The Brand Gap
by Marty Neumeier
The topic of marketing and brand is completely new to you? Or do you want to refresh your knowledge with deep, practical insights? Then the Brand Gap is the best way for you to start.
A great idea should be presented in the best possible way. What it takes is a bit of love, the courage to leave things out, and the design principles of Garr Reynolds, whose book is the industry standard for good presentations. Before you even start filling out a slide next time, be sure to take the learning from his book to heart.
by Garr Reynolds
Start with Why
by Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek has raised the awareness with his book that it takes a great vision and mission for your startup to trigger massive growth.Simon explains with many exciting examples and with the help of his Golden Circle, how you too can develop a vision for your startup that inspires employees, customers, partners and investors.
Once you are clear about the positive change you want to achieve with your startup in society and among people (your why), it is time to analyze the underlying motivations and needs you are addressing. Here, Steven Reiss' book "Who am I" offers you a profound insight into what motivations we humans have and learn to understand which ones can be linked to your biz. This will help you strengthening your vision and drive stronger engagement.
The Hero and the Outlaw
by Margaret Mark & Carol S. Pearson
If you want to build a truly strong brand, you cannot bypass the topic of archetypes. It's all about personifying your brand along characters that are deeply ingrained in all of us. These will help you to quickly gain attention and a high identification potential with your target groups and stakeholders.
One of my favorite books of reference when it comes to developing the communication for a product or service. Combined with the Bulls Eye, it's probably one of the most powerful tools for developing a great momentum for your startup in terms of creating the right messages and experiences at the right time and place.
X: the experience when business meets design
by Brian Solis
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
When you build your own business, you are usually surrounded by uncertainty about e.g. how target groups, markets or categories will behave or develop.
Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner have dedicated a very exciting book to this subject. “Superforcasting” - a masterpiece on prediction. They prove that foresight is not a gift but a quality that can be trained. For everyone who wants to predict what the impact of change in the world will have on your business I recommend reading this book.
Once you start working as a team in your startup, it's important to follow an effective and efficient methodology to achieve this. There are many management approaches in this area, but Scrum is probably the one that best reflects how people work together.
It can help you reduce team sizes on projects, breaks big tasks into smaller steps, allows for constant assessment of progress and an agile, adaptive way to solve problems.
The Code of the Extraordinary Mind
by Vishen Lakhiani
My last book recommendations are more about making you stronger as a founder than about business and brand strategy. Here I can only warmly recommend that you also take care of your mindset. Start with The Code of the Extraordinary Mindset by Vishen Lakhiani. Especially if you don't come from the typical entrepreneurial family, Vishen will help you to readjust all your coventions and prejudices and to get rid of useless rules and bring useful ones on board.
Every now and then, you will feel overwhelmed as a founder, trying to solve too many things at once, or working lots away but accomplishing far too little.
Greg McKeown's book Essentialism is a great way to become more selective and regain control over your work performance.
Another very good book on focus is Atomic Habits by James Clear. His weekly newsletter also provides some great inspiration.
by Greg McKeown