Customer Reviews


314 Reviews
5 star:
 (214)
4 star:
 (56)
3 star:
 (24)
2 star:
 (12)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


271 of 280 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light a fire under your business
The book makes a big promise with its sub-title, "The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything." I wondered if such a book could live up to it. "Starting anything" refers to a business, not a career, school, or hobby.

Obviously, it's impossible to create a comprehensive book of business best practices because every business has its own...
Published on October 29, 2004 by Meryl K. Evans

versus
287 of 315 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For venture capital seekers and corporate employees only
Wow, I am going against the grain here. I picked this book up with a lot of hope. I only met disappointment. The books premise says a lot, leading you to believe that this is a know-how of starting companies and organizations - any types. And in a sense this is somewhat true. But this book is not geared for smaller companies. In fact the book is structured and...
Published on December 1, 2006 by Brian Hawkinson


‹ Previous | 1 232 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

271 of 280 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light a fire under your business, October 29, 2004
This review is from: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Hardcover)
The book makes a big promise with its sub-title, "The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything." I wondered if such a book could live up to it. "Starting anything" refers to a business, not a career, school, or hobby.

Obviously, it's impossible to create a comprehensive book of business best practices because every business has its own variables. What works great for one may kill another. However, the book doesn't take that approach. Rather, it tells how it is starting a business and the rough road of dealing with VCs (venture capitalists). If you expect a positive spin on stuff that's hard to do. Read a fairy tale instead.

Rather than abrasiveness and a "do this, don't do this" attitude, Kawasaki uses humor to explain the process. Anyone who has a small business including those around for a few years will benefit. When ready to take action, use this book as the manual that doesn't come with starting a business. Thinking about it isn't going to make a business successful.

Every chapter begins with the GIST of it, an overview of what's to come. Each ends with FAQ, frequently AVOIDED questions, to review the chapter's content and drill it in deeper for better understanding and implementation.

Get simple, but important hints on everyday business practices such as how to give a strong presentation. How many times have you sat through a presentation where each slide has over 20 words in size 12 point and the presenter practically reads the words adding little to what is on the slide? Kawasaki smartly covers the 10-20-30 rule. 10 slides, 20 minutes, and size 30 font. Making changes to the small practices can lead to reaching the next milestone.

This book can be likened to a quick reference guide for starting a business and useful strategies: has just what is needed without heavy-duty or dry language. It is, however, larger than most quick guides, but a fast and easy read into the world of startups and dealing with VCs. If a VC isn't involved, the book provides valuable tools and ideas to help with any business. However, technology start ups seeking VCs will benefit most.

Stuck on a business plan? Learn what is needed and not needed. Don't waste valuable time and use the book to do what's necessary without going overboard.

If long hours and challenges aren't in the plans, then read a romanticized business book instead. The Art of the Start shows how it really is and it's hard, but it can be a little easier with this book as a guide.

Get a taste of the book by reading its manifesto ([...] a free PDF download. The 34 page document should give you a clear idea of whether or not the book is for you as it includes the same components found in the book. As a bonus, the manifesto includes Great Ideas for Starting Things, covered in the first chapter. If the material and the table of contents sound enticing, get it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


287 of 315 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For venture capital seekers and corporate employees only, December 1, 2006
This review is from: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Hardcover)
Wow, I am going against the grain here. I picked this book up with a lot of hope. I only met disappointment. The books premise says a lot, leading you to believe that this is a know-how of starting companies and organizations - any types. And in a sense this is somewhat true. But this book is not geared for smaller companies. In fact the book is structured and designed only for those seeking venture capitalists and/or those who are already in the corporate world and want to start their own company. Basically, for those companies geared more towards technology.

Because of this I was very disappointed. Additionally, the tables were almost all useless and the exercises were a big waste of time. Exercises such as "Look up the background of these entrepreneurs" or "Go to eBay and look up this item" or "Fill in the blank... (where you fill in your mantra)". Even the quotes, although some were interesting, were a waste of space as the book is literally layered with them all over the place.

Again, I am really going against the grain. If you are looking for venture capital or are currently in the corporate world, this book is for you. Otherwise there is very little to learn from this book.

2.5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pragmatic and brilliant: even crufty veterans need this book, September 9, 2004
This review is from: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Hardcover)
This is a truly great book. I didn't expect to get so much from it; I'm battle-hardened myself and thought I knew a lot about starting companies and thinking about product development and marketing. I'm an author myself, of two technical books (you can search for me in Amazon's author index) so I understand the process and am have pretty high standards in reading and judging books.

