Many business books fuel unrealistic notions about what a good idea looks like, how fast a founder should attract investment, and how quickly growth will take off. The problem with this mythology is that it can sometimes end with entrepreneurs abandoning their dreams too soon if they don't see immediate results. In The Hockey Stick Principles, author Bobby Martin shifts his focus away from all the hype about rapid growth and the pursuit of funding and instead takes a look at the real process behind getting a good idea off the ground. Using a hockey stick as a metaphor and highlighting four key phases, Martin shows the healthy way a business should grow and uses entertaining stories and interviews with successful entrepreneurs like the founders of LendingTree, Under Armour, and iContact, woven throughout the book to not only share a wealth of advice, but to chronicle the ins and outs of these different phases: -The Tinkering Period: The tip of the stick, or the time when you first develop and hone your idea. -The Blade Years: The formative years when growth can be flat and navigating the unpredictable process of creating a company can be rocky. -The Inflection Point: The crucial point in time right before your business takes off when it's important for entrepreneurs to prepare and make decisions to properly manage rapid growth. -Surging Growth: Once your company proves that they have potential, you need to optimize that growth and scale up in a sensible way. Innovation almost always involves a number of challenges, misdirections, and uncertainty and can take several years of struggle. But The Hockey Stick Principles gives aspiring entrepreneurs and those in the midst of the messy process a realistic, human, and inspiring understanding of what starting an innovative business is like, while teaching you what to look out for along the way as you shepherd your business through to success.
Beat the odds with a bold strategy We’ve all seen hockey stick business plans before. A future where results sail confidently upward, but with a dip coinciding with next year’s budget. CEOs usually rely on their experience and business smarts to figure out which of those hockey sticks are real, and which are fake. But all too often getting to a “yes,” competing for resources, and striving to claim credit, cloud the hard decisions. Another strategy framework? No thanks, we already have plenty of those, and they don’t fix the real problem: the social dynamics in your strategy room. Mining the data from thousands of large companies, McKinsey Partners Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt and Sven Smit open the windows of that room, and bring an “outside view.” They found three discrete groups of companies: the bottom quintile with massive economic losses; the long, flat, middle 60 percent with practically no economic profit; and the top 20 percent to whom all the value accrues. Some companies do achieve real hockey stick performance: but just 1-in-12 jump from the middle tier to the top over a ten year period. This does not happen by magic—there is an empirically-backed science to improve your odds of success by capitalizing on your endowment, riding the right trends, and most importantly, making a few big moves. To make these big moves happen, you’re going to have to break through inertia, gamesmanship and risk aversion. You’re going to have to mitigate human biases and manage group dynamics. Eight practical shifts can help you do this, and unlock bigger, bolder, better strategies. This is not another by-the-book approach to strategy. It’s not another trudge through frameworks or small-scale case studies promising a secret formula for success. It’s an irreverent, fact-driven, and humorous take on the real world of strategic decision making.
Startup Lessons #203-#303
Author: George Deeb, Red Rocket Ventures
This is the follow up book to the best-selling books, "101 Startup Lessons—An Entrepreneur’s Handbook" and "Startup Lessons #102-#202". These Startup Lessons #203-#303 continue the startup learnings as a comprehensive, one-stop read for entrepreneurs who want actionable insights about a wide range of startup and digital-related topics from George Deeb, a serial entrepreneur and partner at Red Rocket Ventures. The book is a startup executive's strategic "playbook", with "how-to" lessons about business in general, sales, marketing, technology, operations, human resources, finance, fund raising and more, including many case studies herein. We have demystified and synthesized the information an entrepreneur needs to strategize, fund, develop, launch and market their businesses. Join the 1,500,000+ readers who have already benefited from these books, freely available and continuously updated on the Red Rocket Blog website.
The Start-Up J Curve
Author: Howard Love
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group
A predictable pattern of success Entrepreneurs who have read early drafts of The Start-Up J Curve responded, ''I wish I had this book years ago.'' A start-up unfolds in a predictable pattern; the more aware entrepreneurs are of this pattern, the better able they will be to capitalize on it. Author Howard Love calls this pattern the start-up J Curve: The toughest part of the endeavor is the time between the actual start of a new business and when the product and model are firmly established. The Start-Up J Curve gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to get through the early challenges so they can reach the primary value creation that lies beyond. Love brings thirty-five years of start-up experience to this comprehensive guide to starting a business. He outlines the six predictable stages of start-up growth and details the activities that should be undertaken at each stage to ensure success and to avoid common pitfalls. Instead of feeling lost and confused after a setback, start-up founders and investors can anticipate the challenges, overcome the obstacles, and ride the curve to the top.
Author: Ash Maurya
"Scaling Lean offers an invaluable blueprint for modeling startup success. You'll learn the essential metrics that measure the output of a working business model, give you the pulse of your company, communicate its health to investors, and enable you to make precise interventions when things go wrong, "--Amazon.com.
