Best Business Books of 2011 (IMHO)

I read more than most people, on average 2-3 business books per month. That adds up to a lot of books over the years.

I am very picky. Before deciding to read a book, I do a ton of research, review reading and other due diligence. I don’t read cheesy business motivational books. My last years favorite was Rework (if you haven’t read it yet, do it).

Out of all the business books I’ve read in 2011, these are the best ones:

The best business book of 2011

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

It’s not just for startups, but for pretty much all companies and entrepreneurs trying to start or grow their businesses.

It’s rare to come by books these days that really make you go “wow”, that make you stop and think – especially if you’ve been around some.

Highly intelligent book and totally changes the way businesses are built. A must-read. A game changer.

The best quick read of 2011

We Are All Weird by Seth Godin

Seth is becoming a cliche, but I truly enjoyed this book. It’s thought-provoking, interesting and lays out a future that I believe in.

We really are weird, and getting weirder, and we should celebrate it and use it.

This is a quick read, and the book gets extra brownie points for that. Some books just go on and on to fill the pages, this one doesn’t.

The best social media book of 2011

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

There were a ton published, and I enjoyed this one the most.

Granted, I like Gary V and some of you might not, but I like the notion of becoming more personal, developing an old school small town we-know-all-the-customers-by-name mindset.

Thanking people is a serious business.

The best service business book of 2011

The Consulting Bible by Alan Weiss

Among many business ventures that I run, I have a web marketing company. We build websites that convert and are 100% geared at achieving the business goals of the clients. There aren’t many good books written for these type of consultancy / service type of businesses, but this one is excellent.

From mindset to client expectation setting to value based pricing, this book has it all. While it’s written mostly for solo consultants, I gained several great new ideas from it and changed my mind about quite a few things. It’s rare that a book does that.

Other amazing books I read this year (that were published before 2011)

My second best read of the year was this:

Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value by William Poundstone

Pricing has always intrigued me and this book was both fascinating and highly useful. It inspired me to do further research and write a blog post on pricing.

Everybody struggles with getting the pricing right. Read this book for great insights.

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder

More tool than a book, this was amazing. Most business books you read only once, but this one you go back to and really use as a reference to enhance and develop your business model. Totally changed how I look at businesses. A fantastic workbook for teams.

Which books that came out in 2011 impressed you the most? What are the must-reads?

Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links.

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  1. Hi Peep, also believing the first three books you’ve listed here are real standout books (Vaynerchuk especially–every sentence carries value!), I’m convinced you know what you’re talking about :).

    So I thought I’d start reading Weiss being the classic proud engineer, undercharging and overdelivering. Have you been finding value pricing successful in your agency?

  2. Internet marketing has changed so much over the years. Thanks for publishing something that’s relevant and informative.

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Best Business Books of 2011 (IMHO)