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The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

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A new product, a new service, a new company, a new division, a new organization, a new anything—where there’s a will, here’s the way. It begins with a dream that just won’t quit, the once-in-a-lifetime thunderbolt of pure inspiration, the obsession, the world-beater, the killer app, the next big thing. Everyone who wants to make the world a better place becomes possessed by a gra A new product, a new service, a new company, a new division, a new organization, a new anything—where there’s a will, here’s the way. It begins with a dream that just won’t quit, the once-in-a-lifetime thunderbolt of pure inspiration, the obsession, the world-beater, the killer app, the next big thing. Everyone who wants to make the world a better place becomes possessed by a grand idea. But what does it take to turn your idea into action?  Whether you are an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit crusader, there’s no shortage of advice available on issues such as writing a business plan, recruiting, raising capital, and branding. In fact, there are so many books, articles, and Web sites that many startups get bogged down to the point of paralysis. Or else they focus on the wrong priorities and go broke before they discover their mistakes. In The Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki brings two decades of experience as one of business’s most original and irreverent strategists to offer the essential guide for anyone starting anything, from a multinational corporation to a church group. At Apple in the 1980s, he helped lead one of the great companies of the century, turning ordinary consumers into evangelists. As founder and CEO of Garage Technology Ventures, a venture capital firm, he has field-tested his ideas with dozens of newly hatched companies. And as the author of bestselling business books and articles, he has advised thousands of people who are making their startup dreams real. From raising money to hiring the right people, from defining your positioning to creating a brand, from creating buzz to buzzing the competition, from managing a board to fostering a community, this book will guide you through an adventure that’s more art than science—the art of the start.


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A new product, a new service, a new company, a new division, a new organization, a new anything—where there’s a will, here’s the way. It begins with a dream that just won’t quit, the once-in-a-lifetime thunderbolt of pure inspiration, the obsession, the world-beater, the killer app, the next big thing. Everyone who wants to make the world a better place becomes possessed by a gra A new product, a new service, a new company, a new division, a new organization, a new anything—where there’s a will, here’s the way. It begins with a dream that just won’t quit, the once-in-a-lifetime thunderbolt of pure inspiration, the obsession, the world-beater, the killer app, the next big thing. Everyone who wants to make the world a better place becomes possessed by a grand idea. But what does it take to turn your idea into action?  Whether you are an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit crusader, there’s no shortage of advice available on issues such as writing a business plan, recruiting, raising capital, and branding. In fact, there are so many books, articles, and Web sites that many startups get bogged down to the point of paralysis. Or else they focus on the wrong priorities and go broke before they discover their mistakes. In The Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki brings two decades of experience as one of business’s most original and irreverent strategists to offer the essential guide for anyone starting anything, from a multinational corporation to a church group. At Apple in the 1980s, he helped lead one of the great companies of the century, turning ordinary consumers into evangelists. As founder and CEO of Garage Technology Ventures, a venture capital firm, he has field-tested his ideas with dozens of newly hatched companies. And as the author of bestselling business books and articles, he has advised thousands of people who are making their startup dreams real. From raising money to hiring the right people, from defining your positioning to creating a brand, from creating buzz to buzzing the competition, from managing a board to fostering a community, this book will guide you through an adventure that’s more art than science—the art of the start.

30 review for The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chad Warner

    An excellent handbook for those starting a business or non-profit, stressing function over form and action over planning. The lessons apply to organizations whether they're bootstrapping or seeking funding from venture capitalists or angel investors. Kawasaki includes plenty of historical examples and firsthand experience, making this a practical real-world resource that's more valuable than a simply conceptual textbook. An excellent handbook for those starting a business or non-profit, stressing function over form and action over planning. The lessons apply to organizations whether they're bootstrapping or seeking funding from venture capitalists or angel investors. Kawasaki includes plenty of historical examples and firsthand experience, making this a practical real-world resource that's more valuable than a simply conceptual textbook. Guy Kawasaki is a respected serial entrepreneur whose articles I've read in Inc. magazine. When I noticed that the Momentum startups were reading this book, I decided to see what I could apply to my technology startup, OptimWise. The book's lessons are relevant, concise, and entertaining. Each chapter covers a particular topic (bootstrapping, branding, etc.) and ends with exercises and recommended reading. Great ideas for starting things 1. Make meaning: create a product or service that makes the world better. 2. Make mantra: turn your meaning into a mantra, not a boring mission statement. 3. Get going: create and deliver; don't over-plan. 4. Define your business model: figure out how to make money. 5. Weave a MAT: set Milestones, know the Assumptions in your model, accomplish Tasks Positioning • Be inspiring and energizing. • Target a specific niche. • Use plain English (avoid jargon and buzzwords). Pitching • Pitch the real-world use of your product or service. • Help people picture why they need it; "catalyze fantasy". • Alleviate pain. • Provide a demo. • End with a call to action. Bootstrapping • Ship, then fix based on customer feedback. • Focus on function, not form. • Understaff and outsource non-strategic functions as much as possible. Recruiting • Don't trust intuition, trust facts. • Only hire someone you'd love to bump into at the grocery store. Partnering • Form partnerships for financial reasons, not to impress others. • Partner to accentuate strengths, not cover weaknesses. • It's not what you know or who you know, but who knows you. • Listen more than you talk. • Connect based on shared passions. • Give and ask for favors. Branding • Create something contagious. • Make it easy to use. • Recruit evangelists. Lead generation methods • Conduct small seminars. • Give speeches. • Get published. • Network proactively. • Participate in industry organizations. Be a mensch • Help lots of people. • Do what's right. • Pay back society. • Writing a business plan forces you to think through your business. • Don't worry about money as much as where you're going.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Quinn

