5 Books Every Entrepreneur and CEO Should Read

Posted by | August 18, 2011

Five books that I’ve read stand out as ideal tutorials for any entrepreneur or CEO. Whether you are launching a business, or looking to elevate your business to the next level, each of the books addresses major themes to help your business grow.

  • Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers, by Geoffrey A. MooreThis book outlines different methodologies to promote your high-tech product from specialized niche markets to a much broader global audience. The initial introduction of a product or service uses early adopters to drive initial growth and create a buzz to further develop your marketing strategies. Taking examples from companies such as Google and Apple, Moore defines who makes up each of these groups, and discusses why your strategy must vary for each.
  • Inside the Tornado: Strategies for Developing, Leveraging, and Surviving Hypergrowth Markets, by Geoffrey A. MooreWhen you move into the global market, you’ll need to take a different approach to marketing in order to maximize opportunity for your business. This book details the “tornado,” which Geoffrey defines as the “make or break period” when products either take off or stall. This book will guide you in various marketing strategies for your business; teaching you how to take advantage of living inside the tornado of growth in order to reap the benefits.
  • Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, by Michael Porter — This book analyzes industries and the complexity of industry competition, while giving the reader three powerful strategies—lowest cost, differentiation, and focus—to take on the task of strategic positioning. By delving into competitive behavior, it will transform the way your company looks at rivals.
  • Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, by Michael Porter — Both this book and Competitive Strategy can help sustain the competitive positioning of a product a company is offering. Competitive Advantage is an essential complement to the book mentioned above. It explores how a company can strengthen and better position themselves in their business environment.
  • Good to Great, by Jim Collins This bestseller addresses how a mediocre company can grow to achieve greatness. Collins and his research team identify some industry secrets by looking at elite companies that have made this leap, such as Coca-Cola and General Electric. This book details how filling your organization with the right people and giving them a focused mission are keys to building a lasting business.

For the business warrior, I’m adding in one bonus book: Art of War by Sun Tzu. A lot can be said about his theory that the best battle to win is one that is never fought at all. Sun Tzu’s Art of War shows you how to win against larger competition with some battlefield fundamentals.

So there you have it. If you have a well-positioned value proposition, focus on your execution, and are surrounded by talented people, you have the ingredients for success with all five (or six) of these books. Enjoy.

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