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Recommended Books

Recommended Books

  • Tough Things First (Ray Zinn)

    • Times can get tough for entrepreneurs, with Business Plan Competition’s book, Tough Things First, Ray Zinn gives personal insight into how he became Silicon Valley’s longest serving CEO. Spoiler alert, he didn’t do it by starting with the easy things! Contact the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for a copy to borrow. 

  • The Ten Day MBA (Steven Silbiger)

    • The Ten-Day MBA includes the latest topics taught at America's top business schools, from corporate ethics and compliance to financial planning and real estate to leadership and negotiation. With more than 400,000 copies sold around the world, this internationally acclaimed guide distills the lessons of the most popular business school courses taught at Harvard, Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, Northwestern, and the University of Virginia. Author Steven A. Silbiger delivers research straight from the notes of real MBA students attending these top programs today—giving you the tools you need to get ahead in business and in life.

  • The Millionaire Next Door (Stanley & Danko)

    • The bestselling The Millionaire Next Door identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. Most of the truly wealthy in this country don't live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue-they live next door. This new edition, the first since 1998, includes a new foreword for the twenty-first century by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley.

  • Seven Habits of Highly Successful People (Stephen Covey)

    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a self-improvement book. It is written on Covey's belief that the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In order to change a given situation, we must change ourselves, and in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.

  • Talking to Humans (Giff Constable)- With a foreword from Steve Blank, Talking to Humans is a practical guide to the qualitative side of customer development, an indispensable skill for vetting and improving any new startup or innovation. This book will teach you how to structure and run effective customer interviews, find candidates, and turn learnings into action.

Given that we all communicate with people every day, you would think that talking to potential customers would be an easy task. Unfortunately, it's not for everyone. After watching countless entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs struggle with customer development concepts, the authors decided to put together this short, practical guide.

The book takes you through the story of two entrepreneurs doing customer discovery for the first time, and then proceeds to give you concrete tactics, tools and examples to answer key questions such as:

  • Who do you need to learn from?

  • What do you need to learn from the market?

  • How do you find the right people to interview?

  • How can you ensure an effective session?

  • How do you turn observations into decisions and actions?

  • How can you avoid the most common mistakes people make?