    Hmm... Pretty boring for a book that is suppose to light a fire. The real art of starting is starting, which I did, I just couldn't finish it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    I'm utterly bewildered by the high ratings and rave reviews this book is getting. I'm not seeing anything that's new or thought-provoking from it and, instead, the book seems to hop randomly around the topic of startups without getting particularly deep into anything. A lot of it seems to be taken from the ideas of others, such as The Lean Startup and the works of Seth Godin, but at least Kawasaki attributes these ideas to them and refers to their books, so at least his readers can go off and re I'm utterly bewildered by the high ratings and rave reviews this book is getting. I'm not seeing anything that's new or thought-provoking from it and, instead, the book seems to hop randomly around the topic of startups without getting particularly deep into anything. A lot of it seems to be taken from the ideas of others, such as The Lean Startup and the works of Seth Godin, but at least Kawasaki attributes these ideas to them and refers to their books, so at least his readers can go off and read something with more meat. Take, for example, the chapter called the Art of Evangelizing, in which Kawasaki suggests that in order to get a standing ovation when public speaking, you should "have something interesting to say"; when encouraging 'evangelists' you should 'assign tasks and expect them to get done'; you should also ask for help. He also gives some advice on writing emails, slotted into the chapter on evangelizing without any obvious reason (like so much elsewhere in the book): Kawasaki suggests that we shouldn't write in caps and we should answer emails within 48 hours. I could go on, but suffice it to say, when I read books like these my highlighter is usually spraying ink all over the page - but not for this book. Some of it is also contradictory. He suggests bootstrapping snd avoiding external funding, before launching into a chapter on getting external funding. He advocates an MVP, but then talks about the need to launch a 'complete' and 'deep' (feature-rich) product. Some of it is such common sense advice that it's almost pointless wasting paper and printing ink, such as 'sweat the big stuff' like developing and selling your product rather than getting business cards printed. My one takeaway idea from the book is that we should focus on adoption of a product, not scaling. Hence the 2 star. But perhaps someone could enlighten me as to why so many people rate this with a 5.0? There's so much that's better in this field.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Conrad Zero

    Not bad, but focused on a very niche market. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki is subtitled "The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything." Unfortunately, that isn't entirely true, unless you consider reading only the chapters that pertain to you. The book does have a very specific audience in mind, and the subtitle should have been "How to take your start-up-business-idea and use venture capital to become the next Apple/Nike/Coke/Microsoft." Like I said, pretty niche, Not bad, but focused on a very niche market. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki is subtitled "The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything." Unfortunately, that isn't entirely true, unless you consider reading only the chapters that pertain to you. The book does have a very specific audience in mind, and the subtitle should have been "How to take your start-up-business-idea and use venture capital to become the next Apple/Nike/Coke/Microsoft." Like I said, pretty niche, and not for "Anyone Starting Anything." There is no-nonsense advice on partnerships, bootstrapping, seeking venture capital, marketing, etc. Nothing you won't find in other books, but Guy does add a healthy dose of realism, and his writing is fresh, insightful and easily accessible. Chapter 11, "The Art of Being a Mensch" really should be required reading for Anyone Starting Anything, and should be read First, before the rest of the book. Guy Kawasaki was "one of the individuals responsible for the success of the Macintosh computer" and currently works in a venture capital group garage.com. So he definitely has the credentials to back up his writing. He has seen firsthand what it takes to take a startup into a mega-corporation.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anita Campbell

