This is the best business book I have ever read. Its spells it out in Guy Kawasaki's special way. How do you raise funds? How do you write a plan. All business books should be written like this with bulleted points and exercises.
Written by Guy Kawasaki, a venture capitalist, this book provides some essential steps for those who are contemplating to start their own business. The author outlines the process of realizing "entrepreneurship" from the art of starting, positioning, pitching, writing a business plan, raising capital, to the art of being a mensch. In fact, entrepreneurship is the state of mind of people who want to make a difference in the future, rather than just “study” the market.
Since media outlets have given much praise to this book, I would like to point out some of my concerns toward the book. First, the author suggests that an entrepreneur sell commodity products to speed up the access to the market, but at the same time he emphasizes that differentiation is the key to increase customers’ impression and awareness of the brand. While a low cost strategy and product differentiation are not necessary two opposite ends on the same scale, doing both simultaneously without much prior experience and knowledge about restructuring the value chain, a novice entrepreneur can “stuck in the middle” and subsequently get outperformed by the competitors who opt for either a low cost model or a differentiation model. Additionally, the author suggests that an entrepreneur use a PR agent to handle business communications with external stakeholders. I wonder how many young entrepreneurs can afford one without sufficient amount of capital at bank.
One thing I found interesting is the author’s view regarding the role of outside investors in start-up firms. It seems that the author sees outside investors as more of a capital provider, rather than a resource provider (resources such as industry and management know-how and network capital) to entrepreneurs. It is, however, not clear about what type of outside investors the author is referring to? A business angel and a venture capitalist are very different financiers in terms of their investment goals and functionalities.
That being said, I enjoyed reading this book by Kawasaki. His call for “Menschhood” is a final reminder to entrepreneurs – A mensch joyfully pays society back for goodness already received and pays forward. There are many ‘currencies’ other than money!
Guy Kawasaki writes about the process of starting-up a business. He gives valuable advice and real-life insights about the industry, without intimidating the newbies. Everything is possible if you use his mentoring words.
Seldom does a book make me feel high. But this one does.
It is not only good for startup people, but also desirable for those who do a lot of pitching, presentation, PR etc. and people who care about "changing the world". I especially like the first and last chapters talking about "making meaning" and "being a mensch". The chapters on Pitching, Recruiting and raising capital are fascinating too.
Don't miss the "mini-chapters". There you will find a lot of practical and witty advice on the art of powerpointing, email, schmoozing etc..
Funny and easy to read, this book is worth buying.