Top 10 books every successful corporate entrepreneur should read in 2019

Today’s corporate ecosystem is all about being new, fresh and innovative. You just never know where you’ll find that next big idea with the potential to revolutionize the way you do business.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the most practical, inspiring and applicable guides published in 2018-2019 to help you take your business to the next level:

  1. ‘The Future of Design: Global Product Innovation for a Complex World’ by Lorraine Justice
  2. ‘Superhuman Innovation: Transforming Businesses with Artificial Intelligence’ by Chris Duffey
  3. ‘Grow from Within: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation’ by Robert C. Wolcott  & Michael J. Lippitz
  4. ‘Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies’ by Reid Hoffman & Chris Yeh
  5. ‘The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation’ by Gerald C. Kane, Anh Nguyen Phillips, Jonathan R. Copulsky & Garth R. Andrus
  6. ‘This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See’ by Seth Godin
  7. ‘The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time’ by Allen Gannett
  8. ‘Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader’ by John Rossman
  9. ‘Success Is in Your Sphere: Leverage the Power of Relationships to Achieve Your Business Goals’ by Zvi Band
  10. ‘The AI Advantage: How to Put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work’ by Thomas H. Davenport
Bundl Future Design Lorraine Justice

1. The Future of Design: Global Product Innovation for a Complex World

Lorraine Justice

Design expert Lorraine Justice takes you beyond the typical western view of creativity and innovation using actual case studies and interviews with key opinion leaders from all over the world. 

It’s a pretty unique and detailed guide for those looking to successfully steer their business in today’s ever-changing global ecosystem. 


So why read it?

This is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to take their business from “local” to “global”.

You’ll learn all about:

  • What makes your product attractive to clients
  • How to re-invent your products
  • The type of environments that foster great product designs and inventions

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Superhuman Innovation Chris Duffey

2. Superhuman Innovation: Transforming Businesses with Artificial Intelligence

Chris Duffey

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been revolutionizing the way we do business on a global scale. In his book, author Chris Duffey talks about how to harness the power of AI in a way that will “supercharge” the workforce and produce powerful innovation to give you the competitive edge you need to thrive.  

It’ll help you figure out how to infuse your products, content, and services with that crucial dose of innovation.


​So why read it?

You can’t get around it. AI is being called the “electricity of our times,” and a clear understanding of its applications in business is vital.

This is a fantastic read for forward thinkers looking to nurture the superstar innovators of the future by providing them with the tools they need to thrive.

In this book, Duffy also explains how AI companies are centralizing the strength of their data, personalization, and on-demand services.

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Grow From Within Wolcott Lippitz

3. Grow from Within: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Robert C. Wolcott  & Michael J. Lippitz

Renowned authors Wolcott & Lippitz offer some great insights to help you achieve a balance between free-flowing creativity and innovation management. One of the main distinctions, as explained in the book, is that “creativity is often messy and inconsistent, but innovation management should never be.”

Companies like IBM, Whirlpool, and Dupont are skillfully used to illustrate how businesses that are continuously looking for new venture opportunities report the highest profit margins.

It’s a functional thesis on how companies can enable and support their intrapreneurs in achieving advances that are both creative and profitable.


So why read it?

You’ll learn all about what it takes to design a new business as well as find creative ways to align your innovation program with your corporate strategy.

The authors provide some spot-on insights aimed at helping readers:

  • Find the right corporate strategy
  • Achieve growth organically
  • And reach their financial goals

The book also contains an informative deep dive into today’s four most dominant corporate entrepreneurship models as well as the leadership requirements necessary to develop a new business.

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Blitzscalling Reid Hoffman Chris Yeh

4. Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies

Reid Hoffman & Chris Yeh

What really separates startups that fizzle out from the ones that go on to become global powerhouses? It’s all about a technique called blitzscaling.

Inspired by their renowned course at Stanford Business School, the authors use case studies from companies like Airbnb and Wechat to help you understand the ins and outs of:

  • Designing business models aimed at sustainable growth
  • Strategies for successful hiring and managing
  • How you as a founder should evolve with the changing needs of your business

The blitzscaling technique advocates for speed over efficiency and illustrates how companies can accelerate to the stage in their cycle where the most value is generated.


So why read it?

You’ll pick up some great tips and tricks on creating design business models that support lighting speed growth, capture your core market and best deal with the unavoidable shifts coming at you during the different stages of your company’s life cycle.

If rapid and sustainable growth is something you’re interested in, you’ve found you’re next read!

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Technology Falacy Kane Phillips Copulsky Andrus

5. The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation

Gerald C. Kane, Anh Nguyen Phillips, Jonathan R. Copulsky & Garth R. Andrus

This is a no-nonsense guide for any entrepreneur dealing with the disruption caused by today’s digital technologies. 

It provides a refreshing perspective, arguing that digital disruption is actually about employees and that real transformation should focus on organizational changes and adjustments in company culture.