    I think this is one of the best startup books out there -- and Kawasaki's best book. But it's not a book for everyone. The focus is on tech entrepreneurs. While much of the advice is applicable to other industries, the book will hit the bullseye specifically with those starting technology businesses. Another thing about this book: parts of it contain advice for those seeking funding from angel and VC investors. Since that covers a tiny percentage of the entrepreneurial popu I think this is one of the best startup books out there -- and Kawasaki's best book. But it's not a book for everyone. The focus is on tech entrepreneurs. While much of the advice is applicable to other industries, the book will hit the bullseye specifically with those starting technology businesses. Another thing about this book: parts of it contain advice for those seeking funding from angel and VC investors. Since that covers a tiny percentage of the entrepreneurial population, it's really targeted toward a narrow niche. However, even if you choose never to seek investment funding, I still recommend the book. Why? Because investors ask hard questions. The kind of thinking you need to do to satisfy investors, is actually the kind of rigorous thinking more entrepreneurs should do for themselves. I mean, why fool yourself about the market potential for your startup, or about whether you've even thought through expense projections? The book is written in a snappy take-no-prisoners style. At times it's sarcastic and snarky. You won't get a lot of coddling or sympathy in this book. If you're looking for moral support, or gentle mentoring, or nurturing pats on the back to encourage you along ... well, you're not going to find much of that here. No, "Art of the Start" is more like a kick in the pants. But sometimes a kick in the pants is exactly what a startup entrepreneur needs.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John Montgomery

    A book by Guy Kawasaki is always a fun read. Kawasaki has a great sense of humor and is not afraid to speak his truth. The Art of the Start and Rob Adams' A Good Hard Kick in the Ass are two of my favorite books about the process of starting a company. Both authors speak their truth. Kawasaki has an innate sense of how much information the brain can absorb at any one time. This book is composed of lots of digestible nuggets of advice, which he brings to life with stories and quotation A book by Guy Kawasaki is always a fun read. Kawasaki has a great sense of humor and is not afraid to speak his truth. The Art of the Start and Rob Adams' A Good Hard Kick in the Ass are two of my favorite books about the process of starting a company. Both authors speak their truth. Kawasaki has an innate sense of how much information the brain can absorb at any one time. This book is composed of lots of digestible nuggets of advice, which he brings to life with stories and quotations. Kawasaki's use of language is loose and informal, and makes you feel like he is having a relaxed conversation with you. This book is easy to read and well organized. Kawasaki was one of my role models for Great from the Start. I admire the comfort and ease of his communication style. He has high emotional intelligence and makes a strong heart-to-heart connection with his readers and those who hear his presentations. He is an effective communicator and a maven of marketing. His playful sense of humor makes his writer's voice comfortable to follow. His perspective provides insight into how to connect with audiences and customers.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Misha Kessler

    I'm honestly quite confused by the high ratings, and unfortunately, I'll be adding an unpopular opinion. I found this to be entirely too lazy. It's a collection blog posts copied and pasted into book form. (Did anyone else notice when the copyeditors didn't even take the time to convert lines like "Check out the source by clicking here" into footnoted links, which would at least allow us to write the link into an address bar to see it ourselves?? I would jokingly poke the pages and shout "DARN INTERW I'm honestly quite confused by the high ratings, and unfortunately, I'll be adding an unpopular opinion. I found this to be entirely too lazy. It's a collection blog posts copied and pasted into book form. (Did anyone else notice when the copyeditors didn't even take the time to convert lines like "Check out the source by clicking here" into footnoted links, which would at least allow us to write the link into an address bar to see it ourselves?? I would jokingly poke the pages and shout "DARN INTERWEBS ARE OUT AGAIN," simply out of frustration at it's poor copyediting.) For introductory & reference books, there are many better options IMHO (i.e.: David Rose's "Startup Checklist," or even the "Dummies" collection – Small Business, Starting and Running a Business, Venture Capital, Successful Online Startups – since at least they're thorough with copyediting and provide solid, well-reviewed content with references galore.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lance

