During last week’s conference call for The Creative Empire, Tara and I were asked which business books had the greatest influence on us. Even though I recommend different business books all the time, its not often that I think about which books had the greatest impact. So today I’m sharing four books that had a major role in shaping my business philosophy.
The Long Tail by Chris Anderson – I first read this book back in 2007, and it was really the first time I thought about how larger business trends affected my little micro-business. Even though he never mentions it, I found myself thinking about Etsy the entire time I was reading. And even now, I can’t have a conversation about the culture of Etsy without bringing up The Long Tail.
Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath – I can’t tell you the first time I read (ok, listened to) this book, because I’ve now listened to it so many times that it’s permanently ingrained in my memory. So much so, that once my husband told me a story a friend had told him and I proceeded to evaluate it on its principles of stickyness. (It was so sticky I was convinced it was an urban legend and not actually true.) Whenever I’m working on an idea, whether it’s for new products or a new marketing campaign, I think of the principles outlined in this book.
Good to Greatby Jim Collins – If I had to pick one book that really gets at the core of running a business, it would be this one. Even with multiple reads (and listens) I still find a new takeaway every time I read this book. Every time I thin about the future of my business, I tend to think of it within the framework of this book. I’m constantly working on refining my hedgehog concept, and I often wonder if I should sell the mills. (Though on any given day, I can’t decide what “the mills” are for my business.)
The 1% Windfall by Rafi Mohammed – Not only did this book change the way I think about pricing, it helped me develop a whole new mission for Crafting an MBA. The ideas about value-based pricing helped me understand why it’s critical to price your products from a customer’s point of view. But it was the chapter on creating a culture of profit that set me on a mission to help craftspeople embrace the importance of profit in their businesses.
What books have you read that helped shaped your business?
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