In other words, the selection and implementation of digital technologies takes a back seat to efficiently managing the people who work with them.  


So why read it?

You’ll learn all about how to achieve “digital maturity” in your business. Basically, it translates into the ability to:

  • Harness the power of new technologies
  • Identify the specifics of your own digital transformation
  • Cultivate a digital environment
  • Encourage an experimental mindset among your employees

The changes fueled by today’s digital disruption aren’t going to end anytime soon, and the insights in this book can help make your business more agile, efficient and risk tolerant.

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This Is Marketing Seth Godin

6. This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See

Seth Godin

The main premise of this book is that efficient marketing should be aimed at helping clients and solving problems rather than just getting noticed. In other words, great marketing campaigns are founded on the principals of empathy, knowledge, sharing, and emotion. 

Author Seth Godin offers a very refreshing approach to marketing, with a focus on transparency rather than spamming potential clients with flashy ads and never-ending email funnels.


So why read it?

You’ll learn all about how to create a solid and sustainable marketing strategy that is based on honesty and client loyalty.

There are also some useful tips on how to:

  • Effectively position your offers
  • Establish meaningful connections with your clients
  • Identify opportunities to create and release tension
  • Provide your clients with the tools to achieve their goals

It spells out exactly why older approaches to branding and advertisement are no longer functional, and why a more direct, client-focused approach will have more success in the long run.

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The Creative Curve Allen Gannett

7. The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time

Allen Gannett

This book sheds light on what it actually takes to be successful and creative, by demystifying some of the myths surrounding the concept of “creative genius”. The main premise here is that it takes more than just a miraculous hit of inspiration or a sudden eureka moment.

Instead, author Allen Gannett argues that there is a 4 law based method to reaching mainstream success in anything from creating a new marketing campaign to writing your first novel.


So why read it?

It’s full of common sense techniques on how to jumpstart your creativity. Gannett argues that it’s all about finding that perfect midpoint between what’s comfortable and familiar and what’s new and out of your comfort zone.

The main points are entertainingly illustrated through inspiring stories among which you’ll find the founder of Reddit, the Chief Content Officer at Netflix and many others.

There are some great tips on how to spend less time on non-productive ideas and better identify the winners.

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Think Like Amazon John Rossman

8. Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader

John Rossman

Ever wonder what the secret is behind success stories like Amazon’s?

Author and former Amazon executive John Rossman offers a detailed guide on how to think, strategize, and compete like Jeff Bezos does. The book contains specific ideas on how to:

  • Transform your company culture
  • Improve your e-commerce marketing
  • and create a successful online culture  


So why read it?

You’ll learn all about Amazon’s unique ground-up approach to driving operational intelligence and out-of-box innovation strategies.

There are also some great tips on how to successfully navigate new markets, initiate company growth, and use AI to radically change your client experiences.

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Success Sphere Zvi Band

9. Success Is in Your Sphere: Leverage the Power of Relationships to Achieve Your Business Goals

Zvi Band

This is an insightful read for anyone interested in harnessing the power of relationships to gain a competitive advantage in business.

The main idea here is that the most cost-effective, high-yield way of creating higher numbers of new and repeat business is through your current networks.

Author Zvi Band offers a transformative guide on how to solidify your existing network to achieve your professional goals. It’ll make you look at your professional relationships in a new light, specifically, as a precious asset for growing your business. 


So why read it?

You’ll pick up some very interesting and easily applicable techniques aimed at nurturing, strengthening and solidifying your professional relationships.

Band uses a combination of his own personal research and real case studies to guide his readers on how to better:

  • Forge stronger relationships
  • Build a killer professional contacts database
  • Take your execution strategies to the next level

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The AI Advantage Thomas Davenport

10. The AI Advantage: How to Put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work

Thomas H. Davenport

Anyone looking to successfully incorporate AI into their business and become a “cognitive corporation” will really enjoy this book. It does a great job of describing the technologies available and how you can best apply them in your own company to gain that coveted competitive edge.  

Davenport offers some practical insights on AI, cautioning entrepreneurs not to get swept up in all the unrealistic AI hype. Instead, he advocates for readers to look for “low-hanging fruit” types of technologies that are affordable, manageable, and can be game changers in terms of efficiency.      

So why read it?

Because it can help you make better, more informed decisions in terms of choosing the right technologies. It’s easy to get swept up in the hype surrounding some of the newer AI technologies and lose sight of what is useful and high yielding.

There are some wonderful examples of how you can experiment with automation, starting with some of your more repetitive tasks all the way to actual AI interactions with clients. 

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It’s always advantageous to stay on top of what’s current and cutting edge in terms of good business practices and staying competitive. And what better time to catch up on your reading than during the summer?

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you have a good book recommendation we should add to our list? Did any of the books in this article make your top five reads in 2019?

Let us know! 

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    Ritza Suazo

    Ritza Suazo

    Innovation Journalist