The Art Of the Start book review

Authors: Guy Kawasaki ISBN: 1591840562 Publisher: Portfolio

The Art Of the Start is a short, pithy and to the point look at some of the essential knowledge that any aspiring entrepreneur should have. The eleven concise chapters cover a range of topics including the old favourites, positioning, pitching, and raising capital and the less common bootstrapping, rain-making and even “The art of being a Mensch.”

The author’s experience on both sides of the road to starting up a business, as an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist, is very visible in the text and helps convey context with his advice. His chapter on pitching for example gives you both an idea of what you should know to ensure you’re not working in the dark and you’ve thought things through but also shows what the VC is most likely interested in

What helped to endear the book to me was its humour and cynicism, for example the chapter on recruiting has an amusing “top ten lies of job candidates”, it’s refreshing to see a start-up focused business book that is both aware that not everyone is going to make it and conveys this information in a way that doesn’t make you want to put the book down in depression

It’s hard to pinpoint the ideal audience for this book, the author covers both the small details, example presentation formats and how much time a pitch should require, and the larger, broad topics such as the common reasons for companies to partner. If you’re looking for a dry book, full of useful facts and figures, then this is the wrong choice. If however, you’re looking for a book that introduces you to all the subjects that someone attempting to get a start-up off the ground should know then this book with a light, anecdotal but realistic view point is far from the worst choice you could make.

My final score? 6/10