A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to attend what was perhaps my first business trip for work. The keynote speaker turned out to be Guy Kawasaki. To be quite honest, I hadn’t heard about him before and after his speech at the TravelCom 2007 conference & expo in Las Vegas, I was not disappointed. So when it came out that he has published a new book, I immediately snapped one up – again, no disappointment.
Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition is a great perspective and insight into how entrepeneuers, businesses, employees, and the public should see how business is done. I don’t see Guy Kawasaki pulling any punches in this book as he basically “tells it like it is”. But before you go ahead and think that it’s a lecture by a successful venture capitalist and marketing genius, it’s not…not entirely.
While Reality Check gives you great information on how to “outsmart, outmanage, and outmarket your competition”, it’s not all Guy’s advice. Rather, it’s from other people that he’s interviewed for the book and given credit to. Just look at the different topics covered in his book:
- Starting your own company
- Raising money for your startup
- Planning & executing
- Selling & evangelizing
- Doing good
If you read the book exactly in that order, you can gain a good understanding of the process of what you would go through in the business world. Imagine, when reading Reality Check, that you’re starting from the beginning of your company’s history and then through the gradual growth cycle, there are certain items that you may find become “bumps in the road”. Guy Kawasaki will help guide you through them and even offer you advice on how to avoid them in the first place. However, don’t think that this is all good news. After all, it is called Reality Check for a reason. It’s not gushing over success or avoiding failure. It’s giving you an unbiased view on what’s going on in the business world. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. You’ll have to worry about firing people, working with stakeholders, evangelizing your customers, and much more.
Every business person should at least read this book. In the era of startups, Guy Kawasaki basically gives you his advice in published form. No longer will you need to ask a venture capitalist about advice on how to start your own business. Reality Check gives it to you in 90+ chapters! There are great tips, interviews with prominent authors and business types, and also informative case studies.
Don’t let the size of the book fool you. It may seem like a lot of reading, but the chapters are short and get to the point. We don’t have time to spare to waste on trivial nonsense and Guy Kawasaki doesn’t give us any trouble. It’s a no bull-shitake zone here. Now how’s that for a Reality Check?