Providing resources for communities and entrepreneurs to create and retain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix & Cheboygan Counties.

Of the following great books that cover a multitude of business topics, some are available to borrow from your nearest Business Resource Center or download at no charge from the Michigan Electronic Library; and all may be purchased from your local bookstore, or on-line, use the ISBN to assist in your search:

Terence O’Neill, Entrepreneurship Librarian at Michigan State University

Each month Terence O’Neill, Entrepreneurship Librarian, MSU Business Library will provide a book review for an important business publication. Terence O’Neill is the Entrepreneurship Librarian at Michigan State University, where he works to connect entrepreneurs to resources that will better inform their business decisions. Through a background in libraries and community education, Terence has worked to support business and innovation internationally and throughout Michigan. You can reach Terence  at

MSU Business Library Entrepreneurs Book Reports

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael LewisFlash Boys
Michael Lewis is part story teller, part explainer of complex human-made institutions. He seeks to find a complicated system that is changing quickly, and identifies compelling individuals to show the agency in these dynamic environments. Sometimes its sports (including Money Ball and this great profile of Shane Battier), but often it’s the financial system that he began his professional career in. Continue Reading…


Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
I have been learning about Tony Hsieh and his enthusiastic embrace of new ideas for the past few years, but I had never really considered reading this book until it was recently recommended to me. What I did know about his life—that he is an advocate of a flat organizational hierarchy called Holacracy and is dedicated to the creation of a vibrant and dynamic Las Vegas downtown—certainly piqued my curiosity, and made me want to learn more about his philosophy and how he thinks about business. Delivering Happiness does just that. Continue Reading…


The Rainforest Blueprint: How to Design Your Own Silicon Valley” by Victor W. Hwang  Venture Capitalist, consultant, and entrepreneur Victor Hwang has put together a book for developing complex, dynamic organizations and groups of organizations that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. I say ‘put together’, rather than wrote, because this book is full of pictures, charts, diagrams, and relatively few words. To Hwang, a farm grows one type of plant, in the metaphor one type of idea or outcome, and farms are organized suitably for that purpose; in a rainforest, though, there are thousands of plants interacting unpredictably, products of a set of conditions that continue to give opportunity for further plants. Similarly, an innovation ecosystem does not produce one thing (a killer app, a vital restaurant, etc.), but instead has a whole range of innovations happening constantly. This book discusses the potential of creating a community that can develop, and bring to fruition, that diversity of creativity. Continue Reading…  

