The Art of the Start

The_art_of_the_startI'm rereading The Art of the Start written by Guy Kawasaki.

The book is still very current in that Kawasaki focuses on his experience to address a series of frequently avoided questions (FAQs).

What should we work on and do today, this moment, that can make a difference?

The hardest thing of all to starting anything is the starting point itself. We find millions of ways to avoid the hard questions and doing the work.

Read the Change This manifesto for a sample of some of the practical tips Kawasaki shares (with plenty of humor) in the book.

The gist of the book is surprisingly close to the reasons why I continue to devote time and attention to blogging:

1. Make meaning — bettering yourself and making the world around you a better place. How do you make meaning?

2. Make mantra — talk can change our lives is a mantra. See the great examples of hypothetical mantras in the manifesto. Do you have a mantra?

3. Get going — position, then test as soon as possible. Blogs are ideal places to test ideas and thicken skin. How can you go to market with your idea more quickly?

4. Define your business model — who is your audience? What's your value/attention exchange? This can be as short as a sentence. For example, eBay's business model: It charges a listing fee plus a commission. End of story.

5. Weave a mat (milestones, assumptions, and tasks) — Kawasaki lists seven milestones that apply to every business. When you start a business, you

  1. prove your concept
  2. complete design specs
  3. finish a prototype and show it around
  4. raise capital or how are you going to make money
  5. ship/show a testable version to customers
  6. ship/show the final version to customers
  7. achieve break-even.

What are some of the assumptions and tasks you should consider?

Blogs are still relevant. Properly managed, they can create a trust path with customers.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.

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