Guy Kawasaki's famous and bestseller book - "The Art of the Start" has several chapters on how to go about starting your own venture. He gave a talk at TiECon in May 2006 titled the same. Google Video Link. Direct mp4 Link (174MB)

Here's a handy list of the ten points he laid out -

  1. Make Meaning
    a. Improve quality of life
    b. Right a Wrong
    c. Prevent the end of something good
  2. Make a Mantra
  3. Get going (be sure, research, focus ...)
    a. Think different - don't do better sameness, don't be content with doing things 10-15% better - make it 10 times better
    b. Polarize people
    c. Find a few soul mates - balance you off
  4. Define a business model
    a. Be specific
    b. Keep it simple
    c. Ask women
  5. Weave a MAT (Milestones Assumptions and Tasks) (Prioritization)
    a. Milestones - Finish design
    b. Assumptions - Sales/day
    c. Tasks - Rent an office
  6. Niche thyself
    (All about marketing in one slide) - Ability to provide a unique product or service -vs.- Value to the customer
  7. 10/20/30 Rule (10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 font size)
    a. Title
    b. Problem
    c. Solution
    d. Business Model
    e. Underlying Logic
    f. Marketing and sales
    g. Competition
    h. Team
    i. Projections
    j. Status and Time line
  8. Hire infected people - Love your product. Work experience and educational background.
    a. Ignore the irrelevant - They have this background, don't have this
    b. Hire better than yourself
    c. Apply shopping center test
  9. Lower barriers to adoption
    a. Flatten the learning curve
    b. Don't ask people to do something that you wouldn't
    c. Embrace your evangelists (Greek - bringing the good news)
  10. See the clouds (rainmaking sales)
    a. Let a hundred flowers blossom
    b. Enable test drives
    c. Find true influencer's - not CXO/CTO
  11. Don't let the bozos grind you down (Bonus! Point)

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