In this episode, I share my book review of The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki, and key takeaways. I really enjoyed reading this book about entrepreneurship and you’ll find out what I enjoyed most in this podcast – shownotes at http://saywowmarketing.com/episode71
I just finished reading a fascinating book that takes a multi-faceted look into what it takes to be an entrepreneur in today’s 2.0 world. The book is conveniently divided into very relevant topics to peruse through, based on your need, such as: Conception, Activation, Proliferation and Obligation.
The book is for any creative pioneer who wants to move forward with a rock star invention or innovation, including:
- Entrepreneurs who are creating the next big thing,
- Companies with new products to launch and
- Social entrepreneurs in a non-for-profit environment who want to change the world, rather than become rich.
Kawasaki structures the book using various topic areas. He talks about forming a mantra, and gives an exercise, among many in the book, with how to form your own.
He touches upon different business models you might think of when forming. Quizzes in various topic areas are found throughout the book, and for those that are always striving to learn more, further recommended reading material is included at the end of each chapter.
There was an interesting discussion of how influentials matter less in today’s world, but rather merit is what wins the hearts of potential customers. In today’s 2.0 world, where information is spread fast and furiously, with the help of social media, it is your company’s true value that will easily be spread by the masses, rather than just a select few, like Oprah. “You win a car, and you win a car…”
For a business that would need to demo products, Kawasaki gives a detailed outline, as sort of a checklist, of things you will need for your demo. Very meticulously outlined, you can tell he speaks from experience, including having a back up plan, and how to do that.
Leading a team is also discussed in the book, including the hiring process, how to make your team better by making your people better. Bootstrapping is also written about as a new way of funding your venture, which seems like an old term, but it has come back into popularity again out of necessity in our 2.0 world, where cash flow is of utmost important, rather than profitability. He goes into detail about how companies are able to start up with minimal investment, and at times, not even a physical prototype, just a really detailed idea of a profit, that is enough to satisfy the hearts and minds of a crowd you want to win over.
One of the most interesting parts of the book for me was the section on Pitching. Kawasaki goes into detail about the importance of being a solution to an existing problem rather than a solution seeking out a problem. I know from experience that it is very important to understand your audience first rather than go through the time and effort to develop a product or even a service that has no value and cures no pain. Finding your value proposition and your company’s “secret sauce” will win them over once you understand what their pain points are. This is a big time saver for readers, who will eventually have to pitch their product or idea to investors for funding, or to an audience of potential customers.
Kawasaki goes into such detail in this pitching section, you can tell he has a lot of passion and experience in this area, and even goes into how to prepare a presentation for an audience. As an evangelist for Canva, my favorite online design tool that I use regularly, he is all about making your presentations as visually appealing as possible to gain the most attention of eyeballs. He talks about font size being very important, and gives a key strategy of thinking of the age of the oldest person in your audience and who that might be, and going with a font size half of that number. So, if you’re looking at a 60 year old audience member in attendance, start with a 30 point font, and no less. Also, move from just writing the text out in your slides, to just touching upon points and talking them more. This is a big win win for audiences and for your own ventures as an entrepreneur.
I particularly enjoyed the section on Socializing, as I just read his recent book with co-author Peg FItzpatrick, The Art of Social. I just reviewed it in my Smarter Online Marketing Podcast #70, and also in a video review. There are many points included, sort of as a bonus, I feel, as I just read that book and the tips and tricks are truly incredible. And socializing is the trifecta, he says, as it is fast, free and ubiquitous. This socializing section really drives home the 2.0 in the title for me, and I highly recommend this area of the book.
Guy is not only an excellent presenter, but also educator. I know this first-hand, after the launch of my book, Visual Marketing Secrets: How to Use Smartphone Photography to Engage Online and Attract More Customers. Before my book was available on Kindle and went to print, I was in need of covers for both of these items, and it just so happened that Guy was on a webinar educating people on how to use Canva to create your own Kindle book cover in 15 minutes. It was so timely for me, I took him up on it, and ended up as a big advocator and even educator with my own online tutorials on Canva usage. So, I truly believe that if you have a product that you want to launch, educate people on how to use it, be social about it, and have them become your brand ambassadors.
Closing the book is the chapter on Being a Mensch. Ending on a yiddish word my grandmother used all the time is great – it really takes a concept from long ago, and brings it into today’s world, where it is still relevant. Being a mensch means being “ethical, grateful and admirable.”
Kawasaki really drives it home for entrepreneurs and innovators of all kinds, with Art of the Start 2.0. I very much enjoyed this book, and it certainly entertains, in addition to educating. “Edutainment” is key in today’s 2.0 world, and Kawasaki is not only an educator, but an entertainer of the mind for sure.
You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1MbLJFA (Affiliate Link)
Download this episode 71 of my SMARTER ONLINE MARKETING PODCAST