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Esc ‘How-To’ #1: How to develop your business idea

10. help_keyWhenever a friend tells me that they are thinking of setting up their own thing I often get really over-excited and start telling them about all sorts of resources that they should check out. Usually they tell me I’m nuts – but sometimes they find them really useful.

Here is a list of some things you should take a look at to help you develop your idea:

1. The Bootstrapper’s Bible

This is the mighty Seth Godin’s free e-book on how to start a business with no money. Download it for free here.

2. A Brief Guide to World Domination

Chris Guillebeau is trying to visit every country in the world before he is 35 in 2013. He also writes some interesting stuff about ‘doing your own thing’ in his world domination manifesto. Worth checking out if you want to make a particular change but feel like you can’t for whatever reason.

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I really like his opening quote: “Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way that they have been told to.” Alan Keightley

3. The Long Tail

Wired magazine’s Chris Anderson has written a book about his theory on how, thanks to new technologies (the internet), niches are now profitable. He explains how the future of business is not based on blockbusters and hits, but on catering to individual tastes.

It’s a pretty straightforward concept that you can probably get from a couple of Google searches or this video. However, if you want to read the book – here it is (we get beer money, you get book).

4. Social Media Revolution

A really slick little video that has recently ‘gone viral’ about how social media is changing the way people communicate.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8

IF YOU CAN’T SEE THIS VIDEO — SORRY — SOME INTRANETS FILTER THEM OUT… :-(

If you’re interested in social media you should have a look at this presentation too.

Actually you should look at this one!  Done by my friend (of Fund-It Frog fame) – damn cool presentation graphics too. [ADDED 15th SEPT '09]

5. Ignore Everybody

Hugh Macleod has written this book called ‘Ignore Everybody and 39 other keys to creativity’. Although it sounds like a self-help book it is actually a short and interesting series of ideas about how to start something cool (be it for your own ‘art’ or for money). Worth checking out. Alternatively check out his website for some cool cartoons drawn on the back of business cards.

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6. The Cluetrain Manifesto

A book written in 2001 that predicted some of the changes in business and communications that are happening today.  Don’t worry about not wanting to buy it – you can read the entire text online here.

7. Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan has one of the most popular blogs in the world and writes entertaining and interesting posts about using social media for business. Worth subscribing to.

8. Innocent’s latest book

We’ve written about Innocent’s latest book here. Really is worth reading. Read it with your idea in the back of your mind and you’ll be surprised how relevant much of their advice is.

9. Read Tribes

Couldn’t endorse this book enough. Buy it here. He argues that today, for the first time, everyone has the opportunity to start a movement. It has been something of a bible for EsctheCity. We have written about it in the FAQs. Watch this video to understand the concept. Check out Seth’s blog too.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQGYr9bnktw

IF YOU CAN’T SEE THIS VIDEO — SORRY — SOME INTRANETS FILTER THEM OUT… :-(

10. What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School

A more traditional book than many of the other things in this list. However, the lessons about business and management are still extremely relevant today. Check it out here.

Apparently What They Teach You At Harvard Business School is also a good read – but we haven’t read it – so haven’t linked to it with Amazon Associates (i.e. we don’t get beer money if you buy it).  Let us know if you have – write a review and send it to us if you want.

11. Strategy Letter

A free e-book about starting your own business. “Joel Spolsky says there’s one important decision that you absolutely must make before you begin. It goes to the core of the difference between Ben and Jerry’s and Amazon.com, and he explains it all in this manifesto.”

12. Smarta.com

A new website providing small business advice for start-ups and entrepreneurs. “Our aim is to provide a one-stop-shop where business owners can connect, learn and actually *do* business.” We haven’t used it much yet but it looks really good.

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Please let us know what you think of these links. Do you find them useful? Do you want more of the same? What do you think we should be reading online? Leave a comment below and let us know.