Author: Philippe Chereau, Pierre-Xavier Meschi
Whether you are a business leader, internal business partner or external consultant, there are six key strategy missions that you will need to undertake as you deal with the re-positioning and growth issues that all businesses face at one stage or another during their life-cycle: assessing the environment defining a strategic positioning choosing a growth strategy expanding internationally combining strategy, and innovation or (re)designing the business model Meschi and Chereau bridge the gaps between academic theory and real world practice, between strategic analysis and strategic management, and between planning and doing, by providing you with six essential mission briefings to help you deliver the best possible outcome. Each briefing is structured the same way, beginning with an outline of the consulting mission and its content before examining the theoretical background, before setting out a complete and practical methodology to complete the mission along with all the tools you will need along the way.
Accelerate your company's growth in a disciplined fashion. This book provides leaders of large and small companies a proven comprehensive framework to think systematically about growth options and to yield practical strategies that produce faster growth. Drawing insights from case studies of successful and unsuccessful companies, strategy teacher and venture capitalist Peter Cohan models his systematic approach to brainstorming, evaluating, and implementing growth strategies across five dimensions: Customers, Geography, Products, Capabilities, Culture. He examines each of these five growth dimensions in turn, selecting and organizing his cases to compare the growth strategies deployed successfully and unsuccessfully by large and small companies along the given dimension. In each of his five dimensional chapters, the author derives from his case analyses the key principles and processes for creating and achieving faster growth. Professor Cohan draws on a network of hundreds of founders, CEOs, and investors developed through his decades of consulting, authorship of 11 books, and over five years as a Forbes columnist. He shows through many compelling stories how leaders craft effective growth strategies. Business leaders will learn the following lessons from this book: Achieving rapid but sustainable growth is a business leader’s most important responsibility – and leaders must approach this challenge with a mixture of vision, intellectual humility, and a willingness to experiment and learn from failure. The growth challenges facing companies that are currently growing quickly differ from the ones that stagnating or shrinking companies must overcome. Companies can achieve growth along one or more of the dimensions simultaneously – and they often expand geographically to customers in the same segments. Useful insights can emerge from comparing case studies of successful and unsuccessful companies pursuing similar growth strategies. Companies should select a growth strategy based on three factors: the attractiveness of the growth opportunity, the company’s capabilities to provide superior value to customers in the selected market, and the expected return on investment in the growth vector. Companies should select a growth strategy that best fits their capabilities and culture and they must enhance both to adapt to new growth opportunities. Who This Book Is For The people in companies who are responsible for growth: chief executive officers, chief marketing officers, chief product officers, heads of business development, product managers, sales people, and human resources managers
Author: Ralph Welborn, PhD, Sajan Pillai
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group
What made businesses successful yesterday is not what will make them effective tomorrow. The most successful, and explosive growth leaders of today—and tomorrow—reflect a new competitive reality: the new competitive landscape will be shaped less by firm-specific strategies than by business ecosystems. The objective of Ralph and Sajan's book is straight-forward: to help organizations understand what business ecosystems are, what makes them different, and how to take advantage of them so that they can identify and capture new sources of value in new ways. Packed with examples and models, Topple is a pragmatic field guide that allows businesses to make sense of and take action in our changed competitive landscape and the ecosystem-centric business models that underlie it.
Author: Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead, Kevin Maney
The founders of a respected Silicon Valley advisory firm study legendary category-creating companies and reveal a groundbreaking discipline called category design. Winning today isn’t about beating the competition at the old game. It’s about inventing a whole new game—defining a new market category, developing it, and dominating it over time. You can’t build a legendary company without building a legendary category. If you think that having the best product is all it takes to win, you’re going to lose. In this farsighted, pioneering guide, the founders of Silicon Valley advisory firm Play Bigger rely on data analysis and interviews to understand the inner workings of “category kings”— companies such as Amazon, Salesforce, Uber, and IKEA—that give us new ways of living, thinking or doing business, often solving problems we didn’t know we had. In Play Bigger, the authors assemble their findings to introduce the new discipline of category design. By applying category design, companies can create new demand where none existed, conditioning customers’ brains so they change their expectations and buying habits. While this discipline defines the tech industry, it applies to every kind of industry and even to personal careers. Crossing the Chasm revolutionized how we think about new products in an existing market. The Innovator’s Dilemma taught us about disrupting an aging market. Now, Play Bigger is transforming business once again, showing us how to create the market itself.
