Top positive review
35 people found this helpful
Much more than the title says
on March 4, 2015
I have read almost every book Guy Kawasaki has written and enjoy his "cut to the chase" style. This new book follows this trend: you will get practical, actionable, specific and above all, up-to-date advice without having to wade through verbiage to find nuggets that you can actually use. Below is a fragment of the many take-aways from the book:
1. Pick a name for your start up that has a "verb potential." Kawasaki provides a way to test this. Imagine, you use this advice and the name of your new start up enters the mainstream vernacular and becomes a verb. Wouldn't you be happy you thought of this before using a name that can't possibly have verb potential?
2. The top ten mistakes entrepreneurs make and more important, how to fix them.
3. So many speakers focus on the "What" and forget about the "So what"? The "So what?" is the significance of what you're saying because you can't assume that it's always self-evident. You need to connect the dots for people. Guy gives the two most powerful words in a pitch to handle the "So what?" question in your audience's mind.
4. If you're thinking about crowdfunding, you will find help in this book including additional resources you can access.
5. Kawasaki provides many examples for the advice he gives. For example, you will find three examples of what leading financial investors look for in financial projections. Also VERY useful is Kawasaki's edit of a 90-second pitch. It shows you a sample pitch he received, and how he edited it, including outlining the lessons to derive from his rewrite.
6. He encourages you to abandon outmoded thinking - for example, why you should focus on your pitch when you first start and not waste time writing a business plan.
7. Each section has "Recommended Reading" which is always useful.
8. Real world advice on bootstrapping a start-up from someone who's been there and done that.
9. On presenting your pitch. Kawasaki says: "You're going to win or lose in the first minute or so" -- This section includes valuable advice on how to hit the ground running and not waste that crucial first impression. Even though this is a book about pitching your new product or service, it's also a great resource for improving your speaking skills for any situation. "Make love to the microphone" how to get a standing ovation is a must-read section in that regard.
10. How to build your team: everything from interview tips, to how to check references, to knowing the top lies told at interviews. This will hopefully save you a lot of expensive hiring mistakes.
11. How to position your product in a more personal way because that's more powerful and makes it easier for potential customers to imagine how a product fills their need. Again, great examples, of "impersonal" and "personal" positioning
12. Each section also has some useful exercises to get you thinking. It's like having a coach at your side.
13. When is the best time to send an email? Research-based answers. Having the empathy not to attach files larger than 5 Mbs unless you have permission and why you can lose if you ignore such a simple, yet important rule that people break all the time.
14. Another thing I love about Kawasaki's books is the proliferation of outside links to useful resources such as SocialBro, for example - a service for Twitter, to get reports on who follows you, to find new people to follow, and to determine how your content is doing.
15. Important persuasion principles that can help you - put in context and with examples.
If there is one sentence that for me sums up Kawasaki's ethos which permeates this book, and all his previous books, it's this: "The genesis of great companies is answering simple questions that change the world, not the desire to become rich." And one of his practical exercises is: "Complete this sentence: If your startup never existed , the world would be worse off because __________."
Buy this book for yourself or give it as a gift. I just finished delivering a workshop to young innovators working on pitching their apps. I wished I had the book at the time. I would have given each person a copy.