Tag: Guy Kawasaki

“Take your best shot at analysis, place your bet on the table, work your ass off, and don’t look back. That’s how you build a great company.” – Guy Kawasaki

Planning is important.  Analysis is as well.  It is useful to search for patterns that could reveal some repeatability and predictability.

You need to do the market research and you need to pour over your financials, but as Pete Seeger wrote, there’s “a time for every purpose under Heaven.”  Planning and analysis must soon end because neither generates cash.

Confirm your instincts, get the data for the pitch and make sure the numbers tie together.  Then go get your product in your customer’s hands!


Read Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson


“Funny how you can say something in your head and it sounds fine…” – Dr. Who

“I don’t need to practice.  I’ve done this a number of times,” was the reply I got from an entrepreneur when I tried to schedule time to hear his pitch prior to the big pitch competition.  I strongly suggested he practice for me but he was adamant.  Practicing for others does not help him, he assured me.

His pitch turned out to be full of “um’s” and “ah’s” and “you know’s” .  He used technical jargon nobody understood and the story fell completely flat.  Too bad.  He had a great idea.

Communication is a two way street.  You have to say what you say and the listener has to hear and understand.  You can’t do this in your head.  There’s only one way to make sure your thoughts communicate what you want and that’s to test it for other’s feedback.

Guy Kawasaki says you should practice your pitch 25 times.  That’s how you are able to tell a good story rather than merely flip through slides.

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson



“Make haste slowly.” – Guy Kawasaki

The common advice to startups is to get your product in the customer’s hands as fast as possible.  This is true because if you are solving a big problem, chances are that others are trying to solve it too.

Another basic truth is “never deliver the perfect product; deliver the product that is good enough.”  The Lean Launchpad folks call this the M.V.P.

But none of this means you have to sacrifice quality.  Your product does, in fact, have to work and it’s best when the customer is delighted to use it.

So how do you deliver a great product quickly, that is elegent but just good enough?

The answer is in the features and functionality you choose to deliver.  Your customer discovery process should highlight what is most important in solving the basic problem.  Then you deliver reliable functionality with elegant design and a delightful user experience.

It’s that simple…

Read “Reality Check” – By Guy Kawasaki

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“An entrepreneur is in the business of making things, not planning to make things. Make a prototype first. ” – Guy Kawasaki

A prototype is simply a representation of how your product will work. It can be functional but only to the point that it conveys the most important capabilities to your customer.

When you have a prototype, you can begin to get real feedback from your your customer. You may even be able to sell the prototype, which is even better.

“If we did a complete financial analysis, no one would ever have children.” – Shawn Carson

Happy Labor Day!

According to CBS, it costs a quarter million dollars to raise a kid to the age of 18.  Check out the cost breakdown: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505144_162-57598411/what-it-costs-to-raise-a-kid-$241080/

Tack on another $100k to get them through a public university.  If you did a full financial analysis complete with a discounted cash flow and IRR, there is absolutely no break-even point.

But that’s not why we have kids.

“All financial projections are lies.”  So goes the Venture Capital joke.  They have to be believable and pass the sniff test when you tell your story but no one can predict the future, nor can we predict customer behavior.  There will be a time when you must crunch the numbers, tweak the models, build the spreadsheets and analyze the scenarios.

But in the startup phase, no amount of analysis will justify the investment.  That will come from customer validation so run the numbers and then, as Guy Kawasaki would say, “go make meaning”.  If you find a way to ease the pain and create delight for your customers, the numbers will follow.