The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
by Eric Ries
Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business. The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute. Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs – in companies of all sizes – a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.
Summary of Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
“Leaning your ladder against the right building.” In his #1 bestseller, Stephen R. Covey presented a framework for personal effectiveness. The following is a summary of the first part of his book, concluding with a list of the seven habits.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey’s best‐known book, has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide since its first publication in 1989. Covey argues against what he calls “The Personality Ethic”, something he sees as prevalent in many modern self‐help books. He instead promotes what he labels “The Character Ethic”: aligning one’s values with so‐called “universal and timeless” principles.
Covey adamantly refuses to confound principles and values; he sees principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Covey proclaims that values govern people’s behavior, but principles ultimately determine the consequences. Covey presents his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence via independence to interdependence.
Our character is a collection of our habits, and habits have a powerful role in our lives. Habits consist of knowledge, skill, and desire. Knowledge allows us to know what to do, skill gives us the ability to know how to do it, and desire is the motivation to do it.
The Seven Habits move us through the following stages:
- Dependence: the paradigm under which we are born, relying upon others to take
care of us.
- Independence: the paradigm under which we can make our own decisions and take
care of ourselves.
- Interdependence: the paradigm under which we cooperate to achieve something
that cannot be achieved independently.
Much of the success literature today tends to value independence, encouraging people to
become liberated and do their own thing.
The reality is that we are interdependent, and the independent model is not optimal for use in
an interdependent environment that requires leaders and team players.
Therefore, the first three habits focus on self‐mastery, that is, achieving the private victories
required to move from dependence to independence. The first three habits are:
- Habit 1: Be Proactive
- Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
- Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habits 4, 5, and 6 then address interdependence:
- Habit 4: Think Win/Win
- Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
- Habit 6: Synergize
Finally, the seventh habit is one of renewal and continual improvement, that is, of building one’s
personal production capability.
To be effective, one must find the proper balance between actually producing and improving one’s capability to produce. Covey illustrates this point with the fable of the goose and the golden egg. In the fable, a poor farmer’s goose began laying a solid gold egg every day, and the farmer soon became rich. He also became greedy and figured that the goose must have many golden eggs within her. In order to obtain all of the eggs immediately, he killed the goose. Upon cutting it open he discovered that it was not full of golden eggs. The lesson is that if one attempts to maximize immediate production with no regard to the production capability, the capability will be lost. Effectiveness is a function of both production and the capacity to produce. The need for balance between production and production capability applies to physical, financial, and human assets.
Habit 1: Be Proactive Focus on the things you can actually do something about. Change starts from within, and highly effective people make the decision to improve their lives through the things that they can influence rather than by simply reacting to external forces.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind Begin everything you do with a clear picture of your ultimate goal. Develop a principle‐centered personal mission statement. Extend the mission statement into long‐term goals based on personal principles.
Habit 3: Put First Things First Manage your life according to your needs and priorities. Spend time doing what fits into your personal mission, observing the proper balance between production and building production capacity. Identify the key roles that you take on in life, and make time for each of them.
Habit 4: Think Win‐Win Integrity: Stick with your true feelings, values, and commitments Maturity: Be considerate of the feelings of others Abundance Mentality: Believe there is plenty for everyone. Seek agreements and relationships that are mutually beneficial. In cases where a “win/win” deal cannot be achieved, accept the fact that agreeing to make “no deal” may be the best alternative. In developing an organizational culture, be sure to reward win/win behavior among employees and avoid inadvertantly rewarding win/lose behavior.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood Learn how to communicate clearly and listen to others. Stephen Covey presents this habit as the most important principle of interpersonal relations. Effective listening is not simply echoing what the other person has said through the lens of one’s own experience. Rather, it is putting oneself in the perspective of the other person, listening empathically for both feeling and meaning.
Habit 6: Synergize “Two heads are better than one.” Through trustful communication, find ways to leverage individual differences to create a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. Through mutual trust and understanding, one often can solve conflicts and find a better solution than would have been obtained through either person’s own solution.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw Allow yourself to grow by maintaining a balanced program in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Take time out from production to build production capacity through personal renewal of the physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual dimensions.
Follow‐ups to The Seven Habits:
Follow‐up titles to The Seven Habits aim both to add to the original and to form a cohesive philosophy on personal, principle‐based leadership. They come in the format of audio books as well (such as the title Beyond The 7 Habits). Covey has also written a number of learning‐books for children. His son, Sean Covey, has written a version for teens: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. This version simplifies Covey’s 7 habits in order for younger readers to better understand them. The 8th Habit In 2004, Covey’s book The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness was published. It functions as the sequel to The Seven Habits. Covey claims that effectiveness does not suffice in what he calls “The Knowledge Worker Age”. He proclaims that “[t]he challenges and complexity we face today are of a different order of magnitude.” The 8th habit essentially urges: “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs…”
Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook
Unshakeable Summary: 7 Best Lessons from Tony Robbins
Lesson 1: Forget big gains and focus on avoiding losses.
Warren Buffett is often quoted on his only two rules for investing. Rule #1 is to never lose money. Rule #2 is to never forget the first rule. That’s why Warren makes so few investments. He needs to be 150% sure he won’t lose money. But why?
The math is simple, but shocking. If you invest $1,000, the fun of losing some of it stops at about 10%. That kind of loss leaves you at $900, which means if your investment grows back by 11%, which is $99 in this case, you’ll be almost back at your initial investment.
Lesson 2: Low-risk, high-reward investments are not only possible, they’re the only thing you should look for.
Before you ask what those rare “safe” investments are and whether they even exist, I’ll tell you. Of course there’s no 100% safe investment, as taking on risk is the whole idea of where stock market rewards come from, but you sure can minimize it.
Lesson 3: Keep your gut in check with an investing checklist.
In any system that involves humans, the biggest point of failure is always, well, humans. The reason robo-investing software gets more and more popular is that most people are truly better off if they’re kept from making dumb decisions. The roots of the problem go back to biology
Unshakeable is Tony Robbin’s guide to simple investing. He shows us how to achieve financial freedom and security. You’ll learn about smart investing tools like index funds, compound interest and diversification. You’ll also see how to avoid losing money due to fees and fear.
7 Best Lessons:
- Choose Index Funds: They provide reliable long-term growth with low fees
- Compound Your Wealth: Your savings will grow faster through the math of compound interest
- Avoid Mutual Funds: They perform worse and cost more than index funds
- Avoid Fees: They eat up a significant part of retirement savings for many people
- Remain Calm: Market falls are normal and predictable
- Diversify: This helps you avoid losing money while investing
- Beyond Finances: Achieve true emotional wealth through growth, giving and gratitude
Master the Art of Money Book Overview by Phil Bellamy
Part 1 – Money: Considers what money is, and where it came from, along with how to live within your means, prepare a budget, understand what financial independence really is, and an introduction to the main financial products.
Part 2 – Making it: Explores the wide topic of how to make money through employment, self-employment, entrepreneurship, as a business owner or franchise owner, (either on-line or in the real world.) The importance of office politics and “who you know” is also explored, along with an overview of basic company structures, and how to avoid scams and fraud.
Part 3 – Saving it: Teaches you the two key concepts of saving money, and how to save enough for your future. Savings accounts, savings bonds, premium bonds, tax-free accounts and pensions, are also explored in this Part.
Part 4 – Investing it: Explains why you need to invest and how to go about it, if you ultimately seek long term financial freedom. Considers the link between risk and reward, and looks at your own risk appetite. Provides an overview of setting objectives, along with short, medium and long term targets and goals. Reviews all the main asset types, including stocks, bonds, property and commodities, as well as peer to peer investments, and SIPP pensions.
Part 5 – Conclusion: The book concludes with a quick quiz, and summing up of what you have learnt. It briefly discusses some alternative investments that can be considered in the future, and also provides a 15 point “to do” list for planning your own roadmap to financial freedom. Further reading and additional resources conclude this Part.
Part 6 – Glossary: The glossary provides a useful overview of some of the keywords and phrases used in the financial world, (and within this book), along with a short plain English explanation of what they mean.
This easy to read, jargon-free book, contains everything you need to know, to fully understand the basics and Master the Art of Money.
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose
THE SUMMARY IN BRIEF
In 1999, Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) sold LinkExchange, the company he co-founded, to Microsoft for $265 million. He then joined Zappos as an adviser and investor, and eventually became CEO.
Zappos is an online retailer that’s doing more than $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually. After debuting as the highest-ranking newcomer on Fortune magazine’s annual “Best Companies to Work For” list in 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon in a deal valued at more than $1.2 billion.
