of successful ideavirus marketing, then develops a recipe for concocting your own ideaviruses.

On success and inspiration

10. Alchemist

In this fascinating book Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he's off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream. An unmissable piece about following our personal calling.

11. Outliers: Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell poses a more provocative question in Outliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our treasured belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, "some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky." He leaves us pondering the gifts of our own history, and how the world could benefit if more of our kids were granted the opportunities to fulfill their remarkable potential.

12. Poke the Box

Poke the Box is a manifesto by bestselling author Seth Godin that just might make you uncomfortable. It’s a call to action about the initiative you’re taking-– in your job or in your life. Godin knows that one of our scarcest resources is the spark of initiative in most organizations (and most careers)-– the person with the guts to say, “I want to start stuff.”
Poke the Box just may be the kick in the pants you need to shake up your life.

On Creativity

16. Imagine: How creativity works

Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine: How Creativity Works is a fun, engaging study of creativity. Lehrer uses case studies like 3M’s and Pixar’s innovative corporate cultures and Bob Dylan’s songwriting habits to frame scientific findings about the brain and where creativity comes from. You won’t find exercises to help you think more creatively or ways to avoid creative blocks in this book. Instead, you’ll learn how and why creativity is stimulated by certain activities—like looking at the color blue, traveling, or daydreaming productively—and how these activities stimulate creativity in everyone, not just in ‘creative’ people.

17. The artist’s way

In this book Julia Cameron links creativity to spirituality by showing how to connect with the creative energies of the universe, and has, in the four years since its publication, spawned a remarkable number of support groups for artists dedicated to practicing the exercises it contains.

On Life

18. Steve Jobs

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

19. Losing my Virginity

Losing My Virginity is the unusual, frequently outrageous autobiography of one of the great business geniuses of our time. When Richard Branson started his first business, he and his friends decided that "since we're complete virgins at business, let's call it just that: Virgin." Since then, Branson has written his own "rules" for success, creating a group of companies with a global presence, but no central headquarters, no management hierarchy, and minimal bureaucracy.

Happy Reading:)

Over to You:

What are you reading this days?

Share your reading list with us.

Partial Review help: Amazon.com book description.


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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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