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

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  7,964 ratings  ·  99 reviews
More uncommon common sense from the bestselling author of "The Art of the Start."
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 des
Hardcover, 474 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Portfolio (first published October 30th 2008)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  7,964 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Apr 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, non-fiction
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
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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 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 rated it really liked it
This book slaps your face and wake you up to check the reality! Really worth to read!
Adam Zabell
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
tl;dr - It's easier to monetize a book than a blog

Caveat: I read this as an audiobook, so what I gleaned is different than if I'd read it.

The first forward was enough to tell me this is a brogrammer's roadmap for the brogrammer's daydream: be rich and feel smart. Not an auspicious beginning.

The middle and the end didn't get much better. Clocking in at a hundred chapters, it was clearly 20+ months of weekly blog posts printed out and bound together with a staple. The chapters written by the autho
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I'm glad it said "irreverent" on the cover, so I knew what to expect! Kawasaki's compendium of tidbits is best digested a slice at a time, which is well, since that's how it's structured. His humor is palpable, his openness genuine. His diverse interviewees reflect attention to lifelong learning, and anyone may take something of value away from this book, for entrepreneurship, for business in general, or for life. Kawasaki covers a breadth of topics from pitching an idea, to raising capital, to ...more
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
At the end of the book, Guy shares a commencement speech he gave 10 years prior to writing the book. I think he should have opened with this, as most of the advice seemed geared towards newly graduated young professionals. While there were a few good takeaways, if a business owner, a manager, or an employee over 30 doesn’t grasp 99% of these concepts intuitively, the book is most likely to go in one ear and out their other.

3 Stars due to the lack of mind-altering concepts and the incessant lists
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
If I wanted to be a serious entrepreneur (think s-corp or c-corp level, not LLC) this is a fabulous, fabulous book to get the right strategy and expectations. It really is a mini-MBA in a book. It's comprehensive and thorough, while also being succinct. I'd say this is the better book to read than Art of the Start, but you should probably go to both for reference. ...more
Oct 05, 2020 rated it did not like it

This bloke is on the board of Canva : thieves & liars. They stole a years subscription from me & refuse to respond to ANY support requests.

See their trustpilot rating -

So, basing my rating on his actions rather than his BS.

Avoid anything related to this chump. Liar & Hypocrite.
Martin Phelan
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Guy is very honest and provides in-depth experiences and interviews for insights into the lessons he teaches. It’s a must-read for those interested in entrepreneurship or facing challenges in following the entrepreneurial path.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great advice, not wild about the format. Give it a bit and you'll surely find relatable and necessary business advice. ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: entrepreneurship
Best two chapters: Top 10 Lies Entrepreneurs Tell VCs; Top 10 Lies VCs Tell Entrepreneurs. (Back to back)
E.R. R Burgess
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just wish I had read this when it came out.
J. King
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This book has a lot of good advise but is too big and now feels dated. Not worth reading IMO
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
We are in 2019. It's too old now ...more
Brad Duncan
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great read for business leaders and entrepreneurs...and aspiring professionals.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
kevin kvalvik
Sep 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: self-help
Dear Lord how a guy who has done so much say so many bland thigs is beyond me.
J.D. Lasica
Dec 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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 Kawasaki.
Filip Kis
Nov 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Michael Finocchiaro
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
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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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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