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  • ISBN13: 9781591840565
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description
What does it take to turn ideas into action? What are the elements of a perfect pitch? How do you win the war for talent? How do you establish a brand without bucks? These are some of the issues everyone faces when starting or revitalizing any undertaking, and Guy Kawasaki, former marketing maven of Apple Computer, provides the answers. The Art of the Start will give you the essential steps to launch great products, services, and companies—whether you ar… More >>

The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

  1. Meryl K. Evans
    The book makes a big promise with its sub-title, "The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything." I wondered if such a book could live up to it. "Starting anything" refers to a business, not a career, school, or hobby.

    Obviously, it's impossible to create a comprehensive book of business best practices because every business has its own variables. What works great for one may kill another. However, the book doesn't take that approach. Rather, it tells how it is starting a business and the rough road of dealing with VCs (venture capitalists). If you expect a positive spin on stuff that's hard to do. Read a fairy tale instead.

    Rather than abrasiveness and a "do this, don't do this" attitude, Kawasaki uses humor to explain the process. Anyone who has a small business including those around for a few years will benefit. When ready to take action, use this book as the manual that doesn't come with starting a business. Thinking about it isn't going to make a business successful.

    Every chapter begins with the GIST of it, an overview of what's to come. Each ends with FAQ, frequently AVOIDED questions, to review the chapter's content and drill it in deeper for better understanding and implementation.

    Get simple, but important hints on everyday business practices such as how to give a strong presentation. How many times have you sat through a presentation where each slide has over 20 words in size 12 point and the presenter practically reads the words adding little to what is on the slide? Kawasaki smartly covers the 10-20-30 rule. 10 slides, 20 minutes, and size 30 font. Making changes to the small practices can lead to reaching the next milestone.

    This book can be likened to a quick reference guide for starting a business and useful strategies: has just what is needed without heavy-duty or dry language. It is, however, larger than most quick guides, but a fast and easy read into the world of startups and dealing with VCs. If a VC isn't involved, the book provides valuable tools and ideas to help with any business. However, technology start ups seeking VCs will benefit most.

    Stuck on a business plan? Learn what is needed and not needed. Don't waste valuable time and use the book to do what's necessary without going overboard.

    If long hours and challenges aren't in the plans, then read a romanticized business book instead. The Art of the Start shows how it really is and it's hard, but it can be a little easier with this book as a guide.

    Get a taste of the book by reading its manifesto (http://www.changethis.com/1.ArtOfTheStart), a free PDF download. The 34 page document should give you a clear idea of whether or not the book is for you as it includes the same components found in the book. As a bonus, the manifesto includes Great Ideas for Starting Things, covered in the first chapter. If the material and the table of contents sound enticing, get it. Rating: 5 / 5
  2. Brian Hawkinson
    Wow, I am going against the grain here. I picked this book up with a lot of hope. I only met disappointment. The books premise says a lot, leading you to believe that this is a know-how of starting companies and organizations - any types. And in a sense this is somewhat true. But this book is not geared for smaller companies. In fact the book is structured and designed only for those seeking venture capitalists and/or those who are already in the corporate world and want to start their own company. Basically, for those companies geared more towards technology.

    Because of this I was very disappointed. Additionally, the tables were almost all useless and the exercises were a big waste of time. Exercises such as "Look up the background of these entrepreneurs" or "Go to eBay and look up this item" or "Fill in the blank... (where you fill in your mantra)". Even the quotes, although some were interesting, were a waste of space as the book is literally layered with them all over the place.

    Again, I am really going against the grain. If you are looking for venture capital or are currently in the corporate world, this book is for you. Otherwise there is very little to learn from this book.

    2.5 stars.
    Rating: 2 / 5
  3. Glenn Reid
    This is a truly great book. I didn't expect to get so much from it; I'm battle-hardened myself and thought I knew a lot about starting companies and thinking about product development and marketing. I'm an author myself, of two technical books (you can search for me in Amazon's author index) so I understand the process and am have pretty high standards in reading and judging books.

    I've read the first 20 pages of a lot of supposedly similar books and given up on them. Time, after all, is one of the most valuable assets to an entrepreneur, and I won't have mine wasted. But with The Art of the Start I was learning and thinking on every page, and genuinely got excited about my own business by reading this book; it doesn't get much better than that.

    Guy Kawasaki has a gift for getting right to the heart of an issue, in a no-nonsense way, which of course every entrpreneur needs; I'm often thinking: make your point already!

    And right when you're about to call into question one of the points the author is making (and he does make some bold points that you're tempted to question) he follows it immediately with "for example..." and the examples are so compelling and clear, you immediately accede his point, change your own thinking slightly, and keep reading.

    I wrote Guy Kawasaki a long email while I was on an airplane and had been reading this book, to tell him that I loved it. I normally would never do such a thing, but he points out in the book that you should always include your email address and not hide from customers, and you should answer your email, so it occurred to me that it might be okay to write to him. So I did, and he wrote back to thank me.

    I've read a lot of "how-to" books on a lot of topics, from woodworking to business development, and this is one of the best ever written. I'm not sure if my review will compell you to check it out, but I thought it's worth a try. I am not one who normally recommends things, so my recommendation carries extra weight.

    Get it. Read it. Rating: 5 / 5
  4. T SANTOSO
    I have never worked for any company in my life, entrepreneur from day one, and i have been starting up and running businesses for 18 years, with 5 companies in my track records (about 20 if i count the branches and business units, plus the FAILURES!!!).

    I have funs and enjoy this boook immensly. I love reading, and Guy is one of my favourites, from his early "MACINTOSH WAY" (the wordings: something of "If you cut my flesh, i will always bleed seven colors", still in my ears), to the famous "RULES of the Revolutionaries". This is one of his bests.

    It shows that after running garage.com, Guy got "matured" somehow and he has been really know the ins and outs of the start ups. The books teach a lot of truth, and honestly potray the situation.

    I will complain that the book puts too much emphasis on the "venture capitalist" approach and less on other means of funding, (Venture Capital is not common in Indonesia, or most Asian countries). And there are too much ringing on the high tech industry.

    BUT, even if that i don't agree with thoses issues, still most part of the books are VeRY2 true and give a lot of pure gold advices.

    I do a lot of Entrepreneurship seminars, and i know that you can not teach entrepreneurship by doing seminars or reading books as much as you can't learn to ride a bike or learn to swim by coming to a seminar. YET, for those people who are going to do his own start up, this book can encourage and guide and enlight.

    Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, those dreamers who insist to change the world and start some new business, this one is for you. Cheers, warmest regards from me at tanadisantoso-dot-com. Rating: 5 / 5
  5. Gen of North Coast Gardening
    This book had some great info for people who think big, and are hoping to start the next Amazon.com or Starbucks. I enjoyed the tips and information, but sadly the book aimed a little too high for me and my humble business. There was a lot of info for people in a traditional business world (like about investers, boards, and such), but as a landscaper, I found that most of the information was not broadly useful enough to use in my small business.

    A few things that I liked:

    Naming your business a name that can be turned into a verb. In landscaping, that could mean EarthScapes, as in "let's EarthScape it!"

    Suggestions about how to make your work and mission easy for people not in the field to understand.

    The step by step guide to hiring employees.

    While this manual wasn't quite what I was looking for, I did find some solidly helpful information which made it worth reading. That said, this is really suited to someone in a more traditional business field, and not so much the service oriented field I am in. Rating: 3 / 5

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