As the founder and president of Raamp, I’ve read a lot of books that have been helpful to my company. These books drove me to do better, and also led me down the path to a better company. They affected my business and my career in different ways. I have listed the books in the order that I read them, because I think it’s an important part of how they affected my direction.
Makers: The new industrial revolution
When I was working as a CNC machinist at Quickcrate.com; they would allow the machinist to stay late and use the CAD software and CNC machines. I took advantage of this almost daily. I would spend my lunch breaks and other breaks reading tutorials and posting to the programming forums.
I won a copy of this book for an Instructable I created that was a 3D dragon. My boss and I both read this book and became inspired. If you have an idea and wonder how to get it created, this is an excellent book. It gave me a new perspective on creation, that led to me to the tangible and translated very well to the digital.
Let God be God: Life-changing truths from the book of Job
Ray C. Stedman
This book goes through the entire book of Job, line by line. This book made it to the list because sometimes I think of Job as an entrepreneur; he is beaten down, lacks support, but stays true to what he knows is right. But unlike Job’s, my wife is my biggest supporter.
Basically, terrible things befall Job, then rather than supporting or comforting him, his friends say that he “had to have done something” to deserve his fate. They tear him down and tell him to curse God and die. But rather than give in, when his entire world is shattering, he stays the course. Not only does he give his “friends” their time to speak, he listens then responds with so much sarcasm that it makes me relate : ““No doubt you are the people, And wisdom will die with you!”. He still had his wits and some sense of humor. This is a reminder that regardless of the outcome; I have to stay true to what I know is right. Even if others can’t see the final outcome, I still have to keep pushing forward.
Crossing the Chasm
Geoffrey A. Moore
When I started Raamp, I was introduced to Greg Smith who very quickly and kindly began to mentor me; the very first book he recommended I read was this one. Along with him guiding me away from a few bad decisions, I am grateful that he had me read this book.
This book changed my view of my first clients and who they were, and what they wanted. This book is a must read for anyone with a new product or disruptive technology. It lets you understand who your potential clients are in the different stages of development, along with giving you the discernment not to bring on certain clients too soon.
Should I cold call? Should I be disciplined? I’ve heard a lot of people say this book is repetitive, but I feel it is time well spent. It does point out the obvious, but more importantly it makes the obvious, obvious.
This book gives you a process, examples, and a basic framework for better prospecting. It walks you through scenarios that give evidence that support the claims of each situation.
The Ultimate Sales Machine
Pig-headed determination! That phrase is repeated throughout this book. Chet goes through and explains how to run a great company. This book can be applied to every company because every company needs to sell.
I’ve heard of those who re-read this book every year. I’m not one of those people, but I can see why they would go through the exercise. Chet Holmes was a very unique individual that was able to conceptualize difficult processes and relay them with precision and pig-headed determination.