Posts Tagged ‘guy kawasaki’

Flexible Focus #54: Modeling Your Business

by William Reed on May 19, 2011

In search of a Toolbox

We have looked at the power of the 2×2 Matrix, as well as how to gain additional degrees of freedom with the 3×3 Matrix of the Mandala Chart. Any kind of Matrix can be useful, because it helps you compare variables that interact with each other, and it puts everything on a single screen. This gives you the vital element of perspective, something that is easy to lose when you are caught up in the fray. In business, this can spell the difference between success and failure.

Now there is another kind of Matrix which enables you to map out and test proven business model concepts, not only by seeing the parts in relation to the whole, but also with the ability to run interactive simulations and projections with numbers. Introducing The Business Model Toolbox for iPad.

Even if you don’t have an iPad, the Business Model Generation book can guide you through the process, with beautiful illustrations and real world examples of successful business models in action. This book is a remarkable innovation in itself, having been co-authored by 470 strategy practitioners from 45 countries. Ordinarily it would be nearly impossible to integrate that much diversity into a single package, but this book is held together by a highly integrated visual design, and the fact that the contributors speak from real world experience.

Their methodology is practiced by companies such as Ericsson, 3M, and Deloitte, and the book is available in 18 languages. It is positioned as a handbook for visionaries, game changers and challengers, and the communication savvy of the core team behind the project is self-evident in both the book and the website navigation.

Telling Your Story with Prescience

Guy Kawasaki is the founder and managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, a seed-stage and early-stage venture capital fund, and a best selling author whose successful books include The Art of the Start, and Enchantment: the Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. I interviewed Guy Kawasaki on video for the iPad Creators Club, and in that interview asked Guy, of all of the factors that go into evaluating a business model as a venture capitalist, which factor carried the greatest weight. He said that it was 90% in the story behind the business model. He added that we all know that the numbers are made up, but you cannot fake the level of passion, belief, and commitment that is either evident or missing in the story itself.

Nevertheless, the power of story in business is more than just the power of narration or stage presence. The story must be delivered with the skills of an actor, but it must be grounded in the perspective of the strategist, and this is where Business Model Generation can make the difference.

Think of it as the power to see there before you can be there. Prescience is the knowledge of things before they exist or happen, foreknowledge, foresight. Surely it must seem as magic to those who lack this ability, and often it is the experts, blinded by their own knowledge, who have the least prescience! This is laughably evident in just reading a few of the bad predictions by the leading experts of their day, in nearly every field that has been touched by technology. And what field has not been radically altered by technology?

If the numbers are fabricated, and the experts totally off the mark, then how can we develop some degree of prescience? How can we navigate through this unpredictable world, without falling for superstitious fallacies, or succumbing to the hypnotic mantras of the latest guru?

As a reader of this column, you know by now that reality is not fixed as it appears to be, and that with flexible focus, you not only can see more, but you can actually create more. It is ancient wisdom that comes back to remind us that we are co-creators of our own reality, that the sky is not empty.

Nevertheless, to help others see the dimensions and qualities of our vision, indeed to be able to perceive these things ourselves, we need the help of tools which help us to make the invisible visible, and the impossible possible.

Vision is not enough. We need resources and collaborative support to make things happen, and that will not happen without prescience and a powerful story behind it.

Knowing that you don’t Know

One reason why the experts are so often lacking in prescience is that they think that they know. The beginning of wisdom is knowing that you don’t know, having a beginner’s mind. In the classic book of informal talks on Zen Meditation and Practice, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki says, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few.”

One of Socrates’ most famous sayings was, “I only know that I know nothing.” This is the beginning of knowledge, because it drives the spirit of inquiry, the quest for knowledge that is behind the question. The Matrix is the flexible container that begs to be filled, the toolbox that supports our vision.

The 6th Century BC Chinese General and military strategist Sun Tzu, best known today as the author and genius behind the classic text on strategy, The Art of War, penned a gem of a statement that has gained the status of proverbial wisdom.

“Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

This book held profound influence over Asian military thinking and the Way of the Samurai. It was translated into French as early as 1772. Ultimately the book had an influence on leaders and generals from Napoleon, to General Douglas MacArthur, to Mao Zedong. It is studied at West Point Military Academy, and has been applied metaphorically in business and management strategy.

What is this powerful and apparently universal appeal behind Winning without Fighting, and more to the point, why is it that so few people throughout history have been able to master its lessons?

The Fisherman’s Quarrel

There are many variations on this wisdom in traditional Chinese culture, often told through profoundly simple and often humorous stories. One is that of The Fisherman’s Quarrel, in which two fisherman quarrel over their catch, during which time a bird makes off with the fish.

There is an inherent sense of the folly of fighting, and the wider perspective which seeks a way to win without fighting. There are many ways in fact of winning the battle but losing the war. We might say as well that the operation was a success, but the patient died. There are many ways of expressing the folly of the short-sighted solution.

We see it played out in our economy, where greed is good produces a massive win/lose scenario, eventually pitting Wall Street against Main Street. We see it in the nasty deception of going to war for the sake of peace. We see it in gross energy consumption that is altering the very climate of the planet we live on.

Sometimes we learn the hard way that fighting is not a way that works. Many conflicts erupt because someone had to talk back, stare back, fight back, rather than letting it go before it escalates. Even while studying the martial art of Aikido, which is fundamentally based on the art of winning without fighting, I have found myself drawn into conflicts that didn’t need to happen. Read Scene Three of my Manga Story, and see how easily this can happen. To have no enemies means to make no enemies.

Baker vs Taker

Guy Kawasaki tells of how he has found that by collaborating with what might have been his competition, both win and the pie gets bigger. He sums it up by saying that there is a fundamental difference in the mentality of the baker vs the taker. The baker makes pies and provides plenty to go around, whereas the taker gets his and leaves nothing for anyone else. The baker is creative and has an abundance mentality, whereas the take is destructive and has a scarcity mentality.

The Mandala Chart can help you develop an abundance mentality because it frees you from the one track mentality, and gives you 8 ways in which to view any particular situation. The power of the creative mind derives from flexible focus. If more people applied this in business, we would have the ability to generate solutions and preventions to problems, instead of constantly fighting to put out fires.

The Principle of Non-Dissension

There are many ways to think about winning without fighting. You can win by escaping, getting out of the fray in the first place. If you have a good understanding of all points of view, you can find a Win/Win solution, in which all sides benefit. You can win by passive resistance, the way of Mahatma Gandhi, in which you win by not fueling the conflict. Sun Tzu’s way is to win at the outset, through superior insight and perspective.

Instead of butting headlong into people and problems, develop a sense of pliancy and flexibility in your approach to life. Once you realize the folly of trying to enter the highway through the exit ramp in the face of oncoming traffic, you feel much better about following the good sense in the traffic signs that say, Yield or Merge.

An excellent way to cultivate this sense is to learn it with your body, by studying Asian martial arts which are based upon the principle of non-dissension, such as Aikido or Tai Chi Chuan. Learn to diffuse conflict by redirecting it, rather than fuel it by forcing the situation. You will avoid many of the problems that plague people, problems partly of their own making, and enjoy life more as you find the path of least resistance.

Guy Kawasaki’s Finishing School for Entrepreneurs!

by Roger Parker on March 8, 2011

While reading an advance copy of Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, it struck me that what Guy is providing is a “finishing school for 21st Century entrepreneurs.”

According to Wikipedia, finishing school originally referred to “a private school for girls that emphasizes training in cultural and social activities.” Intended to follow ordinary schooling, finishing school is “intended to complete the educational experience, with classes primarily on etiquette.”

Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment is much more than shallow etiquette, as it references many of the most important and influential current books on marketing, psychology, and social behavior, such as Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Power of Persuasion.

