My friend Austin wrote me, “I’m putting together a list of recommended books for designers interested in strategy, the business side, and jumping into entrepreneurship. Can you recommend 3-5 books you think are indispensable?”
I don’t think there’s a single book that fits that description well, and I’ve wondered if a ‘business for designers’ book would be popular or not. But pressed for an answer, here’s the 3-5 I pointed to:
What the CEO Wants You to Know — what I use as a textbook in my ‘Business & Design’ class at Pratt. A simple primer.
Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days — reading it now, very interesting as history and very reassuring for me during the initial, difficult stage of building a business to know everyone goes through the same pain.
Strategy Safari is probably the best primer on strategy. Innovator’s Dilemma is important these days, as is Blue Ocean Strategy. Though they’re all so long I don’t have time to actually read any of them; they’re reference.
Want more? John Hagel (whose writing is excellent) has a great list of tech-influenced strategy references.