If you’re thinking about starting a business, or already starting it, or just started it, or, for that matter, you’re running a business or you care about a business, here read The Art of the Start, by Guy Kawasaki.Art of the Start

Here’s a quote, from the first chapter, under a subheading called “Make Meaning:”

The truth is that no one really knows if he or she is an entrepreneur until he or she becomes one — and sometimes not even then. There really is only one question you should ask yourself before starting any new venture:

Do I want to make meaning?

Meaning is not about money, power, or prestige. It’s not even about creating a fun place to work. Among the meanings of “meaning” are to

  • Make the world a better place
  • Increase the quality of life
  • Right a terrible wrong
  • Prevent the end of something good.

Goals such as these are a tremendous advantage as you travel down the difficult path ahead. If you answer this question in the negative, you mays still be successful, but it will be harder to become so because making meaning is the most powerful motivator there is.

Guy Kawasaki is the quintessential personal brand, and an excellent communicator. Art of the Start is a great book. I posted recently my classification of startups, and this is one that appeals to all three groups. As a co-founder of garage.com and more recently founder of truemors.com, Guy has real-world experience on several contexts, including as venture investor, as bootstrapping entrepreneur, and as expert on the sidelines.

I particularly like his emphasis on getting going, not hanging around waiting for something to be perfect. Other highlights include the chapter on bootstrapping — there’s too much talk of startups as always requiring loans or investors — and the art of the pitch, the art of the business plan, and the art of being a mensch.


Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.