Yet, at heart, Enchantment is an etiquette book; its a 21st century behavior book, a guide to the subtleties and nuances of daily business life that determine whether or not others—bosses, co-workers, customers, employees, prospects, and website visitors—will like us and trust us…or simply tune-us out.

Image versus reality

Enchantment fascinates me because—on the surface–it looks, and reads, like a “simple” book. It’s a fast read because sentences, paragraphs, and chapters, are short. Topics inside chapters are short and to the point, broken up with frequent subheads, lists, and quotations that keep readers engaged and moving forward.

There are also enough graphics to reinforce important points.

Look behind the apparent simplicity and easy reading, however, and you’ll find a wealth of carefully organized, up-to-date information. Enchantment’s bibliography may only include 20 titles, but they’re the right 20 titles, and Guy Kawasaki obviously carefully read each of the contemporary business classics before skillfully weaving them into the narrative.

You’ll definitely want to read Enchantment with pen in hand, so you can underline the many ideas you’ll want to revisit.

Importance of balance

Most business books fall into the trap of either being too abstract or too practical.

  • Abstract books, often the ground-breaking books that introduce new ideas and perspectives, are often too research-oriented to be useful. They may define a new way of approaching a problem, but they don’t provide the daily nuts-and-bolts, “do and don’t” advice, that readers need to efficiently implement and profit from the new perspective.
  • Practical books, on the other hand, are often so distilled down to the “how to’s” that readers don’t understand the background, or the context, of the recommended advice.

Enchantment is one of the rare exceptions. It defines a “code of behavior” that will encourage others to like, respect, and trust you (and your ideas) and also provides the specific advice and recommendations you need to create the daily habits that will enchantment those whose approval you need to achieve your goals.

Is Enchantment for you?

Basically, Enchantment is for you, if :

  • You’d rather read 1 book, instead of 20 other books.
  • You’re interested in stories, rather than ideas. Enchantment is filled with examples from Guy Kawasaki’s own experiences plus personal stories contributed by a variety of successful entrepreneurs.
  • You’re part of the personal computing and Internet age. As a well-known Silicon Valley participant and investor, Guy Kawasaki writes from a privileged “insider” perspective about the past. This also makes him the perfect guide to introduce you to ways to achieve your enchantment using the latest online and social media technology.

Enchantment contains additional subtleties that enhance its value as a “finish school” for entrepreneurs. The table of contents, for example, provides topic lists with check-boxes for you to track your progress as you read. In addition, the Conclusion contains a self-scoring quiz you can take to test your mastery of Enchantment powers. There’s also a fascinating story, (that word, again!), describing the origins of the book cover and how it was crowd-sourced and market-tested before committing to it. (Guy practices what he preaches.) All in all, Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment is a book that deserves your attention. To learn more, view Guy’s Enchantment slides and speech, take an online quiz, read online excerpts, or view (or embed) the Enchantment infographic.

Ready to be Enchanted?

by Himanshu Jhamb on March 2, 2011

Enchantment, as defined by

“to delight to a high degree”

We all have felt enchantment at some point of our lives. Be it the moment when we were the recipient of fantastic customer service, or perhaps the moment when we did something that changed someone’s life forever or it be as simple as an impromptu shoe-shine that the founder of a fortune 500 company gave, that won Guy Kawasaki as his customer for life, from his competition.

Yes, Enchantment is the new upcoming book by Guy Kawasaki. Guy does not need any introductions, in general, let alone in the entrepreneurial circles so I won’t get into that. If you’d like to read about him, he has an official bio published on his own website.

Enchantment is Guy’s 10th book and according to him,

“Enchantment is about transforming situations and relationships to invent new possibilities; ones that you probably did not think were possible.”

After reading it cover to cover, I can testify that until I had read the book, I could only understand the dictionary definition of enchantment (To delight to a high degree), but after having read & reflected upon it, I “Get” Guy’s definition as well.

