Ten years after shaking up the world of entrepreneurship, Guy Kawasaki has fully updated his essential field guide to starting a business. The result: a book that’s both a reality check and an inspiration for the hopeful entrepreneur.
The Art of the Start 2.0 revisits timeless topics like fundraising, pitching, and partnering – while adding fresh insights in areas like social media and crowdfunding – with Kawasaki’s signature frank-yet-refreshing acumen.
The 2.0 version of this “battle-hardened guide” to starting a business is more relevant than ever. Despite historically-low startup rates, startup successes like Airbnb, Uber, Dropbox, and SpaceX have made entrepreneurship a very appealing aspiration. Plus, a rapidly expanding array of online bootstrapping tools (outlined by Kawasaki in the book) has made starting a business more affordable and more accessible, even without angel investors and venture capitalists.
The updated version is 64% longer for a reason: the startup game has changed significantly in the past ten years. Kawasaki gives invaluable updates to each chapter from the original version, but also added new chapters that focus on the latest strategies and tactics for entrepreneurs, from crowd-sourced funding to social media marketing:
- Social Media: It’s no exaggeration to say that, after the Internet itself, social media is the biggest game-changer in the history of marketing. Entrepreneurs now have this industry-altering, powerful word-of-mouth marketing tool at their disposal, for free. Kawasaki walks readers through the applications and advantages of the leading social channels, provides actionable tips and tools for creating social media posts, and even breaks down the secrets behind crafting engaging and sharable content.
- Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding has democratized startup funding, positioning entrepreneurs to not only secure capital for their business but to identify early adopters and future evangelists for their brand. Kawasaki updates his previous funding chapter to include advice on how to master this revolutionary source of capital and potential customers.
- Cloud computing: So much of the overhead expense associated with a startup can be negated by using cloud-based alternatives to pricey equipment and expensive software. Kawasaki offers an entire chapter on bootstrapping tactics to save your startup cash, but his tips on cloud computing are exceptionally compelling, practical, and useful.
- Messaging and positioning: When it comes to attracting customers, business is personal. Creating a marketing message that resonates on a real, personal level with your audience takes careful evaluation of your audience and the value you bring them. The book includes exercises and advice on identifying your key differentiators and then communicating them in a way that touches your customers.
- Evangelizing: Beyond brand messaging is the community-building, passion-fostering art of evangelizing. Kawasaki shows entrepreneurs how to connect with customers, have fun with their marketing and “achieve humanness” in their brands, transcending competition to build a company people believe in (and want to buy from).
- Enduring: The company that endures has tapped into a deeper level of customer loyalty and professional relationship building, and Kawasaki shares insights for enduring that are simple, sage, and sincere. From delivering excellent customer service to invoking social proof of your company’s permanence, Kawasaki delivers a thought-provoking recipe for creating a company that will last.
Anyone can start a company. In The Art of the Start 2.0, Kawasaki describes how to grow a viable and valuable startup idea into a successful, engaging, and enduring organization that inspires passionate brand advocacy from a loyal customer base. It’s indispensable reading for entrepreneurs not only because it’s chock-full of advice and action items, backed by Kawasaki’s proven business wisdom, but also because he delivers them in accessible terms and with plentiful illustrative examples. Kawasaki balances unapologetic candor with positive, upbeat language, making The Art of the Start 2.0 pragmatic and motivating reading for the aspiring entrepreneur.