Talks by Guy Kawasaki Part 1

If one were to name one of the most prolific opinion shapers on the web today, Guy Kawasaki would figure in most lists. Whether one reads his books or his blogs, watches his talks on You Tube or simply follows his twits, there is much to gain from his advice. 

In this post, I have collated some of his best talks from You tube. They offer nuggets (or as Guy himself would prefer, diamonds,) of wisdom to any aspiring entrepreneur.

In this talk, he says that one who starts a business must do so to start meaning, not money. The offers three ways to do so: Change people's lives, 'right' a wrong, or prevent the end of something good.

Hire infected people, proclaims Kawasaki. Choose passion over credentials and work experience.  This is counter intiutive and is at odds with the advice of most VCs. It is the lack of experience which can sometimes cause one to be most effective in a startup environment. Kawasaki is himself living proof of this theory.He offers the following advice
-Ignore the irrevelvant
-Hire those better than you.
-A startup is a disfunctional family.

What separates a successful idea from an unsuccessful one?Here again the answer is very offbeat. Kawasaki says it is luck and Karma. If you stick to your ethics and mean well, you will have good Karma.

While Kawasaki invests only in high tech, there are enough low technologies that are not so hot but make the world a better place. If you do something you love, you may have a better chance at happiness. Kawasaki himself gave up law school as Kawasaki found that it was trying to reengineer his mind.

We tend to look at people like us and sometimes promote people we like, even when they may not be qualified enough. A soulmate is usually a person in your social circle. If your soulmate is not performing at the expected level, you need to understand that your responsibility is to your company, not the individual.

For tech entrepreneur, the sweat spot is a 20 year old from a great engineering school. At 50 you realise that it is harder. The younger you are, you do not realise how hard it is. Ignorance is empowering.

MBAs do not teach you how to manage. This can only come with experience. Quantitative schools cannot teach you even as much as you can learn from a small business. Statistical models and theory are not as useful as knowing that if something costs $1 to make, brings a return of $5 and will give you a return of 20%. Kawasaki does regret not having a technical degree for not being able to hold fort against engineers when it comes to deliverables. 

Join either a big multinational like PG or a startup. Investment Banking is a bad choice as it gives you a false sense of knwoing it all. When you get bludgeoned by rejection, or work in a startup that failed, could teach you  your best lessons. Aim higher.

- Be specific on your target customer, the enterprise customer, the vertical.
-Unique business models are frightening. Product and serviceIt cous can be innovative.  Business models cannot be.
-Women are better that men when it comes to a business model. men have a killer gene to create companies to kill other companies.

- Most speakers 'suck'.
-Use a top ten format

-A startup has no install base, underperformers, lousy furniture,etc. It is a pure virgin startup.
-You can work on cool things like logos,etc.
-Create milestones : This is the first priority. It could be a shipment, 
-Write down your assumptions: How many sales calls? How many successful sales calls? What does customer service cost?
-Then there are tasks: This can be rent an office.

- You may have a great mouse trap, but the learning curve is high. This may force your customer to go elsewhere.

In college, it is the students you meet. Pick the geekiest, pin headed person and they can be a real successful person. Hang out with Indians and the Asians. 

Many customers put it to uses you did not intend. Do not freak out. It is a good thing. Take money.
It leads to an engineering algorithm: Go to the customer and ask them why they are buying it.
or go to those who are buying and look for more reasons why people are buying  a product.

This is about watching sales grow. When 100 flowers blossom.

Enable people to test drive.
Suck down: Suck up to those who are not the CXO people. Find the tech supports, the administrative people and sell to them. Suck down and suck across, don't just suck up.

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