The Art of the Start 2.0 is the revised business classic by Guy Kawasaki, a successful entrepreneur and startup investor, former chief evangelist of Apple, and current chief evangelist of Canva. In this book, he’s doing what he calls a “core dump” based on all his experiences: sharing the battle-tested knowledge he has accumulated in order to better-prepare entrepreneurs for their startup journey.
The book covers all the steps to a successful startup, beginning with how to come up with good ideas and get feedback on them… how to lead a team to a common vision… and how to grow through evangelizing, socializing, and partnering.
There are a lot of gems in the book, and Guy tells them without any sugar-coating. Below are four that stood out:
1. In the early days of starting up, the ability to scale is overrated
We have to resist the temptation to think too big too soon because first- most startups would fail the test of scaling at this point anyway, and second- it’s much more important to find a product that creates meaning… As Guy points out, no startup died because it couldn’t figure out how to scale!
2. Meaningful stories inspire faith in you and your product
We’re bombarded with too much information, and the only way to engage is through powerful storytelling. As entrepreneurs, we have to sell a vision of a different future. Talking about facts – how a product is 10 times faster or more powerful – just wont’ cut it. We need to get personal with stories to make these facts relatable. “Faith, not facts, moves mountains.”
3. Blissful ignorance is awfully empowering
Guy makes the case for hiring and perhaps even funding unproven people. Experts with long industry backgrounds know how things work but they’re also constrained by that knowledge. Instead, new and unproven teams can question everything and come up with very innovative solutions. Think Uber – an industry insider would have been unable to disrupt the taxi cab industry.
4. The importance of simple explanations
Guy shares the pitch of a company he advised, and then shows his makeover of the same pitch. Always start with as much punch as you can muster to grab your audience’s attention. Then keep them interested by cutting out the industry jargon and making everything as plain and simple as possible. Then catalyze fantasy – give your audience the stories that they need in order to dream a better future. And, of course, finish strong. “Save something great for the end.”
Guy provides a detailed roadmap with insights from his experiences, as well as FAQs with key questions. The goal is to help young entrepreneurs avoid common pitfalls in their quest to make meaning and change the world!