6 Books Every Analytic Entrepreneur Should Read
They say one of the best ways to learn is by doing. Surely one of the other great ways is by reading. Here at Georgian Partners, we’re avid readers and we’ve accumulated a growing collection of fantastic books that we think every entrepreneur should read, particularly those who are interested in creating value through applied analytics and big data. If you haven’t read or listened to these already, it’s time to do it.
Over 100,000 entrepreneurs are said to have relied on Steve Blank and Bob Dorf’s manual for startup owners. The book outlines a highly successful customer development process that entrepreneurs can use to drive their business toward profitability. What’s great about it, however, is that it’s not just all theory. It also includes lots of graphs, charts, and checklists, as well as practical how-to advice. It’s the perfect resource for anyone looking to maximize their startup’s chances of success by developing their customers in order to create repeatable, scalable profits.
In “Data Science for Business” data experts Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett take a close look at the fundamentals of data science, teaching readers how to obtain insights, knowledge and value from the data they have collected and mined. The book is a highly useful resource for any entrepreneur who is looking to take advantage of the opportunities that big data present. Calling on his experience from teaching MBA courses at NYU for more than a decade, Provost skillfully brings real-world examples of applying data to business problems to life in this engaging, must-read book.
MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee join forces in this New York Times bestseller to describe the impact that digital technologies are having on our lives and our economy. In the book they outline both the huge benefits, and the difficult changes that lie ahead, offering up their advice for how to not only survive, but also reap the rewards of what’s to come. “The Second Machine” takes readers to the cutting edge of technology, and looks that the implications it will undoubtedly have for both our economic and social lives.
In “Zero to One” world-renowned entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel suggests that readers need to rethink what innovation is all about. He describes the current state of technological advancement as stagnant, and calls for greater progress around the world and in every industry. Thiel’s underlying message is that entrepreneurs need to challenge themselves to find value in new and unexpected places. That’s the only way to create the kind of innovation, he explains, that will build new companies and a better future for everyone. [note: I played this on a family road trip via Audible and my 11 year old loved it].
Tom Davenport digs into all of the hype about big data in “Big Data at Work,” discovering along the way what its applications are from a technical, management, and consumer perspective. Davenport explains what big data is and why it matters, before going on to outline how to use big data successfully in your own business, from getting the right technology to hiring the right people. Citing examples from many Fortune 500 companies, he helps entrepreneurs understand how they too can benefit from big data.
Legendary entrepreneur and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz compiles his best advice for building and running a successful startup in “The Hard Thing About Things.” Drawing from his hugely successful blog, Horowitz focuses on helping readers figure out the problems they didn’t cover back in business school. Part memoire, part advice manual, Horowitz brings his deep Silicon Valley experience to bear as he offers his guidance on some of the greatest challenges facing today’s entrepreneurs and CEOs. A refreshing change from ‘ideal scenario’ books that don’t discuss what to do when things go wrong.
So now it’s your turn. What are you reading right now and can you recommend any other great books for analytically focused entrepreneurs? Let me know via Twitter.