Great Reads for Innovators & Inventors

What’s on your summer reading list?
Summer’s a great time to relax, explore new ideas and find inspiration. But with thousands of business titles published every year, it’s hard to pick the best. Voila! We’ve provided a shortlist of some great reads on innovation and entrepreneurship, both current and classic, that you can take to the beach or poolside.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

“I loved the candid descriptions of the passion, pain and struggles it takes to bring together technology and humanities together to build insanely great product. I also loved the acknowledgement that it takes insanely great experts from many different disciplines coming together under a common goal to create those insanely great products (they are the true unsung heroes of the apple success story).”
Rob Arnold C4C Entrepreneur-in-Residence and former President and CEO of Geospiza, Inc.

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

“Gives a simple formula and template for writing a business plan and investor pitch, but also the reasons to get started building and testing before all that.”
Mike Clarke C4C Technology Manager, Engineering

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

“This book has taught me more about business than any book on business. It helps you understand the fundamental workings of your mind, your customers minds, and the minds of investors. If the actions or behaviors of people in the business world (or outside business) have ever caused you to scratch your head, the explanation of their actions is probably in here.”
Chris Wood C4C Entrepreneur-in-Residence and former executive at Picker International and Siemens Medical Solutions

High Tech Start Up by John L. Nesheim

“Reads like a recipe book on all the major issues (including personal) related to staring a technology company. Insightful and features great tables.”
Fred Holt C4C Director of Strategic Initiatives

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

“You may have a nifty new idea but is it something customers will pay for? Ries provides a practical, quantifiable methodology to determine if you have a viable enterprise. An enjoyable and easy read.”
Debbie Woo C4C Marketing Officer

Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation by James M. Utterback

“This book provides a well-researched historical look at how innovation transforms industries. Examples include refrigeration replacing pond ice and electric lights replacing gas lamps. Provides a nice perspective on what it takes for a new innovation to replace existing technology. There is a lot to be learned from history.”
Todd Cleland UW Industrial Relations Officer, Engineering

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore

“I found this to be a great book for learning about marketing in the high-tech space. It helps me think about how tech companies transition from early markets to main-stream markets and the “chasm” in between the two.”
Patrick Shelby C4C Director of New Ventures

Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application by 37signals

“A book of invaluable advice on how to build a web based business based on the “less is more” philosophy.”
Ken Myer former C4C Entrepreneur-in-Residence with a 20-year career leading companies from start-ups to Fortune 100 level

The Next Step: Guiding you from idea to startup by Michael Libes

“Short and to the point. Gives a fast assessment of the steps to vet a new idea.”
Laura Dorsey C4C Senior Technology Manager, Engineering and Sciences

Patent It Yourself by David Pressman

“Great education for anyone new to patents. Details how patents are used in a business context, what to expect in the patenting process, how to do your own patentability search, and how licensing and enforcement works.”
Mike Clarke C4C Technology Manager, Engineering

NOTE: We encourage all UW inventors to learn about the patenting process, and look forward to working with you when you’re ready to discuss or apply for patent protection.

The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steven Gary Blank

“The insight by the author is that successful start-ups employ “customer development” as well as “product development”. It forces the reader to think deeply about the customers perspective.”
Patrick Shelby C4C Director of New Ventures

The Tale of the Scale by Solly Angel

“The roller-coaster journey of an independent inventor trying to commercialize his patented technology.”
Mike Clarke C4C Technology Manager

The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton M. Christensen

“Get’s you thinking not only about what influences adoption of technological change by companies but, also, how organizations support or hinder all change.”
Fiona Wills C4C Director of Technology Licensing