Getting the Right Things Done: A leader’s guide to planning and execution by Pascal Dennis Whether you work directly in manufacturing, or simply are involved in the development and deployment of services and products, you’ve likely spent much time thinking about how to improve processes in the work place. This book, produced by the Lean Enterprise Institute, is borne out of the struggles of managers working to implement Lean Manufacturing practices, but continually finding that their initiatives lose steam and fail to deliver lasting change. If you are interested in creating greater cohesion across an organization towards delivering real value, this book was written for you. Continue Reading… Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman In April, I read two separate articles about making decisions in difficult and unpredictable situations: selecting quarterbacks in the NFL draft, and predicting the future performance of a hedge fund manager. Besides being about high-profile endeavors where many people fail, these two articles had another thing in common: the authors quoted from and borrowed insight from the same book: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. In both articles, Thinking provided a way to analyze and think about complicated problems, and I was curious about the possible application to business decisions, particularly in regards to another field with great uncertainty and risk: entrepreneurship. Continue Reading… Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local – and Helped Save an American Town by Beth Macy Over the course of two decades, thousands of furniture jobs left North Carolina and Southern Virginia, first as American manufacturers bought from plants in China, and later as the retailers they were selling to cut out the middle-man entirely. In Factory Man, Beth Macy tells the century-long story of a family that built an industry deeply intertwined with people and place. As readers we witness these furniture companies and towns be subverted by offshoring and globalization, and the fight by one person to keep his company going. Continue Reading… The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz If you’re interested in technology entrepreneurship, Ben Horowitz’s venture capital firm is likely a household name—Silicon Valley-based Andreessen Horowitz, LLC has invested in some of the world’s biggest and fastest growing technology companies since its formation in 2009: Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Airbnb, and numerous others. In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, though, Horowitz isn’t out to tell people how to spot hot technology companies, but rather how to grow them while not losing your mind or your business in the process. Click here for the full review. The End of Power by Moises Naim In this book, Moises Naim studies these seemingly disconnected topics and weaves them together into the argument that in every type of organization, keeping and enacting power is more difficult than ever before. Moises Naim has a decorated career as leader in economic thought, including stints as Venezuela’s Minister of Trade and Industry and editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine. Continue Reading… Setting the Table by Danny Meyer In Setting the Table, Danny Meyer distills decades of restaurant-opening experience into a quick-reading book that stands as a favorite for hospitality, but also for people that interface with the public or clients in their regular work. My sister (a restaurant manager) had recommended it years ago, and when I came across Meyer’s compelling vision for  “Enlightened Hospitality” in an in-flight magazine, I knew it would be a good fit for a book review. Click here to read the full review. Year in Review: TV, Podcasts, & MOOCs by Terence O’Neill It’s time for the end of the year, where we take a look at what we learned and figure out what to take with us to the next year. For me, that means taking a look at what I’ve learned about business in 2014 and what media has contributed to that. Here are some of the high-lights from the television, radio, and computer. Continue Reading… Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson Venture Capital—a name filled with intrigue that connotes risk, rich people, and incredible reward. In their book Venture Deals, Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson seek to strip the word of some of its mystery and dig into the details of how this type of business investment actually works, and what entrepreneurs need to know for it to work for them. Check out his full book review by clicking here. Ingenious by Jason Fagone Prizes totaling ten million dollars, over one hundred teams, and the goal of creating a mass-production car that can reach 100 MPG are the subject of Ingenious. In this book, Jason Fagone embeds himself with high school students reworking Ford’s, racers creating a car that weighs only 800 pounds, and a government administrator creating a car from scratch in his garage. A story about everyday people striving to do a great thing, this book could be a good fit for you. Check out his full book review by clicking here. Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson Are you looking to energize your company’s employees, liberate them to do incredible work, and make your business more successful? This book was written with you in mind, telling its readers to cut out everything unimportant to build and keep a small, profitable, focused company. Authors Fried and Hansson run the Chicago-based software development firm Basecamp (, and though their software is a hit, this book has been even more successful, routinely hitting best-of business lists. I was curious to see why it has been so successful, and wondered how well their lessons apply to other types of business. Check out his full book review by clicking here. Smart Talk by Lisa B. Marshall Social situations are filled with choices, times you might be sure there is a correct course, and just as sure you don’t know what it is. From introducing one person to another at a party to negotiating a raise, there are myriad points of communication in our work lives, and many of them can be difficult and unnerving to execute. Lisa B. Marshall is here to help. In this book, the professional communication expert delivers her advice on a variety of types of professional communication, aiming to make readers more confident, more effective, and more successful. Check out his full book review by clicking here. Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out by Marc Ecko In this book, Marc Ecko uses the template of a textbook and a loose, personal tone to tell the story of his company, Ecko Unltd., and how he developed it from his parents’ garage. One of the best-selling business books of the year, Ecko explains how he learned his craft, build his brand, and picked up the knowledge base needed to run a multi-national clothing company. Check out his full book review by clicking here. Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value by Daniel Isenberg, with Karen Dillon If you’ve ever had somebody tell you that your business idea makes no sense, or that you don’t look like an entrepreneur, you might be on to something. Packed with stories about successful businesses that have achieved gigantic success from unpredicted places, Daniel Isenberg redefines entrepreneurship. Along the way, he seeks to inspire readers, and to teach the real defining attributes of the risk takers that become incredibly successful business people. Check out his full book review by clicking here. Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs by Karen Berman, Joe Knight with John Case One of the exciting things about starting a business is the range of activities that are required for it thrive: understanding your customers, dealing with suppliers, and working with employees towards unified goals. Entrepreneurs also need to know how to manage their business’s money, and even profitable businesses can fail if they don’t have a firm grasp on their financials. This book aims to give readers the background to avoid common pitfalls, communicate effectively with accountants, and ensure business success. In this review, Terence O’Neill, Entrepreneurship Librarian, MSU Business Library will help you to figure out if this book will help you and your business.  Check out his full book review by clicking here. Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur Have you ever wanted to know how innovative new companies begin or reinvent themselves, or how people develop a new and unique market?   Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur describes for readers a process of innovating new businesses and creating market success. The main purpose of this book is to help the reader develop their thoughts for a business or concept using a single-sheet organizer.  Terence O’Neill, Entrepreneurship Librarian, MSU Business Library provides an insightful overview and review of the book.  Read his full review by clicking here.     Getting the Right Things Done Thinking Fast and Slow.pdf Factory Man The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers End of Power.pdf Setting the Table Look back at 2014 Venture Deals.pdf Ingenious.pdf Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson Smart Talk by Lisa B. Marshall Unlabel-Selling you without selling out.pdf Worthless Impossible Stupid.pdf Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneuars Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Books

