The big theme I saw was to keep things simple and easy. To make, to use, and to talk about. Get it out there fast and get feedback and start improving.
You need to not only improve your product but yourself as well. As you organization grows you will need different skills to deal with it.
Guy Kawasaki is very much into the Silicon Valley mode of thinking. That is not a surprise since he has been then pretty much from the beginning. It is very oriented toward venture capital funding and pitching to that crowd, even the bootstrapping section.
It's not a bad way even now, but it's not the only way, either. He's got a bunch of good nuggets though not a lot of depth.
If you are thinking about starting a business this would give you some insights to start with. This is not a bad book at all though I was glad to have borrowed it out of the library rather then buying it.
p3 Five Things an Entrepreneur must accomplish
1 Make Meaning
2 Make Mantra [an 8 word goal or mission statement]
3 Get Going [take action first]
4 Define your business model [where do you make money]
5 Weave a mat (milestones, assumptions, and tasks)
a Major milestones you need to meet
b Assumptions that are built into your business
c Tasks you need to accomplish to create an organization.
p6 If your organization never existed, the world would be worse off because... [Even fewer people would learn math and be able to leverage it's power.]
p8 Mantra [math is all around us] open your eyes math is all around us.
p16 business model
1 calc monthly operation costs
2 calc gross profit
3 divide step 1 by 2
4 ask a few women if you have a chance to sell that many.
Have some older (45+) people try using it, they will have problems that kids and teens won't, they also have different perspectives on its uses.
"Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Wile E. Coyote...Genius. I am not selling anything, nor am I working my way through college, so let's get down to cases. You are a rabbit, and I am going to eat you for supper. Now, don't try to get away! I am more muscular, more cunning, faster and larger than you are...and I am a genius. Why, you could hardly pass the entrance examination to kindergarten. So. I'll give you the customary two minutes to say your prayers."
--The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979)
What's your mantra:
Eat you For Supper.
What do you do? KISS
Why the founders started the organization
Why customers should patronize it.
Why good people should work at it.
p35 picking a name
First initial early in the alphabet
Easy to spell and say
It should have verb potential "____ it."
Sound different from other companies/brands
Avoid the trendy
Make it personal, not theoretical.
Speak English, not jargon
Apply the opposite test: Do you describe your offering in a way that is opposite to that of your competition?
p40 Everyone is in sales everyone should express the same message.
The art of pitching
What does your organization do? Answer that question in the first minute.
I do ___. For instance...
30 point font san serif
practice 25 times
p69 ten things to cover in a pitch
4 Business model
5 Underlying magic
6 Marketing and sales
8 Management team
9 Financial projections and key metrics
10 Current status, accomplishments to date, timeline and use of funds.
Business plan rules
Same subjects as above more detail.
Limit to 20 pages
Only first 3 pages ever likely to be read
1 When is the product or service going to be ready for market?
2 What are your true, fully loaded costs of operations?
3 When will you run out of money?
4 How much of your sales pipeline is going to convert?
5 How much of your account receivables is collectible?
6 What can your competition's product do that yours can't?
7 Who are your non-performing employees?
8 Are you doing all you can to maximize shareholder value?
9 What is your organization doing to change the world and make meaning?
10 How good are you as the leader of the organization?
C9 The art of branding
A good product at a good price that is easy to use and easy to talk about.
p187 designing T-shirts
Rather funny to have a minichapter on how to design a T-shirt.
p195 see the gorilla
Can you see past the end of your nose? -Mary Poppins
Just because you don't see someone using your product a certain way doesn't mean you should go out of your way to stop them. That usually means you have a new market to penetrate, and more easily too since you have some early adopters already.
C11 The Art of being a Mensch
Help many people
Do what's right
Pay back society
It seems rather sad that he feels the need to have such a chapter but given the history of capitalism lots of people seem to be operating in the Darwinian mode rather then the Christian mode.