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Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  4,080 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
In Silicon Valley slang, a "bozo explosion" is what causes a lean, mean, fighting machine of a company to slide into mediocrity. As Guy Kawasaki puts it, "If the two most popular words in your company are partner and strategic, and partner has become a verb, and strategic is used to describe decisions and activities that don't make sense"...then it's time for a reality che ...more
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Published December 29th 2008 by Tantor Media (first published October 30th 2008)
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Apr 22, 2011 Erwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guy Kawasaki is an entertaining writer, a curious mind, and most important, a straight shooter.
So much of business, especially the business press, is filled with abstract hype. Cheerleading for a specific style of doing things, or reverse engineering the possible causes of some outcome --- but without including all of the information about people who took the same steps, but did not come up with the outcome described. Basically, much of the business press --- especially the popular stuff, is nic
Mar 11, 2009 Noah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was skeptical of this book because the author, Guy Kawasaki, is a member of the Silicon Valley pundit class of which I am always skeptical. He also seems to be a member of the subspecies that has coasted for the last 20 years based on one gig at one high-profile company; the Bay Area tech community is overflowing with people who answered phones for a few years at Microsoft, Sun, etc. and have since parlayed that into a vague executive bio and a string of 80 failed startups. I actually enjoyed ...more
Chad Warner
Oct 09, 2011 Chad Warner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, business
Another of Guy Kawasaki’s excellent handbooks for startups. He dispels many myths and provides practical steps to starting and growing a business. The chapters are short but thought-provoking, and will enhance your “entrepreneurial quotient” whether you sell products or services.

Kawasaki expands on the lessons of The Art of the Start, which I found very worthwhile (read my review). In addition to his ample firsthand experience, Kawasaki includes interviews with experts, research from recent stud
Dag Gustafson
Aug 03, 2016 Dag Gustafson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately you can't rate books zero stars so Guy Kawasaki got that going for his piece. General and vague tips & tricks is the name of the game when Kawasaki rambles on for page after page about how bad it is to hire shitty people for shitty pay from craiglist, no shit sherlock. If you read this and thought you've come away with some insightful advice you're probably not cut out for business.
Dec 25, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kawasaki, Guy (2008) Reality Check, Portfolio, The Penguin Group, New York, NY. This book is a bible for Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs. Read it, enjoy it, and put its advice into practice in your startup. Guy Kawasaki tells it like it is and is a great source of insight into what goes on behind the scenes in Silicon Valley.
Jan 22, 2013 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is like a bible for entrepreneurs. The first and only read is never sufficient as the book has too many takeaways. When relevant situation permits, you will flip through this book again and again just to grasp your reality.

Straight to the point and plenty of tough needed love. 5 stars for the comprehensive information.
Jul 13, 2011 Gari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the focus is on Apple, Silicon Valley, tech firms, and start ups, Guy Kawasaki shares many gems of wisdom for those out to change the world or help a nonprofit succeed.
Fachry Bafadal
Dec 06, 2011 Fachry Bafadal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book slaps your face and wake you up to check the reality! Really worth to read!
JD Lasica
Dec 26, 2008 JD Lasica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
I've long followed the writings of Guy Kawasaki, the heralded Apple evangelist-emeritus-for-life. When we finally met at the recent Web 2.0 Summit, he surprised me by handing me a copy of his fresh-off-the-presses book, Reality Check: The irreverent guide to outsmarting, outmanaging and outmarketing your competition. So disclosure: I have a soft spot for authors who know how to leverage the blogosphere.

A reality check is exactly what the tech industry needs at this time of economic turmoil, and
Loy Machedo
Sep 23, 2013 Loy Machedo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are rare moments when you come across a book that has so much of content, logic & wisdom squeezed into its pages, you do not feel you have done justice to the book by reading it just once. Books like The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, The Element by Sir Ken Robinson and Influence by Robert Cialdini. To my biggest surprise, I would be adding Guy Kawasaki to this list - at least for now.

