The Art of the Start

June 22, 2006

I think Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start is an excellent book for those starting a business, especially a technology one. His direct, and often humorous, writing style makes his message really easy to grasp, and his book is filled with clear, practical advice. I really enjoyed reading his book, and I appreciated his take on many of the things I’ve dealt with, am dealing with, or surely will be dealing with.

With your organization, he stresses, make meaning. That is, have a vision, a purpose, a reason to exist. And make mantra, clearly spell that vision out in a few words that are easy to repeat and that will excite the troops.

With my new organization, Woven, I believe I’ve made meaning. I believe that empowering people to work together effectively, to change the world, is as a great a cause as any. While I believe I have a clear mission statement that reflects that, I should have a clear mantra. Offhand, I think it might be “empower people” (doesn’t it all?) or “connect people” (too vague) or maybe “let people work together globally” — I obviously need to give it more thought. I want it to reflect a passion for people and our ability to work together to change this world, and that we’re empowered via technologies that help us collaborate regardless of where we are. Guy, if you find my blog, can you help?

In his book, he gets real practical (never use less than 30-point font on your PowerPoint slides), and enlightening ( always run your idea by a woman because men have an instinct to kill and will undoubtedly and irrationally encourage you to do it to kill the competition).

I heartily encourage you to read the book, especially if you’re starting something. And Mr. Kawasaki’s just put up a video of a talk he gave on the subject which nicely summarizes a few of the points in the book. Watch it.