Five books that helped me start a tech-company – Lieven Vervecken

Today’s article is written by Dr. Ir. Lieven Vervecken, CEO & Co-founder of Diabatix, an innovative Belgian engineering company specialising in colling systems and products involving fluid mechanics and heat transfer. 

It is no secret that reading a book is one of the best ways to learn more about a particular topic. This of course, also holds when you are interested in starting a tech-company and you want to strengthen your knowledge on entrepreneurship. There are numerous books written related to this topic and making a selection is not always easy. Therefore, below are five books, covering a wide range of topics, that helped me start my tech-company.

 

  1. The Art of the Start, by Guy Kawasaki

When you start a tech-company, you will likely want to raise money, to hire the right people, to manage a board, to create a brand, etc. The Art of the Start touches each of these topics, among many more, and describes how to go from an idea to a mature business. Each chapter zooms in on particular jobs that have to be done, while the FAQ sections address the questions the readers are most likely to have. I particularly recommend the chapters on pitching and raising funds.

  1. Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 steps to a Successful Startup, by Bill Aulet

“Can a sustainable business be built around my idea?” is the most fundamental but probably also the most difficult question you will have to answer. Disciplined Entrepreneurship guides you through this question by breaking it down into 24 easy-to-understand steps. Among others, these steps discuss market segmentation, mapping the process to acquire a customer, charting your competitive position, etc.

  1. The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries

Time is an extremely valuable good. So the last thing you want as an entrepreneur, is to waste it. One very common pitfall for starting tech companies is to spend time on developing the product they are passionate about before realizing there is no market for it. The Lean Startup methodology introduces a build-measure-learn loop to help you avoid falling into this pitfall. This way, the focus shifts from “Can this product be built?” to the far more valuable “Should this product be built?”.

  1. Business Model Generation, by Alexander Osterwalder

One question you will be asked a lot when starting a company is “How do you plan to make money?”. Although this seems like a straightforward question, what they are really asking is “What is your business model?”. Business Model Generation provides practical tools to understand, design, analyze and implement a business model (FYI, step 15 of Disciplined Entrepreneurship). Along the way, you are forced to think again about your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and your core value proposition.

  1. The Challenger Sale, by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Not a single startup team is good at everything and that is perfectly fine. One skill any team must learn to master, however, is sales. Without sales your company simply will not survive. Of course, a strong product will help, but how you sell is at least as important as what you sell. The Challenger Sale introduces an (from own experience) effective sales approach in which you challenge your customer’s way of working, rather than you applying the traditional relationship-building approach. In brief, the focus is on being highly credible and the ability to teach, tailor and take control.

Read the original article here on LinkedIn and join the discussion with your suggestions for great books that can help entrepreneurs start a tech-company.

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