Innovation Guelph’s mentors have an unparalleled breadth of knowledge and experience. They’ve dedicated themselves to fostering innovation and supporting IG clients to start, grow and thrive!

Recently we took a seat at the table with them and asked what books they recommend all entrepreneurs read. Titles were suggested almost faster than they could be recorded. What follows is a list, in no particular order, of the top 10 along with honourable mentions.

1. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – How to Tell your Story in a Noisy Social World

This book by Gary Vaynerchuk provide “advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition.” It includes social media strategies and the author “shows that while communication is still key, context matters more than ever.”

2. The Four Steps to the Epiphany – Successful Strategies for Products that Win

In the introduction to the book, author Steven G. Blank said, “I had found my audience for this book: any team launching a new product, from a small entrepreneurial startup to a large corporation. This book is not just for the CEO but all executives and employees of early stage ventures; it’s for all the founders, the engineers, the VP of Sales, the VP of Marketing, etc. – anyone who is struggling to come up with answers on how to find customers and markets. This book will help all of you to bring rigor to the Customer Development Process.”

3. Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup

Author Bill Aulet challenges traditional thinking about entrepreneurs and shows “how to create a successful startup through developing an innovative product.” The book breaks down he necessary processes into an integrated, comprehensive, and proven 24-step framework that any industrious person can learn and apply.”

4. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Eric Riles suggests entrepreneurs, no matter the size of their companies, to continuously examine their vision, adapt and adjust. The book provides, “a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.”

5. The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything 

Guy Kawasaki covers the basics of entrepreneurship and the “essential steps to launch great products, services, and companies-whether you are dreaming of starting the next Microsoft or a not-for-profit that’s going to change the world.”

6. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

“In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.”

7. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Simon Sinek asks why some people seem more innovative, influential and profitable. His book illustrates that leaders who have had great influence, “all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired.”

8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business

Business reporter and author, Charles Duhigg, argues: “our most basic actions are not the product of well-considered decision making, but of habits we often do not realize exist. By harnessing this new science, we can transform our lives.”

9. This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See

In this book, Seth Godin, shows, “how to do work you can be proud of, whether you’re a tech startup founder, a small business owner, or part of a large corporation.” He explores the concept of using marketing to solve problems.

10. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, Newsjacking, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

David Meerman Scott provides a step-by-step guide for generating attention for your business or idea. The book shares “tried-and-true rules that will keep you ahead of the curve when using the latest and greatest digital spaces to their fullest PR, marketing, and customer-communications potential.”

Honorable Mentions

Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Technology Projects to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey A. Moore

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World by Molly Bloom

The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin