Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Art of the Start

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki is an awesome book.  The book is primarily a primer on exactly how the mind of a venture capitalist works and how to help ensure that you get capitalized when you go before a venture capitalist.  As much as it is a great guide for VC, there are lots of important lessons for those of us that are already in business.  Here are a few choice excerpts to get you excited about the book:

GIST -- Great Ideas for Starting Things

  1. Make Meaning
  2. Make Mantra
  3. Get Going
  4. Define Your Business Model
  5. ? (you'll have to read it to get number 5)

If you insist on creating a mission statement go to www.artofthestart.com and click on the mission statement generator link.  This will take you to the Dilbert mission statement generator and save you thousands of dollars.

The hardest thing about getting started is getting started.

If you can't describe your business statement in ten words or less, you don't have a business model.

My final tip is that you ask women -- and only women . . . they are much better judges of viability of a business model than men are.

As a startup, you're trying to start a fire with matches, not flamethrowers.

A remarkable name for your organization, product, or service is like pornography: It's hard to define, but you know it when you see it.

The modern day equivalent of the Holy Grail is the business plan.

When spending money, always focus on the function you need, not the form it takes.

As they say in Men in Black II, "You need to wait for your brain to reboot."  Prepare to reboot your brain while reading this book.


Joseph said...

I just read a horror story about a guy who had a great little company, but then took some VC money in return for control of his company. He was later forced out by the VC guys and their pals, the company was driven into the ground, and the founder left with nothing. His main piece of advice to young entrepeneurs? DO NOT take VC money - do all you can to make a go of it without VC investment.


PS - Your blog has a display problem in IE6 running on Windows XP SP2. The right column is pushed down to the bottom of your blog - below all of the content in the main, central column.

RT said...

Art of the Start is a good initial primer. And Guy is an amazing person. BTW, do you want a copy of the Marketing Playbook. Love to know what you'd think about that. Drop me a line at marketingplaybook if you do.