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The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  12,297 ratings  ·  301 reviews
A new product, a new service, a new company, a new division, a new organization, a new anything—where there’s a will, here’s the way.It begins with a dream that just won’t quit, the once-in-a-lifetime thunderbolt of pure inspiration, the obsession, the world-beater, the killer app, the next big thing. Everyone who wants to make the world a better place becomes possessed by ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 9th 2004 by Portfolio Hardcover (first published 2004)
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Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. KiyosakiThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon HillHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieThe Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
Best Books For Beginning Entrepreneurs
5th out of 187 books — 251 voters
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon HillGood to Great by James C. CollinsGetting Things Done by David Allen
Best Business Books
24th out of 409 books — 744 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chad Warner
Sep 23, 2012 Chad Warner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Chad by: Momentum MI
An excellent handbook for those starting a business or non-profit, stressing function over form and action over planning. The lessons apply to organizations whether they're bootstrapping or seeking funding from venture capitalists or angel investors. Kawasaki includes plenty of historical examples and firsthand experience, making this a practical real-world resource that's more valuable than a simply conceptual textbook.

Guy Kawasaki is a respected serial entrepreneur whose articles I've read in
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Conrad Zero
Nov 19, 2012 Conrad Zero rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Business start ups planning to use venture capital to grow into a megacorp
Shelves: non-fiction, business
Not bad, but focused on a very niche market. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki is subtitled "The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything." Unfortunately, that isn't entirely true, unless you consider reading only the chapters that pertain to you. The book does have a very specific audience in mind, and the subtitle should have been "How to take your start-up-business-idea and use venture capital to become the next Apple/Nike/Coke/Microsoft."

Like I said, pretty niche,
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Quinn
Hmm... Pretty boring for a book that is suppose to light a fire. The real art of starting is starting, which I did, I just couldn't finish it.
John Montgomery
A book by Guy Kawasaki is always a fun read. Kawasaki has a great sense of humor and is not afraid to speak his truth. The Art of the Start and Rob Adams' A Good Hard Kick in the Ass are two of my favorite books about the process of starting a company. Both authors speak their truth.

Kawasaki has an innate sense of how much information the brain can absorb at any one time. This book is composed of lots of digestible nuggets of advice, which he brings to life with stories and quotations. Kawasaki'
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Anita Campbell
I think this is one of the best startup books out there -- and Kawasaki's best book. But it's not a book for everyone.

The focus is on tech entrepreneurs. While much of the advice is applicable to other industries, the book will hit the bullseye specifically with those starting technology businesses.

Another thing about this book: parts of it contain advice for those seeking funding from angel and VC investors. Since that covers a tiny percentage of the entrepreneurial population, it's really targ
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ShaiMaa
كتاب جاي كاواساكي ”فن البداية – الدليل المثبت بالزمن والمحسن بالتجربة لأي شخص يريد أن يبدأ أي شيء“، يعد من كلاسيكيات الكتب التي تحدثت عن ريادة الأعمال، وهو دليل مبسط مباشر يسعى لتحفيز رواد الأعمال الجددد على البدء فوراً، من خلال أحد عشر فصلاً، تفصل المعارف الأساسية اللازمة لقيادة العمل التجاري الناشئ نحو النجاح.

حيث يقودك المؤلف إلى مغامرة مثيرة، في عالم أنشاء الأعمال التجارية، يغلب فيها الطابع الفني على الجانب العلمي، بداية من جمع المال، وحتى توظيف العمالة المناسبة، وذلك في شكل دليل أساسي لأي شخ
...more
Lance
I picked this book up earlier in the year while browsing in the bookstore. That's partly why I picked up the book; I succumbed to a dangerous moment. Putting me in a bookstore is like putting an alcoholic in a bar -- we're both going to get something.

Yet I also found the subtitle enchanting. "The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything." I was initially intrigued by the idea of starting my life over again, so I sat down on the floor in the bookstore aisle to see what this
...more
Emily
Fun, informative read from someone who knows what he's talking about. He includes interesting and memorable stories to illustrate his points. He also provides enough examples and details that you feel that you have a chance of actually implementing what he suggests without belaboring it or overgeneralizing to the point of uselessness.

Particularly liked the chapters on "being a mensch" and rainmaking. He advocates a boot-strapping, "get it done" business mentality with a solid core of integrity.

C
...more
TarasProkopyuk
Довольно хорошая книга.

Она особенно будет полезна для начинающих предпринимателей так как она достойна стать путеводителем в бесконечном мире лабиринтов.

