Art of the Start Review

I had never heard of Guy Kawasaki until earlier this year when his blog posts started finding their way into digg, delicious, and the posts of other bloggers. After the fourth or fifth post he made his way into my subscriptions and is one of my favorite bloggers. My buddy Todd recommended “the Art of the Start” and that was enough for me.

Lets take a step back and review my book reading and buying habits. If it’s a programming or other type of reference book, I go right to Amazon order it and that’s that. Aside from Harry Potter I don’t buy many fiction or non fiction books. It’s not so much because I’m a cheap bastard, it’s more of a space issue. If I bought every book I read there would be no room in the house. Instead I prefer to get the most out of my tax dollars and use my local library. It took a few weeks for the transfer from another branch to arrive.

The target audience of this book is people who are forming companies and will be looking for investment capital from VC or other investors. Since Mr. Kawasaki works for a VC firm this makes a lot of sense. If that isn’t you that doesn’t mean that there aren’t important and valuable lessons you can learn from the book. I’d recommend the book to anyone who is running or wants to run their own business. I’d also recommend the book to people who work for others and want to further their careers. I think this book will make you a better and more effective business person no matter what you do or who you work for.

Some of my favorite chapters were The Art of Positioning, The Art of Pitching, Bootstrapping, and The Art of Rainmaking. While some of the advice in the book is high level, other parts are small and specific. One of the parts I loved was where he goes into detail about his 10/20/30 plan here’s an excerpt:

You’re probably thinking, Guy’s referring to the hoi polloi, great unwashed mases and bozos. They should only use ten slides and twenty minutes but not us. We have curve jumping, paradigm-shifting-, first-moving, patent-pending technology.

In fact I am referring to you. I don’t care if you sell dog food, permanent life, nano particles, optical components or the cure for cancer. Ten slides and twenty minutes is all you get.

Perhaps the best way for me to tell you how much I liked this book and how important I think it is, is to tell you about halfway through I went and ordered a copy to keep on my bookshelf, nuff said.

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