Guy Kawasaki of Macintosh fame visited Vancouver Canada last month, spending a little too much time impressing we Canadians of his love for hockey. The remainder of the free 50-minute speech was an overview of his most recent book, "The Art of the Start." I took notes on scraps of paper while sitting on the floor of the overbooked conference room.
He says he uses ten points for speeches, so that listeners can tell how far along he is -- and walk out if it's taking too long. Each of the ten points, however, had several subpoints. More of a 40-point speech, then, on how to launch new companies:
10. Make Meaning (rather than set out to make money) through:
- increasing the quality of life for others.
- righting a wrong.
- preventing the end of something good.
9. Make a Mantra:
- 3-4 words on why your company exits.
- don't make mission statements, which are meaningless.
8. Jump to the Next Curve:
- by rebooting your brain (think differently).
- be willing to kill your own cash cow (create new products).
- don't be afraid of polarizing the opinions of others.
7. Get Going:
- make prototypes.
- find soul mates (sales, marketing, adult supervision).
- avoid solo enterprises.
6. Niche Thyself:
- avoid stupid products.
- avoid low-price products.
- look for unique and valuable products, which is where the $$$ are made.
5. Let 100 Flowers Blossom:
- sow fields with your product, not just window boxes.
- keep an eye out for unintended uses and customers, then cultivate them.
- look for agnostics to buy your product; avoid atheists.
4. 10/20/30 Rule:
- 10 slides for any presentation.
- 20 minutes duration of presentations (allows 40 minutes for questions and discussion).
- 30 pt is the optimal text size for slides.
3. Hire Infected People, in this order:
- #1: love of your product/service.
- #2: consider the new-hire's work experience.
- #3: consider the new-hire's education.
- hire better than yourself.
- apply the shopping center test: would you approach this person in a shopping center (or, hire the person right away)?
2. Low Barriers to Adaptation:
- never ask people to do something you won't do yourself.
- flatten the learning curve.
- works out of the box.
1. Don't Let the Bozos Grind You Down:
- Bozo 1: ignorant (rusty, old, loser).
- Bozo #2: dangerous (successful, rich, famous).
- Mr Kawasaki at first failed to see that the Internet was more than just a PC with a modem cord; he turned down an offer to run Yahoo.
"There must be a God," Mr Kawasaki concluded, "because there is no other reason for Apple to have survived."