However, I feel, there is one kind of reliable content that is not easily available on the Internet. The kind of content that goes deep into a subject, analyzing it exhaustively and giving the reader a nuanced perspective of the topic. Let me narrate a personal experience.
At The Smart CEO, we’ve two strategic business units: the media business and a content marketing studio that assists client companies in creating blogs, case-studies, whitepapers, CEO-authored articles and brand-owned digital magazines. This is a business with linear growth, and I had a few questions for myself: How do we scale this up rapidly? Can we integrate the two business units and pursue hockey-stick like growth? Can I transform this into a business that is venture capital fundable, where the business could solve a major problem for a large number of customers?
I was scouting around the web, hoping to stumble upon some nuanced articles that answered some of these questions. While I did find some brilliant articles, I must admit that, I was influenced the most, not by these articles, but by a collection of books that I read.
The experience also taught me that the world of books, serve a very different purpose to the reader, compared to all the articles we read online. Well-written books have the power to transform your approach to a problem, giving you a completely new perspective of what you’re dealing with.
Here, I am going to recommend the five books that really helped me rethink my business plan, to build enormous scale:
- The Startup Playbook by David S. Kidder
- Zero to One by Peter Thiel
- The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
- The Elephant Catchers by Subroto Bagchi
- Plan B by John Mullins
I’d confidently argue that there is no collection of articles on the Internet that would do the same job these books did to my thought process. I was particularly influenced by Kidder’s Startup Playbook, which is a collection of insights from 41 entrepreneurs, mostly from the Valley. What Kidder defines as a Playbook, is nothing but a set of core beliefs, tools, methods and approach adopted by these entrepreneurs who have implemented rapid growth.
Having said that, I am not taking away the power of short articles, especially the ones we publish in The Smart CEO!
Hope you enjoy reading this edition.