Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Art of the Start

There is an abridged version of some sections from Guy Kawasaki's The Art of the Start online where he writes on the art of the pitch. There is also a chat transcript. He provides such pithy advice as

The key is the 10/20/30 rule: 10 slides given in 20 minutes using no font smaller than 30 points.

but emphasizes that the best pitch isn't gonna help you if you haven't "made meaning":

HDOWNING: What is the biggest challenge new entrepreneurs face today?

KAWASAKI: If you were to ask ten entrepreneurs this question, seven would say raising money, two would say closing deals, and one would say building the team. If you experience great difficulty in raising money, it's not because VCs are idiots and cannot comprehend your curve-jumping, paradigm shifting, revolutionary product. It's because you either have a piece of crap or you are not effectively communicating what you have. Both of these are your fault. End of discussion.

Closing deals is similar. Sure, it's tough to make a sale, but that's the way the world works. You have to make meaning and show customers why they should be happy to open their wallets and give you money. Building a team is also similar. I guess that it all comes down to the entrepreneur coming up with a meaningful idea and communicating that idea. The good news about entrepreneurship is that your fate is in your hands. The bad news is that your fate is in your hands!