    I picked this book up earlier in the year while browsing in the bookstore. That's partly why I picked up the book; I succumbed to a dangerous moment. Putting me in a bookstore is like putting an alcoholic in a bar -- we're both going to get something. Yet I also found the subtitle enchanting. "The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything." I was initially intrigued by the idea of starting my life over again, so I sat down on the floor in the bookstore aisle to s I picked this book up earlier in the year while browsing in the bookstore. That's partly why I picked up the book; I succumbed to a dangerous moment. Putting me in a bookstore is like putting an alcoholic in a bar -- we're both going to get something. Yet I also found the subtitle enchanting. "The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything." I was initially intrigued by the idea of starting my life over again, so I sat down on the floor in the bookstore aisle to see what this book had to offer. I was immediately impressed by Kawasaki's tone and style. He's very down to earth and practically minded. I knew without reading very far that I could potentially use this book some day, so I purchased again. Again, putting me in a bookstore . . . . It was months later that I actually picked up to read all the way through. I wasn't ready before when I started reading it in the bookstore. Now after reading books to formulate my own career plan and feeling energized about the prospect of being my own boss, I was ready. And Kawasaki did not disappoint. There is a saying, a very old saying, quoted in one of my favorite films of all time -- The Mask of Zorro. "When the pupil is ready, the master will appear." Kawasaki is clearly a master. His practical style revealed a no-nonsense approach to business, and he uses real-life examples from both his experience and the experience of the common person to expound and further clarify his concepts. And he starts right from the start by discussing the importance of meaning in what we do. "Meaning is not about money, power, or prestige. It's not even about creating a fun place to work. Among other meanings of "meaning" are to make the world a better place, increase the quality of life, right a terrible wrong, and prevent the end of something good. Goals such as these are a tremendous advantage as you travel down the difficult path ahead. . . making meaning is the most powerful motivator there is." It caused me to reflect on the meaning I am creating with my business. Of course, Kawasaki is a venture capitalist, and while I appreciated his rubber-hits-the-road approach, some of his counsel regarding approaching venture capitalists did not ring with me. But that is simply because I never planned on seeking venture capital to formulate my business. Even with that proviso, I could see that the advice he gives in that regard is as solid as the rest. The book is a very easy read (I devoured it in three settings) yet very hands-on in its approach. If you want fluff, this is not the book for you. If you want feel-good mush, seek it elsewhere because you won't find it here. But if you want real, if you want what you to do to contribute to making this world a better place, then I highly recommend this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stan Stinson

    My head is about to explode! I am only half way through The Art of the Start 2.0 and it has put so much information into my head it is about to explode and I had to pause here and write this review. I don't often do reviews before I finish the book but this is an exception because this is an exceptional book. There is so much valuable information contained in this book if you have already started or are thinking about starting your own business you need to get your copy today. Use it My head is about to explode! I am only half way through The Art of the Start 2.0 and it has put so much information into my head it is about to explode and I had to pause here and write this review. I don't often do reviews before I finish the book but this is an exception because this is an exceptional book. There is so much valuable information contained in this book if you have already started or are thinking about starting your own business you need to get your copy today. Use it as a reference or read it from beginning to end. You will learn something that will help you in your venture guaranteed. The author's goal is to "make entrepreneurship easier for you" and, if you read what he says and then do it he will have succeeded and you will be well on your way to success too. I did not read Version 1 but have run my own consulting company of one back around the turn of the century during the Y2K boom or crisis, depending on your perspective, and wish I had known then what I know now after reading this book. I am sure there are more nuggets of wisdom to come in the second half of the book but, even if not, it was still worth the small investment if I get nothing else from it. He states it better than I could when he says, "Entrepreneurship is about doing, not learning to do. If your attitude is “Cut the crap—let’s get going,” you’re reading the right book by the right author." Just a few of the subjects you will learn about are (1) premortems, (2) why a Morpheus and a devil’s advocate are not the same thing, (2) why it is important to hire people better than yourself, (3) what a MVVVP is and why you need one. You might also be surprised, as I was, with what kind of smartphone Guy Kawasaki uses. So, in case you did not get the gist of what I am trying to say here, I really like this book and believe you will too but you have to get your own copy to find out for yourself. Don't delay. Get it today!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Cooney

    Accessible with great, practical advice, especially regarding the forming of a team and bootstrapping versus VC funding. Much of what he's written is consistent with what I'm learning on the Meetup/networking circuit here in Boston. You can skim through the social media chapters (it's dated - particular emphasis on Google+). I recommend to anyone considering taking the plunge or actually plunging.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alison P

