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Guy Kawasaki's Art of the Start

I while back, I posted an entry about an excerpt I read from Guy Kawasaki’s new book: Art of the Start. I just finished the book this week and thought I’d give you some of my thoughts.

I liked Guy’s irreverent style and simple delivery. In looking at the market for my services, the book made me ask myself these questions:

  • What is the pain that my market is experiencing? How can I help them alleviate that pain?
  • Who in my market has money in their pockets and how can I get that money into my pocket?
  • What is the meaning I want to make in the world?

The chapter that I took the most from was about The Art of Pitching. Guy is the Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm, so I know he’s seen plenty of pitches.

Here were some of my takeaways:

When pitching, imagine a little man on your shoulder that says “So what?�? after every point you make. This helps you be sure to follow your points with a real world example- a “for instance…�?

Follow these simple rules if you’re using Power Point slides:

  • 10 slides
  • 20 minutes
  • 30 pt. font text

Others notes:

Take the Red Pill and get a Morpheus. This is a reference to The Matrix, where Morpheus speaks the truth to Neo shows him “how deep the rabbit hole goes�?. The point is that every start-up needs a Morpheus- someone to expose the harsh realities of the world. Otherwise you could continue to live a fantasy world.

It was nice to see the Guy is an advocate of humanness and community. In the Art of Branding he outlines these ways to achieve humanness:

  • Target the Young- it helps you build a warm brand
  • Make Fun of Yourself- To err is human
  • Feature Your Customers- Saturn cars is an example- use “My Storyâ€?? ideas.
  • Help the Undeserved and Underprivileged- Having a cause is a win-win

The cover of the book says “The Time-Test, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything�?. I’d say that the lessons are mostly universal, but the slant of the book leans heavily toward high-tech, venture-seeking start-up companies.