|Title : The Art of the Start |
Author : Guy Kawasaki
Publisher : Portfolio, 2004
ISBN : ISBN 1591840562
|The Big Idea|
You have the idea of a lifetime and yet you do not know where and how to begin. It is a dilemma shared by entrepreneurs everywhere - what does it take to turn a great idea into action?Author Guy Kawasaki brings two decades of business experience to offer a definitive guide for anyone who dreams of starting anything. Whether you are thinking of starting a start-up Internet operation or a church group, The Art of the Start will provide you with everything you need to know from raising money to fostering a community.
Chapter 1: The Art of Starting
There are five important things an entrepreneur must accomplish:
Chapter 2: The Art of Positioning
With the right positioning, you should be able to see clearly why the organization was started, why it should be patronized by customers, and why good people should choose to work for the organization.
Before you begin dwelling into the art of positioning, you must first answer the question, “What do you do?” You must be able to provide an answer that not only seizes the high ground but shows exactly how your organization differs from its competitors. It is only then that you can communicate this powerful message to your chosen market.
Seize the High Ground
Other Positioning Tips:
Chapter 3: The Art of Pitching
For an entrepreneur, pitching is almost as important as breathing. Not only is pitching a great tool for raising money, it is essential for reaching agreements. Needless to say, agreements are common to any entrepreneur’s daily life.
Here are some tips to help you make a perfect pitch:
Chapter 4: The Art of Writing a Business Plan
An entrepreneur will soon discover that a business plan is not really as important as most people deem it should be. However, the fact remains that most investors, recruits, potential board makers and decision makers expect a business plan and will not rest until they are given one.
Focus on the Executive Summary
When writing a business plan, use the ten slides that are necessary for a pitch to investors (previous chapter) and use them as your framework. Instead of a title slide, provide an executive summary. Remember that this executive summary is the most important part of your business plan.
An executive summary is a concise and clear description of the problem you wish to solve. It also states how you wish to solve the problem, your business model and the underlying magic of your product or service. Remember, your executive summary will determine whether or not people will read the rest of your business plan.
Keep It Clean
Chapter 5: The Art of Bootstrapping
Most people are surprised to learn that industry giants Microsoft and eBay are two companies that started with a bootstrap model. A bootstrappable business model has:
Bootstrapping might mean passing up profitable sales that may take a long time to collect or stretching your payments for everything you buy. This might mean a decline in “paper” profits but for a bootstrapper, paper profits are not as important as cash flow management.
Ship, Then Test
If you are bootstrapping, you obviously are not sitting on a pile of money. Therefore, it is imperative that you get your product or service to the market immediately. When using this philosophy, you are opting to fix the problems of your product later rather than now.
The good news is, with this method, you will receive immediate cash flow and feedback from the real world. Unfortunately, this method might also tarnish your image if there are quality problems.
It is not easy to make this decision. If you feel that you would allow the people you love to use the product or service as it is right now, then it might be correct to ship it. If you are running out of money, it might also be advisable to ship the product and deal with the consequences later.
Chapter 6: The Art of Recruiting
Recruiting good people is one of the most enjoyable and yet most critical tasks that you must face as an entrepreneur.
When recruiting, you must look beyond race, color, education and work experience. Instead you should focus on three factors:
Chapter 7: The Art of Raising Capital
A start-up business is usually on a constant look-out for capital from outside investors. Investors include venture capitalists, foundations, friends and family members.
Although pitching plays a major role when you are trying to raise capital, the realities of your organization are so much more important. You must offer a product or service that is meaningful and long-lasting.
Here are some tips you can use when raising capital:
Chapter 8: The Art of Partnering
Partnerships - a word that is actually more complicated than it sounds. Although good partnering can increase cash flow, accelerate revenue and reduce costs, a bad partnership can very well mean the other way around.
Here are some tips that can help you master the art of partnering:
Chapter 9: The Art of Branding
The classic Ps of marketing (product, place, price and promotion) pretty much sums up the art of branding. Some people add prayer to the list, but the author prefers proselytization which is the art of converting others to your belief or doctrine.
For today’s start-ups, proselytization is the core of branding. You must be able to create something contagious that would make people enthusiastic and eager to try your product or service. You must be able to make other people spread the word around.
Create a Contagion
Chapter 10: The Art of Rainmaking
A rainmaker is a person who generates large quantities of business. The first step of rainmaking in a start-up business is to get the very first version of the product or service out to the market. After you do this, you must observe where your product or service will sell the most.
The second step of rainmaking is to be able to sell the product or service well. Remember, as a start-up, people are not aware of your products and services. You must overcome resistance.
Here are some tips you can use to master the art of rainmaking:
Chapter 11: The Art of Being a Mensch
Mensch is a Yiddish term for an ethical and admirable person. In some cultures, it is considered the highest form of praise. To be a mensh, you must help people, do what’s right and contribute to society.
Here are some tips on becoming a mensch: