After reading most books, I would review them. That is, comfortably write about what I got, yet The Art Of The Start was different. It goes in depth about starting an organization (whether for profit not), and running it successfully. If you are running a successful organization, then it’s a book you wish you read before starting – and a hardback you want to own.
Guy Kawasaki had me gripped in his introduction, where he wrote:
“When telescopes work, everyone is an astronomer, and the world is full of stars. When they don’t, everyone whips out their microscopes, and the world is full of flaws.”
Granted! We all start organizations to cause – some much needed – change in the world. More important than change, if you take away one thing from this post – it should be go out there and make meaning. Guy warns entrepreneurs against “being solutions looking for problems”, which most experts won’t tell you.
Carve a niche
An entrepreneurial organization that serves, and targets everyone, is a solution looking for a problem. A well defined business model quickly resolves this issue and helps you cut your losses. Here are Guy Kawasaki’s guides to defining a business model:
Tips to develop your business model
Have you ever had a great idea, one you knew that was sure to be the proverbial cash cow, but you never acted on it?
Well….ideas by themselves are worthless and Guy Kawasaki advises that you create a prototype to end the uncertainty and get it to market immediately. Most of us want to perfect our offer, as though that is the final version of the product, when our customers will need us perfect and change it.
The Art Of Bootstrapping
I admit, the possibility of raising capital, building an organization that quickly gets acquired by a conglomerate and “living happily after”, crossed my mind. Sadly, happily afters are great before bedtime and 8pm romance thrillers.
In the beginning stages of this chapter he states that “entrepreneurs can bootstrap any business model”, because bootstrapping is managing for cash flow. And when done correctly, it will be a stage in the life of your business.
Here are some excerpts to note about bootstrapping:
As you can tell, bootstrapping is one of the lessons I had to learn again. It keeps you on course and definitely differentiates you from everyone else. That, like romance thrillers, leads to a happily after.
This chapter, which also quotes Seth Godin, drives home the idea of making meaning and strengthening your business model.
These, as said earlier, are just some of the highlights and lessons I had to learn. You’ll be seeing a lot of quotes from The Art Of The Start, going forward. It spoke to areas in my startup that need perfecting and improving and testing. Other things that also ring true from the book are the Art Of Pitching and the Art Of Selling.
What is the most significant lesson you’ve learnt in business, lately? Care to share?
Let us know what you’ve read as well. If you’d like to share it, you could write a guest review.