I've read the first 20 pages of a lot of supposedly similar books and given up on them. Time, after all, is one of the most valuable assets to an entrepreneur, and I won't have mine wasted. But with The Art of the Start I was learning and thinking on every page, and genuinely got excited about my own business by reading this book; it doesn't get much better than that.

Guy Kawasaki has a gift for getting right to the heart of an issue, in a no-nonsense way, which of course every entrpreneur needs; I'm often thinking: make your point already!

And right when you're about to call into question one of the points the author is making (and he does make some bold points that you're tempted to question) he follows it immediately with "for example..." and the examples are so compelling and clear, you immediately accede his point, change your own thinking slightly, and keep reading.

I wrote Guy Kawasaki a long email while I was on an airplane and had been reading this book, to tell him that I loved it. I normally would never do such a thing, but he points out in the book that you should always include your email address and not hide from customers, and you should answer your email, so it occurred to me that it might be okay to write to him. So I did, and he wrote back to thank me.

I've read a lot of "how-to" books on a lot of topics, from woodworking to business development, and this is one of the best ever written. I'm not sure if my review will compell you to check it out, but I thought it's worth a try. I am not one who normally recommends things, so my recommendation carries extra weight.

Get it. Read it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entrepreneurs-to-be should read this., November 3, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Hardcover)
I have never worked for any company in my life, entrepreneur from day one, and i have been starting up and running businesses for 18 years, with 5 companies in my track records (about 20 if i count the branches and business units, plus the FAILURES!!!).

I have funs and enjoy this boook immensly. I love reading, and Guy is one of my favourites, from his early "MACINTOSH WAY" (the wordings: something of "If you cut my flesh, i will always bleed seven colors", still in my ears), to the famous "RULES of the Revolutionaries". This is one of his bests.

It shows that after running garage.com, Guy got "matured" somehow and he has been really know the ins and outs of the start ups. The books teach a lot of truth, and honestly potray the situation.

I will complain that the book puts too much emphasis on the "venture capitalist" approach and less on other means of funding, (Venture Capital is not common in Indonesia, or most Asian countries). And there are too much ringing on the high tech industry.

BUT, even if that i don't agree with thoses issues, still most part of the books are VeRY2 true and give a lot of pure gold advices.

I do a lot of Entrepreneurship seminars, and i know that you can not teach entrepreneurship by doing seminars or reading books as much as you can't learn to ride a bike or learn to swim by coming to a seminar. YET, for those people who are going to do his own start up, this book can encourage and guide and enlight.

Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, those dreamers who insist to change the world and start some new business, this one is for you. Cheers, warmest regards from me at tanadisantoso-dot-com.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawless teaching of glitter, July 31, 2007
This review is from: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Hardcover)
I read this book, found it completely motivating, wrote a business plan, won first place in a $250k business plan competition using my plan based on this book, raised $2.5m on a plan based on this book, and then crashed my company 1.5 years later.

What happened to a company with so much promise? We had too much success too fast, and I credit/blame the book. I re-read the book after we crashed and found that everything we did right was straight from the book. And everything we didn't do right eluded us AND the book. This book will 1. teach you glitter and 2. effortlessly get you started on the right path. STARTED! ...and that's all. The title doesn't lie.

If you're experienced and know how to run a company, then I HIGHLY recommend this book to polish up your next venture for VCs. If you're like me and haven't run companies before, then you have much, much more work to do besides the exercises in the book.

I'm told that "Venture Management Handbook" is a good book, and I'm ordering it today.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great info for people hoping to start something huge..., November 21, 2004
This review is from: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Hardcover)
This book had some great info for people who think big, and are hoping to start the next Amazon.com or Starbucks. I enjoyed the tips and information, but sadly the book aimed a little too high for me and my humble business. There was a lot of info for people in a traditional business world (like about investers, boards, and such), but as a landscaper, I found that most of the information was not broadly useful enough to use in my small business.

A few things that I liked:

Naming your business a name that can be turned into a verb. In landscaping, that could mean EarthScapes, as in "let's EarthScape it!"

Suggestions about how to make your work and mission easy for people not in the field to understand.

The step by step guide to hiring employees.

