Fully revised and expanded for the first time in a decade, The Art of the Start 2.0 is Guy Kawasaki's classic bestselling guide to launching and making your new product, service or idea a success. This new edition has been expanded to reflect the seismic changes in business over the last decade, in which once-invulnerable market leaders have struggled and many of the basics of getting established have become easier, cheaper and more democratic.Today, business plans are no longer necessary. Social media has replaced PR and advertising as the key method of promotion. Crowdfunding is now a viable alternative to investors. Cloud computing makes basic infrastructure affordable for almost any new venture.The Art of the Start 2.0 will show you how to effectively deploy all these new tools. And it will help you master the fundamental challenges that have not changed: building a strong team, creating an awesome product or service, and facing down your competition. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur, own a business, or want to get more entrepreneurial within any organisation, this book will help you make your crazy ideas stick. It's an adventure that's more art than science - the art of the start.'The Art of the Start 2.0 is the ultimate entrepreneurship handbook. Kawasaki's generous wisdom, tips, and humour reflect his successes and failures. We can all benefit from his insights' Arianna Huffington, president and editor in chief, Huffington Post'A successful entrepreneur requires three things: a garage, an idea, and this book - Guy's irrepressible guide to the raw essentials of life in a young company' Michael Moritz, Sequoia Capita Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva (an online design service) and an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple and special adviser to the CEO of the Motorola business unit of Google. His many acclaimed books include The Art of Social Media and Enchantment.
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Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, a graphics-design online service, and an executive fellow at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and other books. Guy has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA.
Paul Boehmer is a seasoned actor who has appeared on Broadway, film, and television, including The Thomas Crown Affair and All My Children. Coinciding with another of his passions, sci-fi, Paul has been cast in various roles in many episodes of Star Trek.
In giving advice, seek to help, not please, your friend.
Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.
Read Me First
I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose.
—Ludwig van Beethoven
If I knew then what I know now.” Most experienced entrepreneurs say this at some point. My goal is that you won’t have to because you read this book.
I’ve started three companies, invested in ten, and advised organizations as small as two people and as large as Google. I’ve worked for Apple twice, and I’m the chief evangelist of a startup called Canva. Hundreds of entrepreneurs have pitched me—until my right ear won’t stop ringing.
When it comes to startups, I’ve been there and done that several times over. Now I’m doing what techies call a “core dump,” or recording what’s in my memory. My knowledge comes from my scars—in other words, you will benefit from my hindsight.
My goal is simple and pure: I want to make entrepreneurship easier for you. When I die, I want people to say, “Guy empowered me.” I want lots of people to say this, so this book is for a broad population:
1. Guys and gals in garages, dorms, and offices creating the next big thing
2. Brave souls in established companies bringing new products to market
3. Social entrepreneurs in nonprofits making the world a better place
Great companies. Great divisions. Great schools. Great churches. Great nonprofits. Great entrepreneurs. That’s the plan. A few details before we start:
I assume that your goal is to change the world—not study it. 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. Onward . . .
Silicon Valley, California
The Art of Starting Up
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but “That’s funny . . .”
GIST (Great Ideas for Starting Things)
It’s much easier to do things right from the start than to fix them later. At this stage, you are forming the DNA of your startup, and this genetic code is permanent. By paying attention to a few important issues, you can build the right foundation and free yourself to concentrate on the big challenges. This chapter explains how to start a startup.
Answer Simple Questions
There is a myth that successful companies begin with grandiose ambitions. The implication is that entrepreneurs should start with megalomaniacal goals in order to succeed. To the contrary, my observation is that great companies began by asking simple questions:
“The genesis of great companies is answering simple questions that change the world, not the desire to become rich.”
“How can we make a boatload of money?” is not one of the questions. Call me idealistic, but the genesis of great companies is answering simple questions that change the world, not the desire to become rich.
Complete this sentence: If your startup never existed, the world would be worse off because __________.
Find Your Sweet Spot
If you have the answer to a simple question, the next step is to find a viable sweet spot in the market. Mark Coopersmith, coauthor of The Other “F” Word: Failure—Wise Lessons for Breakthrough Innovation and Growth, and senior fellow at the Haas School of Business, helps entrepreneurs do this by using a Venn diagram with three factors:
Don’t get the impression that all three factors are necessary or even obvious at the start. If you have at least two of the factors, you can often develop the third if you try hard enough.
Find Soul Mates
The next step is to find some soul mates to go on your adventure—think Bilbo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Ring. However, people love the notion of the sole innovator: Thomas Edison (lightbulb), Steve Jobs (Macintosh), Henry Ford (Model T), Anita Roddick (The Body Shop), and Richard Branson (Virgin Airlines). It’s wrong.
Successful companies are usually started, and become successful, with the contributions of at least two soul mates. After the fact, people may recognize one founder as the innovator, but it takes a team to make a new venture work.
“The first follower is what transforms the lone nut into a leader.”
To illustrate this concept, Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby, showed a video at the TED2010 conference that starts with one person dancing alone in a field. A second person joins in, and then a third, and the crowd “tips” into a full-scale dance festival.
According to Sivers, the first follower plays an important role because he brings credibility to the leader. Subsequent followers emulate the first follower, not only the leader. In his words, “The first follower is what transforms the lone nut into a leader,” and in a startup, that first follower is usually a cofounder.
Cofounding soul mates need to have both similarities and differences. The key desirable similarities are:
The differences that are desirable include:
Finally, a few words of wisdom about cofounders:
Now take your answer to the simple question, sweet spot, and soul mates and assume that you do succeed. Then subject yourself to one more test: Does your startup make meaning? Meaning is not money, power, or prestige. Meaning is not creating a cool place to work with free food, Ping-Pong, volleyball, and dogs. Meaning is making the world a better place.
“If you make meaning, you’ll probably also make money.”
This is a difficult question to answer when you’re two guys/gals in a garage who are writing software or hand-making gizmos, but it’s also difficult to comprehend how an acorn can grow into an oak tree. If, in your wildest dreams, you cannot imagine that your startup will make the world a better place, then maybe you’re not starting a tilt-the-earth company.
This is okay; there aren’t many companies that tilt the earth. And there are even fewer in that category that set out to do so. But WTF, I want you to dream big. When today’s humongous companies were only one year old, few people predicted their ultimate success or the meaning they would make. Trust me, if you make meaning, you’ll probably also make money.
The next step is to create a three- to four-word mantra that explains the meaning that your startup is seeking to make. For startups, the definition of “mantra” from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is perfect:
A sacred verbal...
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