The book makes a big promise with its sub-title, "The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything." I wondered if such a book could live up to it. "Starting anything" refers to a business, not a career, school, or hobby.
Obviously, it's impossible to create a comprehensive book of business best practices because every business has its own variables. What works great for one may kill another. However, the book doesn't take that approach. Rather, it tells how it is starting a business and the rough road of dealing with VCs (venture capitalists). If you expect a positive spin on stuff that's hard to do. Read a fairy tale instead.
Rather than abrasiveness and a "do this, don't do this" attitude, Kawasaki uses humor to explain the process. Anyone who has a small business including those around for a few years will benefit. When ready to take action, use this book as the manual that doesn't come with starting a business. Thinking about it isn't going to make a business successful.
Every chapter begins with the GIST of it, an overview of what's to come. Each ends with FAQ, frequently AVOIDED questions, to review the chapter's content and drill it in deeper for better understanding and implementation.
Get simple, but important hints on everyday business practices such as how to give a strong presentation. How many times have you sat through a presentation where each slide has over 20 words in size 12 point and the presenter practically reads the words adding little to what is on the slide? Kawasaki smartly covers the 10-20-30 rule. 10 slides, 20 minutes, and size 30 font. Making changes to the small practices can lead to reaching the next milestone.
This book can be likened to a quick reference guide for starting a business and useful strategies: has just what is needed without heavy-duty or dry language. It is, however, larger than most quick guides, but a fast and easy read into the world of startups and dealing with VCs. If a VC isn't involved, the book provides valuable tools and ideas to help with any business. However, technology start ups seeking VCs will benefit most.
Stuck on a business plan? Learn what is needed and not needed. Don't waste valuable time and use the book to do what's necessary without going overboard.
If long hours and challenges aren't in the plans, then read a romanticized business book instead. The Art of the Start shows how it really is and it's hard, but it can be a little easier with this book as a guide.
Get a taste of the book by reading its manifesto ([...] a free PDF download. The 34 page document should give you a clear idea of whether or not the book is for you as it includes the same components found in the book. As a bonus, the manifesto includes Great Ideas for Starting Things, covered in the first chapter. If the material and the table of contents sound enticing, get it.