Of the following great books that cover a multitude of business topics, some are available to borrow from your nearest Business Resource Center or download at no charge from the Michigan Electronic Library; and all may be purchased from your local bookstore, or on-line, use the ISBN to assist in your search:   The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. Timothy Ferriss. ISBN: 9780307353139 The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content. Timothy Ferriss. ISBN: 9780307465351 The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! Al Ries and Joack Trout. ISBN: 9780887306662 A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Daniel Pink. ISBN: 1594481717 The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything. Guy Kawaski. ISBN: 1591840562 Ben & Jerry’s: The Inside Scoop. Fred “Chico” Lager. ISBN: 9780517883708 The Big Book of Small Business: You Don’t Have to Run Your Business by the Seat of Your Pants. Tom Gegaz and Phil Bolsta. ISBN: 9780061206696 Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant. W. Chan Kim. ISBN: 9781591396192 The Bootstrappers Bible: How to Start and Build a Business with a Great Idea and (Almost) No Money. Seth Godin ISBN: 9781574101034 Branding for Dummies. Bill Chiaravalle and Barbara Findlay Schenck. ISBN: 9780471771593 Burn Rate: How I Survived the Gold Rush Years on the Internet. Michael Wolff. ISBN: 0684848813 The Business of Software: What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad. Michael. A. Cusumano. ISBN: 9780743215800 The Business Start-Up Kit: Everything You Need to Know About Starting and Growing Your Own Business. Steven Strauss. ISBN: 0793160278 Change by Design. Tim Brown. ISBN: 9780061766084 Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. Clay Shirkey. ISBN: 9781400166817 Crossing the Chasm. Geoffrey Moore. ISBN: 0060517123 Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion. Gary Vaynerchuk. ISBN: 9780061914171 Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. Tony Hsieh ISBN: 446563048 Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition. Steve Krug. ISBN: 0321344758987 dot.bomb: My Days and Nights at an Internet Goliath. J. David. Kuo. ISBN:0316507490 Drive. Daniel Pink. ISBN: 0143145088 The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. Michael Gerber. ISBN: 0887307280 Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web. Brian Solis. ISBN: 9780470571095 Entrepreneur Journeys Volume 1. Sramana Mitra. ISBN: 1439206872 Entrepreneur Journeys: Bootstrapping: Weapon Of Mass Reconstruction (Volume 2). Sramana Mitra. ISBN: 1439234515 Entrepreneur Journeys v.3: Positioning: How To Test, Validate, And Bring Your Idea To Market (Volume 3). Sramana Mitra. ISBN: 9781439245927 Entrepreneur Journeys v.4 : Innovation: Need Of the Hour (Volume 4). Sramana Mitra. ISBN: 9781451577907 The Entrepreneur’s Success Kit: A 5-Step Lesson Plan to Create and Grow Your Own Business. Kaleil Isaza Tuzman. ISBN: 0312329458 Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur. Pamela Slim. ISBN: 9781591842576 Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. ISBN: 0609610570 Finding Fertile Ground: Identifying Extraordinary Opportunities for New Ventures. Scott A. Shane. ISBN: 0131423983 The Four Steps to the Epiphany. Steven Gary Blank. ISBN: 9780976470700 Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days. Jessica Livingston. ISBN: 9781590597149 Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (P.S.) . Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. ISBN: 9780060731335 Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business. Steven Garfield. ISBN: 9780470525463 Getting Business to Come to You: A Complete Do-It Yourself Guide to Attracting All the Business You Can Enjoy. Paul Edwards. ISBN: 087477845X Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. David Allen. ISBN: 0670899240 Go BIG or Go HOME. Will Hobbs. ISBN: 9780060741433 The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea. Bob Burg and John David Mann. ISBN: 9781591842002 Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t. Jim Collins. ISBN:0066620996 Growing a Business. Paul Hawken. ISBN: 9780671671648 Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age. Paul Graham. ISBN: 9780596006624 How To Win Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie. ISBN: 9781439167342 Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs. Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. ISBN: 9780470499313 Incorporate & Get Rich!: How to Cut Taxes 70% & Protect Your Assets Forever! C.W. Allen. ISBN: 0967187109 Inside Intuit: How the Makers of Quicken Beat Microsoft and Revolutionized an Entire Industry. Suzanne E. Taylor, Kathy Schroeder, and John Doerr. ISBN:1591391369 Jack: Straight from the Gut. Jack Welch and John. A Byrne. ISBN: 9780446690683 Kellogg on Branding: The Marketing Faculty of The Kellogg School of Management. Philip Cotler and Alice Tybout. ISBN: 9780471690160 The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up. Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham. ISBN: 9781591842217 Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman. Yvon Chouinard. ISBN: 1594200726 Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Seth Godin. ISBN: 9780749953355 The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE. Tom Peters. ISBN: 9780061894084 Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends. Tim Sanders. ISBN:1400046831 Making Money from Home: How to Run a Successful Home-Based Business. Donna Partow. ISBN: 9781589976085 Million Dollar Consulting. Alan Weiss. ISBN: 9780071622103 The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition). Frederick P. Brooks. ISBN: 9780201835953 Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time. Keith Ferrazzi. ISBN: 9780385512053 The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web. Tamar Weinberg. ISBN: 9780596156817 The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, 2nd Edition. David Meerman Scott. ISBN: 9780470547816 The One Minute Manager. Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. ISBN:0688014291 The PayPal Wars: Battles With Ebay, the Media, the Mafia, And the Rest of Planet Earth. Eric M. Jackson. ISBN: 0977898431 Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers. Seth Godin. ISBN: 0684856360 Power Friending: Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business. Amber Mac. ISBN: 9781591843283 Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations. Garr Reynolds. ISBN: 9780321668790 Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service. Ken Blanchard. ISBN: 0688123163 The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself. John Jantsch. ISBN: 9781591843115 Rework. Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. ISBN: 9780307463746 Selling Air. Dan Herchenroether. ISBN: 0975422405 Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing. Harry Beckwith. ISBN: 0446520942 Shoestring Venture: The Startup Bible. by Steve Monas and Richard Hooker. ISBN: 9780595506514 Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. Mitch Joel. ISBN: 9780446548236 Small Business for Dummies. Eric Tyson. ISBN: 9780470177471 Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big. Bo Burlingham. ISBN: 1591840937 Starting an Online Business For Dummies. Greg Holden. ISBN: 9780470602102 SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance. Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. ISBN: 9780060889579 Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. Chip Heath and Daniel Heath. ISBN: 9780385528757 Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. Seth Godin. ISBN: 9781591842330 Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. ISBN: 9780470635490 UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging. Scott Stratten. ISBN: 9780470617878 Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves. Adam L. Penenberg. ISBN: 9781401323493 The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle. Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia. ISBN: 9781592579679 The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business. Tara Hunt. ISBN: 9780307409508 The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. Thomas L. Friedman. ISBN: 9780312425074 Your Business Brickyard: Getting Back to the Basics to Make Your Business More Fun to Run. Howard Mann. ISBN: 9780980154306 The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue. Shama Kabani and Chris Brogan. ISBN: 9781935251736

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