    I've read the first 20 pages of a lot of supposedly similar books and given up on them. Time, after all, is one of the most valuable assets to an entrepreneur, and I won't have mine wasted. But with The Art of the Start I was learning and thinking on every page, and genuinely got excited about my own business by reading this book; it doesn't get much better than that. Guy Kawasaki has a gift for getting right to the heart of an issue, in a no-nonsense way, which of course every entrpr I've read the first 20 pages of a lot of supposedly similar books and given up on them. Time, after all, is one of the most valuable assets to an entrepreneur, and I won't have mine wasted. But with The Art of the Start I was learning and thinking on every page, and genuinely got excited about my own business by reading this book; it doesn't get much better than that. Guy Kawasaki has a gift for getting right to the heart of an issue, in a no-nonsense way, which of course every entrpreneur needs; I'm often thinking: make your point already! And right when you're about to call into question one of the points the author is making (and he does make some bold points that you're tempted to question) he follows it immediately with "for example..." and the examples are so compelling and clear, you immediately accede his point, change your own thinking slightly, and keep reading. I wrote Guy Kawasaki a long email while I was on an airplane and had been reading this book, to tell him that I loved it. I normally would never do such a thing, but he points out in the book that you should always include your email address and not hide from customers, and you should answer your email, so it occurred to me that it might be okay to write to him. So I did, and he wrote back to thank me. I've read a lot of "how-to" books on a lot of topics, from woodworking to business development, and this is one of the best ever written. I'm not sure if my review will compell you to check it out, but I thought it's worth a try. I am not one who normally recommends things, so my recommendation carries extra weight. Get it. Read it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    The Art of the Start (2004) is another killer crash course but this time in starting stuff. It is clear that Guy took away wheelbarrows of experience and war stories from his stint at Apple and that he has turned that into gold at his current venture, http://www.garages.com – who, incidentally, helps find venture capital for startups in SillyValley. This book is short, witty, readable and an essential “pump you up” for those thinking of starting a business or a venture or a project or whatever. The book is built upon The Art of the Start (2004) is another killer crash course but this time in starting stuff. It is clear that Guy took away wheelbarrows of experience and war stories from his stint at Apple and that he has turned that into gold at his current venture, http://www.garages.com – who, incidentally, helps find venture capital for startups in SillyValley. This book is short, witty, readable and an essential “pump you up” for those thinking of starting a business or a venture or a project or whatever. The book is built upon five sections: Causation, Articulation, Activation, Proliferation, and Obligation each of which has one to three chapters on various “Arts” such as the Art of Positioning or the Art of Raising Capital. Like Rules for Revolutionaries, it took all of about two hours to read but once again I was stoked after the last page. I especially appreciated the advice about pitching and recruiting and found them of immediate use. His test of whether you greet or flee a potential employee in a shopping mall is probably one I will use as a bell-weather. I don’t think I am ready yet for a startup but, if I was going in that direction, I’d certainly start here and probably pitch my idea to Guy and garage.com because he (and they) seem to know all the ins and outs. The section about Lowering Barriers to Adoption has immediate meaning for me in my current job. An excellent read, I can definitely recommend this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Fun, informative read from someone who knows what he's talking about. He includes interesting and memorable stories to illustrate his points. He also provides enough examples and details that you feel that you have a chance of actually implementing what he suggests without belaboring it or overgeneralizing to the point of uselessness. Particularly liked the chapters on "being a mensch" and rainmaking. He advocates a boot-strapping, "get it done" business mentality with a solid core of Fun, informative read from someone who knows what he's talking about. He includes interesting and memorable stories to illustrate his points. He also provides enough examples and details that you feel that you have a chance of actually implementing what he suggests without belaboring it or overgeneralizing to the point of uselessness. Particularly liked the chapters on "being a mensch" and rainmaking. He advocates a boot-strapping, "get it done" business mentality with a solid core of integrity. Certainly a different approach than I got in most of my B-school classes. :) For more book reviews, visit my blog, Build Enough Bookshelves.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    The draw back of listening to this on audiobook as opposed to reading it in print was that I didn't do the exercises or write down ideas of things that I really thought were important ... it is hard to do when driving 65 miles per hour down the highway! But it is my hope to re-listen to this book soon so that ideas can percolate in my head and turn into action. This breaks the project into many points. If you are starting a business or a church group or a new hobby; you nee The draw back of listening to this on audiobook as opposed to reading it in print was that I didn't do the exercises or write down ideas of things that I really thought were important ... it is hard to do when driving 65 miles per hour down the highway! But it is my hope to re-listen to this book soon so that ideas can percolate in my head and turn into action. This breaks the project into many points. If you are starting a business or a church group or a new hobby; you need a plan. All projects start with a dream. I want to create a world changing app for the tablet. I want to write a book. Then bits and pieces need to come into place. The dream needs to be made manifest in pieces -- sometimes starting is the most difficult thing so break it into manageable chunks and slowly move forward. Articulate the pieces and the more you share with trusted associates, the more you can figure out what will work. Part of this process will be pitching to important individuals who can help you. Something that may also be part of this preliminary time is writing a plan of how to proceed and what you hope to gain. If this is a company you will need to raise capital or if you want to write a book you will have to determine how much funding you need to move forward. If you are starting a church group this may not be as important a goal. However every new endeavor needs support if it is financial or emotional. Do you have people who share your vision? Every dream needs supporters. Every project needs a brand so that when people see the image they know exactly what to expect. Then you need to be a person of integrity who will stand by your dream and give that vision to the world in such an amazing way that your audience will think of you and your vision before all others. This book is a great resource if you are starting to formulate a new dream or business. My recommendation would be to read it in print or eformat for listening, though very well-done, was hard to capture all the wonderfully helpful points that he had to make ... unless you have time to listen multiple times or have an eidetic memory.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Deogratias Rweyemamu

