Oyster : Will it change the way you read ?

A newly launched app, Oyster aims to become to the Netflix/Spotify of books. With a fixed monthly charge of $9.95, users have access to over 100,000 titles to read. Add to that the social element which allows you to share what you’re reading with your friends. The Oyster team also guarantees an improved typography making it easier to read from your mobile devices.

The app is currently on invitation basis only. You can go to http://www.oysterbooks.com to register for an invite or simply learn more about the app. Couple of catches , though for now :

1. It’s only for the iPhone or iPod Touch (an iPad version is expected this fall). Other device users need to wait a bit.

2. It’s only available in the United States.

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Books for an Entrepreneur

A number of start-ups are popping up these days and with them a lot of first-time entrepreneurs. Some of them know what to do and some don’t. So in this post, I shall be listing down some of the must read books for entrepreneurs which apart from motivation, will also help in providing you some insights on how to go about things.

1.  Rework – Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

This one is my personal favourite. If your in the product development stage or even ideation stage, then you must read this. It not only helps you fasten things up but also helps you come closer to reality (either success or failure) faster. Perfect for first timers who generally believe that the product must be perfect before it launches and hence waste critical time on tweaking the product rather than reaching the market. “Planning is guessing” , “Why Grow?”, “Build half a product, not a half-assed product” , “Hire when it hurts”, “Fire the Workaholics”are some of the many rules that the book talks about. Don’t think much.  Buy it, Read it, Keep it (you may need to Re-visit it also).

2. The Long Tail – Chris Anderson

The Long tail talks about a new theory – a powerful new economic force developing due to the growth of internet and e-commerce. It examines how the niche interests , which were being ignored as minority, are coming together to form a new market. There is a shift in demand from the mass produce i.e. one-size-fits-all to something which can be customised to cater to specific needs.  Long tail inspires you to look at the market from a different perspective and probably discover markets you might be missing out

3. The Art of Start – Guy Kawasaki

A renowned name in the entrepreneur world, Guy Kawasaki writes about all the things needed to start-up. Talking from his experience, Mr. Kawasaki focuses on only one thing throughout the book i.e. to get up and running.

4. Screw Business as Usual – Richard Branson

An idol of many entrepreneurs, Sir Richard Branson writes about various experiences and stories of people who echo his “Screw it , let’s do it” attitude  to transform companies. It talks about his concept of Capitalism 24902 and how corporates, viewed as selfish money-making entities, must transform the way they do business to do good for humanity and planet. Hence the title, “Screw Business as Usual”.

5.  Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

What’s so different about the people who have made it big ? Do you think about this question regularly ? Then this book is for you. Malcolm Gladwell demystifies the  world of the outliers- people who have made it big, who are famous, who are successful. Oh and in the process also inspires you to be one of them.

I think these five books are good for now. If you’ve read them do share your experience or more so do list the books you feel are a must read for entrepreneurs. You’ll find many more different books if you look around.