A key element of success is building upon the experience of others, and one of the most efficient means of doing so is to read about them.
One of today’s largest e-commerce empires — the Empower Network — lists reading at least 30 minutes a day as one of its eight steps to online prosperity. That enterprise has paid out over $150million in commissions to date, so heeding this advice is clearly making a difference in many of its members’ bottom lines.
By its very nature, dot com entrepreneurship is a solo endeavor. Thus, reading serves as a beacon of motivation as well as a wealth of personal enlightenment, which is most likely the spark that ignited your drive for financial independence in the first place.
Here is a collection of ten books designed to round out a dot com entrepreneur’s arsenal of success:
1. inGenius – Tina Seelig
International best-selling author and award-winning Stanford University educator Tina Seelig has taught creativity to the best and brightest students at Stanford and to business leaders around the world. With inGenius, she expertly decodes creativity, revealing an approach that everyone can use to enhance their own creative genius.
2. A Curious Discovery – John S Hendricks
In A Curious Discovery, media titan John Hendricks tells the remarkable story of building one of the most successful media empires in the world, Discovery Communications. With insights, anecdotes, photographs, and real-world wisdom, A Curious Discovery is more than a powerful autobiography and corporate history: It also a valuable primer for business innovators and entrepreneurs.
3. Spark – Julie Burstein
In Spark, Julie Burstein traces the roots of some of the twenty-first century’s most influential and creative artists and thinkers, including Joyce Carol Oates, Yo-Yo Ma, David Milch, Isabel Allende, and Joshua Redman. Burstein pulls back the curtain to reveal the sources of these artists’ inspiration and the processes that bring their work into being. Creativity is integral to business, parenting, education, science, and, perhaps most poignantly, our personal relationships. Rarely do books on creativity illuminate and inspire; this marvelous volume will help you find a spark of your own.
4. Ninja Innovation – Gary Shapiro
For thirty years, Gary Shapiro has observed the world’s most innovative businesses from his front-row seat as leader of the Consumer Electronics Association. Now he reveals the ten secrets of ninja innovators like Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and many others. Taking readers inside the most cutting-edge businesses, Ninja Innovation is the ultimate guide to achieving victory in today’s innovate-or-die economy.
5. Do Cool Sh*t – Miki Agrawal
An inspiring, irreverent manifesto for those seeking to blaze their own path to entrepreneurship and find fulfillment and happiness through bold action and big ideas. In Do Cool Sh*t, serial social entrepreneur, angel investor, and all-around cool sh*t–doer Miki Agrawal shows how to start a successful company — from brainstorming to raising money to getting press without any connections — all while having a meaningful life!
6. The Innovator’s Dilemma – Clayton M Christensen
The Innovator’s Dilemma is the revolutionary business book that has forever changed corporate America. Based on a truly radical idea — that great companies can fail precisely because they do everything right — this Wall Street Journal, Business Week and New York Times Business bestseller is one of the most provocative and important business books ever written. Entrepreneurs, managers, and CEOs ignore its wisdom and its warnings at their great peril.
7. Creative Intelligence – Bruce Nussbaum
Offering insights from the spheres of anthropology, psychology, education, design, and business, Creative Intelligence by Bruce Nussbaum, a leading thinker, commentator, and curator on the subjects of design, creativity, and innovation, is the first book to identify and explore creative intelligence as a new form of cultural literacy and as a powerful method for problem-solving, driving innovation, and sparking start-up capitalism.
8. Business Brilliant – Lewis Schiff
In Business Brilliant, Lewis Schiff reveals the eye-opening findings from a national survey of middle-class workers and self-made millionaires, offering practical guidance to show the rest of us what America’s self-made rich already know. He offers a practical four-step program anyone can follow to position themselves to succeed more often and a roadmap to compare your own Business Brilliance to the executives and entrepreneurs who have successfully navigated our rapidly changing economy.
9. Brainsteering – Kevin P Coyne and Shawn T Coyne
From business strategists (and brothers) Shawn and Kevin Coyne comes a breakthrough approach to developing better ideas. Brainsteering is a comprehensive, research-based, tried-and-tested approach to the principal challenge in business and life: how to consistently and effectively create powerful new ideas.
10. Change by Design – Tim Brown
The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses. The reality is that most innovations come from a process of rigorous examination through which great ideas are identified and developed before being realized as new offerings and capabilities. Tim Brown’s Change by Design is a book for creative leaders seeking to infuse design thinking into every level of an organization‚ product‚ or service to drive new alternatives for business and society.