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Discover Our Favorite Books

With our format "Book of the week" ee would like to introduce and share our favorite books covering the topics of business models, innovation, corporate startups, and more.

Book of the week

Book of the week #1

Business Model Generation | Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur (2011)

What is the book about?
This book is a practical guide for anyone who wants to develop business ideas and create business plans. The authors highlight the important elements of business models, including, for example, customer groups, sales channels, and revenue sources. This book explains various methods that can be used to elaborate and define the elements so that the end result is the plan for a successful business.

Who should read this book?
This book is for anyone who wants to build additional competencies in business development and anyone interested in innovation and business models.

book of the week

Book of the week #2

The Startup Owner's Manual | Steve Blank and Bob Dorf (2012)

What is the book about?
This book shows a well approved approach for entrepreneurs to build lasting companies. It includes a four-stage model, called customer development, which is comprised of four processes: 1. Customer Discovery, 2. Customer Validation, 3. Customer Creation, and 4. Company Building.

Why do we like it?
The book outlines exactly what to pay attention to through each of the four stages of turning an idea into a sustainable business and does focus on the most important aspect of how to achieve customer adoption and retention. One basic insight that's worth repeating: don't bother making anything until you discover and understand who's going to buy. And we totally agree - that's why we also anchor this point very deeply in the methodology of our Bosch Accelerator Program.

Who should read this book?
This book is an essential reading for those wanting to start their own companies, especially in the early phase of starting a new business. In addition, we highly recommend it to all intrapreneurs and corporate explorers, who seek to build up new ventures within established companies.

book of the week

Book of the week #3

Lean Startup | Eric Ries (2012)

What is the book about?
The Lean Startup builds a lot on Design Thinking ideas as well as on Steve Blank's work on customer development. Telling the story of his own startup IMVU, Eric Ries describes the idea of a lean startup: instead of executing business plans and long development cycles, a startup should test hypotheses, gather early customer feedback and ship minimum viable products (MVP), using "build-measure-learn" feedback loops in the fastest possible way.

Why do we like it?
The book introduces lean management approaches into innovation and advocates fast learning cycles. Ries does a great job promoting this new way of lean culture and ignited a whole lean startup movement. A game changer!

Who should read this book?
Whether you are a founding team in a startup or inside a corporate, Lean Startup is a fantastic read for everyone curious about entrepreneurship and innovation.

book of the week

Book of the week #4

Lean Analytics | Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz (2013)

What is the book about?
In a nutshell, Lean Analytics focuses on the "measure" portion of the Build-Measure-Learn cycle. This book shows how to validate ideas in every stage of business, find the right customers, decide what to build or how to monetize your business. The one metric that matters (OMTM) is the key measurement you need to be making of your current endeavor. It is not about analytics in general or even analytics in lean production or development. This book is about analytics in terms of building & developing a Lean Startup.

Why do we like it?
This book of full of examples, shows a very comprehensive approach to various start-up scenarios and offers a practical approach you can easily utilize in different situations. While there is a lot of literature on how to build and what to build, there isn’t enough on figuring out whether you are meeting expectations or not. This book covers exactly this topic.

book of the week

Book of the week #5

Why Startups Fail: A New Roadmap for Entrepreneurial Success | Tom Eisenmann (2021)

What is the book about?
This book provides a checklist for evaluating your startup's health, understanding your customers before building any product, analyzing early potential to ensure its repeatability, and having the right management for the company's needs. The author highlights that overly ambitious ventures are more likely to fail. The book ends on a positive note by saying that recovery from failure is possible - the key is to learn from mistakes.

Why do we like it?
This book is a great guide, especially focusing on obstacles when scaling new ventures. The different cases show a broad collection of examples of how startups fail. In addition, the book offers useful frameworks to examine different stages of a startup’s growth journey.

Who should read this book?
We can recommend this book to any current or aspiring entrepreneur and intrapreneur and anyone in the startup ecosystem interested in learning more about startup failure and how to avoid it.

book of the week

Book of the week #6

Corporate Explorer | Andrew Binns, Charles O'Reilly and Michael Tushman (2022)

What is the book about?
Corporate Explorer is a practical guide for how corporations can succeed in times of tremendous change and disruption. Providing manifold insides from various case studies, it clearly outlines the path to ambidexterity without ignoring the challenges for corporate explorers and senior management.

Why do we like it?
If you’re looking to reinvent your business from within, look no further. This is a great guide to how you can turn the success of your business into an asset for innovation instead of letting it hold you back from reinvention. With engaging stories about Corporate Explorers you will learn how to ideate, incubate and scale ventures inside an existing system. Side note: Our dear colleague Sara Carvalhos own story as Corporate Explorer inside the Bosch Accelerator Program is mentioned in the book.

Who should read this book?
This book is a must-read for Corporate Explorers, executives who want to know how to drive innovation and retain talented leaders and anyone wanting to build new business within a corporation.

book of the week

Book of the week #7

The Human Element | David Schonthal & Loran Nordgren (2021)

What is the book about?
The Human Element is all about understanding and overcoming the resistance that awaits new ideas. Schonthal and Nordgren build on a Theory of Friction, applicable to all kinds of change. They describe four different frictions working as innovation headwinds: Inertia, Effort, Emotion, and Reactance.

Why do we like it?
The book sheds light on an all too often underestimated aspect of resistance towards new ideas. Innovators in startups or corporates tend to "add fuel” to their idea (e.g. new features, more marketing, stronger incentives, etc), but forget to deal with the burdens and hurdles their customers face to adopt the idea. The book not only describes these problems, but offers tools and tactics to overcome them.

Who should read this book?
The Human Element is a great read not only for innovators in startups and corporates, but also for sales executives and change managers. Anyone faced with the question how to overcome resistance will love this book!

book of the week

Book of the week #8

Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth | Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor (2013)

What is the book about?
The Innovator's Solution is about how to overcome the innovator's dilemma. You wonder how? Basically, it is about creating an innovation engine within an organization that can compete with forces from the core business but acts like a small startup-like business unit. What is important: those small units need to be patient when it comes to growth but impatient for profits.

Why do we like it?
While the Innovator's Dilemma was about theory, this book is about implementation and therefore a great follow-up to Christensen's first book. The authors show the challenges of guiding companies through disruptive times. The book shows many insights on how to overcome those challenges, but highlight one major success factor: start with an idea that is somewhat profitable and try to reach out to customers who are under-served.

Who should read this book?
This book is not an easy read but definitely worth the time invested. We recommend this book to all leaders, innovation managers, and entrepreneurs faced with disruption and looking forward to overcoming those challenges.