The Art of the Start
The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for anyone Starting a Business.
a compiled Book Review 10/15 by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Author Guy Kawasaki. Guy is an accomplished author, venture capitalist, but prior to all of that, he was an accomplished innovator in Silicon Valley who began his roots at Apple before Apple was big. You can tell from the beginning that either Guy has been around Silicon Valley for quite a while. His book offers great nuggets of information if you are looking for pitch your company to a Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist. This was a top-selling Business Book in 2004. I really enjoyed his ideas for “starting something”:
1. Make Meaning – “Create a product or service that makes the world a better place.”
2. Make a Mantra – “Forget mission statements; they’re long, boring, & often irrelevant. No one can ever remember them – much less implement them. Instead, take your meaning and make a Mantra out of it.”
3. Get Going – Develop your product, Get it out there to see when Customers think. Modify to master your Market. Put in most of your Cash Flow to Grow.
4. Define your Business Model – “No matter what kind of organization you’re starting, your have to figure how to make money”. You can have the greatest product ever, but it you don’t plan and you can’t make money from it, your company won’t last very long.
5. Weave a MAT (Milestones, Assumptions, and Tasks) – “The final step is to compile three lists: (a) major Milestones you need to meet; (b) Assumptions that are built into your business model; (c) Tasks you need to accomplish to create an organization.
Guy’s Key Principles for Getting Going:
1. Think Big – While I think most entrepreneurs would agree with this statement, it’s always nice to hear it over and over and then a few more times.
2. Find a Few Soul-mates – Guy empathizes that – although history likes to point to one guy has having invented this or that – many companies or inventions are discovered by a few people.
4. Design Different – Guy states that there are at least four different approaches.
(a) “I want one” – This is when the designer and customer are the same person. This also implies that people also want what the designer wants – which isn’t always true.
(b) “My Employer Couldn’t (or Wouldn’t) Do It” – You probably have an idea what the customer’s want.
(c) “What the Hell – It’s Possible ??? – As Guy points out, this could be a tough road if the market isn’t ready for it.
(d) “There Must be a Better Way” – “They simply got an idea and decided to do it”.
What, Who? Overall, I thought there were a lot of great resources & books I hadn’t heard about prior to this book. It was a quick read which is always a positive. If I were a Silicon Valley guy looking to pitch my idea or business to a Venture Capitalist, then this book is for you.
Comments: What is your “take” on this book?