So, you want to disrupt the world with your mobile app. But like all things, disruption and entrepreneurship occur on the shoulders of giants. Steve Jobs didn’t come up with the iPhone on his own. He took things that were already popular and made them better.
Life isn’t always about innovation. Often, it’s about implementation. You identify best-in-class technologies and find opportunities to apply them. And you do that by knowing what’s going on. Let’s take a look at some essential resources for a disruptive founder today.
Mainstream Periodicals: Let’s Get It Out of the Way
Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes — you should read them all. But be aware that once something’s in a mainstream periodical, its time has expired. In the old days, investors used to say: “The best time to invest in a stock is before your Aunt Sally is talking about it.” The same applies.
Still, these mainstream periodicals are critically important because they provide insights into the general zeitgeist is thinking. Mainstream periodicals will tell you what people are already talking about. It’s your job to be ahead of the curve.
And there’s always the exception. Did you know that Zuck was talking about the Metaverse since 2014?
Innovation and Tech: Futurism, MIT Technology Review, and Wired
Frequently, new technology breaks quietly. There are one or two articles on an advanced, open-source machine learning platform… and then silence for literally years. Tech frequently develops unevenly. You bring radio to the internet before internet speeds have caught up to streaming. We’ve understood the principles of artificial intelligence and machine learning for decades, but it’s only recently that cloud technology has advanced to the point where it’s feasible.
So, new technology is an opportunity to grow. And it’s not always obvious what will or won’t be critical. Look for the trends under them; if you’re starting to see things pop up in multiple talk spaces, then it’s probably important.
Podcasts: Masters of Scale, The Week in Startups, Mixergy, and The Growth Show
You know what? There are thousands upon thousands of podcasts targeted toward entrepreneurs. But these are some best. Whether riding the bus to your Silicon Valley day job or going for a stroll in your suburb, listening to the opinions of experienced founders will help.
These podcasts give you a good mix of inspiring startup stories, current news, and actionable tips for growth. Don’t ignore the importance of inspiration. Podcasts are uniquely inspiring: they are designed to keep you going, thinking, and innovating.
Books: The Startup Owner’s Manual, Who, Zero to One, and Leading at the Speed of Growth
Read books, whether you’re listening to them in the car or reading them on your Kindle. In particular, Zero to One (by Peter Thiel) encapsulates the startup experience from someone who’s lived it. But don’t forget that there’s a lot of survivorship bias out there. Just as you should read information about those who succeeded, you should also read information about those who failed.
Some other critical books include Why Startups Fail, Build, and How to Ruin Your Life by 30. If you prepare for the worst you can move toward the best.
Entrepreneurship Means a Lifetime of Learning
Don’t stop there.
You want to create the next Reddit or Robinhood app. It starts with learning more — about everything. If you never stop learning and never stop thinking, you can keep innovating. Be open to new ideas and be willing to learn from anyone.