THE ART OF THE START: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

Guy Kawasaki, Author . Portfolio $26.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-59184-056-5

Kawasaki (Rules for Revolutionaries ) draws upon his dual background as an evangelist for Apple's Macintosh computer and as a Silicon Valley venture capitalist in this how-to for launching any type of business project. Each chapter begins with "GIST" ("great ideas for starting things"), covering a variety of facets to consider, from identifying your customer base and writing a business plan to establishing partnerships and building brand identity. Minichapters zero in on particular jobs that will need doing, while FAQ sections address the questions readers are most likely to have: Kawasaki covers the basics in an effectively casual tone. Much of the advice, however, consists of generic banalities—start your company's name with a letter that comes early in the alphabet, use big type in presentation slides for older businessmen with declining eyesight, and avoid writing e-mails in all capital letters—that can be found in any mediocre guide. Fortunately, Kawasaki does rise to the occasion here and there. He goes into great detail when it comes to raising capital and offers effective methods for sorting through the nonsense associated with interviewing prospective employees. (Sept. 9)

Forecast: Drawn in part from readers of the Forbes column from which the book takes its title, Kawasaki's fan base will seek this one out (and overlook the weaker sections to get to the usable nuggets).

Reviewed on: 07/26/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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