    An entrepreneur's handbook Funny thing about this book is that I stumbled upon it. I was initially convinced to read the Lean Startup. As usual, I thought I'd read a few critical Amazon reviews. All it took was the first review, and thanks to that random guy, I've enjoyed quite a wealth a knowledge. This is not to take away anything from the Lean Startup, in fact, I admit that I'm pretty biased since I haven't read it. But compared to many entrepreneurship books I've read in the past, none of th An entrepreneur's handbook Funny thing about this book is that I stumbled upon it. I was initially convinced to read the Lean Startup. As usual, I thought I'd read a few critical Amazon reviews. All it took was the first review, and thanks to that random guy, I've enjoyed quite a wealth a knowledge. This is not to take away anything from the Lean Startup, in fact, I admit that I'm pretty biased since I haven't read it. But compared to many entrepreneurship books I've read in the past, none of them have had nearly as much content that was ACTIONABLE. For a guy with a background working in Silicon Valley, I had imagined most of the content wouldn't have been easily transferable. Yet, the author has managed to generalize his content so that it could relate to multiple industries. Granted, some of his recommendations focus more on product than service oriented businesses, but still useful nonethelesHe breaks down the startup journey into four blocks: conception, activation, proliferation and obligation. The topics that really hit home for me include: bootstrapping, positioning, pitching, recruitment, schmoozing, evangelism (without the religious connotations) and successful partnerships. Throughout his narrative, he meshed a sense of humor which made the flow quite smooth. He also managed to apply great and relevant quotes throughout his chapters. He ends the book with a bang, with an awesome afterword. My takeaway quotes:  "The first follower is the one who transforms the lone nut into a leader." "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." - John Steinbeck "You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." - Henry Ford "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people are so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

  16. 4 out of 5

    kareem

    original review: http://www.reemer.com/archives/2005/0... I first heard of Guy Kawasaki when his brilliant college graduation speech passed through my email client several years ago. His speech impressed with his practical insight, entertainment value, and conciseness. I later learned that he had evangelized the original Macintosh while at Apple, which made his book on startups a no-brainer read for me. The Art of the Start is a quick read, and is/>The original review: http://www.reemer.com/archives/2005/0... I first heard of Guy Kawasaki when his brilliant college graduation speech passed through my email client several years ago. His speech impressed with his practical insight, entertainment value, and conciseness. I later learned that he had evangelized the original Macintosh while at Apple, which made his book on startups a no-brainer read for me. The Art of the Start is a quick read, and is written in Kawasaki's entertaining and informative style. It details the lessons he has learned that are relevant to people starting up new businesses, new business units, or developing new products inside an existing company. Kawasaki covers such topics as: pitching, writing a business plan, raising capital, bootstrapping, recruiting, branding, and rainmaking, among others. I agreed with much of his high-level content--for example, the best way to build a brand is to build a good product--but this book has such good tactical information that I'm going to return this copy to the library and buy one to use as a reference. It's highly recommended, but you don't have to trust me on that. You can read the first chapter online.

  17. 5 out of 5

    هبه

    the most beautiful stories in this book "Daniel J. Simons of the University of Illinois and Christopher F. Chabris of Harvard University ran an interesting experiment that has rainmaking implications. They asked students to watch a video of two teams of players throwing basketballs to one another. The students' task was to count how many passes one team made to their teammates.Thirty-five seconds into the video, an actor dressed as a gorilla entered the room the pla the most beautiful stories in this book "Daniel J. Simons of the University of Illinois and Christopher F. Chabris of Harvard University ran an interesting experiment that has rainmaking implications. They asked students to watch a video of two teams of players throwing basketballs to one another. The students' task was to count how many passes one team made to their teammates.Thirty-five seconds into the video, an actor dressed as a gorilla entered the room the players were in, thumped his chest, and remained in the video for another nine seconds. When asked, fifty percent of the students did not notice the gorilla!"" Apparently, they were attending to the assigned task of counting passes and were perceptually blind to extraneous events. The same phenomenon occurs in organizations: Everyone is focused on the intended customers and intended uses, and they fail to see flowers blossoming in unexpected ways."You should read this book as soon as possible ,cause it's a wonderful & inspiring book

