Sunday, December 12, 2004

Inspirational Ideas from Guy Kawasaki on Starting New Things

I've been reading Guy's new book, Art of the Start for a while now (it's been hard between other projects but I was able to read it on my flight down to NC).

It's a great book for start-ups, filled with Guy's humour and thoughts. If you've read his other stuff, you may find it a little repetitive (he always includes a chapter on how to be a better person - or in this case a Mensch) but I dog-eared a few things that just make it worthwhile. Rather than simply say a page # and tell you to go look it up in the bookstore (yes, Robert, Page 173 talks all about how much every company needs evangelists - not a new concept for Guy), I thought I'd pass on a few quips here.

Pg 73: The worst thing to do is write a "deliberate" plan and then stick to it simply because it is "the plan". Guy notes the difference between a deliberate (which is based on road maps and analysis) and an emergent plan (which is based on reacting to opportunities as they appear).

Pg 96: Bootstrapping a Business - Cost cutting. The enemy of small businesses isn't high spending - it's failing to actually use the spending you currently do, in short, Execution. Dana Epps also mentions it here.

Pg 101: Recruiting - Make the effort to "recruit" your existing employees every day. Make them feel like they WANT to continue working for you, or at least, come back the next day. ("Everyday is a new contract between you and your employer")

Pg 112: The Stanford Shopping Test is an amazing way of testing how you recruit people. If you don't want to "bump" into your employees, prospects, etc in a mall, then don't hire them. Life is too short to work with people you don't like.

Guy's book doesn't just have pages of insight. One of the most valuable pieces of it are the FAQs, where he answers questions that were asked while he was writing it. Everything from forming partnerships, to "getting it" and more.

Guy's big on karma and doing the right thing. And I'll just end the post with his note on patents:

The best protection of an idea is great implementation of the idea.

This book should be on , not just every startup entrepreneur's, but every owners/managers/employee's, desk. Just as Code Complete provided well-thoughtout best practices for programmers, the Art of the Start provides a great guide, not just for startups, but for anyone with an idea who wants to make it last.

No comments: