From the first vestiges in the history of humanity, men and women of any time have always left their lives documented in writings and drawings. Whether in caves or Babylonian cuneiform writing, books (from their simplest expressions) have always accompanied human evolution.
Books are a clear sign of development of a civilization. But today we do not have any purpose of reviewing from OUR EDITORIAL STAFF what this evolution of centuries has been, but to focus on some works that are currently worthy of being read and followed by managers and professionals from the business world, as well as MBA students. The so-called “business books” are also an expression of the degree of development that the management of organizations has achieved in recent years. But more importantly, it opens the minds of those who want to start a business or simply improve their knowledge after finishing a degree.
Of course, great business leaders are technically documented people (they read books and especially those novelties that encompass new approaches).
Reading the methods, stories, and advice of those who have gone before us and have succeeded (or failed) can grow a business or make us see a point of view that we didn’t even anticipate.
Business books provide first-hand experience of how someone else overcame the same challenges you’re facing right now. They generate ideas and enlighten us with their experiences.
We are going to see below some of them that are worth stopping to see what they deal with, what their scope is, etc.
1º) The blue ocean strategy: Create new market spaces where the competition is irrelevant
Its authors Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne challenge everything you thought you knew about the essential requirements to be successful in your business. The blue ocean strategy holds that cut-throat competition is reduced to a bloody ocean of rivals fighting for ever-shrinking profits. Based on a study of 150 strategies (covering more than 100 years across 30 business sectors), the authors show that lasting success stems not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans”, which for them correspond to those new untapped market spaces that are ripe for growth.
Losing business opportunities
But what happens if a company is focused on a niche market and its immediate competition and constantly has to offer its products or services at a cheaper price or with maximum features? In this environment it will be inevitable that you will have to reduce margins or be regularly offering new benefits and features, and before long, see that the competition does the same and have to rethink the strategy again.
This constant competition can create an unhealthy dynamic, significantly reducing the capital needed to innovate and deliver real value to your customers. Also, it can cause mass churn of customers.
The risk situation caused by low prices or constant differentiation within the same market is the origin of the idea developed in the blue ocean strategy, a book that presents a business philosophy, and as its authors explain, the strategy of the blue ocean deals with the simultaneous search for differentiation and price to open a new market niche and create new demand. It essentially calls into question the following statement: to be successful, you don’t need a revolutionary product or service. Instead of competing on price, it is committed to offering a new value proposition, “creating and settling in markets that have yet to open up in which the competition does not dominate.”
Red Ocean VS Blue Ocean
According to Kim and Mauborgne, “red oceans” are the markets that already exist – the ones you are probably working in. They use the color red to indicate that companies in this environment have to deal with constant attacks from the competition. In contrast, in a “blue ocean”, you are practically alone in the market, since to enter it is necessary to have the knowledge and skills to create (and satisfy) a new demand. Blue oceans are not necessarily defined by a new product or service, but by responding to a new need.
In the blue ocean environment, market boundaries and structures are not yet in place. As entrepreneurs create this new market niche, it is up to them to rethink old structures to meet new needs and create the rules of an entirely new game.
In the red ocean, margins are low and in many cases entrepreneurs are forced to continually compete on price, instead of seeking real value. As a result, we find ourselves in an environment with little innovation and cutbacks.
On the other hand, blue oceans are highly innovative environments that offer products and services of unique real value for new market niches, developed thanks to the combination of innovation and experience. Price competition practically does not exist because no one else offers this product to the market segment, thus achieving higher profits.
It is important to remember that it is not about inventing a new product or developing a fantastic idea with the sole purpose of beating the competition, it is about offering something different using and rethinking what adds value to the business.
Think about how Apple went from computing focus to intelligent design, to user experience, and finally to status. Computers weren’t a new invention, but Apple focused on something that Microsoft wasn’t offering and where it couldn’t compete – and in many ways, still doesn’t. However, to actually get to this point, it was necessary to take a fresh look, to figure out how to channel the particular experience to attract a new target audience.
