Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Review: The Art of the Start


Guy Kawasaki says that one key to winning over potential investors is to "provide enough detail to prove you can deliver and enough aerial view to prove you have a vision." He follows own advice perfectly when writing The Art of the Start. Kawasaki concisely yet engagingly provides numerous practical lists and examples in his book, written for "anyone starting anything." Despite its largely tactical focus, Kawasaki starts and ends the book with strategic discussions about life and business.

Kawasaki opens the book by sharing that he seeks "to enable people to create great products, build great companies, and change the world." He suggests that aspiring entrepreneurs should seek not just to make money, but rather to make meaning. He challenges readers to complete the following sentence: "If your organization never existed, the world would be worse off because _____."

In the chapters that follow, Kawasaki provides helpful and practical information on topics such as pitching to investors, taking notes, generating leads, selling, executing, hiring and firing, etc. For example, on note-taking, he writes: "The visible act of taking notes says: 1) I think you're smart. 2) You're saying something worth writing down. 3) I'm willing and anxious to learn. 4) I'm conscientious."

Kawasaki ends the book reminding readers that "There are few joys greater than helping others." He encourages people to consider what they'll want people to remember about them when they're dead and to live life so as to not disappoint.

The Art of the Start is a solid, readable, tactical yet visionary book. I highly recommend it for people who wish to be better, more effective people, regardless of whether they're specifically considering starting up an organization.

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