In Delivering Happiness, Hsieh shares the different lessons he has learned in business and life, from running a pizza business, through LinkExchange, Zappos and more. Fast-paced and down-to-earth, Delivering Happiness shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success — and how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own level of happiness.
Ultimately, Hsieh shows how using happiness as a framework can help leaders in organizations of all sizes and types produce profits, passion and purpose both in business and in life.
IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
- How to make customer service the responsibility of the entire company —
not just one department.
- How to help employees grow — both personally and professionally.
- How to apply research from the science of happiness to running a business.
- How to focus on company culture as the No.1 priority.
- How an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to unprecedented success
Book: The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future
Author: Steve case
Steve Case is a name that should be known by anyone who is somewhat involved or connected to the internet — I say this as Steve is the man behind AOL and perhaps the driving force to help bring the internet of consumerism to the masses. It could be said, that Steve is the reason for getting America Online and his first book The Third Wave is part memoir and part a futurist’s view.
In his book, Steve splits the narrative between his time at AOL including the steps he took from University to eventually starting America Online. The Third Wave also includes his views of what is to come in the technology industry where he steps forward and backwards in time to help pass on wisdom and views that he feels will be critical in the Third Wave of the internet.
The reflection shared from Steve’s past is both entertaining to hear the triumphs and struggles of AOL, but more importantly should be taken as a guide for budding entrepreneurs who wish to build a new business in this evolving ‘Tech Wave’. The Third Wave can also be read as a great business case study that reviews the rise of AOL, the merger of AOL and Time Warner and then, the sad fall from grace for what was once the biggest (Based on market capitalization) and fastest growing company in America. The recount of events highlights key themes that help point out the importance of structure, vision, people and culture in a corporation.
The book is part autobiography, business case study and a prediction of the future and those industries about to be disrupted. The inclusion of Steve’s personal life ties the book together with a personal touch of wisdom that helps portray the father figure that Steve has become in providing the internet to Americans.
The First Wave of the internet was focused on building the infrastructure and foundation for an online world. The companies of the 1st Wave are: Cisco, Sprint, HP, Sun Microsystems, Apple, IBM and AOL. These companies had been focused on working on the hardware, software and networks to build and connect people to the internet and each other.
The Second Wave began at the turn of the 20th century and was built on top of the internet. During this time the rise of mobile devices helped to supercharge mobility of interactions and streaming of data that interflow with Social Networks, Applications and Software as a Service (SaaS). The companies of the Second Wave are: Amazon,Allibaba, Ebay, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Twitter as examples. These companies had a focus on using the internet to connect the world within the specific offering of; search, e-commerce and social networking.
The Third Wave is the era of the internet interconnecting with everything in the world and the rise of data and the internet of things. It is the era where products require the internet and where connectivity and data becomes the key commodity. Steve believes that the learnings of the First Wave will help in building the companies in the Third Wave due to the similarities needed for creating the underlying ‘Wave’ infrastructure. More importantly, Steve suggests that we are in the beginning stages of the Third Wave of the internet and his book should be used as the playbook for the industries that will be disrupted.
Book: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Author: Angela Duckworth
The Book in Three Sentences
The secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but grit: a special blend of passion and persistence.
Grit is about having passion and perseverance for long-term goals.
Gritty people are able to maintain their determination and motivation over long periods despite experiences with failure and adversity.
The Five Big Ideas:
Grit is about holding the same top-level goal for a very long time. (A top-level goal is your ultimate concern, a compass that gives direction and meaning to all the goals below it.)
Paragons of grit have four psychological assets: (1) interest (2) practice (3) purpose (4) hope.
Gritty people do more deliberate practice and experience more flow.
For paragons of grit, the long days and evenings of toil, the setbacks and disappointments, and struggle, the sacrifice—all this is worth it because, ultimately, their efforts pay dividends to other people.
Often, the critical gritty-or-not decisions we make are a matter of identity more than anything else.
