The Business GRID

Great Reads

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

by Chris Guillebeau

This is not your typical "How to" books riddled with "vague series of ideas". It is neither about Internet start-ups or how to sell your idea to VCs. Chris Guillebeau writes about how ordinary people have built a solid living on their own terms. If you have trouble dragging yourself out of bed each weekday morning, give this book a read. The title (The original trailing title was "Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love And Work Better To Live More") caught my eye at the WH Smith outlet at Heathrow's T4 and it kept me up (besides the turbulence) during my 12 hour flight back to KL- reading and pausing to think about possibilities.

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: Leading a Great Enterprise through Dramatic Change

by Louis V. Gerstner

This, to me, is a classic. First published in 2002 it is probably one of the better management books around. Louis Gerstner had everything stacked against him - old technologies, employees that were set in their old ways and a new breed of competition. The book should appeal to those whose companies are stagnant and want to know how Lou invigorated IBM. I particularly liked the part about the creation of their multi-billion dollar services business and their e-business strategy that took advantage of the Internet age.

What I Didn't Learn in Business School: How Strategy Works in the Real World

by Jay Barney & Trish Clifford

I like this book as it takes a non theoretical approach to learning about strategy. It is written as a novel and tells the story of one Justin Campbell, a freshly minted MBA graduate who has landed a job with a strategy consultancy firm. His first assignment, together with his colleagues is to help a company, define and execute a strategy for exploiting a new textile technology. Justin and his team members are fictitious characters but as the story unfolds on their engagement, it gives you a glimpse of what really happens in most companies and boardrooms. Strongly recommended for the new manager as it is a unique way to learn about "how strategy works in the real world."

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

by Tony Hsieh

If you are looking for inspiration, then pick this book up. Tony Hsieh graduated from Harvard, quit his first job at Oracle after 5 months, started up a company called LinkExchange and sold it to Microsoft for $265 million. He then almost lost all of it setting up Zappos to sell, get this, shoes on the Internet. In 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon in a deal valued at $1.2 billion. Take a ride with Tony on his incredible journey.

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