Category Archives: visual-book-notes

Visual book review: Blue Ocean Strategy–W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne

Most business books focus on beating the competition. Blue Ocean Strategy (Harvard Business School Press, 2005) focuses on breaking out of red oceans of competition, creating new markets instead. Here are some ways to find alternative markets: alternative industries, strategic groups, buyers, complementary product and service offerings, functional/emotional appeal, time.

Click on the image for a larger version of the sketchnote.

20121228 Book - Blue Ocean Strategy

Feel free to share this! You can credit it as (c) 2012 Sacha Chua under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canadalicence.

Blue Ocean Strategy is a good book for established companies that are finding it challenging to differentiate themselves, but it’s also a good read for companies that are starting out and who are looking for their unique selling propositions (USPs).

I’m going to go over different business ideas, sketch red ocean / blue ocean strategies for each, and see about talking to lots of people in order to help validate the sketches. Looking forward to it!

Check out my other sketchnotes and visual book notes. Want me to sketchnote your event? Know of any interesting tech / business talks coming up? I’d love to hear from you!

Visual book review: Running Lean–Ash Maurya

If you’re starting a technology business – or other kinds of businesses – you’ll find many tips in Ash Maurya’s book, Running Lean. In particular, he provides step-by-step guides for conducting problem interviews, solution interviews, and MVP interviews, all great ways to validating your business assumptions and make sure you’re on the right track.

Here’s a sketchnote that summarizes the key points from the book. Click on the image to see a larger version.

20121228 Book - Running Lean - Ash Maurya

The business model canvas in Running Lean is released under the Creative Commons Sharealike Licence, so this image is as well. Enjoy!

Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, Second Edition (O’Reilly). (affiliate link) Copyright 2012 Ash Maurya, 978-1-449-30517-8. Recommended for startup founders and early employees.

If you like this, you might want to check out:

Visual book review: The Sketchnote Handbook–Mike Rohde

I know, I know, two visual book reviews in one day. But The Sketchnote Handbook is cool and I just received my copy of it this morning, so I wanted to share this with you today. =)

In The Sketchnote Handbook, Mike Rohde breaks down the process for sketchnotes. He found that writing his notes in pen in a small sketchbook and giving himself permission to doodle made taking notes so much more fun and less frustrating. If you’ve been having problems paying attention in class or in meetings, or you’ve been frustrated by your inability to remember key points from conferences and presentations, this is for you. No art degree required.

Here’s my one-page summary. Click on the image for a larger version, and feel free to share it!

20121211 Book - The Sketchnote Handbook - Mike Rohde

© 2012 Sacha Chua, Creative Commons Attribution Licence

If you’ve always been curious about how to start sketchnoting, this is the best book I’ve come across so far. Read this, then read Dan Roam’s Back of the Napkin for more business-oriented visual tools.

If you’re ordering through Peachpit, use the coupon code SKETCHNOTE to get 35% until Dec 31, 2012. It’s roughly the same price on Amazon (affiliate link). Note that there’s a video edition that includes 70 minutes of video tutorials, which is great for bringing these ideas to life.

I received a review copy of this book from Peachpit Press. Props to them. =)

Check out my other sketchnotes and visual book notes for more business- and technology-related visual summaries!

Other people’s visual summaries of The Sketchnote Handbook:

Visual book notes: Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 ways to Out-Innovate the Competition–Stephen M. Shapiro

Here’s my visual summary of Stephen M. Shapiro’s 2011 book Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition (affiliate link). It’s a good book for people handling innovation management in medium and large enterprises, although small business owners might still be able to apply a few tips like the one about getting out and observing your customers (Lessons from Indiana Jones, p.69) and when to buy/innovate/hire solutions (There’s no such thing as a “know-it-all”, p.42).

Click on the image to view a larger version, and feel free to share it under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence!

20121211 Book - Best Practices Are Stupid - Stephen M. Shapiro

Check out my other sketchnotes and visual book notes!

Visual book review: Help Your Kids Get Better Grades

I received a review copy of Gary E. Howard’s Help Your Kids Get Better Grades at just the right time. Yesterday was J’s first day of high school. Exciting times! We’ve been talking to her about the need for taking notes, and we’re looking forward to helping her make the most of homework and study for tests. We hope we’ll be able to help her learn those super-useful study skills. Here are my notes. Enjoy!

Book - Help Your Kids Get Better Grades

Click on the image for a larger version.

The book has many more tips for people helping high-school students improve their study skills.

Help Your Kids Get Better Grades (Gary E. Howard; Cambridge Learning Skills, 2010) – affiliate link

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book, but would probably have written the same review if I’d checked this out from a library. =) The Amazon links above are also affiliate links.

Sketchnotes: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

Chris Guillebeau’s new book The $100 Startup was released just yesterday. Here are my notes! Click on the image to view a larger version.

20120509-sketchnotes-100-dollar-startup

The book is packed with clear, practical advice and backed by concrete, diverse stories from successful microbusinesses around the world. It’s not a very deep book (don’t look here for step-by-step instructions, thorough analyses of case studies, or hand-holding through the business startup process), but it’s an enjoyable read. I’ll probably find myself referring to it a lot for inspiration and ideas. If you like this book, you’ll probably also like The Lean Startup (see my notes). Enjoy!

Check out more sketchnotes or read about my ongoing experiments in business. I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s the text from the image to make it easier to search for: THE $100 STARTUP Chris Guillebeau What you love to do What people will pay for passion + skill + usefulness = success benefits features Ex: happiness widgets Expand your opportunities by reusing your skills in different ares. Most people want simplicity. Don’t give them unneeded details. Some businesses are easier to start. consulting information products You don’t have to be an expert yet! Action Planning Don’t wait for perfection. Start and learn along the way. Invest time into growing your business. Learn how to offer, hustle, launch… “Franchise yourself” -partner -outsource -spin off a different biz scale up You don’t have to build a huge business. Make one that’s the right size for you. Where to find opportunities -marketplace inefficiency -new tech or opportunity -changing space -spin-off or side projects Decision-making matrix Impact Effort Profit Vision Idea Idea Market before manufacturing Test your idea Failsafe: offer refunds FAQ: objection-squasher 25 cents Make your first sale ASAP. Great confidence builder. Other useful parts: 1-page business plan 39-step launch checklist 1-page promotion plan + web resources Like this? Check out my other notes @ LivingAnAwesomeLife.com! – Sacha Chua Twitter: @sachac