Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book review- Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

Art of the Start is a book by venture capitalist and Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki of Garage Technology Ventures.

The book aims to educate start-up entrepreneurs on how to raise capital, recruit people, bootstrap, partnering, writing a business plan and other facets of business.

Guy's writing style is very humorous and makes the book a fun read instead of a technical one. Too many technical terms are avoided. While the book tries to cover everything about a startup, it is heavily focused on raising Venture and Angel capital. At least one topic relating to venture capital finds a way into every chapter.

This is also probably the strongest part of the book because being a venture capitalist himself, Guy can easily point out the mistakes that most start-ups make from the point of view of a venture capitalist. He also lists many things to avoid while giving a pitch about a possible business venture.

This book is not as 'well-rounded' as I would have liked it to be. Venture capital and pitching-related topics are explained in greater detail and cover more pages than other chapters. The chapter on bootstrapping was really funny and the first few chapters were good. Rainmaking, marketing and branding were not very thoroughly explained.

One of the best things about this book was that it does not say that you need ....(fill with words like ambition, great vision, determination etc.) qualities to succeed as a businessperson. All people are different and go into business for different reasons, so they will obviously have very different qualities and these will reflect in their businesses (Ex. Apple and Wal-Mart/ Steve Jobs and Sam Wlaton were very different people)

Of course, one needs determination and effort to succeed in a business, but doesn't one need that to succeed in anything? I feel making an elaborate list of such qualities is not very useful, but many books still do this.

Overall, the book was an informative read. It is probably most useful for high-tech startups or entrepreneurs starting businesses that need a lot of venture capital. It is not aimed at small businesses or micro-enterprises.

If you're looking for ways to raise finance, this is the book to read.




Gives an 'insider persepective' on raising capital and business.
Well written and organised.


Not enough focus on marketing and the legal issues that plague a start-up.
Not very useful for small-business owners.

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