Для тех кто уже не первый день в бизнесе должен признать, что книга может не оправдать ожиданий.

Особенно радует легкий стиль автора, так как он очень редко встречается в бизнес литературе.
Jessica
I'd heard good things about this book, but ultimately found it disappointing. Might be ideal for someone just entering the business world, but as the owner of a small design studio I found much of the advice to be useless or outdated.
Lynn
The draw back of listening to this on audiobook as opposed to reading it in print was that I didn't do the exercises or write down ideas of things that I really thought were important ... it is hard to do when driving 65 miles per hour down the highway!

But it is my hope to re-listen to this book soon so that ideas can percolate in my head and turn into action.

This breaks the project into many points. If you are starting a business or a church group or a new hobby; you need a plan. All projects s
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kareem
original review:
http://www.reemer.com/archives/2005/0...

I first heard of Guy Kawasaki when his brilliant college graduation speech passed through my email client several years ago. His speech impressed with his practical insight, entertainment value, and conciseness. I later learned that he had evangelized the original Macintosh while at Apple, which made his book on startups a no-brainer read for me.

The Art of the Start is a quick read, and is written in Kawasaki's entertaining and informative
...more
Herve
The Art of the Start is a great book because it inspires. Guy Kawasaki, the author, does tell you how to build a convincing vision, a convincing pitch. It is not about writing a 40-page business plan. It is about the “value of making meaning” which may induce making money. The book is clear, simple and once you have read it, you will not see things the same way… go, run and buy it!

A brief quote from the book which illustrates why start-ups are important.

“Innovation often originates outside exist
...more
Jonathan Brooker
Though this book is primarily geared towards those starting a business venture, it was nice of the author to even include church workers in his audience in the beginning to make sure I felt like I belonged. And I say it that way because Kawasaki really did work (and worked successfully, I'd say) at keeping a conversational and friendly demeanor to his writing. All the way to the Foreword he was showing that he'd written the book simply to help the reader succeed, and I like books that humbly hop ...more
Charlie Hecke
I found the Art of the Start to be a valuable reference in different phases of start up. In the beginning, you may be preparing a business plan. There are tips about how to make your plan stand out and common mistakes to avoid. Later, you may be looking for funds. There is an entire chapter on raising capital.

The way I had to tackle this book was to read one chapter at a time. This is not just a "How to Book." It is like a bible. Have you ever read the bible from start to finish? Rather, I wait
...more
Alison P
I've read the first 20 pages of a lot of supposedly similar books and given up on them. Time, after all, is one of the most valuable assets to an entrepreneur, and I won't have mine wasted. But with The Art of the Start I was learning and thinking on every page, and genuinely got excited about my own business by reading this book; it doesn't get much better than that.

Guy Kawasaki has a gift for getting right to the heart of an issue, in a no-nonsense way, which of course every entrpreneur needs;
...more
Dave Charbonneau
One of four books I recommend for taking ideas from mind to market. Kawasaki breaks things down into simple steps. This is the "How-To" outline to start any project; as well as how-to present the project to prospective partners, investors, or customers. Combined with the right philosophy, this book should help any project get off the ground without all the useless rhetoric.

You can see this book in action as I move projects forward at http://SelfEnterpriser.com
Todd Ramsey
There are very few books that I've read in one day. This is one of them. Simple, practical and incredibly valuable, this book is a straight forward guide to starting a company, non-profit or church – though the latter group will have to drawn some conclusions of their own, as the book is definitely targeted to those looking to create a new product or service.

I strongly recommend this book.
Tucker
Despite the subtitle, this is not really relevant to "starting anything"; it is more specifically about starting a company in a way that involves pitches to venture capitalists and so forth.

The book makes the observation that some novices set a goal to convince 1 percent of a giant market to buy their product. It sounds good, because "1 percent" of any population sounds like an easily attainable sales target, and yet it would translate to an enormous amount of sales revenue. The problem is that
...more
Aaron Maurer
Who doesn't love Guy Kawasaki? I read this book with the idea of taking the business ideas and applying to the education world. This was not as easy as I had hoped. A lot of great content with many exercises and questions to process. I took away some key ideas that apply to anyone, anywhere. Mostly, have a plan, but don't wait for a perfect plan to get started. You don't have to wait until you are big and massive to get organized. Do this right away. Find the right people. Get Started. Most impo ...more
Josh McConnell
Some interesting concepts are given here, I suppose. But to be honest, most people (especially those in academic fields) hype this one up way too much. There are plenty of better business books to help you in your career and/or startup than The Art of the Start. The models (aka "lenses") in the text are too rigid and step-by-step to be useful, as you are boxed into one-way of thinking. In addition, the category names within "lenses" are so off the wall that you spend half the time looking backwa ...more
Chris
Yes it contains a lot of hard-won advice and several nuggets from a guy with a good track record (ex apple mac, now vc). Yes it's great to have business books that are written by real business people. Yes it certainly has creditability in authorship but like many such business books it lacks writership - it lacks a deep ability to convey inspriring or convincing messages or interesting stories.

