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Start-up Advice from Guy Kawasaki

I chat with Guy Kawasaki about the lessons he learned from working with Steve Jobs, startup advice and Privy the New 'Anti-Social' app from Cheeze.

I was recently fortunate to interview Guy Kawasaki on my podcast. Having worked alongside Steve Jobs as the “chief evangelist,” when marketing the original Macintosh computer, I was excited to learn more from his vast experience with social media, crowdfunding, and cloud computing.

In his books, Kawasaki writes from the heart and believes that simple and to the point is always the best way to get your point across. For many, his book, The Art of the Start was the de-facto standard for learning how to launch a startup. But, I wanted to learn more about the man himself and the lessons he has learned along the way.

After years of achieving inspirational success, what advice he would offer other up and coming entrepreneurs and wannabe startup founders?

Get the prototype out there. The purpose of any business is not to create a PowerPoint pitch, it’s to create customers, and you cannot do that without a product. I would also advise your readers to not ask your customers to so things that you wouldn’t do yourself.

If you won’t fill out a long form and hand over your credit card information even though it's not going to be charged, just to get a free account, don’t ask your customers to do those kinds of things either.

There are endless lists of essential reading online, such as 12 books you must read before starting a business that you personally recommend, but what is the book that had a profound impact on your life?

With Great Joy. I recommend a book called “If you want to write” by Brenda Ueland. This is a book ostensibly written for writers to help them get away from the naysaying and negativity, external and internal to become a writer. Even if you don't want to be a writer, the principles in this book will change your life. This book changed my life. It enabled me to become a writer.

Did you learn any crucial lessons from working closely with the late tech visionary Steve Jobs?

I will share a couple of the most significant lessons that I learned from him. First, I learned that customers are unable to give you the answers to help you innovate.

Consumers will always ask you to make more of what they're already getting from you, only better, faster and cheaper. So, in Apple’s case, better, faster, cheaper, as opposed to Macintosh or more lately, better, faster, cheaper, Macintosh as opposed to IOS device.

I also think he taught he taught us that have to get your product to market. You cannot wait for this perfect product before you launch. Back in 1984, the Macintosh 128 k was far from perfect, but it was good enough to ship. We quickly discovered that once a product is launched, you learn much more from users than sitting around in the echo chamber.

You can listen to full interview with Guy Kawasaki by clicking on the link below. We also discuss social media privacy or the lack of it and why he is working closely with a new anti-social app called Privy — A private place for sharing memories.

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