Learn. Discuss. Grow.

These three words are the lifeblood behind our new informal gathering here at the MaRS Discovery District, aptly named: MaRS Start-Up Book Club. It will occur the last Monday of every month, starting September 26, 2011. To register, click here. Ultimately, we intend to empower the consumer & enterprise mobile and online start-up community with a place to:

1. Learn:

through relevant books highlighting the latest in start-up business fundamentals and trends, complimented by the experience of our own advisory service members and guest speakers. This will also allow us a chance to connect with you and keep you advised of the cool happenings within the walls of MaRS which effect the start-up community.

2. Discuss:

with a network of other motivated folks in the start-up community. The real learning will come from each other and the open dialogue of how we interpret and relate to the key discussion items of each reading and how they apply to start-ups.

3. Grow:

by providing  a platform in terms of inspiration and tactical skill to apply to your business. Most importantly, inspiration. Playing on the passion of ourselves and others, we’ll be able to apply and grow with the key learnings from each gathering.  Together, we will celebrate the successes of the group, no matter how large or small.

About our first gathering…

In addition to our first reading (Rework) and discussion items listed below, we will determine what to read over the next year, using inspiration like the list of 11 Books for the Entrepreneur from Sara Kessler of Mashable. In our first meeting, we expect participants to have come prepared by reading Rework in advance.

MaRS StartUp Book Club

Reading#1: Rework

Author: Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson, Founders of 37signals

Discussion items and questions for the first gathering:

1. FIRST

  • A brief intro to the book and the ‘new reality’ as indicated by the authors.

2. TAKEDOWNS

  • Planning is guessing.
  • Why is ‘Workaholism’ detrimental to startup growth?

3. GO

  • Are you starting a ‘start-up’ or a ‘business’ and what is the difference?
  • Building to flip is building to flop. Do you agree?

4. PROGRESS

  • Launch now. What does this entail?
  • Ignore the details early on. Why is this important?

5. PRODUCTIVITY

  • Are ‘meetings toxic’ and why?
  • Why is interruption the enemy of productivity?

6. COMPETITORS

  • Decommoditize your product
  • Should you really care what the competition does?

7. EVOLUTION

  • Let your customers outgrow you
  • Don’t confuse enthusiasm with priority

8. PROMOTION

  • Welcome obsurity
  • Build an audience

9. HIRING

  • Hire when it hurts
  • Resumes are ridiculous

10. DAMAGE CONTROL

  • Own your bad news
  • How to say you’re sorry

11. CULTURE

  • Decisions are temporary
  • Send people home at 5
  • ASAP is poison

To register, click here.

Follow the book club announcements on Twitter and Facebook.

We are looking forward to learning, discussing and growing with you.

Nathan Monk

Nathan Monk is a senior strategist for the MaRS Information & Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Nathan is a lean-agile evangelist, mentor, digital strategist and growth hacker/marketer. Follow him @cowboytweets. See more…