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Most important Business Fundamentals

Anonymous A asked on Oct 26, 2018 - 3 answers

Hello together

I've studied history and I realized that its the wrong path for me. For this reason i want to learn the most important business fundamentals to run a business. I dont have the money for an MBA so i want to learn it on my own. Which topics are the most important and which books are your recommendations for this most important business topics?
I think it would be great if you guys could give me the name of the books which you have used in your MBA (also the name of the university). I want to thank for every help very much!


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replied on Oct 26, 2018
Bain & Co interviewer (~3 years) | MBB-prep focused | Expert: Market Sizing; P&L cases | 50+ coachees at MBB
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Hi Enzo,

I would strongly recommend to get on Coursera and check the online courses they have to offer, the format is great and the content is generally of a very good quality. Morever, you can find a lot for free!

Personally, I did the Wharton MBA Business Foundations, where you can find 6 courses covering a set of topics very helpful for your own business: marketing, accounting, corporate finance, operations..

Happy learning!

replied on Oct 29, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

I agree with all the other commentators.

There are however a few good reads that I can highly recommend:

  1. Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder
  2. High Output Management by Andy Grove
  3. The Innovator's Dilemma by Klayton Christensen
  4. Anything by Michael Porter



replied on Oct 26, 2018
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Honestly, I don't think learning from academic books in a vacuum would be the best use of your time. Here's what I'd do:

1. Read economic-minded journals / newspapers (WSJ, Financial Times, Economist...) or at least the economics & business sections of your favorite paper

2. When you stumble on a concept that has you curious, google it

3. Perhaps buy one of these "MBA in 21 minutes" or "Economics for dummies"

4. Leverage the ton of free online courses if you wish, but make sure there's a clear objective

Ultimately, we all learn best when we have a concrete goal. If you launch a business, I guarantee you'll pick up accounting & web development pretty quickly - good luck learning these two otherwise!