Who is Guy Kawasaki
No, he is not the founder of Kawasaki Speed Bikes or the Owner of the Brand Kawas
Filip Kis
Nov 28, 2011 Filip Kis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend everybody that is into entrepreneurship (and not only, but it's hard to speak for others as I'm biased) to read this book - twice. First right away to get the initial understanding of how things really (thus the name) work and then few months/years later to see how much of advice you've ignored :-/

I read it only as the second case, having been entrepreneur-ing for more than 4 years. And I wished I read it back than, 4 years ago, when I bought the book. Oh damn laziness.

The mai
Dec 02, 2008 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Readers will welcome the use of bold face to highlight key points. This device will facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of those key points later. I especially appreciate the inclusion of several interviews throughout the lively narrative. They include those of Fred Greguras on key legal issues in raising funds (Pages 51-59), Chip and Dan Heath on why only a few innovations "stick" and most don't (Pages 130-138), Kathleen Gasperini on marketing to young people (Pages 168-175), Garr Reyno ...more
Oct 17, 2016 Fino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As promised earlier this week, here are my reviews of two more Kawasaki books.
Reality Check (2008) starts off as an updated mash-up of Rules for Revolutionaries and The Art of the Start – there are entire chapters from each republished here. To be honest, this put me off a bit because I was expecting all new material and wasn’t warned of this recycling on the cover or in the introduction. Not that the advice isn’t sound, it was just annoying to re-read the chapters almost word for word. If you h
MsSmartiePants the candy...
FANTASTIC! Really irreverent, but soooooo true! In my experience starting companies, selling companies, living through a poor acquisition and subsequent failure of a company, turning around a suddenly failing company, as an employee, sales person, cash manager for a newly public company, marketing publication author, being personal friends with big VC guys, as well as what I now term "angel investor" (thanks Guy!)and consulting for other small businesses, I am laughing and agreeing with Guy on e ...more
Tyler Franklin
Feb 08, 2012 Tyler Franklin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
They say mentors are a critical entrepreneurial element. Why? Because old people know lots of tricks and shortcuts. They've solved lots of the same problems before. They have keys to more doors. They are well-equipped to sniff out stupidity. Their knowledge can clear the fog of war. So why doesn't every aspiring entrepreneur just go find one? In short, typically a lack of connections, social capital and/or mutual financial interest.

Kawasaki is a coveted mentor in the Valley, so it's pure gold to
Frank Caron
Jan 28, 2016 Frank Caron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guy's collection of short articles provides an excellent broad-strokes foundation for working in the world of tech software companies.

I'm sure many of the lessons are applicable to other industries, but so many of his lessons, examples, and points struck home for me precisely because they were so immediately relatable.

While Guy does offer his fair share of unrelatable "celebrity" stories, and makes a point to name drop Steve Jobs in multiple chapters, the lessons within are nonetheless invaluab
Aug 10, 2015 Nikhil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best reviews that could be written for this book has already been written.
This is basically a (re-)packaging of his blog, which points to his prolific output.
A lot of it might be dated, common-sense, and applies to starting up in America.
The book is interesting and offers short bytes of common-sense for situations you might encounter in your professional life. And as life proves, common-sense is rarely that common.
If you prefer to read from a book, go for it, otherwise it's all there
Dec 30, 2008 Sankarshan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have read other books from Guy or, follow him on Twitter or, read his blog, you will probably think that there isn't any new content. That isn't completely true. However, those who take this book to get introduced to Guy will have mind blowing content. Even in these troubled times, the snippets around startups, VC funding, presentation, business plans and communication are well rounded even if fairly radical.

Words aren't minced. Bushes aren't beaten around in this. Typical in-your-face st
I received it as a promotional gift for buy Enchantment from Guy Kawasaki

Useful manual for entrepreneurs. There is a part of the book very focused on start-ups. How to raise venture capital, who do you need to have in your team, etc...breaking all the myths and all the classical errors that start-ups do.
Rest of the book is useful for anyone who is involved in a business environment.