I might be being too harsh because you may, like I did, just want to whip through this and strip out t
...more
Omar Halabieh
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "Great companies. Great divisions. Great schools. Great churches. Great not-for-profits. When it comes to the fundamentals of starting up, they are more alike than they are different. The key to their success is to survive the microscope tasks while bringing the future closer."

2- "GIST (GREAT IDEAS FOR STARTING THINGS): 1. MAKE MEANING 2. MAKE MANTRA. 3. GET GOING. 4. DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL. No 5. WEAVE A MAT (MILES
...more
Greg
As someone who has perpetually been 'thinking of starting something', this book was a refreshment. It was like a lot of other high-level how-to-start-a-business books, but eschewed enough of the conventional advice to make it worth reading and considering.

For example, Kawasaki does not believe in business plans for early businesses, he does not believe in raising capital before developing prototypes, he does not believe in mission statements, and he's somewhat against the idea in general of usin
...more
Monise Seward
Jan 02, 2012 Monise Seward rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: entrepreneurs, business owners
This was probably the best book on entrepreneurship that I have read to date. I love Guy's courage to go against the 'traditional' route to starting a business, especially since he has worked for and started several successful start-ups. Writing the business plan has proven to be the most daunting task for me, not because I don't understand the numbers, but because I DO NOT KNOW how much money my business will/can make. Then I read this advice from Guy:

"The third step is not to fire up Word to w
...more
Peter Mellalieu
I have had this book on my bookshelf for many years. A copy I'm proud to say signed by Gerald Morse whilst I attended a workshop for entrepreneurship educators at Stanford. By chance, the book was left on our copy table under perusal by my partner. I picked up the book, read the reviews, and came across a review that said 'read the last chapter first''. As it was a lazy Sunday afternoon, I followed the advice: the chapter entitled 'Obligation: on being a mensch'. So pleased I read the chapter. I ...more
Joe Kovacs
Aug 25, 2013 Joe Kovacs rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Entrepreneurs and hopeful entrepreneurs
I read some Goodreads reviews before contributing my own input here. Usually I don't do that as I'm concerned that doing so may influence my comments. But in this case, I'm glad I did. While some reviewers praised Guy Kawasaki for providing a great nuts-and-bolts approach to starting "anything", as he claims as the premise for his book, others were critical of its simplicity. In other words, some reviewers wished there had been more detail put into the pages. The reason I'm glad I read these rev ...more
Cafrey Ma
An excellent handbook if you're first-time entrepreneur or someone who is set out to build an organisation in whatever form, providing products to the society.

Outlines the many important aspects of starting a business / venture / initiative, which includes how do you position what you set out to do, pitch to get others (investors, partners, customers) to join you, bootstrapping, branding, partnering etc.

Useful as a source to understand what's important to keep in mind while you're starting up,
...more
Eric Renteria
The Art of the Start covers fundamental common sense in starting an organization and/or a small business. There are some very memorable comments in the book that are great for keeping focus during the start up process.
Many of the examples in the book can be argued in the reverse and at times, Guy Kawasaki does point out that there are exceptions to his guidelines.
There is very good information as it relates to working with financing and again the emphasis is on common sense and the strong reco
...more
Ko Matsuo
Guy Kawasaki is a master of simplicity. His push for simplicity covers everything from presentations to recruiting to raising money. His approach is down to earth and he shuns anything that appears to be bureaucratic, corporate, or time wasting. However, though his narrative is full of brilliant insights, he does also invoke a little too many eye-glazing lists.

A reminder that it's better to enchant with the former than attempt to drive a point home with the latter.
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I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1954. My family lived in a tough part of Honolulu called Kalihi Valley. We weren’t rich, but I never felt poor-because my mother and father made many sacrifices for my sister and me. My mother was a housewife, and my father was a fireman, real estate broker, state senator, and government official during his long, distinguished career.

I attended Iolani School where
...more
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“The next time you think that there's something that you "can't live without", wait for a week and then see if you're still alive or not” 8 likes
“Successful companies are started, and made successful, by at least two, and usually more, soulmates.” 1 likes
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