10 Success lessons from Guy Kawasaki – “Former Apple evangelist, Venture capitalist” for entrepreneurs

Guy Kawasaki is one of the most famous entrepreneurs alive today. He has worked for Apple and Google, written for Forbes and MacUser, founded Fog City Software, and is now a successful author and speaker. He also founded or helped found Garage Technology Ventures, Truemors, and Alltop.

With so much success under his belt, it is no wonder that entrepreneurs all over the world want to learn from him. As a thought leader and a people leader in the startup space, Guy provides practical advice from being a more effective evangelist to helping Entrepreneurs pitch and test their ideas more effectively.

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Here are the 10 Success lessons from Guy Kawasaki – “Former Apple evangelist, Venture capitalist” for entrepreneurs,

1. Be genuine and generous

Guy always speaks from the heart — he’s real and honest and isn’t afraid to admit his mistakes (like quitting working for Apple — twice). He doesn’t pitch products he doesn’t use — and conversely, he decides to invest in companies if they make things that he actually uses.

He also has a “yes” attitude (his default response to people’s requests is “yes”), trusts others first (instead of expecting them to trust him first) and focuses on goodwill (taking positive actions that make the world a better place)

2. Make a mantra, not a mission

Mission statements are often too long or they don’t resonate. You need something you can easily remember, easily say, and identify with. Summarize your cause in 2 or 3 words. According to Guy, some effective examples might be Nike – “authentic, athletic performance” and Wendy’s – “healthy, fast food.” The key is to capture the essence in just a few words. This helps remind you of your cause and reinforce it with your actions.

3. Remember DICEE to make great things

According to Guy, DICEE is an acronym to help remind you how to make things that are gold. “D” is for Deep. It has to have lots of power. You don’t run out of power and you’re not waiting for a more powerful version. It anticipated what you need to do. “I” is for Intelligent. It’s a smart solution to a problem. “C” is for Complete. Great products are complete. Complete means the totality of what the product means This means all the stuff around the product (the OEMs, the forums, the plug-ins, service, support … etc.) “E” is for Elegant. When you look at it, you inherently know what to do. You can kind of figure out without a manual. “E” is for Emotive – great products have emotion.

4. Don’t worry, be crappy

Ship, then test. Don’t wait for the perfect world, or you’ll never ship. As long as you are truly making meaning and you have a revolution, the market will accept elements of crap. Ship something revolutionary with elements of crappiness to it. You can then prioritize which crap to improve based on real usage and feedback.

5. Don’t let the Bozos grind you down

Don’t listen to people that tell you that you’ll fail, because if you don’t try, then you definitely will fail. According to Guy, there are two types of Bozos. One type of bozo is a loser. You don’t listen to them anyway, so that’s not the dangerous bozo. The dangerous bozo is the rich, successful, well-known person. Remember that rich, successful and well-know does not equal smart. “Inoculate yourself from dangerous bozos.” – Guy Kawasaki.

6. Follow the 10-20-30 rule for content, length, and font

Use a maximum of 10 slides. Your presentation should be no more than 20 minutes, even if it’s an hour presentation. Use a 30 point font. It forces you to put the core text. If you need to use a smaller font it’s because you don’t know your material. If you start reading your material, your audience will read ahead and stop listening to you. See The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint and Video: Guy Kawasaki 10-20-30 Presentation Rule.

7. If you never try, you’ll never know

When someone tells you that you’ll fail at something, don’t believe them. You won’t necessarily succeed, but if you don’t try it, you won’t ever find out.  As someone who has started up multiple companies, Guy knows how important it is to develop an immunity to all the negative talk that most entrepreneurs hear. Innovation depends on experimentation — and sometimes failing is the best way to learn and grow.

8. Be a straight shooter

Keep it human.  Guy speaks in simple terms and keeps it real.  Whether you’re talking about your mantra or benefits of your product for people, don’t speak in lofty terms.  Keep it down to Earth.  Be authentic.  Be true to you.  Don’t be a suck up.  Guy’s a perfect blend of down to Earth, politically incorrect, and authentic, that we can model from.

9. Know the real influencers

Don’t spend all your energy on the CXO level.  Win over the front-lines and people in the trenches.  They’re the ones that will ultimately be your raving fans and will do your word-of-mouth marketing for you.  They will either be your resistance or your champions.  Create a tipping point with opinion leaders, such as the engineer’s engineer.

10. Hook One Person

The hardest investor to get is the very first one. Everyone is reluctant to be the first person to put their money in a new venture. If you can show them that even just one person has already invested in your company, they will be much more comfortable supporting you.

It might sound like a good plan to cast a wide net in order to attract as many investors as possible, but that isn’t the best way to start. Do your research on possible investors and target just a few that you really believe you can convince. Focus on them until you get your first investor. Then you can start reaching out to more people. It is better to have one investor fully committed than to have ten investors who are thinking about it.