This book begins with a discussion of what it takes to be an admitted to a west point because of The admissions process for West Point is at least as rigorous as for the most selective universities. Top scores on the SAT or ACT and outstanding high school grades are a must, West Point selects only 1200 out of 14000 applicants, Applicants should not only receive nominations from Member of Congress but they also meet stringent physical and academic standards, and even among this elite group, one out of five cadets drop out before graduation, Many drops out during the first summer during an intensive seven-week training course nicknamed “The Beast.” The days at West Point are extremely tiring and demanding. They begin their day at 5 a.m. and end with Taps at 10 p.m. There are no breaks or vacations with families, and cadets are challenged mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Book: Be Obsessed Or Be Average
Author: GRANT CARDONE
About the Author:
Grant Cardone is an entrepreneur, speaker, motivator and online sales training expert. He is the founder and CEO of four companies which generate almost $100 million in annual sales revenue. He is also the author of several books including The 10X Rule and Sell or Be Sold. He currently writes articles for Entrepreneur.com, BusinessInsider, WellsFargo, AmexForum and GCTV.com. Grant Cardone is a graduate of Cardone University and McNeese State University
The Main Idea:
To achieve anything great, you’ve got to be completely and unashamedly obsessed with whatever you’re doing. Give yourself permission to be obsessed and harness it for good.￼Being average and playing safe just doesn’t cut it today. You really need to be obsessed about chasing your big dreams and refuse to settle for anything less. Only if you do that can you join the ranks of the industry builders, the game changers, the disruptors and the greatest talents in your field.
Obsession is an absolutely critical component of success. It’s more important than strategy, timing or competition. Being obsessed is the only way you will ever be able to put your own dent in the universe. Be obsessed.
When you become unapologetically obsessed, as I am, you’ll be at your very best: hyperfocused, persistent beyond understanding, creative to the point of appearing magical, and with an insatiable determination to win that not only attracts great talent but also brings out the best in others. This level of obsession doesn’t mean you are selfish and self-centered; it means that you’re finally operating at the levels you were always meant to and that you can pull others around you up to their full potential and possibilities.
Book: Big Magic Creative Living Beyond Fear
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Part 1: Courage
In this part author ask us to think about a time when we were courageous in our creative life, in this part author says that maybe at some moment you must have tried your hand at fiction after always writing poetry or picked up watercolors for the first time in years or you must have sung karaoke in front of all your friends.
Here author want you to discuss want you to ask yourself what did that look like for you? how did you fee? What inspired you to be courageous?
Part 2: Enchantment
In this part author talks about An External daemon of creativity- a being the ancient Greeks and Romans believed lived in the walls of your home and aided you in your labours. The author said in the Big Magic book that The Romans were referred to Daemons as YOUR” Genius- Your guardian deity, the conduct of your inspiration.” The author says that you were not a genius, you had a genius.
Here author wants you to draw, here author Gilbert wants you to think that how your daemons of creativity would look like? And ones you think it takes pen and paper and draws away.
Part 3: Permission
In this part, the author says that defending yourself as a creative person begins by defining yourself, the author says everything begins when you declare your intent, you need to stand up tall and need to say it aloud, whatever it is.
Here author wants you to declare, here authors want you to declare that who is in your heart of hearts, are you? The author wants you to declare to yourself that who you always secretly wanted to be? Who you wanted to be always? And ones you declare it to yourself write it down and then take turns saying it. And ones you say it realize how you felt, did saying it loud made you feel happy did it change anything for you?
Part 4: Persistence
In this part, author talks about the divine relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration, here author wants you to ask yourself what big magic do you want to make?
Ones you ask this to yourself then author ask you to commit, in that commitment author ask you to write down fiercely without feeling afraid or without getting scare about four creative tools, after writing those four creative tools put that on your fridge, tuck it into your books, hang it beside your door, put that four creative tools anywhere and in such places where it will remind you about your big magic inside you.
- Give yourself permission
In this author want us to understand that you need to give yourself permission to create something to start something even if you start at zero.
For example, if you have a thought in your mind that you want to start writing blog or anything, then for at least few seconds it will stay with excitement and enthusiasm, but as few second go your mind will be hit by fear, doubts will start kick in, and this fear and doubt will make you lazy and you will procrastinate your work and because of all this you will run out of things to say after a week, you start giving excuses to not do your work, all negative fear will start getting in to your brain and this negative self-talk will not allow you to give yourself permission.
But you need to overcome it by giving yourself permission by saying that you will start no matter if it’s from the scratch or from zero.
- Keep your day job and let it fuel your creative affair
Author has also shared various key lessons, such as Keep your day job and let it fuel your creative affair, the author said that after returning from your day job free yourself from bill payments and daily necessity bills stress and make yourself creative and so something which you like the most.