Way back in ancient history, I reviewed Guy’s book Rules for Revolutionaries, a “manifesto for creating and marketing new products and services”. This review is his latest offering, a fantastic guide to any entrepreneurial offering.
“The Art of the Start” is a guide for anyone who wants to start… anything, presented as a list of lists. This list format is perfect for picking back through the book as a reference guide. One criticism I have heard of Mr Kawasaki is that he is a “miner of miners” in that he sifts through the distillations of others and distils them further, combining the result into a coherent whole. This could well be true; were it not then he may not have succeeded in writing one of the most complete and immediately useful guides I’ve read. Each chapter provides ample references on subjects covered to allow the reader to further research areas of interest or just get a different opinion.
In my previous review I clarified that I’m a big fan of Guy’s work, so I’m going to spare you my sycophantic blubbering and simply say that the writing style retains his characteristic humour while delivering a succinct yet informative payload. Here is a brief summation of the contents:
- Causation – This section covers how to get the ball rolling; how to use inspiration to decide to create a product or provide a service which will make the world a better place. Once you have this initial idea you follow through with a basic mantra to remind you that you’re following the right path, and milestones which define your success or failure.
- Articulation – This section covers positioning your product or service – essentially the answer to a potential client asking you “What do you do?”. Once you have the fundamental answer to this question, a chapter on pitching explains the best manner to deliver this information to your audience in a convincing manner, whether the audience is potential investors, partners, or customers. The final chapter in this section formalises the founder’s intentions with a killer business plan.
- Activation – This section takes the formulated plans and lights the touchpaper. The chapter on Bootstrapping explains how to get useful moving on minimal resources. This section also covers how to hire the right kind of people, and how to get some much needed finance to grow the company.
- Proliferation – The proliferation section is all about taking your seedling company and exploding; creating useful partnerships which provide mutual gain, branding your products or service in a manner which inspires evangelists to spread the word, and creating business leads and connections.
- Obligation – This final chapter explains how to use success to make the world a better place.
Summation: Buy it!