Book Reviews: Winning at New Products and the Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law

When not studying for finals, taking the SAT, or engaging in some other mind-fucking exercise, I chowed down two good business reference reads. Both I wish I had read five years ago – I didn’t learn anything profoundly new but it was good to get context and have a reference place for some of these important issues. (Like most things, I learned about biz law and product development “on the job,” what a guy at a major university told me is the equivalent of an MBA via experience.)

The first was The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Law, the type of book I wish I read five years ago when people were explaining to me what S corp versus C corp meant, what cliff vesting was, and all the other mumbo jumbo involved with creating and managing a startup. Every entrepreneur should have this on his or her bookcase.

The second was Winning at New Products: Accelerating the Process from Idea to Launch. There’s not a lot original here – except for an overview of the Stage-Gate dev process – for anyone with a dose of knowledge of product management. As the authors say, though, most people when it comes to this topic admit “We all know how to dance, but once on the dance floor, we don’t dance so well.” There are so many failed product launches nowadays that the comprehensive reminders in this book like superb upfront market research and homework are helpful at any time.

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