Guy Kawasaki (1954) is one of the leading experts on issues related to new technologies and marketing. In the latter activity, he was responsible for the Macintosh in the mid-1980s, and with great success. In a few more than difficult years for the company founded by Steve Jobs, his work was tremendously valuable, which served him to obtain international recognition. He currently runs Garage Technology Ventures, one of the largest venture capital firms in the United States. He is the author of different books, such as The Art of Beginning and The Art of Captivating.
- It’s not about starting out great, but ending up great.
The mistake of many entrepreneurs is always the same: wanting to become a millionaire from one day to the next. This rarely happens. Behind any dazzling story that appears in the salmon pages of the newspapers is a lot of determination. The best philosophy is “step by step”; without haste, but without pause. You have to start walking and not stop; every day a little. The important thing is to have as an obsession to always give the best; and enjoy the road a lot. If this is done, the result, one way or another, will end up arriving.
- There are always, somewhere, two guys in a garage planning your disappearance. Either you go ahead of them, or they will make it.
The age of long-lasting competitive advantage is past. Competitors are never standing still.
If your business, product or service is good and has an attractive demand, they will try to copy you or even do it better. How to survive? Being “forever young.” Having an attitude of constant improvement. It is easy? No, but there is no other option.
- Do not be afraid of failure, it is one more part of the road to success. If we are waiting to test and test and improve our product excessively, we will never launch it at the right time. Launch it and then have the user test it. He will tell you if he is successful or not. Don’t assume anything.
In the entrepreneurial world, the best option is almost always to “shoot first, aim later.” Until the products and services are launched on the market, it is not known what the reaction of consumers will be. Certain things can be intuited, but it is the clients who finally confirm or reject our omens. It is not always right: what you thought could succeed ends up going unnoticed, and what you thought you would not like ends up being a success. You don’t have to take anything for granted. The best thing is to put our proposal on the market and wait for reactions. And, from there, adjust the shot.
- Organizations are successful because of good implementation, not good business plans.
The paper resists any type of argumentation. Any prestigious consultancy, with a little study and analysis, is capable of making a good diagnosis and conclude what to do (strategic lines) and how to do it (action plans). But success is in turning strategic plans into results. Success is in the execution, and this depends on two factors: first, the commitment of the top management with the project; and second, of the leadership capacity of managers so that it becomes a reality by mobilizing teams and overcoming all kinds of resistance to change.
- There is always a new or exploding market.
There is nothing more mediocre than saying: “it’s all made up.” Define the person who expresses those words through their mouth. Opportunities always exist: in all markets, in all industries, in all countries. The reasoning is the reverse: “everything has to be done.” And to try to discover these opportunities it is important to be observant and curious. The market always gives clues of where to move forward and how to obtain differentiation. It is enough to have the sensitivity to know how to decipher them.
- 90% of the presentations are shit.
In the business world, everything is presentations: to clients, suppliers, employees, investors, partners , etc. And the success of a presentation is in its ability to make an impact. However, it is not easy to find professionals who make good presentations: that have the right duration (“I have never seen a presentation that is too short”, Kawasaki dixit), the correct structure, the precise text, some attractive images …, in short, that captivate. Each presentation is an opportunity to sell, to gain credibility, to improve the personal brand, therefore, the final result should not be left to improvisation and we should dedicate sufficient time and effort to its preparation. The hours spent preparing a presentation are not an expense, but an investment.
- All communication makes an impression in marketing terms, and all marketing should communicate something of true meaning.
There is no possibility of “not communicating”. Everything is communication: words, gestures, way of dressing, of participating on Twitter, of interacting on Facebook, of sharing on LinkedIn, of contributing on Google+. Guy Kawasaki himself says: “A person can be captivated with a simple status update on Facebook.” Therefore, the question is how to use each communication opportunity to create impact and generate benefits. But marketing must pay attention not only to the “form”, to the emotional impact, but also to the “substance”, the meaning, which is what leads to lasting and sustainable long-term relationships.
- Follow the rules according to your interests. Change the world.
Rules speak of norms, and to speak of norms is to speak of something everyday and habitual. Success is always associated with exceptions, of whatever type, and is linked to the possibility of offering some difference from the standard. It is true that departing from the known requires courage to take risks, and that when you take risks you can be wrong, but there is no other alternative if you want to be successful in business. Otherwise it ends up being one of the bunch. As Kawasaki says: “In the end, either you are different or you are cheap.”
- The best reason to start an organization is that it has a meaning: to create a product or service that makes this world a better place.
Few entrepreneurs take this detail into account: focus on the why (why) before the what (what) or the how (how). The meaning of the company is beyond the commercial exchange and the strictly financial. The companies that leave their mark, that weather crises best, and that have a stronger reputation are those that seek more than just making a profit. They are businesses “with a cause.” Jack Trout, author of The Power of Simple: A Business Guide to Eliminating the Absurd and Be More Rational , put it well: “Those who only live by numbers die by numbers.”
- The next time you feel like you can’t live without something, wait a week and see if you’re still alive.
It is not about not spending, but about doing it in a timely manner. It is important to make a clear distinction between needs and wants. There are people who turn desires into needs by creating unnecessary pressures that sooner or later end up turning against them. Austerity is a concept that should never be neglected if one is an entrepreneur. It is important not to throw the house out the window when things are going well, because nothing is eternal, and because stepping down is always complicated. On the other hand, in good times it is advisable to build financial muscle for when things are not so buoyant. Having a sufficient liquidity cushion will allow us not to be forced to close due to inability to meet financial commitments.