Ideas on paper

Thoughts by José Luis Agell

Focus on what’s real and forget the fluff

Last Wednesday, Guy Kawasaki came to the Plug&Play Tech Center and presented his last book, Reality Check. He gave brilliant tips for those who want to change the world with their business ideas. I have to admit that he is quite iterative and seems to say always the same (I have seen very similar presentations on youtube and I read his book The art of the start where he mentioned the same ideas). Nevertheless, I strongly recommend to go to one of his lectures or presentations. He is an excellent speaker.

The content of the speech can be summarized in ten questions. Some of them might seem a bit obvious but you need to think about them when starting a new business or developing a new product.

  1. Are you making meaning, instead of money? Because if you are really making meaning, you will definitely make a lot of money. But first goes the meaning.
  2. Does your product jump on create the next curve? This is the measure of the impact of your product. Real entrepreneurs are willing to change the world with innovative products.
  3. Is your product deep? Intelligent? Complete? Elegant? Emotive?
  4. Do you have a mantra in your company? A mantra goes way beyond of conventional mission statements. A mantra has to be short, evocative and has to be the guideline for any employee.
  5. Can you pitch in 10 slides? In fact, Guy uses the rule of 10/20/30: 10 slides, 20 minutes and 30pts in your text.
  6. Can you launch your product without marketing budget? Lots of entrepreneurs are worried because they don’t have money to make big marketing campaigns. It shouldn’t be like this. A good product sells itself and doesn’t need an expensive promotion. Moreover, there are cheaper ways than TV ads to promote your products (e.g. twitter and presence in blogs)
  7. Are you providing a very unique product that adds a lot of value to the market?
  8. Can you give a good demo? A demo has to show what? and how? Don’t waist your time explaining why?
  9. Do you hire “imperfect” people? It is not a matter of background, of expensive universities, of long working experiences. It is a matter of passion and willingness to creat impact.
  10. Are you asking people to do what you wouldn’t do? You will be successful if you are solving real problems and you don’t ask people to do extra efforts to get your product.

That’s all for today. Thanks Guy for your tips and tricks.

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