Author: Alexi Venneri
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Author: Bo Burlingham
“No two exit experiences are exactly alike. Some people wind up happy with the process and satisfied with the way it turned out while others look back on it as a nightmare. The question I hope to answer in this book is why. What did the people with ‘good’ exits do differently from those who’d had ‘bad’ exits?” When pioneering business journalist and Inc. magazine editor at large Bo Burlingham wrote Small Giants, it became an instant classic for its original take on a common business problem—how to handle the pressure to grow. Now Burlingham is back to tackle an even more common problem—how to exit your company well. Sooner or later, all entrepreneurs leave their businesses and all businesses get sold, given away, or liquidated. Whatever your preferred outcome, you need to start planning for it while you still have time and options. The beautiful part is that if you start early enough, the process will lead you to build a better, stronger, more resilient company, as well as one with a higher market value. Unfortunately, most owners don’t start early enough—and pay a steep price for their procrastination. Burlingham interviewed dozens of entrepreneurs across a range of industries and identified eight key factors that determine whether owners are happy after leaving their businesses. His book showcases the insights, exit plans, and cautionary tales of entrepreneurs such as Ray Pagano: founder of a leading manufacturer of housings for security cameras. He turned down a bid for his company and instead changed his management style, resulting in a subsequent sale for four times the original offer. Bill Niman: founder of the iconic Niman Ranch, which revolutionized the meat industry. He learned about unhappy exits when he was forced to sell to private equity investors, leaving him with nothing to show for his thirty-five years in business. Gary Hirshberg: founder of organic yogurt pioneer Stonyfield Farm. He pulled off the nearly impossible task of finding a large company that would buy out his 275 small investors at a premium price while letting him retain complete control of the business. Through such stories, Burlingham offers an illuminating and inspirational guide to one of the most stressful, and yet potentially rewarding, processes business owners must go through. And he explores the emotional challenges they face at every step of the way. At the end of the day, owning a business is about more than selling goods and services. It’s about making choices that shape your entire life, both professional and personal. Finish Big helps you figure out how to face your future with confidence and be able to someday look back on your journey with pride.
Author: Daniel F. Prosser
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group
In today's corporate world, 87 percent of companies fail to successfully execute the strategy they set for any given year. In the pages of this book, CEO mentor and Coach Dan Prosser shows you how to make your company one of the other 13 percent--a Thirteener. In the process, he explains that the true challenge of building a great company--one that consistently executes its strategy--is understanding the real nature of human interaction and the key to success: connectedness. Whether you're a successful CEO, business owner, entrepreneur, or leader, or whether you're struggling to build the business you've always wanted, Thirteeners will help you... transform your organization's internal connectedness so you can achieve your next level of performance you’re looking for. create a workplace environment that supports your vision and assures participation by every team member. produce breakthrough results. With a focus on business as a network of interrelated conversations and through groundbreaking ''Best Place To Work'' company research, Prosser demonstrates what you need to do to transform the way your employees think and act to achieve unprecedented levels of performance for your company.
Though it's a potentially lucrative enterprise, the reality of independent consulting seldom matches the dream. Most solo consultants and boutique consulting firms are perpetually within six months of bankruptcy due to the sputtering unreliability of their new business engines. The problem, according to international consulting expert David A. Fields, is twofold: 1) lack of a consistent, proven plan, and 2) fundamental misunderstanding about what clients want in a consultant. Fields, who has helped hundreds of consultants and boutique firms worldwide build lucrative, sustainable practices, replaces the typical consultant's mindset of emphasizing expertise and differentiated processes with a focus on building relationships, engendering trust, and solving clients’ existing problems. In The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients: Six Steps to Unlimited Clients and Financial Freedom, Fields synthesizes his decades of experience into a step-by-step approach to winning more projects from more clients at higher fees. From nuts-and-bolts business advice and tactics to a deeply insightful breakdown of the human side of a very human profession, Fields delivers a comprehensive guidebook that is at once highly approachable and satisfyingly detailed.
The ongoing assault on climate science in the United States has never been more aggressive, more blatant, or more widely publicized than in the case of the Hockey Stick graph—a clear and compelling visual presentation of scientific data, put together by Michael E. Mann and his colleagues, demonstrating that global temperatures have risen in conjunction with the increase in industrialization and the use of fossil fuels. Here was an easy-to-understand graph that, in a glance, posed a threat to major corporate energy interests and those who do their political bidding. The stakes were simply too high to ignore the Hockey Stick—and so began a relentless attack on a body of science and on the investigators whose work formed its scientific basis. The Hockey Stick achieved prominence in a 2001 UN report on climate change and quickly became a central icon in the “climate wars.” The real issue has never been the graph’s data but rather its implied threat to those who oppose governmental regulation and other restraints to protect the environment and planet. Mann, lead author of the original paper in which the Hockey Stick first appeared, shares the story of the science and politics behind this controversy. He reveals key figures in the oil and energy industries and the media front groups who do their bidding in sometimes slick, sometimes bare-knuckled ways. Mann concludes with the real story of the 2009 “Climategate” scandal, in which climate scientists’ emails were hacked. This is essential reading for all who care about our planet’s health and our own well-being.
Made to Stick
Author: Chip Heath, Dan Heath
Publisher: Random House
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The instant classic about why some ideas thrive, why others die, and how to improve your idea’s chances—essential reading in the “fake news” era. BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Chip Heath and Dan Heath's Switch. Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus news stories circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas—entrepreneurs, teachers, politicians, and journalists—struggle to make them “stick.” In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the human scale principle, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating curiosity gaps. Along the way, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds—from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony—draw their power from the same six traits. Made to Stick will transform the way you communicate. It’s a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures): the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of the Mother Teresa Effect; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice. Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas—and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.