An Enchanting Conversation With Guy Kawasaki

Article first published as An Enchanting Conversation With Guy Kawasaki on Technorati.

Guy Kawasaki Quote
Guy’s latest book, Enchantment, was released in March of 2011, to overwhelmingly upbeat reviews. Of the 225 customer reviews currently posted on Amazon, over 90% are highly positive.

I enjoyed the book as well, as evidenced by the review I wrote at the time of its release, which you can read HERE. I even plan to use it in my upcoming UC Santa Barbara Entrepreneurial Selling class.

As Guy notes in the accompanying video interview, his primary goal with Enchantment is to reach a broader audience, beyond the high-tech, startup world. According to Guy, “It has been very satisfying to hear from people who never heard of me before. It wasn’t the Guy fan base. I’d like to expand beyond that. I want this book to be the equal to How To Win Friends And Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.”

To this end, Guy has written a book that can be used by anyone seeking to further their cause; from startups, to non-profits, to public policy issues to getting a job.

You can watch the video interview with Guy below or on YouTube here:

Continue reading “An Enchanting Conversation With Guy Kawasaki”

Make Yourself Irresistible To A Startup

Note: This is Part II in the Startup Team Building series. Read Part I HERE

Bilbo’s offer letter from Thorin in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit exemplifies the proper attitude that you must have when joining a startup adVenture.

The Hobbit“For your hospitality our sincerest thanks, and for your offer of professional assistance our grateful acceptance. Terms: cash on delivery, up to and not exceeding one fourteenth of total profits (if any); all traveling expenses guaranteed in any event; funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for.” Continue reading “Make Yourself Irresistible To A Startup”

Every Dollar Spent At A Startup Should Yield A Return

ROIRichard White, author of The Entrepreneur’s Manual, surveyed a number of venture capitalists, asking them to identify the characteristics of successful, serial entrepreneurs.

One of the attributes identified by all of the venture capitalists questioned was, “Frugal use of capital.” In fact, several of the venture capitalists pointed out that successful entrepreneurs often have to be encouraged to spend more aggressively. In my experience at Rincon Venture Partners, I have worked with a number of successful, serial entrepreneurs who instill an urgent sense of frugality into their adVenture’s corporate culture.

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The Blondin Test Will Ensure Your Stakeholders Truly Believe In Your Startup

Note: This is Part I in the Startup Team Building series. Read Part II HERE

Each generation, a few magnetic personalities emerge and generate a mania of public interest. BlodinBefore Elvis, there was Sinatra. Before Sinatra, there was Bing. Before Bing, there was Caruso and before Caruso, there was Blondin.

Jean Francois Gravelot, who wisely abandoned his given name and dubbed himself The Great Blondin, was a true rock star of the 19th Century. On June 30, 1859, at the height of his fame, he stood before a crowd of tens of thousands of people at Niagara Falls. Continue reading “The Blondin Test Will Ensure Your Stakeholders Truly Believe In Your Startup”

Ten Startup Tips From Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos

Angry BossIn August 2004, FastCompany published an article titled, Inside The Mind Of Jeff Bezos, written by Alan Deutschman. Although the article is informative, it is the accompanying sidebar that has remained with me over the succeeding years. Under the heading, “The Book On Bezos,” the callout lists ten actionable and impactful nuggets of startup advice.

I review these tenets with my entrepreneurial students at UC Santa Barbara at the beginning of each quarter to reinforce many of the key topics we will cover in the following weeks. They are listed below augmented with quotes from Jeff Bezos taken from various points in his career.
Continue reading “Ten Startup Tips From Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos”

Self-effacing Entrepreneurs Put Their Team Above Their Personal Self-interest

Team Above Selfthe Team’s objectives supersede those of the Individual
The ninth tenet outlined in Core Values I was an operational startup executive, I seldom lost my temper in the workplace. However, one of the few things that angered me at a base level was when an employee would place their personal interests above those of the company.
Continue reading “Self-effacing Entrepreneurs Put Their Team Above Their Personal Self-interest”

Kenya Dream Epitomizes The Art Of “Fun-raising” Philanthropy

Nithin Jilla was 14-yrs old when he became involved in Kenya Dream. Over the past four years, Nithin has generated national coverage for his from several leading cable news networks, as well as a number of local and regional newspapers. He has also combined his passion for dance to further expand Kenya Dream’s audience by establishing a series of Ken-Ya Dance showcase events festivals.

Nithin Jilla

You can watch my interview with Nithin below or on YouTube here:

Continue reading “Kenya Dream Epitomizes The Art Of “Fun-raising” Philanthropy”

Why You (And Your Employees) Have To Work

“Whenever it is possible, a boy should choose some occupation which he should do even if he did not need the money.” 
William Lyon Phelps, American Author

Work Hard PLay HardGrowing up, I dreamed that one day I could say, “I don’t have to work.” My parents were both government employees of modest means who understandably viewed  my lofty aspirations as an unlikely fantasy.

My father passed away when I was in my mid-30’s, before he had a chance to enjoy the fruits of his lifelong labor. His premature death further solidified my desire to retire early.

After an exhausting and exhilarating 13-years as a senior startup executive, I looked back on my career with satisfaction, having helped several companies create significant wealth, including:

Computer Motion: IPO and later sold to Intuitive Surgical $148 million

Expertcity: creator of GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting, sold to Citrix for $236 million

CallWave: IPO, initial market cap ~$200 million

At the age of 43, I decided that I would retire. I was convinced at the time that I would never work again. At the outset of my retirement, I shared this thought with a CEO whom I respected and without hesitation he replied, “You will be back in the game once you take a breather. I guarantee it.” Boy, was he ever right… Continue reading “Why You (And Your Employees) Have To Work”

Guerilla Marketing Fail – What I Learned From The Austin Police

Article first published as Guerilla Marketing Fail – What I Learned From The Austin Police on Technorati.

David BelleAcrobatic ninjas, the Austin Police and several livid tradeshow executives – a perfect recipe for a reality television show, but not a great combination for Seth Epstein’s startup, Social Stay.

Seth discusses below what happened in Austin when he tried to rock the largest hospitality tradeshow of the year and what he learned from this humorous, but stressful experience.


You can watch my interview with Seth below or on YouTube here:



To hear Seth verbally describe this enlightening story, watch the video. Below is a guest post in which Seth tells the story in written form. Both the video and Seth’s post are excellent primers regarding how to deal with guerilla marketing gone wrong. I suggest you check out both the video and Seth’s entertaining depiction below. Note: the story takes place in Austin, not Dallas, which I incorrectly reference in the video. Continue reading “Guerilla Marketing Fail – What I Learned From The Austin Police”

Three Factors Which Intoxicate Venture Capitalists

Randy ChurchillRandy Churchill and his team at PricewaterhouseCoopers meticulously prepare a quarterly report detailing the venture landscape, called Shaking The Money Tree. The data consistently confirms that: (i) venture capitalists are typically not adventuresome, and (ii) most startups lack the three intoxicating factors which cause venture capitalists to pull out their checkbooks. Continue reading “Three Factors Which Intoxicate Venture Capitalists”