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Books & Articles I wrote.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Start of the Art of the Start

Crib notes from "The Art of the Start" by Guy Kawasaki.

Getting Going.Do 5 things right away:

1. MAKE MEANING by creating something that makes the world a better places or changes it for the better.

2. MAKE MANTRA and avoid long mission statements. Max. 3 words that ARE your business to YOU.

3. GET GOING and start your product or service NOW. Don't spend months writing huge business plans before you understand your product and market (which often in new markets even the experts don't predict right) - my personal favourite!

4. DEFINE A BUSINESS MODEL as you will need to make money. Figure this out early.

5. MAT is your milestones, assumptions and tasks.


Do you want to do something dramatic to the world. Something that changes it somehow?

Q. If your organization never existed, the world would be worse off because:

The Mantra is for YOU (not your customers). It should motivate you.

Your MANTRA is _____________
Do not go longer than the line available!

Get Going
Get your product out there - in prototype. Customers will accept it is a prototype (note: this was first said to me only last week by a sucessful Scottish entrepreneur who lives in the US and sells software). Do plans later. When your bigger and can afford it.

1. Think Big - why not flip your chosen area on its head. Disrupt the whole existing concept?!

2. Soulmates - get a team. At least 2 (note: this means i gotta find someone!!). Together make history.

3. Some should LOVE it. Some should HATE it. It's a good sign!

4. Design and think different. Maybe you WANT one, it may be possible or you just know there's a better way to do it. Think and Accomplish.

5. Prototype and get market feedback. If they love it and need it, they'll probably help you build it! If they love it, change it to make them love it more.

Business Model
Who has money and how do you get it from their pocket to your pocket?

BE SPECIFIC and target a specific market. If it works, you can grow.
SIMPLICITY means your business model should be a single sentence ("Selling Subscriptions").
COPY those who have been successful. Don't go inventing new models.

1. What's the monthly costs?
2. What's your gross profit per unit?
3. Divide 1 by 2
4. Can you sell that many units?

This quickly tells you what you're missing.

Add your Milestones to the following standards ones.
  1. Proof of Concept
  2. Complete design
  3. Prototype
  4. Capital
  5. Test
  6. Final Version
  7. Breakeven

What Assumptions are you making?

  1. Service performance metrics
  2. market size
  3. gross margin
  4. sales call success
  5. customer conversion rate
  6. sales cycle duration
  7. ROI for customer
  8. tech support costs
  9. payment cycle
  10. compensation
  11. parts & supply costs
  12. customer ROI

Tasks are what you have to do to BUILD the venture.

  1. advice
  2. travel (conferences and such)
  3. office space
  4. vendors
  5. accounts
  6. legal stuff
  7. insurance

Finally: be scared; share your ideas and get feedback; tell everyone you can; listen to what people tell you; get a mentor or experienced partner; cards and letterheads immediately; a web site.

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