  18. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Intelligent, straightforward practices Kawasaki is an incredibly intelligent guy who's learned from his own practices - that includes successes AND failures, which is really the best way to learn. Entrepreneurs will learn how to get their ducks in a row before simply diving into their new business, which is the most important way to do it right. I can't wait to reread my bookmarked pages as I create my own small business. His straightforward approach avoids technical jargon, instead taking us ri Intelligent, straightforward practices Kawasaki is an incredibly intelligent guy who's learned from his own practices - that includes successes AND failures, which is really the best way to learn. Entrepreneurs will learn how to get their ducks in a row before simply diving into their new business, which is the most important way to do it right. I can't wait to reread my bookmarked pages as I create my own small business. His straightforward approach avoids technical jargon, instead taking us right into the practical logistics of creating a new business and product. I really appreciated not needing a dictionary or MBA to follow along! I'll be picking up a few more of his works before the week's up for sure.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Herve

    The Art of the Start is a great book because it inspires. Guy Kawasaki, the author, does tell you how to build a convincing vision, a convincing pitch. It is not about writing a 40-page business plan. It is about the “value of making meaning” which may induce making money. The book is clear, simple and once you have read it, you will not see things the same way… go, run and buy it! A brief quote from the book which illustrates why start-ups are important. “Innovation often The Art of the Start is a great book because it inspires. Guy Kawasaki, the author, does tell you how to build a convincing vision, a convincing pitch. It is not about writing a 40-page business plan. It is about the “value of making meaning” which may induce making money. The book is clear, simple and once you have read it, you will not see things the same way… go, run and buy it! A brief quote from the book which illustrates why start-ups are important. “Innovation often originates outside existing organizations, in part because successful organizations acquire a commitment to the status quo and a resistance to ideas that might change it” - Nathan Rosenberg.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lamec Mariita

    This book was funny and inspiring. It gives you tips and advices on how to launch your company or project. A very quick read that cuts to the chase and provides insight that every Entrepreneur with or without a plan should read. The book written in a style that is very entertaining, yet contains so much wisdom that it feels like you have Guy sitting beside you as mentor. It's the book you should select if you want to read one book about start ups.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dave Charbonneau

    One of four books I recommend for taking ideas from mind to market. Kawasaki breaks things down into simple steps. This is the "How-To" outline to start any project; as well as how-to present the project to prospective partners, investors, or customers. Combined with the right philosophy, this book should help any project get off the ground without all the useless rhetoric. You can see this book in action as I move projects forward at http://SelfEnterpriser.com

  22. 4 out of 5

    Loic Banet

    I was quite disappointed with this book and found it empty. It's a good introduction without any particular ideas. I mean they are many challenging startups books with great ideas, from Eric Reis, Peter Thiel, Ben Horovitz. This book is nothing but a summary of facts. The worst thing is that most of these facts are obvious or not true anymore. I mean who does a 30 pages business plan nowadays ? In short only read this book if you want a new conversation topic at the dinner table.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joe Robles

    There's a reason this book is recommended reading for anyone thinking of starting a business! It has great ideas that even an existing company could use to help make their business better. The book is primarily focused on tech start-ups, which makes sense, but even if you're planning on starting a brick and mortar store you can adapt the ideas to fit your business. Definitely read whether you're planning on selling cupcakes or software.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Luca Pennisi

    This is a really well written book. It contains many useful information on how to start a company, it's a MUST for everyone who wants to start something. Another positive note is the writing style: easy to understand and absolutely not repetitive, which is rare for these kind of books and shows that the author knows a lot about the subject.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Todd Ramsey

    There are very few books that I've read in one day. This is one of them. Simple, practical and incredibly valuable, this book is a straight forward guide to starting a company, non-profit or church – though the latter group will have to drawn some conclusions of their own, as the book is definitely targeted to those looking to create a new product or service. I strongly recommend this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I'd heard good things about this book, but ultimately found it disappointing. Might be ideal for someone just entering the business world, but as the owner of a small design studio I found much of the advice to be useless or outdated.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alena B.

    To start your business first of all you need the idea that will change the world. If you have it, this book will help you to represent it in the right way. The advises are simple and obvious but nonetheless are still brilliant. This is a desk book for all beginners

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mark Manderson

    I found this difficult to sit through. A lot of common sense advice such as "bounce ideas off of many people as you'll get more feedback".

  29. 4 out of 5

    Qwantu Amaru

    Everything you need With this updated version, Guy Kawasaki has cornered the market on making meaning. So much helpful advice I gained from this, I took a note or highlight on almost every page! Well organized, easy to read, and a little something extra at the end! Thanks Guy!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Omar Halabieh

    Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful: 1- "Great companies. Great divisions. Great schools. Great churches. Great not-for-profits. When it comes to the fundamentals of starting up, they are more alike than they are different. The key to their success is to survive the microscope tasks while bringing the future closer." 2- "GIST (GREAT IDEAS FOR STARTING THINGS): 1. MAKE MEANING 2. MAKE MANTRA. 3. GET GOING. 4. DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL. Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful: 1- "Great companies. Great divisions. Great schools. Great churches. Great not-for-profits. When it comes to the fundamentals of starting up, they are more alike than they are different. The key to their success is to survive the microscope tasks while bringing the future closer." 2- "GIST (GREAT IDEAS FOR STARTING THINGS): 1. MAKE MEANING 2. MAKE MANTRA. 3. GET GOING. 4. DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL. No 5. WEAVE A MAT (MILESTONES, ASSUMPTIONS, AND TASKS)." 3- "THE ART OF INTERNAL ENTREPRENEURING: PUT THE COMPANY FIRST...KILL THE CASH COWS...STAY UNDER THE RADAR...FIND A GODFATHER...GET A SEPARATE BUILDING...GIVE HOPE TO THE HOPEFUL...ANTICIPATE, THEN JUMP ON, TECTONIC SHIFTS...BUILD ON WHAT EXISTS...COLLECT AND SHARE DATA...LET THE VICE PRESIDENTS COME TO YOU...DISMANTLE WHEN DONE...REBOOT YOUR BRAIN." 4- "SEIZE THE HIGH GROUND Unless you are a rabbit about to be devoured by a coyote, good positioning is inspiring and energizing. It does not allow itself to • get mucked up in money, market share, and management egos. These i are the qualities to aspire to: POSITIVE...CUSTOMER-CENTRIC...EMPOWERING...In addition to seizing the high ground, good positioning is a workhorse. It is practical and serves tactical and strategic purposes that are easily understood and believed by customers, vendors, employees, journalists, and partners. Thus, good positioning also embodies these qualities: SELF-EXPLANATORY...SPECIFIC...CORE...RELEVANT...LONG-LASTING...DIFFERENTIATED." 5- "Many entrepreneurs try to perfect their business plan and then pull PowerPoint slides out of it. They view the business plan as ; the be-all and end-all, and the pitch as a subset of this magnificent document. This is backward thinking. A good business plan is a a detailed version of a pitch—as opposed to a pitch being a distilled version of a business plan. If you get the pitch right, you'll get the plan right." 6- "You can argue as much as you like about the precise number of calls bottom-up model yields a much more realistic forecast than even the most pessimistic market share estimates of a consultant's forecast about the total size of a market. The magnitude of your bottom-up forecast will establish the degree of bootstrapping you'll have to do. The only information that will point out the need for bootstrapping more accurately is looking at your bank account balance. " 7- "If you do take this path, however, understand that starting as a service business is a good initial path but isn't always the right long-term strategy. Getting customers to pay for your research and development should be only a temporary strategy for a product-based company. In the long run, a service business is fundamentally different from a product business. The former is all about slave labor and billable hours or projects. The latter is all about research and development, shipping, and spreading costs over thousands of boxes going out the door." 8- "Good recruiting starts at the top: CEOs must recruit the best people they can find. Next, good recruiting requires looking beyond superficialities such as race, creed, color, education, and work experience. Instead, you should focus on three factors: 1. Can the candidate do what you need: 2. Does the candidate believe in the meaning you're going to make? 3. Does the candidate have the strengths you need (as opposed to lacking the weaknesses you're trying to avoid)?" 9- "PREPARE A STRUCTURE FOR THE INTERVIEW BEFOREHAND...ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT SPECIFIC JOB SITUATIONS...STICK TO THE SCRIPT...DON'T OVERDO OPEN-ENDED, TOUCHY-FEELY QUESTIONS...TAKE COPIOUS NOTES...CHECK REFERENCES EARLY." 10- "Never assume you're done. Recruiting doesn't stop when a candidate accepts your offer, nor when he resigns from his current employer, nor on his last day at his current employer—not even after le starts at your organization. In actuality, recruiting never stops. Every day is a new contract between a startup and an employee." 11- "What most organizations learned is that partnerships are hard to make work. Though both parties wanted 2 + 2 to equal 5, they ended up with 3 instead. The problem is that glamour, flattery, and potential press coverage often seduced organizations into entering nonsensical collaborations. The gist of good partnering is that it should accelerate cash flow, increase revenue, and reduce costs. Partnerships built on solid business principles like these have a much greater likelihood of succeeding. Once you understand this, a partnership is simply a matter of implementation: making sure the people who do the real work buy into it, finding internal champions, focusing on strengths, cutting win-win deals, waiting for the right moment to bring in lawyers and legal documents, and establishing ways to end the relationship." 12- "World-class schmoozers adopt Rezac's outward, what-can-I-do-for-you attitude. It is the key to building extensive, long-lasting connections. Upon this foundation, here's how to get more people to know you: GET OUT...ASK GOOD QUESTIONS, THEN SHUT UP...FOLLOW UP."

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