Although content is really helpful, I found the book not that much engaging as others. Maybe a lack of flow between
Ravi Warrier
If you are:
1. A person who just started his/her own business, or,
2. A person who's thinking of starting one, or,
3. A person who's already started it but is wondering what it takes to be successful,

then, this book is for you. It's a wonderful book, especially for entrepreneurs and a guideline (and sometimes a checklist) drawn from the author's personal experience of success and failures from various businesses and from others in the same boat.

It's a wonderful book and a must read for anyone who'
Richard Stephenson
This is the 1st real Guy book I've had the pleasure of reading (listening in this case) and overall I have to say... I have a LOT to learn... though I...moreThis is the 1st real Guy book I've had the pleasure of reading (listening in this case) and overall I have to say... I have a LOT to learn... though I did get a 19/22 on his entrepreneurial quiz. :) I need ideas! Good stuff and though I did not come away with pages of take-aways, I did come out with a changed spirit and some wonderful insigh ...more
Kathleen Gilroy
May 16, 2009 Kathleen Gilroy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of this book can be found in other places like Guy's blog and his earlier books. Nevertheless he is a really good writer and this is a must-read for anyone involved in or thinking about a start-up. I agree with his ideas about mantras and the lies that venture capitalists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs will tell you. The chapters on planning, marketing, and selling are also top rate. While Guy is not necessarily original, he packages and presents ideas about business better than almost anybody ...more
Sep 06, 2011 Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
This book is one of the best business books I have read in a long time. Kawasaki is funny, irreverant about conventional business wisdom and even has cute little shots at Steve Jobs. For anyone who aspires to be an entrepreneur, or who plans to raise money for a venture, you must read this book. Even the not for profit entrepreneur should read it. There are great lists and terrific insights. Kawasaki is a master marketer and his clarity about how to set strategy is fabulous. Read this book. You' ...more
Adi Arifin
Sep 05, 2011 Adi Arifin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. In simple - even amusing - way Guy show us practical insight in various business aspects in which most of us struggling to get a grip. Good thing to know is that Guy is not a theorists ... he is not an academician himself. Everything he was saying in Reality Check are based on hands on experience. Therefore those checklist items are absolutely makes sense ... we are encountering them each and every day ... and Guy showing us what to pay attention to as well as the right way to cope wi ...more
James (JD) Dittes
I've taken a number of graduate-level business classes, and I can easily say that Kawasaki's book trumps the stuff I was forced to buy. While it's tailored to a Silicon Valley start-up, the advice here works for any entrepreneur, manager or maverick employee.

Kawasaki features short chapters (94 in 435 pages) and a cut-the-shiitake writing style that lends credibility to his interviews and observations. His personality shines through, but his advice is universal and easily applied in a number of
Alex Buriakovsky
This book is just an example of outstanding source of advices based on the vast knowledge and experience of Guy, who gives a lasting perspective on the world of startups (rules actually could be used in personal life as well).
Would definitely advice it to young ambitious entrepreneurs willing to disrupt the outdated rules of corporate world, and make it wisely and rationally at the same time (what is hard).
Nov 20, 2011 Cristobal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read for entrepreneurs or anyone thinking of taking the plunge. It's a little bit biased towards technology entrepreneurs but its advice works well for anyone thinking about starting their own business or joining a startup. Along with being full of useful ideas it also has many real life examples and contributions from everyday practitioners that make it a lot more relevant.
Jul 01, 2009 Jmswtsn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great writing style, great experience-based content, every small buisness hopeful should read this book. Many of the lessons about unrealistic expectations, the need for actual, real research before making what may otherwise seem "common sense" claims or predictions. One of the best books I've read this year.
Must read for anyone employed in any sector: tips covering business, speaking, finance, altruism, social entrepreneurship, good karma, generosity, productivity and more... ex-Apple employee turned VC and entrepreneur and much more shares his wisdom.
Nov 12, 2008 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reality Check is a good how-to book for various aspects of starting a company. However, the book scratches the surface on several key issues. I would have liked the book to dive a bit deeper at times into problems that startups face.
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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
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