Monday, October 29, 2012

Solid Advice For Tech Start-ups

Guy Kawasaki in Sunnyvale, California at the P...
Guy Kawasaki in Sunnyvale, California at the Plug & Play Center signing his book Reality Check (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cover of "Reality Check: The Irreverent G...
Cover via Amazon
As part of my continuing education in the world of venture capital, I’m reading Guy Kawasaki’s various works.  His Art of the Start is still widely referenced as a must-read for anyone in a start-up, and in particular anyone considering raising venture capital.  I’ve previously reviewed it here.  There is clearly some overlap in the content between Reality Check and Art of the Start..  Reality Check is larger and more fulsome, covering more aspects of starting and growing a business, while continuing to develop and update the topic of meeting, “beguiling” and working with venture capitalists and associated professionals.   Some of the content was previously included in his blog.  If you were a loyal follower of his blog, you might have already seen some of this material.
Kawasaki writes with a great sense of humor, much of which is self-deprecating.   Like his previous book, he frequently uses humor with light touches of sarcasm (“the Top 16 Lies Lawyers Tell”) to make his points.
Each chapter is much like a blog post:  it is likely to be a brief, a quick read, direct and to the point.   
Despite some overlap with his previous works, the new content makes this book clearly worth the price.  I would argue that the chapter on presentations alone is worth much more than the price of the book.  Like a stock that is valued less than the per share value of cash held by the company, this makes the rest of the book free –and there is plenty of valuable content in the rest.
His broad coverage of tech-space start-ups includes chapters on recruiting, interviewing, laying- off, firing, building positive PR (including how to suck-up to bloggers), and how and when to “partner”.  (if you are considering opening, say, a jewelry store or a dry cleaners, there probably isn’t too much here for you – it really is aimed at tech businesses).
There is also some content for the recent grad about getting a job, and a little philosophy of life for all  us.
Since Mr. Kawasaki is a sought-after speaker, his point-of-view on public speaking, PowerPoint and story- telling has more credibility than most.  In addition to his informed view, he also strives to be a good guy, and encourages the readers to be good guys too.   He believes that nice guys do win.
Highly recommended if you are considering starting a tech business.

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