“The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki is a great read for anyone who is even remotely exploring the option to startup something new. Guy keeps you glued to the book not just for its GIST– Great Ideas for Starting Things – but for its sheer simplicity, matter of fact manner it is presented, making the reader wonder at times, how come this did not occur to me before?

Honestly, I was actually not able to remember the exact words I had included in the Mission Statement of our Foundation and it would be too much to expect others to keep that in mind. Guy’s solution in the very first page was, ideally we should first get our Mantras right to create the buzz rather than have lengthy, mix of complicated words in our Mission Statement. Now that is a powerful start.

He has covered it all – positioning, pitching, partnering, Branding, recruiting and the sequence that is maintained in the book actually streamlines your thought process as well regarding what to focus on first and how to proceed and measure progress. It is more than a guide as it captures experiences, a few thinking exercises, interesting comparisons between different approaches and most importantly FAQ at the end of each chapter.

The book clearly leads you to a major paradigm shift – prescribing actions that contradict all our “To Dos” and “Must Dos” that you had planned to start something new and offers a very practical insight.

I really like Guy’s No_Nonsense style of writing, his witty anecdotes that kind of inscribe the point he is trying make, deep enough on our minds – Answer the little man’s so what, get a Morpheus, the Stanford Shopping Center Test kept me smiling and yet, those were the page numbers I noted for a second read.

While I do not agree with all his tips as some might work for us and some might not and yet what will work stands a much better chance to outweigh what will not.

Indeed it is true, the toughest thing for a startup company is to start, so reading the last section of this book Obligation first makes this journey easier. My key take away – “Make Meaning” alone is worth the price of the book.

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