Learning the Art of the Start – Part 5

7 05 2008

This is the last in a series of posts on The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki. Part one was on “why you’re starting”, Part two covered “describing what you do”, Part three was on “getting cash and getting going”, and Part four covered “connecting with customers and making sales.”

Do what’s right

The last section of The Art of the Start is appropriately titled “Obligation”, if for no other reason than I feel somewhat obligated to write this post to finish out the series. While the first four sections of the book describe the keys to starting a venture, the fifth unveils a principle for long term success.

To me this section seems to relate strongly to the first section, where Guy raises the question about doing something meaningful (I believe the question was, Do you want to make meaning?). According to Guy, doing the right thing and helping others who can’t repay you (a.k.a. being a mensch) should be in the DNA of any venture.

I suppose, however, that this will vary for each person depending on their “end game”, or what they want to accomplish with their life. For some it will be raking in a lot of money, for others it will be the recognition and fame that come with success, and still others will be driven by the desire to help society.

Guy does a good job touching this nerve with an exercise toward the end of the chapter.

It is the end of your life. Write down the three things you want people to remember about you:

The things I think of when I ponder this question have little to do with climbing wall management software, or even software in general — so we’ll see how that bodes for the future success of ClimbPoint. If nothing else I think this chapter is included to encourage the entrepreneur not to lose sight of the big picture, and to “keep the main thing the main thing.”




One response

17 05 2008

The Art of the Start was one of the very first books I bought when I decided I wanted to “start something”. When I read this chapter, I actually ripped off a piece of scrap paper and wrote down three things. I wrote down:
1. Sincere
2. Bright
3. Genuine
I closed up the book and came back to it a year or so later. My scrap paper fell out and I was a bit surprised. Not at what I chose, per se, but rather that my answers were the same. The exercise really helped me to evaluate what I wanted from life and to go after it.
Guy’s message is really a great one.


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