This is my personal selection of useful and interesting books, essays, and readings that help in the running of a coworking space and small businesses. I only recommend what I’ve read and really liked. If you want your work mentioned here, send a copy so that I can read it and decide about including it (I may even write a blogpost about it). If you think that there’s an important reading missing, send me a message including: title, author, and why it is so good (if you add some key learnings, even better).
Coworking books and readings
- The Coworking Handbook, by Ramon Suarez, founder of Betacowork Coworking Brussels and president of the European Coworking Assembly. Different pricing depending on country:US IN UK DE FR ES IT JP BR CA MX AU. How to open and operate a coworking space, with practical tips for all areas of the business.
- No More Sink Full of Mugs, by Tony Bacigalupo, founder of New Work City in NY. Price $9.99 Kindle, $19 PDF. Focused on solving common community issues.
- Working in the UnOffice: A Guide to Coworking for Indie Workers, Small Businesses, and Nonprofits, by Genevieve V DeGuzman. Price $17.99 paper, $7.77 Kindle. The initial theory part is interesting, but the best part is on the second half where different coworking and office businesses explain the kind of events they do, their structure, their offering, etc. A highlight from the first part: “What you pay for is membership, the right to belong.”
- Workplace Innovation Today: The Coworking Center, by Andrea P. Foertsch. Price: Free. An interesting short presentation for C level executives and people that want to learn some basic theory about coworking. The business profile examples have interesting content for operators, like lease information, growth, income structure, etc. More papers coming up here.
Community and relationships books and readings
- Startup Communities. Brad Feld. How to create thriving ecosystems in any city.
- Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur. Brad Feld. Couples and entrepreneuship can be tricky. This book helps you improve and maintain your relationship and understand your significatn other better.
- The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation. Jono Bacon. A deeper dive into the organization of communities by the man that lead the Ubuntu community for a long time. Very interesting insight and examples from different initiatives he’s been part of.
Business and entrepreneurship books and readings
- Running Lean. Ash Maurya. The step by step application of Lean Startup & Customer Development.
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. Michael Gerber. What you have to do to run a company that delivers better service consistently, works better, and is worth more with less effort. In a few words: work on your business, not in your business.
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Greg McKeown. If you find yourself stretched too thin, overworked and loosing motivation this book will help you refocus on your professional and personal life.
- Business Model Generation. Ostewalder & Pigneur. Their Business Model Canvas has revolutionized the way we think about creating business and accelerates a lot the creation of a viable business plan. Complemented with Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas.
- Information Rules. Shapiro, Varian (yes, Google’s Varian). A classic that is fully applicable now a days. The examples are old but not the business logic.
- Pimento Map. Cedric Donck. To learn how to evaluate a startup or business opportunity as an investor.
- The Management Playbook. Brandon Allen. Great reading about how to develop an effective management style.
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. Adele Faber. Not only a parenting book, also good to teach you to talk and listen to your team.
Marketing and sales books and readings
- Influence. Robert Chialdini. You have to read this book to understand the psychology of sales and use it to your advantage. You will sell better and be less prone to fall for sellers’ tactics Easy and full of good examples.
- Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal. Oren Klaff. Great book on how to pitch to anybody (investors, clients, audiences). Focus on the techniques and ignore the bragging.
- The Ultimate Startup Guide To Outbound Sales — Startup sales hacks. Steli Efti. Great primer to learn about selling and to improve your sales.
- Marketing to the social web. Larry Weber. For those that have no clue about social media, this is the intro you need to read.
Architecture, design and usability books and readings
- Neufert Architects’ Data, Fourth Edition. Ernst Neufert. This is the bible for architects, with standard measures for everything (or almost).
- Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. Steve Krug. THE book to make better websites: your users will be happier, you will sell more with less effort.
- The Design of Everyday Things. Don Norman. Principles of design to make everything better with good and useful design.
Productivity books and readings
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity. David Allen. The best book to help you get more things done, better and in less time with a lot less of stress.
- The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer’s Block. Hillary Rettig. The title says it all.
Self publishing books and readings
- Createspace and Kindle Self-Publishing Masterclass. The Step-by-Step Author’s Guide to Writing, Publishing and Marketing Your Books on Amazon. Rick Smith. This is the book that I used as a reference to self publish The Coworking Handbook.
Selected blog posts, articles and lists
- Repository of coworking statistics
- What to do when you have a space, but no members!
- How to thrive in a coworking space: get the most out of your membership
- Coworking survival guide for introverts
- Advantages and benefits of coworking
- Disadvantages of coworking and how to adress them
- Coworking Finance 101: Can coworking be profitable?
- The proof that coworking works: 2500% return on investment
- Working from home: Why it sucks, and why coworking breathes
- Why working from home sucks, even during the holidays
- How to value and nurture your local coworking community