Art of the Start

Former Apple marketing maven Guy Kawasaki has established quite a second career as start-up counselor and funder via his Garage Technology Ventures VC firm. We are big fans of his Forbes column, which offers straight-shooting advice from someone who has been there. His topics are as broad as the importance of taking chances to the right time to name a company, from the worth of an MBA degree to identifying a target audience. His advice is down to earth and usually short. For example, asked if entrepreneurs must accept the valuation placed on a business by their VC, Kawasaki is clear on where he stands: “Whatever the first offer, ask for a 25 percent higher valuation because you’re expected to push back. In fact, if you don’t push back, you may scare the venture capitalist if he thinks you’re not a good negotiator.” [HBS Working Knowledge Annotation]

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