Guy Kawasaki – Challenges and Solutions for Starting a New Business


Recently I had the honor of hearing Guy Kawasaki speak at my AlmaGuy_Kawasaki_University_of_St_Thomas Mater, The University of St. Thomas. I was really happy I went. Among his many titles, guy is a corporate evangelist, trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation, executive fellow at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, author and speaker. He was there to discuss some of the challenges, (and solutions), faced when starting a new business. He also spoke about his newest book; “The Art of the Start 2.0” and his new business, Canva, a website that let’s you design just about anything you want. We also learned was that he is an avid hockey fan, his wife is from Minnesota and in everything he does, it is important for him to inspire others. I took some notes during his talk below that summarize my key take-away items from his talk.

Ask simple questions which include:

  • Therefore, What?
  • Isn’t this interesting?
  • Is there a better way?

Make an MVVVP

  • Is it Viable?
  • Is it Valuable? “Does it dent the universe?” (a comment by Steve Jobs)Kakie_Fitzsimmons_Guy_Kawasaki_UST copy
  • Validation does it validate your vision and perspective?
  • Does it validate what you stand for?

Get going – Create customers

  • Do something cringe-worthy, and forgive yourself now. Your first version may be this way, which is okay.
  • Find complimentary soul mates, people who compliment your skills and who are on the same page as you.
  • Are you creating something built to last? Or built to flip?
  • Create a mantra (not vision or mission). Just two or three words that explain what you do. Guy’s personal mantra is to empower people and really speak to them.

Create a business model and be specific.

  • Do we want to sell?
  • To what kind of enterprise?
  • What kind of department in that enterprise?
  • How do we get the money out of their pocket, into ours?
  • Keep it simple – focus on the Executive Summary
  • Ask women – Guy joked at this point and said to do this because men compete and hunt, and women don’t kill. His real point was that women are strong consumers, decision makers and in his experience, bring good perspective.

Prioritize – Weave a MAT (Create Milestones, Assumptions and Tasks)

Milestones = Things that increase company value

  • Finish the design
  • Finish the prototype
  • Ship the product

Assumptions = Things that create the business model. Be sure to write them down and test them. For example:

  • How many sales calls per day?
  • How many people to contact?
  • How many appointments?

Tasks – Do the tasks hire to test assumptions or complete milestones

His talk was refreshing, insightful and fun to hear. Earlier in the day he quickly responded to a tweet I sent and was kind enough to take a photo with me.  Thanks for visiting my blog. Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts below.

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About KakieF
To learn more about Kakie Fitzsimmons, please select "A NOTE FROM KAKIE" tab at the top left of this page. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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