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Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competit ion Hardcover – October 30, 2008

92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Paul Boehmer's energetic reading contributes to the author's streetwise vibe. Boehmer's quick pacing and smart-aleck tone are good vehicles for pouring out Kawasaki's potent no-nonsense advice." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Guy Kawasaki, who helped make Macintosh a household name, now runs Garage Technology Ventures, a venture-capital firm. He has held his workshop, “Boot Camp for Start-ups,” around the world. Kawasaki is the author of seven previous books, including Rules for Revolutionaries.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; First Edition edition (October 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842231
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

190 of 224 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Guy Kawasaki is a genuinely warm, engaging, intelligent and articulate man. I've had the pleasure of meeting him several times at MacWorld trade shows.

However, Guy Kawasaki is a career self-promoter. He has made a living for many years repackaging standard business advice in an entertaining format and peddling it as new to the legions of people seeking a business success formula.

More power to Guy for making a living at it, but it doesn't alter the nature of what is between the covers here: old advice, with a lot of it being nothing more than commensense.

Two irritating things about Guy's otherwise excellent writing style. He has a real problem with gender pronouns. Even in academic writing that tends to be excruciatingly politically correct, I've never seen anyone go to such extremes in using "she", "her" and other feminine pronouns. It's creepy, weird and utterly unnecessary. Certainly She would understand if Guy backed off a bit. Then there is Guy's cuteness with a couple of euphemisms: for example, he takes the common expletive for bull manure and adds "-takke" to it. Once may cute, especially among your 4th grade classmates. A couple of dozen times and it is truly annoying and leads you to believe the author may be a fourth grader.

As for Guy's advice . . . well, there's a reason why so many self-help and business success books are perennial bestsellers: people want guidance and advice And guy provides it in a witty, entertaining manner.

But virtually all of it has been served up hundreds, if not thousands, of times before by other authors. Some of what Guy offers up is pure nonsense without a shred of evidence to support it: it is just politically correct, like his overuse of the feminine.
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59 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Ivana S. Taylor on November 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Guy Kawasaki is an evangelist. He can't help himself. Thank God.

I, too, was one of the Twitter people who got a preview of the book in digital form and literally laughed out loud -- at the local coffee shop - yeah, I looked stupid. But it was worth it.

I thought it was going to be a short book. At least it seemed that way because I flew through the digital version fairly quickly. So when I saw how big it was (460 pages, 94 Chapters - each one is just a couple pages long - so don't freak out) I thought I'd never get through it. But can I just tell you that it is BY FAR the most entertaining, informative, true-to-life rant on what's good and bad about the world of entrepreneurship, business, presentations - and more.

All the things everyone of us has wanted to say out loud - but has never had he guts is in there. I have so many favorite chapters I don't know where to begin.

Since I have this rule about NOT working with A-holes, I'll start with that one. (That would be Chapter 87, pg. 401) First he describes an A-hole (so you can test to see if you are one), then he goes on to outline some quick and easy strategies of dealing with A-Holes - and so on.

Other favorite chapters are the one's I've themed as "Lies." Throughout the book Guy outlines the Lies different groups tell each other: Lies CEO's tell, Lies Venture Caps Tell, Lies Entrepreneurs tell.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Olaf on March 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
You'll like this book if:
* You think Guy Kawasaki is awesome and can't get enough of his thoughts and humor
* You like some business insights sprinkled into a light-hearted, meandering, irreverent look at business success
* You like a Dilbert-style treatment of startups

You won't like this book if:
* You're looking for actionable advice
* You get bored of hearing "orifice", "bozo" and "bullshiitake" every couple of pages
* You're expecting to hear things you haven't heard before about startups

I like Guy Kawasaki and really enjoyed "The Art of the Start", but couldn't finish this book because:
* It seems to contain "The Art of The Start" almost in its entirety so the first series of chapters is a nearly a complete rehash of that book.
* The book reads like a collection of blog posts (95 of them!) and I got tired of reading bullet lists of business advice over and over and over again.
* His advice ranges from how to dress for an interview, why you shouldn't report workplace harassment, what Jackie Onassis would do in various situations, how to schmooze, how to write e-mail, and why epidurals are a good thing for women delivering babies (seriously). I just couldn't make it through all the random thoughts like being on time to interviews, how to greet people at meetings, and why egomaniacs are really OK.
* There was a chapter on "the no a**hole rule" and "is your boss is an a**hole" which really didn't do much for me. Likewise, reading about how to "prevent a bozo explosion" didn't provide me with any takeaways.
* Most chapters are "the art of something" or "the zen of something" which really didn't make much sense because the advice is so light that you don't really walk out with anything actionable.
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