While this manual wasn't quite what I was looking for, I did find some solidly helpful information which made it worth reading. That said, this is really suited to someone in a more traditional business field, and not so much the service oriented field I am in.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the real deal., April 25, 2007
By 
Mobius (California USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Hardcover)
The book's title is apparently a homage to Donald Trump's "The Art of the Deal", and there are alot of similarities. Both Trump and Kawasaki have attempted with some success to create personality cults based on exaggerated accounts of their real world business success, and then to make money selling their banal wisdom to legions of wannabes. Both have profited from sleazy seminar businesses. In reality, Kawasaki has only had very limited success as a startup founder, and even less as a venture capitalist. Do a Google search under "Dude Yamaha" for an excellent first hand account of Kawasaki in action. Thanks, but if I want advice on starting a startup, I'll get it from someone who actually has a track record.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing book of lists, April 23, 2006
This review is from: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Hardcover)
Starting a small business can be overwhelming. Many people who try experience feelings of inadequacy much like high school students feel when trying to write their first term paper for English class. If you are hoping to start a business in the future, or you are in the midst of doing so now, I highly recommend you read this book. It is light, easy to read, and informative.

The content of the book is broken into five groupings:

1. Causation (think it up)

2. Articulation (write it up)

3. Activation (implement it)

4. Proliferation (monitor it & reevaluate it)

5. Obligation (be good)

In a way, I found this book to be another one on business planning and strategic planning. However, it is presented in a different way than any other book I've read on these topics. This book reads more like an authoritative guide written by someone who has already "been there" and who did not have to do a lot of research to fill in the book's content. In comparison, many of the other books I've read seem to have been written by high school students writing their first term paper. Do yourself a favor and read this book. You will be glad you did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guy Kawasaki is Solid Gold, November 4, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Hardcover)
I have had the pleasure of reading Art of the Start and seeing Guy Kawasaki speak. I was impressed with his ability to provide direct, amusing and effective advice.

 

Four weeks ago I had not heard of Guy Kawasaki. I first learned about him and his book through a book review and also picked up buzz here and there in articles, blogs and on Amazon. People seemed to think this guy Guy was fascinating so I bought the book. LOVED IT! I am not interested in venture capital or building boards so I breezed over these parts. I am very interested in how to start and build my business and helping others build theirs. Art of the Start delivers. Guy's tips and techniques are clear and stripped down to the essential must do's. There's no waste and no dull parts to get through to get the good stuff. To use Guy's word for great products - it's Gold. He's funny too, which helped my brain stay engaged.

Throughout the book, two dominant themes emerge:

 

1. Get on with it!

 Get your product out there.

Don't over-think things, just try something.

Avoid second guessing yourself or others, if you want to start something, start it.

Be wary of paralysis by analysis.

Try many avenues.

Be open to uncommon and unknown possibilities for your business and product.

Obliterate the barriers that are keeping you from moving forward.

 

2. Do what you love and make meaning!

 Don't worry about what is hot or trendy (by the time you know of trends it is too late anyway!). Create products and services that you love and that solve your problems.

Solve new problems, seize new opportunities, or approach a business solution in new way. Don't just build on what's already out there, build something new.

 

Worry about making meaning first, then making money. If you are producing what you love and it will make life better for others, the money will follow.

 

The best product and services are loved by their customers. To evangelize your business, you need to be passionate about and believe in what you are doing. The importance of this is paramount.

You may need to reenergize and remind yourself that the focus is on making meaning.

 I've learned a lot from Guy's book and by hearing him talk. Art of the Start can help us kick-start our endeavors and improve our chances of success and satisfaction. Guy Kawasaki is one of those folks who changes the lives of the people he touches. He has changed mine and I would invite you to let him change yours.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY Overrated, February 8, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (Hardcover)
I can't even possibly imagine giving this book 5 stars, let alone 4. I get really annoyed when people rate books so high, just b/c they have a catchy name or something.

From the standpoint of someone who actually wants to create an actual business from an idea - this book offers almost nothing. A lot of his advice and anecdotes come from his launch of Macintosh back in 1984. In fact the way he talks about running a business - most of the time at least - he assumes you ALREADY HAVE a business up and running. For example, some chapters of the books are spent talking about how to get good employees, how to deal with your board of directors, whether or not to run the business at full capacity. 90% of this stuff, the way it is framed at least, is not relevant at all to someone who does not yet have the million dollar business.

I would say that this book would be more correctly titled, "how to launch a new product". A lot of it is based on the PR, and advertising side of things, and generally how to create excitement and buzz.

One part of the book I really did not like is how he describes how you should pitch yourself to VCs (venture capitalists). Kawasaki himself runs a venture capitalist firm, so he is used to getting inundated with bad offers. His assumption is that your business idea sucks, and he pretty much disparages almost everything that is said at these presentations as "Lies". Literally, there is a section called, the 10 Old Lies I don't want to hear, or something like that.

Generally speaking, there are a few gems scattered in odd places through out the book, but it is mostly not that great. I would not recommend reading it to someone starting a completely new business from scratch.

To someone launching a new product from an existing business, I could see how it might be useful. I'd be hesitant even then.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 232 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
$27.95 $16.21
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.