By doing so, you can expand your customer base including not only those who are already part of your target audience but also those you had not thought about, proposing effective solutions for new needs.
Main points of the strategy
The blue ocean strategy is made up of different steps, but in essence, these are the most important:
– Analyze how you can offer your products and services to attract new customers with new solutions that the competition is not focusing on. This will help you create new niche markets.
– Move from focusing on your competition to offering greater value to new consumers, and also consider how this value can be scaled to new potential consumers.
– Don’t choose between differentiation or low cost, strategically focus on both.
2º) The black book of the entrepreneur: Do not say that you were never warned
From the author Fernando Trias de Bes, in which he maintains that being an entrepreneur constitutes a vital posture, a way of facing the world that implies enjoying the uncertainty and insecurity of what will happen tomorrow.
There are no brilliant ideas that, by themselves, give rise to great deals: what is essential is how a concept is put into practice. However, 90% of initiatives fail within four years and only 3% of company manuals are dedicated to explaining why. Hence the relevance of this book that analyzes the key factors of failure and defines the traits that a true entrepreneur must have: motivation and talent to see something special in an idea that others may already know.
But, above all, it is necessary to have a fighting spirit: ideas do not fail, but it is illusions that allow themselves to be overcome due to lack of waist, imagination and flexibility to face unforeseen events.
For what reason does the black book of the entrepreneur establish that when undertaking business experience it does not guarantee success?
The answer: because when it comes to entrepreneurship, business experience does not guarantee success. Entrepreneurial errors are not usually management errors, but rather errors caused, paradoxically, by the same force that induces entrepreneurship: illusion.
3º) Being a free entrepreneur leading from the heart
The author Darío José Pereiro León says that life is a path of one opportunity, not two, hence there are certain things that you should consider as soon as possible.
Those questions that are common for us to ask ourselves, such as “do I want to continue exchanging time for money or do I want to have a well-organized business so that others do the basic work and I have time to enjoy life?”
These are two totally different and equally respectable paradigms, both one and the other. Actually, both statements are correct, the employee works to earn money for himself and for the owner of the business. The difference is that normally the employer will earn more money working much less than the employee, as long as he has the business well organized and managed.
If you have chosen to be an entrepreneur and start your business, or you already have it, but you do not run it as you would like, with more free time and more benefits, then you begin to ask yourself many questions. You start reading books, but they give you a lot of motivational speeches that don’t lead you to really learn what you need. You watch conferences on YouTube, but they fall short because in the end you are always missing pieces of the puzzle.
These two sensations are the ones that the author had when he was learning about the world of entrepreneurship. It was then that it occurred to him that he could help people who want to improve the direction of their business or create one from scratch, but acquiring knowledge that will lead them to success, and this means earning money without being “killed to work” for 12 hours a day or more.
Thus was born the project of the book “Being a Free Entrepreneur, leading from the heart” that began to think about all the most important aspects that a person needed to know to achieve this goal and then the author developed them to turn the work into a book of consultation that you always go to every time you need to refresh your knowledge and get ideas about each section of the business.
He did not intend for any person to feel disappointed if he looked for information in different places and did not find it, but rather that they had a place where they could drink from the knowledge that would help them in a complete and satisfactory way.
How to train an excellent staff, what business idea to develop, employment advice, where to set up the business, how to be a leader in your company, learn to carry out negotiations successfully, how to finance your project and calculate business expenses, different strategies of marketing, the importance of avoiding mistakes, how to be the Alexander the Great of business, cases of people who succeeded, etc.
4º) Scrum: The revolutionary method to work twice as much in half the time
Jeff Sutherland and J. J. Sutherland discuss in this definitive book the methodology that is revolutionizing the world, referring to the way in which the team works together to move the ball down the field in a rugby match. What he creates is a work system that allows us to do “twice the work in half the time”. This method eliminates paperwork, bureaucracy and hierarchy in companies and personal projects, and is committed to collaborative practices so that we feel truly involved in what we do and quickly and satisfactorily achieve the objectives set.
This information has been prepared by OUR EDITORIAL STAFF