Do I read "Zero to one" or "Lean startup"?
Can I become "startup capable" by reading books? Which ones have you read that you thought was solid gold end to end ? Usually these books talk in a very abstract sense about the business side. These books are just good to get an overall picture of the startup world, but might not be much helpful in coming up with a concrete business plan. I personally feel reading these books might not add much to the table. Based on my knowledge (and not experience), these are usually the main non-product areas which one needs to figure out - Revenue Model, Marketing Strategy, Sales Model, Getting Investment Strategy. You can either focus on developing these skills or hire people with these skills.
I have read the lean startup and it was a good read when it comes to getting into the mindset of buidling a startup. After talking to a few CEO's based out of Sillicon Valley, I noticed that what is happening is that the lean startup system doesnt work like it used to. With teach developing so quick, the process described in the lean startup is a little outdated. I would recommend reading 'Zero to One' by Peter Theif - CoFounder of PayPal. I think this book is a much better book to read. I would recommend reading this book because it focuses on making sure that any startup you build is a long lasting startup. Then you can read the lean startup after so that you can get an idea of how to go about building a startup.
Read one and listen to an audio book of the other while doing other things like commuting, exercising etc. You'll get through both in the same time. Word of warning. Business books can often be blog posts expanded with fluff and a million examples. That said, some are solid gold end to end.
I strongly suggest, hold on doing your MVP building activity and start right away, "networking" to find co-founders who "believe" in what you are doing and willing to work as hard as you.
Marketing and product development should work hand in hand. One is NOT superior than other. If you miss one in your composition, however good work you do, there is HIGH possibility it might go to dust.
Whatever books you listed are good books, read them in whatever order you want.
I personally feel that these books provide you just frameworks. If you don't have proper judgement, you will have tough time filling those frameworks. So, I would say, while reading the books, start recruiting a team.
NOTE: Any successful startup is results of TEAM work, NOT one man show.
Question asked by
May 6, 2020, 12:53:44 PM
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Review of Strength and caution to readers about the book "Lean Startup"
The book "Lean Startup" is receiving a lot of attentions lately. It provides a framework for continuously going through relative inexpensive mistakes and tests and use feedback to improve.
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Startup Lingos To The Point
How to turn an interest into a money maker. How to attract people, how to stimulate people to pay, how to make profit, how to make relations, how to keep relations.
How much do I have to give my audience so they can pay me something in return? What do they value? what problem do they search for answers on your own? I want to solve that problem.
Brand means name recognition. A lot of people knows what your company does and what you stand for. Brand is result of long campaign of consistent value provision and media cultivation. Brand helps a company reduce marketing cost.
Whether there are buyer willing to pay or not. For that to happen you must provide extreme value. The entire startup process would be based on guess before the validation. Validation happens in a market, not on the street.
Value is what you give customers beyond the price you charge. Value is effective solution to a problem. The price your customer pays reflects whether the problem is big for them and whether your solution is uniquely effective. Value stems from quality and detailed work.
Marketing means bring your product to the market and bring your message to your customer. Marketing is not salesmanship. Marketing is to penetrate the world of commerce through many barriers and existing networks.
Minimally viable business, or MVC, minimally viable company. A company that scrapes by, full of guess and hope and no traction and sales. When you give your customers things for free they all take it. But they never pay and you can never rent a table at the market.
Minimal viable product. A full artifact of a real product. Something that works ALL THE TIME. You can demonstrate the real effect on real people - not to sell hope. The MVP may not have certain non-essential bells and whistles, but it needs to have appeal value.
Customer is king
A business lives at the mercy of its customers. You provide your customers 10 dollars worth of value and they pay you 1 dollar, not knowing that your company only costs 99 cents to provide the item. The value is not the item - the value is what is attached to the item.
Company culture is based on a company making money. Once your workers are paid, they need to have a mission and aspiration so they are not bored everyday and make trouble in the work place.
A company valuation is cash investment divided by the percentage. As long as your story is good, the valuation will keep coming, and the investors will keeping falling into the line.
Return on investment
Investors are either behind family fortune (never work with them) or for rich clients as investment vehicle. Both need returns 2-3 times better than stock market darlings.
Having found what people want, not just what people may need. Your offering and their acceptance is sure, no longer a guess. You can provide it for profit, and you can indeed making living on it. Traction is sometimes called validation. You are no longer a theater. You have touched nature, and found cash vein.