Best Beach Reading for Entrepreneurs

Life is a Beach

Entrepreneurs work hard all year long to ensure their businesses become successful and stay successful, but everyone needs a break to relax and reflect. If you start feeling guilty about heading to the beach this summer don’t.

Here is a list of summer reads that will keep you thinking and inspired -- even from your Adirondack.

The Wide Lens: What Successful Innovators See That Others Miss by Ron Adner

Many entrepreneurs eat, breathe and sleep their inventions. Devoting themselves entirely to their craft is how they have learned to live and succeed. In The Wide Lens, innovation expert Ron Adner encourages entrepreneurs to pull back from focusing on themselves and explore the world around them. Travel. Make mistakes. Step outside your comfort zone. By the time they’re finished reading, entrepreneurs will start considering how bottlenecks in the value chain result in dependencies and thus the success or failure of their venture.

Big Data at Work by Tom Davenport

What is big data anyway? There is so much hand-waving by media and armchair analysts about big data that this concept has resulted in a lot of misconceptions and myths. In layman’s terms, Tom Davenport's book Big Data at Work examines how big data is not an objective by itself but an enabler of many types of businesses and that entrepreneurs have to become versed in how to manage and design their companies to extract the value.

Related: The 7 Books Every Entrepreneur Needs to Read When They're Discouraged

Getting to Plan B by John Mullins and Randy Komisar

Getting to Plan B recognizes that most startups have to make some type of pivot after starting, because they learn what customers really want and move the company in the right direction. Authors John Mullins and Randy Komisar guide entrepreneurs on the importance of being flexible and constantly evaluating your business model in order to change to meet customer needs.

Related: 3 Books to Help You Form Better Habits, Be More Creative and Think Like a Leader

Confessions of a Venture Capitalist by Ruthann Quindlen

Even the brightest entrepreneur might not understand everything when it comes to venture capital, but it’s important to have a good understanding of what your investors are thinking. In her book Confessions of a Venture Capitalist, entrepreneurial-analysis expert Ruthann Quindlen provides basic insights into the venture capital world without sounding like a textbook, making it the perfect read for someone wanting to understand how venture capital works from a practitioner’s point of view.

Leading the Revolution by Gary Hamel

Gary Hamel is one of the top business authors of our time. Leading the Revolution is a timeless work on business innovation that focuses on how new ideas, innovation and growth help a company succeed. Whereas most books focus on current issues within a company, this one looks at how to build a future.

Related: The 3 Best Books For Entrepreneurs to Return To, Again and Again

This post originally appeared at Entrepreneur. Copyright 2014.

Len Middleton is an adjunct professor of corporate strategy, international business and entrepreneurship at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He is also a board member of the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. Follow him at @zelllurie

Dr. Adriaens is professor of civil and environmental engineering, and professor of entrepreneurship and strategy in the Ross School of Business, where he is affiliated with the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. Follow him at @padriaens.