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Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 30, 2008
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A veteran tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and commentator on Silicon Valley culture offers real-world advice on how the best companies are started, funded, and run. Though the diversity of topics gives this audio a stream-of-consciousness flow, the material actually covers many complicated topics with cohesion. The advice, all of it succinct and immediately digestible, is on every start-up challenge imaginable from organizing venture-capital presentations to hiring, collaborating, marketing, and managing talent. The author s blunt opinions and colloquial language make listening a breeze. 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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Guy Kawasaki has written nine books, including The Art of the Start (a BusinessWeek bestseller), Rules for Revolutionaries, and How to Drive Your Competition Crazy. He writes one of the most popular blogs in the world. He is also a cofounder of Garage Technology Ventures (an early-stage venture capital firm).
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Kawasaki writes with a great sense of humor, much of which is self-deprecating. Like his previous book, he frequently uses humor with light touches of sarcasm ("the Top 16 Lies Lawyers Tell") to make his points.
Each chapter is much like a blog post: it is likely to be a brief, a quick read, direct and to the point. Despite some overlap with his previous works, the new content makes this book clearly worth the price. I would argue that the chapter on presentations alone is worth much more than the price of the book. Like a stock that is valued less than the per share value of cash held by the company, this makes the rest of the book free -and there is plenty of valuable content in the rest.
His broad coverage of tech-space start-ups includes chapters on recruiting, interviewing, laying- off, firing, building positive PR (including how to suck-up to bloggers), and how and when to "partner". (if you are considering opening, say, a jewelry store or a dry cleaners, there probably isn't too much here for you - it really is aimed at tech businesses).
There is also some content for the recent grad about getting a job, and a little philosophy of life for all us.
Since Mr. Kawasaki is a sought-after speaker, his point-of-view on public speaking, PowerPoint and story- telling has more credibility than most. In addition to his informed view, he also strives to be a good guy, and encourages the readers to be good guys too. He believes that nice guys do win.
Highly recommended if you are considering starting a tech business.
For the developer community, pay special attention to the discussions about the role of the VC. These folks are not joining the program to give away money. They can provide solid business insight. Sometimes there needs to be an adult role model/mentor on the ways of the market. For VCs, pay attention to the same section. Your role is to provide oversight and guidance, not demand shorter schedules with fewer people. In too many cases clashes between the VC and developer have wrecked a product that another company then copies to make the big bucks.
In the marketing section, partnering agreements get similar skewering, but accurate insight. If the agreement sounds good but the value isn't clear, best reconsider. Several sections in the book have straight-forward translation tables - what's said vs. meant. These little nuggets should be a reality check to the emotional investment that makes a business, product and person succeed.
The final section of the book addresses beguiling. Themes here set up Kawasaki's next book. The points aren't really new, but always need to be in mind. When it comes to presentations, it would be great if the decksperts would follow the 10/20/30 rule. Of course the folks who confuse volume with insight will totally miss the point of these discussions.
`Reality Check' entertained and enlightened to the point I now also have that next book, `Enchantment.' He practiced all the points during a recent half-day seminar I attended. The material did the `show not tell' recommendation to keep the audience engaged, which is the reason for enchanting. Those who see the material as simply entertaining miss the value, judging the book by its cover, not seeing the points in practice.
Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
What Guy lacks is in-depth analysis of his observations. He doesn't really try hard to answer "why?". Therefore, I can't say his conclusions are based on high caliber analysis.
Guy's intuition on the inner workings of Silicon Valley, entrepeneurs, and start-ups is very different. He can see the big picture and can think outside of the box. So if you want the street-smart guide to the tech industry (especially getting VC funding), then this is the right book to read.
Guy has wonderful advice into getting VC funding, how to be successful in a start-up, marketing, presentation, and the value of engineering talent. He is a strong advocate that the most successful tech entrepeneurs are those who want to make the product they want themselves want to use and also would change the world in the process.
Scholastic breakthrough this book is not. But worthy street-smart guide to tech-startup this book is.