Here are 5 things that Enchanted me in the book:

  • Something for everyone.  Being an entrepreneur, writer and an editor, I could see where I could infuse some enchantment for my customers by simply following some of the insightful recommendations by Guy. If I put my project management hat, I could see how I could enchant my customers on the projects I manage… and that’s not all. I could also see how I could enchant my primary customer – my spouse! Remember, it’s all about “delighting to a high degree” and no one can do with or have enough of it!
  • How To’s. The book is full of practical advice that can be applied “painlessly”.  Each chapter is titled with “How to… (do something)”. That, to me, is a direct call-to-action; action being the space where all possibilities are eventually manifested!
  • Personalization. The book ends each chapter with a personal (true) story of a real person on how he/she has achieved or experienced enchantment. That helps the reader establish a strong connection with the content (I was personally touched, moved and inspired by a personal story at the end of Chapter 1).
  • Edgy & Engaging. The book was edgy at times… with a somewhat “WYSIWYG” (sorry, couldn’t hold back the techie in me!) attitude… and was Engaging, pretty much all the time!
  • Fun & inspiration. It was clear to me that Guy had a lot of fun while writing the book. The fun rubbed off of me as the reader as he relates certain incidents (again, real incidents) with a pinch of humor and a generous dose of inspiration!

I could go on, but I’ll defer for now, as an actual review of the book will be coming out on Active Garage, on March 08, 2011 – the official release date of Enchantment.

Needless to say, if you are ready for Enchantment or simply cannot wait another week to know who the founder was who Enchanted Guy with an impromptu shoe-shine and won him (as his customer for life) from his competition, go right ahead and pre-order your copy right away!

BLOGTASTIC: Brand Building vs Brand Extensions

by Rajesh Setty on December 3, 2009

blogtastic_coverThis is part of the the book BLOGTASTIC! Growing and Making a Difference Through Blogging. You can read the table of contents and follow the book on this page:

See the table of contents for the book here: BLOGTASTIC project

Previous article: What’s on your “About Me” page?

BLOGTASTIC: Brand Building vs Brand Extensions

Some people think that they can create a brand simply through their blog. While that can happen, it is more of an exception than a rule.

There’s a huge difference between building a brand and extending a brand.
In the world of marketing, a brand extension takes an existing brand and places it into a new context.

Let’s look at brand extensions for a moment.

Crest is known for its mint-flavored toothpaste, but they also have launched cinnamon and citrus flavored toothpaste. The new flavors are extensions of a well-known brand. However, if Crest launches a mouthwash, that would be a brand extension into a new but very related category. The brand is connected through the concept of “oral hygiene.”

Note: There is a limit. If Crest decides to offer carpet cleaning services (for whatever reason) then using the Crest brand will be a stretch. Consumers won’t mentally link the two brands. Clean teeth and clean carpets don’t go together.

When you launch a blog, your blog is typically a brand extension. It becomes an electronic platform for your existing personal brand. A blog is a vehicle through which you are sharing a piece of yourself with the world. If you have a strong brand in the offline world, then it will be much easier to establish your brand in the online world. Who you are, when you enter the blogging world, matters a lot.

There is no shortcut to building a powerful personal brand. You will have to work online and offline for a long time

A blog is a great way to extend your brand online. With the right content, you can augment your personal brand. Your blog offers virtually unparalleled reach with minimal cost.

I can think of two influential people who started blogging late—Guy Kawasaki who is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur and Tim Sanders who wrote books like Love is the Killer App (one of my favorite books) and The Likeability Factor. Both Guy and Tim  started blogging in 2007. Of course, they both saw a huge following almost immediately. While they write great content, the fact is that their fans were waiting for them to blog. Their strong personal brands created instant traffic for their blogs.

Blogging Tip: Focus on building your personal brand–online and offline

Whether you like it or not and whether you want it or not, you already have a personal brand. This identity presents “who you are” to the world. By living in this world and interacting with people around you, you are making a “promise” to the world and that promise is your personal brand. You can’t escape having one.

So, the key question that you should ask yourself, “how effective is your personal brand today and what can you do to make it more powerful?